NAMIBIA

At first I think it must be a mirage. They come, tons of them, literally, through the dusty, shimmering heat of the African afternoon, meandering  towards the water hole. I have never seen so many elephants. They come, in family groups, from every direction across the parched Namibian landscape. Old battle scarred bulls, their huge […]

Walking with Lions

I thought I ought to explain this photo on my cover page. It was taken in Zimbabwe, near Victoria Falls. It is one of my favourite travel shots of all time. Yes, I am walking with a lion. Its not something you can do every day and it is without a doubt one of the most […]

Ten Great Reasons for Choosing an Avalon Cruise:

Spacious cabins. Bringing the deck inside has made a real difference.   It’s a young fleet. There’s nothing ‘tired’ about these ships. Avalon prides itself on presentation and turns over its ships regularly. You can always find a quiet spot. If you want to be solitary or social there’s a place for you.   4. Avalon […]

Amsterdam: Catnip for millennials?

Its billed as the world’s most popular city with millennials.  It is certainly heaving with them when we arrive at the end of our river cruise  in the midst of the first heatwave of summer. Its the end of May. The thirty degree plus temperatures qualify as a heatwave here because the weather in the […]

Rudesheim and the Rhine Gorge

Rudesheim and the Rhine Gorge

If you’ve been hanging out on your river cruise for some serious wine tasting then Rudesheim is your place. This picturesque little village on the banks of the Rhine, at the head of the famous Rhine Gorge, is surrounded by vineyards. Reisling is the grape of choice here.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

Rothenburg ob der Tauber ( not to be confused with other Rothenburg’s in Germany) is your quintessentially picture postcard German town.  One of the most popular of the many medieval towns on the so called Romantic Road.

Nuremberg/Cologne: In Hitler’s shadow

Nuremberg/Cologne: In Hitler’s shadow

Our Avalon Waterways cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam included a number of optional tours.  Its hard to visit Germany without confronting its Nazi past. Its a history which is very much at the forefront of people’s minds in the new Germany.

Germany’s Medieval Treasures: The villages of Bavaria

Germany’s Medieval Treasures: The villages of Bavaria

One of the joys of exploring Europe’s waterways is that you encounter so many beautifully preserved medieval settlements. Of course in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the rivers were important trade routes, hence the number of castle keeps along the Rhine, there, largely to extract river tolls from those transporting goods on the waterways. It made sense to settle close to the rivers.