Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

The city of Dubrovnik in Croatia was the capital of the former Ragusan Republic (photo © Branex / dreamstime.com).
Letter from Europe

A powerful earthquake in 1667 destroyed most of Dubrovnik's buildings. The city was at that time the capital of the Ragusan Republic. The city was rebuilt and these days is a strong tourist magnet on the Croatian ...
photo © Macrolink / dreamstime.com
Letter from Europe

You are most likely, as we are, staying close to home. We have time to ponder. And that itself can be a very positive thing. Rest assured that we'll continue to reflect European lives and landscapes with our regular Letter from Europe, ever aware ...
The deep valleys which bisect Luxembourg City were focal points for early industrialisation, making the most of fast-flowing rivers and local iron ore deposits (photo © hidden europe).
Letter from Europe

Deep in a valley just a short hike north from Luxembourg's ville haute, in villages which once echoed to the clamour of forges and foundries, the might of industry has been replaced by the soft power of ...
A train of Luxembourg's national railway operator CFL at Luxembourg City's main railway station (photo © Himeiji / dreamstime.com).
Letter from Europe

There is much ado in Luxembourg - a country which is getting some good press these days as it gears up to introduce free public transport. We shall be in Luxembourg next week to witness the introduction of free public transport on 1 March. And we ...
Many visitors to St Petersburg can already take advantage of an e-visa scheme. From Jan 2021, the e-visa scheme will cover the entire Russian Federation (photo © Dmitry Erokhin/ dreamstime.com).
Letter from Europe

As the United Kingdom tightens its entrance requirements, the progressive relaxation of visa regimes elsewhere in Europe is of course very welcome. In this Letter from Europe, we look at changes in visa regulations relating to Russia and ...
Reduced by stormy weather: empty shelves at the Castlebay co-op on the island of Barra (photo © hidden europe).
Letter from Europe

Brendan’s arrival had been much touted. He didn’t come as a surprise. Days prior to his arrival there was talk of Brendan. There was a run on lettuces and toilet rolls here on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. People like to stock up on ...
A Loganair plane at the airport on the Scottish island of Tiree (photo © Nigel Hoy / dreamstime.com).
Letter from Europe

It will already be dark today long before Loganair's flight LM247 takes off from Stornoway around 17.30. Sunday's flight marks the last direct service from any of the Scottish islands to London. Those direct flights to London represented a much ...
Geneva Cornavin railway station has a direct link to Paris operated by Lyria - that operator's routes from Paris to some other Swiss cities have been axed (photo © hidden europe).
Letter from Europe

The Franco-Swiss rail operator Lyria runs fast trains between Paris and a number of Swiss cities. It also offers the last remaining year-round direct train from Switzerland to the south of France - which is about to be axed. We take a look at ...
The caldera of Sete Cidades on the Azorean island of São Miguel (photo © Lukasz Janyst).
Letter from Europe

Last year, the Azorean authorities reminded residents of the hazards of living in an archipelago where three great tectonic plates meet. This is where Eurasia meets Africa and the Americas. We recall a royal visit to the volcanic caldera of Sete ...
Side by side: an ICE train and a truck on the Scandlines ferry from Puttgarden (in Germany) to Rødby (Denmark) (photo © Oliver Foerstner / dreamstime.com).
Letter from Europe

There are three places in Europe where passenger trains are still regularly conveyed on ferries. One of them is the Scandlines ferry that carries the regular daytime Eurocity trains from Hamburg to Copenhagen. But the days of that rail-ferry link ...