Letter from Europe

Words Matter – hidden europe 66

Issue no. 2022/4

Picture above: Issue 66 of hidden europe magazine (photo © hidden europe).


Here's a look at the latest issue of hidden europe magazine, published earlier this month. We roam from the Azores to the Balkans, from Iceland to southern France. In between we celebrate 50 years of Interrail and reflect on the metrics to measure how sustainable tourism might be.

hidden europe 66 was published earlier this month. If you don’t know the magazine, why not take a punt with this new issue? Just €9 for delivery anywhere in Europe (or €10 to destinations beyond) and an engaging collection of pretty good travel writing will be delivered to your front door. If you believe that words still matter, why not try a dose of hidden europe?

Dear fellow travellers

We don’t lie awake at night worrying about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. You probably don’t have it uppermost on your mind. We suspect we may feel rather differently if we lived in the Azores, the oceanic archipelago halfway between Europe and North America which sits astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The tectonic position of the Azores is actually quite complicated. It’s not just a matter of that ridge, but there’s also the Azores Triple Junction where three different tectonic plates nudge up against one another. It’s here that Eurasia, Africa and North America meet – at least in geological terms. The Azores, with their very distinctive landscapes shaped by volcanoes and earthquakes, are the backdrop to Paul Scraton’s account in hidden europe 66. But, as Paul reminds us, the Azores are also a cultural meeting point. The comings and goings in the islands, the ebb and flow of emigrants and returnees, have led to a medley of cultural influences in the Azores. There are links with Africa, Brazil, New England and of course mainland Portugal.

Curiously, the North Atlantic Ridge pops up elsewhere in this most recent issue of the magazine, for we also have a feature from Iceland. Katie Featherstone writes about a nature reserve in the Icelandic Highlands which is home to no one but deep in the hearts of many.

There are two other guest contributors in hidden europe 66, with Rudolf Abraham writing about the Vipava Valley in Slovenia and Laurence Mitchell following a river in the southern Balkans from source to sea. Elsewhere in the magazine, we venture south on Albanian buses, take the boat across Lake Lucerne and reflect on the metrics to measure how sustainable tourism might be. We also mark 50 years Interrail. The very first passes went on sale in March 1972.

The shadow of the terrible assault on Ukraine coloured our mood as we prepared this latest issue of the magazine. We say a few words in the editorial, and rejigged our layout just before going to press to accommodate a short piece on a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic chapel in Scotland. Words matter but sometimes words are never enough.

Why not take a look at the table of contents of issue 66 of the magazine? We remain committed to making space for thoughtful prose that captures the spirit of landscapes and celebrates cultures and communities across Europe. No glitz, no gloss, no advertising and no infinity pools in sight.

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(editors, hidden europe magazine)

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