Topic: Europe

Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Iceland: Sleeping in a bubble

20.11.2017

When mystical veils of polar lights are wafting across northern skies in unknown shades of green, observers from near and far are eager to come and watch the stunning spectacle. A great many people have the Aurora Borealis on their bucket list of things to do at least once in a lifetime. Witnessing the awesome natural miracle when in Iceland can happen in the most comfortable of ways: by dreamily lying on one’s back underneath the transparent skin of an unconventional „hotel“ room in the shape of a bubble. Glamping under a canopy of stars means freedom and shelter at the same time.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Lindau Puppet Opera: Swanlake Pas De Deux. Christian Flemming

Lindau/Germany: Why Opera-goers adore Puppets on Strings

3.10.2017

When shapely legs are swung high during the meticulously rehearsed Swan Lake performance, they are not made of flesh and blood. Nor, in fact, are any of the lissome corporal parts belonging to the remarkable cast exerting themselves on the miniature stage of the Lindau Marionette Opera (House): they are puppets on strings choreographed and directed with an expertise and finesse that leaves every audience open-mouthed with bafflement. And that doesn’t just account for the ballet troupe bobbing their tutus in tune with Tchaikovsky’s legendary piece of distinguished classical music: there’s Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Humperdinck on the programme as well.

Yet, how is it accomplished that rigid images sculpted from wood seem to display credible emotions? Carving features adaptable enough to augment the illusion of changing mien is the craftsmanship their creators are excelling at.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
The Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest Munich: O’zapft is’!

13.09.2017

On Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at high noon sharp Munich’s Chief Burgomaster – the Lord Mayor – will once again ceremonially exclaim: ‘It’s tapped!’ The Oktoberfest, a festival recurring for the 184rd time, has been exerting its magnetism on the crowds since 1810. It means huge fun for regular folks, works as an illustrious place-to-be-seen for celebrities of all shapes and sizes and could even enhance or jog a career of one trade or another. And it serves as a welcome runway for the presentation of suitably traditional garb (such as Dirndl, Lederhosn or Lodenjanker) – or for a rare species of couture whose daring cross-over creations are at times hard to swallow for the more conservative. Read article

Reading time: about 9 minutes
The white Horses of Lipica

Lipica – the cradle of Lipizzaners

18.08.2017

The Latin name equus ferus caballus may not ring any bells in minds other than the ones found in veteran equestrian circles. As Lipizzaners, the graceful snow-white horses are known for their sublime elegance when ballet-dancing according to a sophisticated choreography and largely admired for their seemingly light-footed stunts. Their legendary teachabiity has been displayed at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna for more than 450 years, showering the Lipizzaner breed with international fame. Up to 1920, the statuesque stallions performing in Vienna were bred at the Lipica Stud Farm in Slovenia. Today, the stud embodies a planet in its own right, where breeding is maintained – and treasured – with undiminished sincerity and passion since the estate was founded in the 16th century.

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A lilliput hotel near Västeras in Sweden.

Snuggling up in Sweden: A semi-submarine Lilliput Hotel

5.07.2017

Who needs posh?! Would a minimalist wooden cabin – bobbing on Swedish waters – with an interior reduced to bare necessities not suffice as well? Hotell Utter Inn, a pocket-sized lodging solution near Västerås, was conceived by local artist Mikael Genberg and built in 2000. It not merely floats, but virtually represents an islet in its own right. The tiny upstairs-downstairs affair has no immediate neighbours intruding into whatever one might be up to and is always encircled by a refreshing breeze to help cool off a reeling mind. Privacy of a similar quality is rarely to be had this close to civilisation.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes