Travel Great Britain. Wapping walking tour: Poverty, sailors, slaves, pirates and pubs

Whenever I am in London I think it is a shit hole of a place, my hands are constantly dirty, it is loud and it is grubby, there are too many drunks at night, using public transport at rush hour feels like a fight, one has to queue for literally everything from money to coffee, but weirdly, I love London so much. London, the capital city of the United Kingdom is worth a trip at any time of the year, no matter why or when you visit, you surely are going to love it. In 2014 a whopping 17.4 million visitors from overseas made their way to London for a reason ...

After your visit to London’s top attractions like the British Museum, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern and the Tower of London right next to the Tower Bridge, keep on walking along the Thames, deeper into the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Friends were so very sweet to show me around Wapping, a part of town I hadn't visited before. 

First you will reach St Katharine Docks a former working dock named after a hospital that used to be here. Here you will find many of the for London usual chain restaurants, like Café Rouge, Slug and Lettuce or Strada. Keep on walking along the Thames and you will soon be in a quite enchanting area with a gruesome history. Visit Wapping to discover stories about poverty, sailors, prostitutes, pirates, hangings and slave trade next to fancy redevelopments of wharves that can often cost around GBP 5,000,000. Start on Wapping High Street. To this day walls of warehouses still line the streets.

St Katharine Docks

Wapping was heavily destroyed in WW2 and up until 25 years ago it was everything, but certainly not the sought after location that it is today. Due to its maritime heritage Wapping has the feel of a small town by the sea. You wouldn’t know that it is almost right in the middle of the UK’s biggest city.


Travel Germany: Where to Eat Vegetarian in Style in Prenzlauer Berg

The Berlin borough of Prenzlauer Berg is probably near the top of every Berlin visitor's wish list. From the Brandenburg Gate it is a short half hour walk, and you will find all the famous sights on your way there (think Bebelplatz, New Guardhouse, Berlin Cathedral, Red Town Hall, St Mary’s Church, TV-tower). If you don’t feel like walking take the U2 and get off at either Senefelder Platz or Eberswalder Strasse. Somebody has probably told you that it is a bit dull, since it all almost too nice in this part of town, everything is so neat. But when you stroll along tree lined streets, full of beautifully restored period properties, bookshops like Saint Geoerge's, boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants, you will see that it is actually not too bad, and rather neat in a charming way. 

There are a lot of restaurants in the town of Berlin, more than 6,000 or so. I love to visit ever new ones, but find myself often guilty to go to the same places. It can happen that strangers, often the ones who are carrying a paper-street map, ask me for a restaurant recommendation, and in that instance I recommend my favourite ones over and over again. Read on and find Russian, Asian, French, Turkish, Spanish and German food in Prenzlauer Berg.


Travel: This is the truth and nothing else

Squirrel in South Africa

Is the world safe, is Europe in trouble, is Europe on the brink of collapse? These are probably the questions everybody asks right now or has been pondering about for a while. I saw a clip of a local newspaper where a fellow Berliner in his 70s stated that he is so upset because security measurements on Munich Christmas markets are so much better than the ones in Berlin. This guy obviously never travels, or at least he hasn’t been to Munich’s Christmas markets recently. I visited many of them this year and also a few in Berlin, there is no difference in security whatsoever, at least for the untrained eye, I mean I’m no double agent, no idea what goes on behind the scenes. It is all pretty much the same. I wonder where people take these statements from. Who puts these ideas in their heads? Why do they spread information about things they haven’t even experienced themselves? I have to admit, chances are that guy is in the know because he is a double agent.

Travelling is so exciting. The people, the food, the passion, the fun. Nothing is ever only black and white. It pays off to talk to locals and try to understand their point of view, try to understand their way of life, and with understanding them comes empathy. This year I visited South Africa, the Czech Republic, Greece, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, UK and Denmark. I will tell you about experiences I had this year on my travels. Wherever I go I ask people about the situation in their country, how they feel about it, and about their opinion about populism and the rise of right wing parties. I do things like this a lot and people usually don't mind to have a chat.

Follow me around, to learn where I felt threatened and unsafe.