Persepolis still manages to impress

Around 550BC Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire. He first defeated the Medes and from there the empire grew conquest by conquest. It became larger than any empire had been before. Cyrus himself built a palace at Pasargadae. His successors preferred other locations. Darius I founded a new capital in Persepolis and an equally…

Tourism for the masses in Prora

Living in Berlin opens up a whole new world of weekend trips. It seems hard to find the time to relax and get away from it all, so I decided to commit to buying train tickets. I was pretty tired when I made my way to Gesundbrunnen, from where the trains in the direction Ostsee…

History and heritage

This weekend I went into the suburb of Abbotsford to visit one of Melbourne’s heritage buildings: the Abbotsford convent. At the moment the former convent is a place where art meets health and where locals come in the weekend for a bite to eat and to relax in the surrounding park. In the 11 buildings…

Stepping into different times

On the outskirts of Budapest, about a half an hour drive from the centre, lies Memento Park. It is a memorial park where they’ve gathered different statues from the communist period. They come from all over the country and give you a peak into Hungary’s history. You can wander around the statues by yourself, or…

Can the real Dracula please rise?

We all know Dracula as the bloodsucking, evil creature made up by Bram Stoker. He’s got long corner teeth, or fangs, a cape, slick black hair and preferably some blood running from the corner of his mouth. And somehow he’s usually portrayed with his hands out like claws. Long story short: he’s out to get…

Back when…

Did you know the Romans lived in Morocco? Well, I didn’t. At least I never really thought about it. When I think about the Romans, I think of ancient Rome and ancient Greece. I forget that the Romans spread out in all directions. So they also spread out to Africa. Near Meknes is the ancient…

Walking through Bremen’s history

The most common response to me choosing to go to Bremen, in Germany, is ‘why?’. “Well… to go to language school.” “O. But why Bremen? Why not Berlin, or Hamburg or München?” So I thought Bremen would be full of Germans and wouldn’t have any tourists. It seemed like nobody was enthusiastic for me and…