Germany – Lets Get Some Beer (Travel)


Beer or wine? That sums up the German conundrum. One is at the heart of a pilsner-swilling culture that draws kegloads of visitors annually, is the very reason for one of the world’s great parties (Oktoberfest) and is consumed with pleasure across the land. The other is exported worldwide, is responsible for gorgeous vine-covered valleys and is enjoyed everywhere, often from cute little green-stemmed glasses.

And the questions about Germany continue. Berlin or Munich? Castle or club? Ski or hike? East or west? BMW or Mercedes? In fact, the answers are simple: both. Why decide? The beauty of Germany is that rather than choosing, you can revel in the contrasts (except maybe with the car question…). Exploring this country and all its facets can keep visitors happy for weeks.

Berlin, edgy and vibrant, is a grand capital in a constant state of reinvention. At the other end, Munich perches atop Bavaria, the centre of national traditions. Half-timbered villages can’t help but bring smiles as you wander their cobblestoned and castle-shadowed lanes. Cities of all sizes boast some of Europe’s best clubs, as you’d expect from the home of techno. Enjoying the outdoors, from skiing Alpine peaks to hiking carefully preserved forests, is essential. And compare the ancient traditions of the east, as beautiful Dresden adjusts to the 21st century, with Cologne, where decades of prosperity burnish its grand heritage.

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3 Best Autumn Destinations in Europe (Travel)


Europe can be an extraordinarily beautiful place. Where you go may be a matter of personal taste or sentiment, but there are some stunning sights during Autumn in Europe. It’s like having your own personal art gallery, and a few of the classic tales of old Europe as well. It’s a good time to go there, too. It’s off peak, and you can get full coverage travel insurance in Europe easily.

France

France in Autumn is like Monet’s palette, or an escaped Cézanne. The French countryside is justly famous for its charm, but in Autumn it really puts on a show. Moody Paris is a song, and the special, secret places and old cities are looking even more elegant than ever.

You can see why Impressionism started in France, in Autumn. The colours are incredible, and the light magical. The temperatures have gone down from the fierce French summers, and the venerable old stonework in the country seems to be posing for a new generation of artists and photographers.

Particularly beautiful are the Vosges, Lorraine, and Bordeaux, where the dazzling landscapes go to work on the senses with riots of colour.

Germany

The German Autumn is even a match for Canada and the north east United States. Bavaria really shows off, combining its mountains, rivers and forests in stunning shades. If you really want to get lost in beauty, wander around the Neuschwanstein Castle and Mespelbrunn Castle. These are real tableaux of Old Germany, the land of Beethoven and Gutenberg, and there are many places like this.

Swabia in particular is a particularly beautiful place, and the Black Forest lives up to its reputation. This is real Danube country, and as you head to Ulm, on the Bavarian border, you’ll see misty mountains and valleys, ancient ruins like Castle Hohenurach perched on a peak, and endless other feasts for the senses. If you head south to the Swiss border, you’ll arrive on the shores of Lake Constance, another wanderer’s paradise. These are just some of the sights. To see it all, use the train system and see Germany at its best.

England

England’s “green and pleasant land” starts outside London and Manchester, in all directions. Thanks to the UK’s “Green Belt” policy, much of England’s heritage is in good condition, and the minute you get off the main roads, you’re in it. This is the England that created so many fabulous historical images, from Sherwood Forest through the Thames

Valley and a thousand other places. Autumn frosts mix with incredible red and gold canopies, against the green land and endlessly changing skies.

The climate at this time of year is also an excuse for eating fabulous food, making yourself extremely comfortable, and avoiding the tourist season entirely. This isn’t just any tour. Europe in Autumn deserves to be appreciated as what it is, a work of natural art. Avoid the tourists, take advantage of cheap fares and online travel insurance, and have a ball.

The top 10 countries to travel for 2010


Want a sneak peek into the future?

We’ve just released our newest edition of Best in Travel. We’re delighted at the attention it’s getting, so we’ll share some of the hot lists inside – and get your thoughts.

To start with a bang, here’s our list of the ten hottest countries for next year – and why.

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