Travel Poland. See, Eat, Think and Sleep in Gdansk and Sopot

A pastel coloured old town and a maritime river embankment, the city is certainly one of Poland’s treasures. The Pomeranian town by the River Motlawa was first mentioned and founded in the 10th century. Gdańsk has a seafaring tradition, the harbour is the largest in Poland and the Old Town of Gdańsk is full of Hanseatic architecture. Over the course of its thousand-year history Gdańsk was controlled by different nations, and it is a gripping exercise when you look at different maps and slowly start to understand its turbulent and surely strenuous history. The physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit as well as the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer were both born in Gdańsk. It is here where World War 2 started on 1st September 1939, and where Lech Walesa founded the Solidarity movement in the 1980s that brought the world closer to the end of communism.

Gdańsk is a fascinating place to visit and visitors come from all over the world to learn about its history. It was severely damaged in WW2 and has been lovingly restored in its former glory. The town is buzzing with excitement during the day. If you go for a wander in the early morning or for a late night stroll, it happens that it feels like walking through a fairy-tale. I'm happy to show you where to see, eat, think and sleep in Gdansk and Sopot ...


Eyewitness Bloubergstrand, South Africa. Creative entrepreneur Verena Stefanie Papsch

Verena Stefanie Papsch from dishy designs

Bloubergstrand, a village-like seaside suburb 15 kilometres from Cape Town CBD has the perfect beach which is ideal for walks, surfing, kite-surfing, windsurfing and swimming (it is obviously for bold swimmers, the water is icy cold thanks to the nutrition rich Benguela current). It is here where you have that picture perfect view of iconic Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head and Cape Town as well as Robben Island. A salty scent lies in the air, and you get a great maritime aerosol fix that is good for your breathing system and the skin, on a walk from Milnerton Lightouse all the way to Big Bay.

The area is the home of creative entrepreneur Verena Stefanie Papsch who started to design and sell kitchen, home and lifestyle textiles in 2012. Her creativity paired with her expertise in Sales and Marketing make dishy designs a success story. Verena lives together with her partner and two furry friends and I’m so lucky she found the time to tell us a bit about Bloubergstrand.


Travel Germany. Seven independent Concept Stores in Munich

The other day I spoke with the owner of a small fashion shop in Berlin Mitte, and it was a good lesson. She was frustrated that people prefer to buy at the big chains and feels that there is actually not much she can do to change the customer’s attitude. From her experience she knows that the buyer's decision is based foremost solely on the price. In the beginning, soon after she opened her store, she offered drinks and snacks to her customers and she hosted small events. Customers happily took the drinks, attended her events, and praised her work and her style but bought cheaper goods from the big shops.

Thinking of it, isn’t it just amazing that it is completely up to us whether cities and towns remain colourful and interesting? Start chatting to small businesses, you most certainly will hear a great story and get a deep understanding for this lifestyle and the town, after all they are the heart and soul of a place.

Hohenzollernstraße, a two-kilometre-long street in the Munich borough of Schwabing is one of my favourite streets in town. It has for ever been a residential area where also artists, painters and writers lived. There are many independent shops still and with 33 heritage listed properties it has this lovely Munich feeling. When someone asks me where to go shopping in Munich I send them to Hohenzollernstrasse in Schwabing, a true hub for independent concept stores. I rate the feel-good factor on this street as 10/10.

7 Independent Concept Stores in Munich