Hiking and Relaxing at the Jurassic Coast

We went to the Jurassic Coast in August 2015. We took the train from London to Weymouth (direct trains, 2h40m) where a rental car was waiting for us. We started our tour with a ten minute car ride to nearby Isle of Portland, a tied island that is connected to the mainland by a road. The road sits on Chesil Beach, a barrier beach, separated from the coast by a lagoon, which stretches much further West and which we’d have on our left for a good while longer on our way to Lyme Regis later that day.      The famous Portland stone that originates from the local quarries has been used worldwide for landmark buildings such as St. Paul’s Cathedral in London or the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Portland Harbour, between Weymouth and Portland, is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. Until 1995 it was used […]

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Cotswolds – Our Favourite London Weekend Trip Destination

We can’t remember when we’ve been to the Cotswolds for the first time. At the time of writing we have both been living in London for more than ten years and intend to stay for good, it’s now our chosen home town, but it took us at least 3 years or so before we discovered the very best local weekend trip destination just an hour and a half away from London Paddington by train (hop off at Moreton-in-Marsh) and a similar amount of time by car.           The Cotswolds are usually considered to stretch from Stratford-upon-Avon in the north-east to Bath in the south-west about 145km away from Stratford, covering a strip of land about 45 to 90km wide (roughly between Cheltenham/Gloucester and Oxford) belonging to six English counties: mainly Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, as well as parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The highest point of the hilly […]

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Pastrami Sandwich at Katz’s – Our New York Trip

We went on an extended weekend-trip (4 full days) to New York in September 2014. We had both been there several times before and absolutely love the city. When I was still living in Munich and thinking about moving abroad again in late 2005, New York and Hong Kong were on the top of my list, with London only ranking third. However, I’m glad that U.S. visa requirements and Hong Kong’s relatively low pay packages for non-expats led to my move to London in January 2006, because otherwise I would not have met my wife who is now blogging here with me as Berkeley Square Barbarian.      She had bought the tickets and booked the hotel to celebrate my birthday. It was our first trip together to this city, and each of us showed the other one around places we had been to on our own in previous years.     […]

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Cornwall – The Most ‘Old English’ Holiday Destination

We’ve been to Cornwall a few times, for the first time in the summer of 2008, just a few weeks after we met. It is probably the most Old English of all UK holiday destinations. We both only moved to the UK ten years ago and only became citizens recently, one of the things we love most in our new home country is that it welcomes foreigners and people from all kinds of different backgrounds, so it is with no ill-conceived nostalgia (or worse) that we call this stretch of land the Most ‘Old English’ holiday destination: 96% White British. We got the impression that Cornwall is also extremely popular among our fellow countrymen and women as a holiday destination. Most of the tourists we met on our travels were English, many from London.      Once we flew into Newquay, which, in hindsight, was not exactly environmentally friendly, but every […]

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Exploring Ruin Pubs in Budapest

In October 2013 we travelled to Budapest to meet up with an old friend of mine from uni and his girlfriend. We enjoyed the whole city, visited all the main sights, took a boat tour, went for a splash at the Gellert Spa of James Bond fame, but probably the most fun we had was when we checked out the many so-called ruin pubs.      Ruin Pubs (‘rom kocsma’ in Hungarian, literally: pub in a ruin) are located in formerly abandoned, derelict buildings in the city (of which there are still plenty as a result of lack of maintenance during the communist era) and are extremely popular hang-outs both for locals and tourists. The first ones sprung up in the early nineties and new pubs join the scene every year. Usually they combine street art with a quirky 1970ies retro-touch, cheap cocktails and live bands and art happenings.      Szimpla […]

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