Epic Swiss train rides

Trains are not the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of Switzerland. Chocolate, cheese, army knives, and cows with huge bells, those I can name off the top of my head. But trains? In a mountainous country like Switzerland? Not really. As it turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong. This Alpine…

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7 fascinating facts to love about Vals

A couple of images of old rustic stables scattered on steep pastures were enough. I fell in love with Vals as soon as it came up in my pre-travel research of Switzerland. “This is where we’re going!” I announced to my husband. He just rolled his eyes, frustrated over my fixation with a place I…

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5 things to see and do in Hiroshima …

…besides visiting the Atomic Bomb Memorial Park and Museum, that is. But let’s skip the obvious and focus on a couple of less familiar sights and experiences that Hiroshima offers. See Mazda cars roll off the production line Even if you are not a huge car buff the Mazda museum is worth a visit. It…

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Thatched roof houses of Shirakawa-go

I love traditional Japanese guesthouses. They are the perfect combination of rustic, simple and unusual to appear exotic. Combined with genuine hospitality of their owners, fabulous home-cooked meals and ubiquitous hot baths they make for a most enjoyable stay. So, it comes a no surprise that a stay at one of the thatched roof houses…

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Magome – Tsumago hike: A side of Japan I never knew existed

Japan surprised me in many ways. But the most unexpected was the part of the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago. It is the place to experience rural Japan that seems to be worlds apart from its sprawling cities. The 8 km hike up in the hills of Kiso Valley balanced my image of this…

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Do’s and Don’ts of New Orleans Jazz Fest for Beginners

New Orleans Jazz Fest is the equivalent of Mardi Gras for music lovers. To avoid some of the common faux pas of a first-time visitor, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to observe.

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My imaginary New Zealand job that I am cut out for

All it took was a job vacancy offer for a “Social Media / Digital Expert” that I found on Facebook to send my mind wandering. It wasn’t just any job, mind you, it was an open position at Euro Campers, a New Zealand camper rental company based close to Christchurch. I started imagining myself joining the…

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My year 2017 in pictures

Facebook keeps reminding me how great my 2017 was: According to Zuckerberg’s algorithms I made X new friends, earned Y likes, wows and hahas and gained a couple of “biggest fans”. But what does this really say about the last twelve months? Not much, as it turns out. Apart from the fact that I posted…

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Toilets and trains make me want to go back to Japan

The train is seven minutes late. Halfway through a 70 km distance, that is. In Japan something like this only happens after a typhoon wreaked havoc across half a country. Back home it’s a normal part of my morning commute that throws me into an unexpected state of reverse cultural shock right on the first…

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Japan in rain: 5 tips for surviving even the worst of weather

The weather forecast didn’t look good: Constant rain for the first five days of our trip to Japan with a chance of a typhoon brewing up later on. Of course, my hubbs thought that I was exaggerating and that no weather outlook could ever be as bad as I can conjure it up in my…

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