Topic: Europe

Flight Sharing

Flight Sharing: Hitching a Ride aloft

10.02.2016

Those for whom regular vehicle sharing, be it as drivers or passengers, has always been a welcome option, may be aiming to raise their transport variety to a faster, higher and more sophisticated level. The services of Wingly, a French-German flight sharing start-up, could be an interesting pick. Their website offers private pilots and passengers a common marketplace based on a simple concept: pilots publish their scheduled flights, potential clients choose their destinations and directly place their bookings. At present, connections are offered from and to locations in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Scenic flights (“Fly Arounds“) and balloon rides are part of the programme as well.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Das Stue in Berlin is situated at the rim of the Tiergarten park.

Berlin: The diplomatic legacy of a luxury hotel

8.02.2016

Tales of a building: Das Stue in Berlin

Upon setting foot into the hotel’s lobby area, guests are greeted by a gigantic crocodiles’ head sculpted by Parisian artist Quentin Garel. Walls around the premises hold fine examples of black-and-white vintage fashion photography collected by one of the hotel’s owners. Artwork and objects placed throughout public spaces vividly pay tribute to a prominent neighbour, the fabled Berlin zoo only a hop away: an enormous giraffe and two gorillas made of painted chicken wire are complemented by fellow animals ready to serve as poufs or practical footrests.

Who might have anticipated in the late 1930s, that the sophisticated edifice erected to house the Danish diplomatic mission in Berlin, would see it being converted into a stylish luxury hotel more than 70 years later? To transform a repeatedly abandoned building into the fashionable spot Das Stue was destined to be, it had to go through extensive refurbishment. It received a novel wing now attached to its former back courtyard and a completely new contemporary identity enhanced by a blend of old and new elements.

When Das Stue opened its gates in December of 2012, it already looked back on a changeful past.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Things one needed for a train ride.

Ireland: Delightful prospects for train lovers

19.01.2016

As of summer 2016, Ireland (Republic and Northern) can be explored by rail luxury style aboard the Grand Hibernian, a new member to the family of iconic trains such as the legendary Royal Scotsman. Between August and October, clients are offered an attractive choice of three journeys – each following a different itinerary, yet all starting and ending in Dublin. The train boasts accommodation for up to 40 guests in private en-suite cabins whose cosy interior has been inspired by the isle’s rich cultural heritage.

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Halfpipe and bikers: Sounds of the city captured virtually everywhere.

City tourism: Sound-hearing soon enhancing Sight-seeing?

15.12.2015

What are the sounds usually associated with a city? The irritating ones issued from cars hooting, tyres screeching, trams rumbling, from air-conditioning units humming relentlessly? From ambulances swishing by with sirens amplified by the Doppler effect that hurts our eardrums and sets our minds on alert? When embarking on a trip to a busy metropolis, an undistinguishable concoction of man-made noise will have to be tolerated as an inevitable part of the package. Positive connotations are asking for more pleasant experiences, though.

Conquering an urban jungle by mapping it out via the typical sounds it exudes, is an idea temporarily put into practice in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam during an “ambient marketing” campaign: from interactive audio billboards, the “Sounds of the City” could be tapped by means of a personal headphone plugged into jacks directly embedded in the “neighbourhoods” of choice.

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The original timbered houses on the Roemerberg in Frankfurt were destroyed during WWII. The buildings shown here are replicas. + goodmeetings.com

Frankfurt – my Zuggerschneggsche

27.10.2015

The soft sides of a business queen

It’s been a long and sometimes painful journey through a jungle of misconception and prejudice. Both seem to die as hard as any of the bad habits the world so happily cultivates. Finally it looks as though Frankfurt – Hesse’s largest city (but not it’s capital, that’s Wiesbaden, you didn’t know that, did you?) manages to shed its unjustified reputation as an inapproachable, calculating, frigid financial hub. With nothing else on its urban mind than to tag along the leading string of insatiable banking institutes who vainly established themselves in the prime areas of town pointing their noses high in the sky. And whose sole purpose (allegedly?) lies in maximising their own riches and, thus, recklessly minimising everybody else’s.

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Reading time: about 5 minutes