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27 January 2014

Top 5 Lake Destinations In Europe

It's twilight on Lake Bled's only island - the Church of the Assumption rises in the center. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
It's twilight on Lake Bled's only island - the Church of the Assumption rises in the center. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

For those who love to vacation on or near the water, there's a tendency to look toward southern Europe's incredible beaches and coastal towns. Indeed, all along the Mediterranean Sea and near Spain and Portugal's coasts on the Atlantic, travellers can find some of the most picturesque beaches, and most pleasant coastal towns, anywhere in the world. However, for travellers who like to find destinations that are "off the beaten trail," so to speak, it's important to recognize that European tourism for water lovers isn't entirely limited to the southern coasts!

26 January 2014

A journey of discovery—my hiking adventure in Lapland, Sweden

Discovering splendor in Lapland, Sweden. All photography is the property of Null & Full. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Discovering splendor in Lapland, Sweden. All photography is the property of Null & Full. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

I am honored to introduce my guest travel writer Agata Mleczko, founder and editor of Null&Full.com, a travel blog that features off-the-beaten-track destinations. She currently calls Poland home but has lived in Italy for more than six years and has traveled to more than 20 countries including her most recent visit to New Zealand. She enjoys reading travel books, jogging, trekking and cooking. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @nullnfull and Facebook too. Without further ado, I bring to you Agata's journey of discovery to Lapland, Sweden.  

Although I live so close to all of the Scandinavian countries, it took me a long time to visit the first of them: Sweden. It’s just across the Baltic Sea, not too far away really, but it seems that the closer the destination, the harder to visit and appreciate, right? Well, this was the case with me. I went to Sweden for the first time just couple of years ago but since then, I visit this country every year. Do you want to know why? Lapland.

20 January 2014

Viking River Christmas market cruise continues to Salzburg, Austria

Welcome to Salzburg, Austria! All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™ unless noted. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Welcome to Salzburg, Austria! All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™ unless noted. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Early in the morning on the third day of our Danube Waltz Christmas market cruise with Viking River Cruises, I woke in the middle of night to see that we had already docked in Linz, Austria. I peeked outside the cabin for a glimpse of our new surrounds only to find a dazzling display of light—an illuminated building on the other side of the Danube casting vibrant hues of alternating neon colors—a stunning welcome to Linz I thought to myself. As it turned out, I was admiring the Institute of Computer Graphics. They sure know how to dazzle! My thoughts then wandered off to the day that lie ahead—our journey to the hills alive with the sound of music—Salzburg, Austria. Mostly known for its starring role in the "Sound of Music," Salzburg is also the birthplace of the celebrated composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as its namesake festival that takes place every summer starting in July—the Salzburg Festival of music and drama! Join me on this tour through the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria, another exciting day onboard Viking River Cruises. And if you want to find some amazing cruise deals for Viking river cruises, be sure to check out Cruisedeals.co.uk.  

13 January 2014

Brussels: the new hot spot for travellers

Brussels Town Hall in the city's Grand Place rises 315 feet into the air and is topped off by a 12-foot statue of Saint Michael slaying a demon. Photo: Valy Dumoulin.
Brussels Town Hall in the city's Grand Place rises 315 feet into the air and is topped off by a 12-foot statue of Saint Michael slaying a demon. Photo: Valy Dumoulin.

I am thrilled to introduce my guest blogger, Paula and Gordy from ContentedTraveller.com who have been travelling ever since they met 10 years ago, and for some unknown reason are contented traveller(s). They represent the baby boomer / emptynesters who are share their love of travel and unusual adventures, but also, and most importantly, their ability to embrace serendipity. You can follow their adventures on Twitter too @gordyandpaula. Without further ado, I bring to you Paula's and Gordy's take on Brussels! 

Many travellers have largely ignored Brussels, the much maligned capital city of Belgium. It has been a go through city, rather than a city break or long-stay destination. However things are changing. There are rumblings that the tide is turning and that people are re-discovering Brussels and liking very much what they are seeing and feeling. It would appear that this little gem is becoming a hotspot for travellers.

08 January 2014

Viking River Cruises to sail Bordeaux in March 2014 with new Chateaux, Rivers and Wine river cruise

The Chateau Pichon Longueville in Bordeaux, France, is just one of many you'll experience on Viking River Cruises' newest itinerary, 'Châteaux, Rivers and Wine' debuting in March 2014. Photo: Property of Viking River Cruises. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
The Chateau Pichon Longueville in Bordeaux, France, is just one of many you'll experience on Viking River Cruises' newest itinerary, "Châteaux, Rivers and Wine" debuting in March 2014. Photo: Property of Viking River Cruises. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Imagine eight days of sailing the waterways through the sublime Bordeaux region of France with the sole purpose of exploring legendary châteaux and rolling hills of vineyards all from the comfort of your Viking longship. Beginning March 22, 2014, Viking River Cruises heads to Bordeaux with a brand new itinerary, "Châteaux, Rivers and Wine" aboard the Viking Forseti, one of Viking's award-winning longships. Marking the first time Viking River Cruises will position one of their longships in France, the Viking Forseti will ply the waters through the Bordeaux and Aquitaine regions of France exploring along the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers in what is sure to be a feast for all senses—from exciting destinations and magnificent châteaux to delectable cuisine and some of France's most celebrated vintages. Come along as we explore the exciting ports of call on Viking Cruise's "Châteaux, Rivers and Wine."

01 January 2014

Highlights from Passau, Germany, with Viking River Cruises

Welcome to Passau, Germany—our first stop on our Viking River Cruises' 'Danube Waltz' from Germany to Hungary. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
Welcome to Passau, Germany—our first stop on our Viking River Cruises' "Danube Waltz" from Germany to Hungary. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

It's known as the Dreiflüssestadt or the City of Three Rivers and as it turned out, one of the true delights of my voyage with Viking River Cruises down the Danube—Passau, Germany. Located in southeastern Germany in Bavaria, near the Austrian and Czech borders, Passau sits on a spit of land where the Rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. While a medieval city in origin with roots dating back to 739, today's Passau is very much a Baroque city as I was surprised to find as I walked through its streets expecting to see the medieval half-timbered houses prevalent throughout Germany's villages. However, due to fires that ravaged much of Passau during the 17th century, it was rebuilt in the Rococo style at the direction of Prince-Bishops of Passau who wanted to mirror the popular trend sweeping through Italy at the time. Nonetheless, I loved it despite the lack of medieval Germanic architecture.