Tuesday

What’s happening in Europe – Eyewitness Series


As it happened in summer: In Barcelona, there were two terrorist vehicle attacks that left 16 dead and 120 wounded. In London there were eight people killed in a terrorist attack at London Bridge and only weeks later there was an attempted bomb attack on a tube train in Parsons Green that left thirty people injured. Four students from the US were at a hospital in Marseille after they were sprayed with acid in the face. French authorities are not treating the incident as terror related since the suspect is a 40-year old woman known for her mental health problems.

So far this year I was on fourteen different trips in South Africa, Great Britain, Portugal, Austria, Colombia, Spain, Italy, Poland and Germany. Follow my adventures on Instagram, you won’t find travel quotes there, sorry, but I give an insight into every place I visit. I love to go for walks at the Louvre in Paris, I love strolls along Southbank in London and visiting the Borough Market, I love to go for walks in the West of Berlin and I love to go shopping all around Las Ramblas in Barcelona. I’m there together with thousands of other tourists and locals who love these places as much as I do.

All terrorist attacks plus attacks carried out by people with mental health problems make me think. Everybody who has ever lost somebody close knows these feelings of helplessness, sadness and anger that arise when confronted with death. After every terrorist attack, I can’t help but think of every single of the victim's loved one's feelings. It is truly frightening to imagine that. Why would terrorists do this to others? I know this is something I won’t understand and can’t explain. The only thing I know is that it all changed after 9/11.

I remember the day in June before 9/11 when I went through security at Dubai airport, with a lighter the size and form of a hand-held firearm. Don’t ask why I found this hilarious at the time, I don’t know the answer. They took it away from me and I made a proper scene to no avail. Or imagine this; I own an axe that was given to me as a present. It had been traded in for two buttoned down checkered shirts, one green and one red in colour, in Zambia. The axe was brought back, securely stored, and this is unbelievable, in hand luggage. Today I can’t even carry 101 ml shampoo through security. Look at this photo...

Thursday

Travel Germany: Picture Perfect Tour through Jüterbog in Brandenburg

If you travel to and through Germany you'll soon find out one thing. Everything that glitters is gold. The towns are pretty. Almost all street corners tell a story. There are the famous and popular places to visit. Everybody loves Germany’s crown jewels Munich, Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg. Sometimes one just wishes to get away from these big towns and wants to get in touch with nature and spend time in small towns to slow down for a day or two and to see how Germany feels off the beaten path. One such hidden gem is Jüterbog. Jüterbog, where is that and why is it so special?


Wednesday

Speciality Coffee. Travel and See What the Fuss is All About



Imagine David Bowie would have written songs and only his family were allowed to hear them. That would have been absurd. Why am I saying this? Easy. Over the years I grew accustomed to drinking extraordinary excellent coffee in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria in Australia. My love affair with speciality coffee started in 2006 and ever since I have been a coffee snob. There is (sort of) no such thing as bad coffee in Melbourne and I always search for that same high quality. The moment I find good coffee is as if the sun comes through on a rainy day.

At first, I didn’t get what the fuss with third wave coffee was all about, but the passion and dedication of Melbourne's baristas and coffee roasters at independent coffee shops had a huge impact on me as a customer and coffee drinker. The coffee scene in Australia started to develop as soon as Italian and Greek immigrants arrived and brought with them their coffee culture. Slowly, over the years I learned more and more about speciality coffee and started to understand of where and under what conditions farmers grow the beans we drink daily in form of coffee.

The Speciality Coffee Scene

If you have been to speciality coffee shops you will have noticed that some shops have a little bit of an attitude. It can feel very elitist. I’m not saying this is the case everywhere but I can think of quite a few coffee shops who could work on their hospitality skills to make the experience nicer for everybody. Not sure why that is, I only know that it is certainly wrong to make others feel inadequate or not good enough to drink coffee. In Melbourne for example great quality coffee is enjoyed by everybody, no matter where you are from or whether you are 21 or 90. The majority of Melburnians expect great quality coffee and it gets delivered without an attitude. It is telling that the coffee chain Starbucks accumulated losses in Australia and closed shops. In Melbourne people preferably buy their coffee from independent shops who offer decent customer service and great quality coffee. And to be honest, no one needs weak coffee with artificial spices or colouration added.