Film-Shop, Kassel

It is a relic from the old times, but someone needs to show the kids of today that there was a world before video streaming and without Netflix. That in the past we had to walk to a video store where we could be VHS (Video Home System), DVD (Digital Versatile Disc), BluRay media (and buy drinks, chips and fruit gum). That we needed to pay a penalty fee when we returned them too late. Many video rental stores have been killed by the streaming industry (and us as the customers), but one survived: the first, the world’s oldest.

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Im Schacht

Erzgebirgsstadion, Aue-Bad Schlema

The Erzgebirge (ore mountains) or Krušné hory is a mountainous region belonging to Germany and the Czech Republic. People get there to enjoy nature, for skiing, to learn more about mining history or to buy artisan products like Räuchermännchen (incense smokers) or Schwibbögen (candle arches) for their Christmas decorations. For me it was a long trip by car just for watching a soccer match at the Erzgebirgsstadion, home of the FC Erzgebirge Aue.

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Museums, Gardens, Atoms & Europe

ICE International, Gare du Nord, Bruxelles

The decision to visit Bruxelles was taken by the collector in me, wanting to visit all capital cities in Europe. I’ve been to Belgium in my youth and later visited Bruges on my way to the Mont-Saint-Michel, but so far, I had only been stuck in the traffic jam around Bruxelles. By that time, I didn’t know what kind of beautiful city I was surrounding and how many wonderful places I didn’t visit because I hadn’t planned a stop at the Belgian capital.

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Public transport, Bruxelles

It is one of the standard questions upfront to every city trip: Shall I pay the entrance to all sights individually or buy a package upfront? In case of my typical museum marathons, it is most often good to search for cards and packages. In case of Bruxelles, the BrusselsCard was the perfect choice for me. It offers a package of forty-nine museums covering nearly all I wanted to see, and it also has an option for visiting the Atomium without waiting in line.

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Local transport

Metro, Bruxelles

Getting around using public transport in Bruxelles is easy and hassle-free. The system consists of a combination of metro, tramway, and bus lines. What I really enjoyed was the consistency of ticketing options throughout all systems: you can always either use your credit card or VPay debit card as a ticket (blue validation machines) or buy a special multiticket pass and validate it on the red machines when entering a vehicle.

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Three islands

Rocky bay, San Lawrenz

Malta is a set of islands in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Northern Africa. Once connected to Sicily it developed a rich cultural heritage. Because of its strategic position it saw many rulers come and go, including the Knights Hospitaller and the British leaving their visible traces on the islands. As an important base during the Crusades or as an unsinkable air-carrier during World War II, war has always shaped the past of the islands.

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Fun with ferries

Ferry to Gozo, Cirkewwa/Mellieħa

When you’re visiting Malta, you shouldn’t leave at the two smaller islands: Comino and Gozo. Comino is free of cars and has the wonderful blue lagoon as its main site. Gozo is much larger, offers amazing flat-top mountains, rocky beaches, and lots of history. If you want to get there you need to take ferry boats, all starting in Cirkewwa at the northern end of the main island.

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Ferry time

Ferry Sliema-Valletta, Sliema

The capital city of Malta, Valletta, is located on a headland facing the Mediterranean sea North and south of it are harbors and important cities can be found on the land behind. In the north it is Sliema and St. Julians that are modern cities with lots of hotels. In the south the Three Cities Cospicua, Senglea and Vittoriosa can be found with their ancient city structures. Maybe you choose a hotel in these areas, for sure you want to visit them and best to do so is taking one of the ferry boats.

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