My latest travel-related obsession is the website http://www.12hrs.net, which basically offers you a selection of itineraries for when you’ve got 12 hours to spend in a European city (they do/ are starting to do cities outside of Europe too, but this is the EUROphiles). Not only are you saving money by not buying a travel guide (although if you are going to do that, check out this post), but the suggestions are unusual and generally things only a local would know about. In the creators’ own words:
We love to travel. We also love design, and music, and fashion. And we were missing a website full of travel tips for people like us. Somewhere between the backpackers and the luxury hotels. With tips that aren’t about money, but about great discoveries from all around the world. So we built 12hrs. To keep it simple, we organized them in itineraries. 12 hours per trip. Sweet and short. With the best to see, do, eat, dance we could fit in one short stay.
Living in London, it was encouraging to see that many of the suggestions (including Dover St Market and Borough Market) are places that I’d take friends who are visiting me to – hopefully this means that I’d like the places suggested in other cities… The site’s tagline is what really speaks to me – the suggestions are “collected by us, for you, from locals, friends, and fellow travellers”. The touristic places are always easy to find, especially in big European cities used to visitors who don’t speak their language, so sites like this are so useful for finding the really special places, the places that might just make your trip. My number one place to visit this year is Copenhagen… It looks amazing, judging by the photo below.
More important than watching the news channels – watch & share this video
As is being widely reported in international news, Ukraine is currently in turmoil. It’s always important to know what’s going on in the world / your continent, even if it doesn’t directly affect you, but the national news doesn’t always explain situations clearly, and if they are as fast moving as Kiev right now, it can quickly become impenetrable. The BBC‘s article “Why is Ukraine in turmoil?” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25182823) breaks it down simply.
In basic terms, President Viktor Yanukovych‘s government has favoured stronger ties with Russia over becoming closer to the European Union. Ukraine is not currently a member of the European Union, although there has been a long-lasting desire to integrate. Peaceful protests in the centre of Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, have since turned very violent, with the latest figures estimating 100 deaths since the violence broke out. The situation is ever-changing, so follow bbc.co.uk or cnn.com for the latest information.