Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Welcome to hidden europe 19. We feature the Polish town of Zamosc, London's Crystal Palace, the island of Gozo, rural Ukraine, la corrida in Spain and more.

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Better to see the wonders of the world than lie dull and sluggard at home. Shakespeare said something of the sort in the opening scene of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, with Proteus going on to urge Valentine:

When thou haply seest Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel Wish me partaker in thy happiness.

We have stumbled upon our fair share of rare and noteworthy objects during our recent travels, to wit, a fabulous town square in Poland, the biggest Easter egg on the planet and a scintillating Mediterranean island. All feature in this latest hidden europe. The island is Gozo, the coastline of which is every bit as pomskizillious today as it was when the celebrated writer of literary nonsense, Edward Lear, visited Gozo in 1866.

We welcome four guest contributors to this issue of hidden europe. John Mead, who pens a piece on bullfights for us, is a first time contributor, as is Jenny Robertson. To her essay on the Ukrainian district of Volhynia, Jenny brings the insight of one who has lived and worked in eastern Europe for very many years. Laurence Mitchell is an old hand with hidden europe and in this issue invites us to visit a quirky Ukrainian museum. Our final guest author is Tim Locke who, way back in hidden europe 2, was the first ever outside contributor to the magazine. It is a pleasure to welcome Tim back. In this issue he conjures up the spirit of London's most cherished ghost: the Crystal Palace which, until it burnt down in 1936, stood in leafy parkland at Sydenham in south London.

In these pages we track down the birthplace of socialist thinker Róza Luksemburg (yes, we think we spelt that right), mourn the manner of Roald Amundsen's death and unravel the tale of Carmen Sylva. She was an extraordinary nineteenthcentury writer and linguist who just happened to be Queen of Romania too. Just like Scheherazade, she wove wonderful tales and for one long summer she held court for an attentive juvenile audience on a North Frisian island.

Join us for another web of tales from hidden europe. And if you like the magazine, please tell your friends.

Nicky SC Gardner & Susanne Kries

Görlitz, Saxony
February 2008

About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 19.