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Travel to Vienna, Austria

Travel to Vienna, Austria

The city of Vienna is known for their large number of sights and attractions.  Visit for Austria travel guide.

This is how you should definitely see the Hofburg. For over seven centuries she was the seat of the Habsburgs. Originally the castle was built in the thirteenth century, which was expanded after the Habsburgs came to power. Today the Hofburg is the seat of the Federal President. The Hofburg also includes the Silver Collection, the Sissi Museum and the Imperial Apartments.

The absolute highlight of Vienna is the Prater with the Ferris wheel. The city’s landmark was created in the years 1896-1897. It was implemented by the English engineer Walter Basset. Thousands of tourists come to the Prater every year to ride the Ferris wheel or to have fun in the Wurstelprater amusement park.

Schönbrunn Palace was completed in 1770. The castle itself has beautiful gardens, the Gloriette, the zoo and the palm house. There was already a palace here in front of Schönbrunn Palace. The previous Katterburg Castle was built in the fourteenth century.

The Spanish Riding School is also worth seeing. It is a unique institution, there is hardly another comparable facility in the world, where you can learn the classical art of riding, which has not been changed over the centuries. If you want to find out more about the Lipizzaner, white horses, you should visit the Lipizzaner Museum in Stallburg.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located near the Ferris wheel, which is Vienna’s landmark. The cathedral was built by Rudolf the founder in the Gothic style. The cathedral has been the seat of a bishopric since 1469.

For museum lovers, Vienna will be a real paradise as the city has over a hundred museums to offer. To name a few examples, there would be the Art History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Museum Quarter, Albertina, the Kunsthaus, etc.

Art and culture are also important to the city. There are a number of theaters and opera houses in Vienna, such as B. the Vienna State Opera, the Volkstheater, the Volksoper etc.

The Capuchin Church is also worth seeing – it was built in Vienna between 1622 and 1632. From 1633 until today, the church has been the final resting place for 138 Habsburgs.

The Karlskirche is the city’s most valuable baroque building. It was built in the eighteenth century. It was commissioned by Emperor Charles VI. Because of a plague epidemic.

Vienna is not only known for its large number of sights. Many well-known universities have their headquarters in Vienna.

There are also some interesting green spaces in the city. There are more than a hundred of them in total.

So you shouldn’t miss the Augarten Park. The Augarten Palais is located in the park. In the center of the park there was a castle called old Favorita. It was destroyed by the Turks in 1683 and rebuilt in the seventeenth century. The palace has been the seat of the Vienna Boys’ Choir since 1948 and has not been open to the public since then.

The Augarten Park was only created in the second half of the seventeenth century. The opening in 1775 was celebrated exuberantly by the people, as was Joseph the Second. Famous composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss have given concerts in the garden house.

The imperial porcelain factory has been housed in the garden house since the eighteenth century. Today you can get to know the history of Augarten porcelain here in the various exhibition rooms. There are other sights to see in the Augarten.

Other parks in Vienna are the Burggarten, the Stadtpark, the Vienna Woods and the Central Cemetery.

Travel to Vienna, Austria

Brussels: Europe’s Capital

Brussels: Europe’s Capital

The capital and residential city of Belgium and several surrounding municipalities form the bilingual Brussels region. Its residents are made up of Flemings and Walloons. As the secret capital of Europe, it is home to several institutions of the European Union. The NATO headquarters are nearby. In Brussels, services and administration play a bigger role than industry. The many monuments of the old trading town attract numerous visitors every year.

According to AbbreviationFinder, Brussels, Flemish Brussel, French Bruxelles, is the capital and residence of Belgium.

Together with 18 surrounding communities, it forms the 162 km² region of the same name.

The city lies on the Senne and is connected to Antwerp by the Brussels Sea Canal and to Charleroi by smaller canals.

The city proper has just under 150,000 residents, but the entire metropolitan area has more than 1 million residents. The majority of the residents of the bilingual city are either Dutch-speaking Flemings or French-speaking Walloons. With two full universities, three sub-universities or faculties and several universities, Brussels is an important center of education. There are also several libraries, museums and theaters in the city.

The Brussels region is also home to a wide range of industries with more than a third of the country’s industrial companies. In addition to companies in the textile, metal, electrical and chemical industries, there are machine and vehicle factories as well as metallurgical, steel and rolling mills. Inner-city traffic has been relieved by a subway since 1976. The trading center, which was already important in the Middle Ages, also has a port and an international airport.

Capital of Europe?

For the city of Brussels, the areas of administration and services are particularly important.

It is not only the seat of government and administrative authorities in the country, but also of numerous authorities and institutions of international rank. The number of all international organizations based in and around Brussels is estimated at almost 900.

No other city in the European Union has such a concentration of European institutions. Brussels is the seat of the permanent General Secretariat of the Benelux countries, the EU Commission and the European Atomic Energy Community EURATOM. Since 1960 in particular, the number of institutions tied to these authorities has increased rapidly. They currently provide jobs for more than 15,000 civil servants and employees. The NATO headquarters are located in the immediate vicinity of Brussels. 75% of all Belgian banks are also concentrated in Brussels.

This development has led to an immensely high demand for office space in the city in recent years and has caused land prices to rise astronomically. The resident population is therefore increasingly settling on the outskirts, so that some inner-city quarters look deserted at night.


Brussels (the name “Bruocsella” has been used since the 7th century) was built around a castle of the Counts of Leuven (later Dukes of Brabant), built at the end of the 10th century, on an island in the Zenne. In the 11th century the counts moved their seat to the Koudenberg. The settlement that developed between the two castles was already called a trading post at that time, which benefited from its favorable location at the junction of the Cologne-Bruges trade route over the Zenne. Around 1100 this settlement and other settlement cores around the castles were surrounded by a curtain wall. Since the 12th century, the cloth industry gained steadily growing economic weight. After several revolts by the guild citizens, the guilds were given a say in the city administration in 1421.

With the takeover of rule in Brabant by the Dukes of Burgundy (1430), Brussels, until then one of the seven (later four) main towns of Brabant, grew into the capital of the extensive territory. As early as the 14th century, due to the economic boom (cloth and cloth trade, trade in handicrafts; Brussels was the center of Flemish painting), several suburbs outside the wall were created City were included.

Under the Habsburgs, Brussels, newly fortified in 1530, became the capital of the Netherlands. During the Dutch struggle for freedom, the Duke of Alba had Counts Egmont and Horne executed here on June 5, 1568. In 1576 Brussels joined the Dutch uprising, but was recaptured by Spanish troops in 1585 after a long siege. The Dutch War of Independence severely damaged Brussels’s economy. Because of the blockade of the Scheldt harbors, cloth-making and the cloth trade lost their importance. The conversion to the production of glass and faience goods as well as Brussels lace was slow. In the wars of the French king Louis XIV. against Spain the city was badly hit. In 1695 almost the entire medieval old town burned down after a bombardment. Under the Austrian government (1713–94), Brussels experienced a new upswing, mainly because of the network of roads being developed with Brussels as the center. Trading companies and banks took their seat in the city (1778 opening of the stock exchange).

In the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, Brussels came under French rule in 1795; it was the capital of the Dyle department. Since 1815 it has belonged to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with The Hague’s second capital. In 1830 Brussels started the revolution that led to the formation of the Kingdom of Belgium, of which Brussels became the capital. The economic upswing that began in the middle of the 19th century, mainly through the emergence of industrial companies, was promoted by the Belgian rail network, which was geared towards the capital. In both world wars the city was occupied by German troops. During the Second World War it suffered severe damage from air raids. After 1945, Brussels was one of the points of contention in the Flemish-Walloon language dispute.

At least 32 people were killed on March 22, 2016, and over 300 people were injured, some seriously. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks.

Brussels - Europe's Capital

Bosnia and Herzegovina Overview

Bosnia and Herzegovina Overview

Bosnia and Herzegovina, officially Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian Bosna i Hercegovina (BiH) [- hεrtsε-], state in Southeast Europe (2018) 3.3 million residents; The capital is Sarajevo.

In the south the country has a 20 km long stretch of coast to the Adriatic Sea.


After the amalgamation of the sub-armies, the total strength of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 10,600 men. In place of compulsory military service, there has been a four-month general service obligation. The army (around 9,200 soldiers) is divided into 3 mechanized infantry brigades, 1 combat support brigade and 4 logistics battalions. The air force and air defense has around 900 men.

In 2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina joined NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”. US military aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to US $ 4 million (2015).


There is general compulsory schooling between the ages of 6 and 15. The school system is divided into a nine-year primary level, which is followed by a structured system of four-year secondary schools. These lead to the (technical) Abitur and, in addition to grammar schools, include vocational secondary schools with different specialist areas (technical, commercial, medical, educational, artistic). The languages ​​of instruction are in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, depending on the ethnic majority of the students, Bosnian or Croatian, in the Serb Republic of Serbian. This means that the school system is linguistically / ethnically split up, with ethnically integrated teaching only in the Brčko district. According to educationvv, the universities (standard period of study: 4 years) in Sarajevo (founded in 1949) form the basis of higher education, Mostar (founded in 1977), Tuzla (founded in 1976) and Bihać (founded in 1997) as well as around 40 higher education institutions, some of which are comparable to German universities of applied sciences (standard period of study: 2 years).


The media landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina is diverse, but primarily shaped by the ethnic division of the country. Governments and political parties are very influential.

Press: The most important daily newspapers are »Dnevni Avaz«, »Oslobodjenje« and »Jutarnje Novine« in Sarajevo, »Nezavisne Novine« and the government newspaper of the Serbian Republic »Glas Srpske« in Banja Luka as well as »Dnevni List« and »Večernji List« in Mostar. Also of importance are the independent political weekly newspapers “Slobodna Bosna”, “BH Dani” and “Start” (both in Sarajevo) and “Novi Reporter” (Banja Luka).

News agencies: Federalna Novinska Agencija (FENA, state) and Nezavisna Novinska Agencija (ONASA, private) in Sarajevo and Novinska Agencija Republike Srpske (SRNA, state) in Banja Luka.

Broadcasting: The public broadcasting system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into three parts: Radio-Televizija Bosne i Hercegovine (BHRT, Sarajevo) broadcasts a radio (»BH Radio 1«) and a television program (»BHT 1«), »Radio- Televizija Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine “, RTV FBiH) two radio and television programs and” Radio Televizija Republike Srpske “(RTRS) one radio and one television program. Private TV channels include “NTV Hayat”, “OBN Televizija”, “Hema TV” (all Sarajevo) and the Serbian “BN TV”. There are also a large number of private radio stations; “Antena Sarajevo” and “RSG Radio” from the RSG Group are among the largest.


South of Sarajevo is the formerly most important winter sports center of Yugoslavia (site of the XIV. Olympic Winter Games 1984), there are also some health resorts and spas with mineral and thermal springs, especially in the Bosnian highlands.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has tourist potential primarily due to its mountains with several national parks and old, historically interesting cities (Sarajevo, Mostar [ Mostar Bridge, destroyed in 1993; rebuilt in 2004; UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005] and Jajce).

As a result of the war damage, the uncertain political framework and the sluggish investment in the tourist infrastructure, tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not play a significant role for a long time. Only since the beginning of the 2000s has the number of holidaymakers increased significantly again (2013: 529,000 foreign visitors).


The traffic grows big problems from the extremely complicated relief conditions (mountain ranges stretching from northwest to southeast). The routes of the traffic routes are connected with a large number of complex traffic structures. The only significant railway line of 601 km (with viaducts of a total of 8 km and tunnels of almost 40 km in length) runs through the Bosna and Neretva valleys and represents the most important traffic axis in the country; it opens the access to the navy lowlands on the one hand and to the Adriatic Sea (Croatian port of Ploče) on the other hand. The road network (22,900 km) is extensive and the roads are largely poorly developed. Sarajevo Airport is of international importance in air traffic; There are important regional airports in Tuzla, Banja Luka and Mostar.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Overview

Turkey Politics and Law

Turkey Politics and Law


According to the 1982 constitution, Turkey is a parliamentary republic. It is committed to the separation of powers as well as fundamental rights and obligations. In a referendum in 2017, however, according to the electoral commission, a narrow majority of voters voted for a far-reaching constitutional amendment that transformed the system of parliamentary democracy into a presidential system. Since the 2018 election, the President has been head of state and head of government at the same time and has extensive powers. He is directly elected for a term of five years (re-election possible once). If the parliament decides on new elections in the second legislative period of the president, the incumbent may run for office again, resulting in a term of office of up to 14 years. According to carswers, the office of Prime Minister is no longer applicable. The president, who is allowed to belong to a party, is the commander-in-chief of the military, appoints a number of vice-presidents to be determined by him, the members of the cabinet and high-ranking officials, all of whom he can dismiss at any time. He can issue decrees with the force of law and introduce the draft budget to parliament. The parliament with a five-year legislative period has 600 instead of the previous 550 members (active and passive voting rights from the age of 18) and is elected in the same election as the president. The latter can dissolve it and call new elections without certain conditions, but at the same time makes himself available for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more. but at the same time puts himself up for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more. but at the same time puts himself up for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more.


Turkey is strongly centralized. There are 81 provinces (İl), 30 of which are metropolitan regions (Büyükşehir Belediyesi), which are divided into districts (İlçe) and further into municipalities (Bucak). Each province has an elected provincial assembly. The prefects (Vali, also: Gouverneur) appointed by the interior minister at the top act as representatives of the central government as well as the respective provinces as local authorities. At the head of the district administration is the District Administrator (Kaymakam), also appointed by the Minister of the Interior. Mayors (Belediye) in the parishes and village chiefs (Muhtar) in the villages are elected by the people.

Administrative division of Turkey

Administrative structure (2018)
Province (capital) 1) Area (in km 2) Population (in 1,000) Residents (per km2)
Adana 13 915 2,220.1 160
Adıyaman 7 033 624.5 89
Afyon 14 314 725.5 51
Ağrı 11 470 539.6 47
Aksaray 7 570 412.1 54
Amasya 5 690 337.5 59
Ankara 24 521 5,503.9 224
Antalya 20 723 2,426.3 117
Ardahan 4 842 98.9 20th
Artvin 7 367 174.0 24
Aydın 7 851 1,097.7 140
Balikesir 14 299 1,226.5 86
Bartın 2,080 198.9 96
Batman 4,659 599.1 129
Bayburt 3 739 82.2 22nd
Bilecik 4 302 223.4 52
Bing oil 8 253 281.2 34
Bitlis 7 021 349.4 50
Bolu 8 320 311.8 37
Burdur 6 840 269.9 39
Bursa 10 422 2,994.5 287
Çanakkale 9 933 540.6 54
Çankırı 7 490 216.3 29
Çorum 12 792 536.5 42
Denizli 11 692 1,027.8 88
Diyarbakır 15 058 1,732.4 115
Düzce 2 567 387.8 151
Edirne 6 074 411.5 68
Elâzığ 8 455 595.6 70
Erzıncan 11 619 236.0 20th
Erzurum 25 323 767.8 30th
Eskişehir 13 842 871.2 63
Gaziantep 6 819 2,028.5 298
Giresun 6 832 453.9 66
Gümüşhane 6 437 162.7 25th
Hakkari 7 179 286.5 40
Hatay (Antakya) 5,828 1,609.8 276
İçel (Mersin) 15 485 1,814.4 117
Iğdır 3,588 197.4 55
Isparta 8 276 441.4 53
Istanbul 5 196 15 067.7 2 900
İzmir 12 012 4,320.5 360
Kahramanmaraş 14 346 1,144.8 80
Karabuk 4 109 248.0 60
Karaman 8 845 251.9 28
Kars 10 127 288.9 28
Kastamonu 13 153 383.4 29
Kayseri 17 043 1,389.6 81
Kilis 1 428 142.5 100
Kırıkkale 4,534 286.6 63
Kırklareli 6 278 360.8 57
Kırşehir 6 352 241.8 38
Kocaeli (İzmit) 3 612 1 906.4 528
Konya 38 873 2 205.6 57
Kutahya 11 977 577.9 48
Malatya 11 776 797.0 68
Manisa 13 096 1,429.6 109
Mardin 8 806 829.2 94
Muğla 12 851 967.5 75
Must 8 059 408.0 51
Nevşehir 5 379 298.3 55
Niğde 7 352 364.7 50
Ordu 5,952 771.9 130
Osmaniye 3 124 534.4 171
Rize 3,922 348.6 89
Sakarya (Adapazari) 4 838 1,010.7 209
Samsun 9 083 1,335.7 147
Şanlıurfa 18 765 2,035.8 108
Siirt 5,473 331.6 61
Sinop 5,792 219.7 38
Şırnak 7 152 524.2 73
Sivas 28 549 646.6 23
Tekirdağ 6 313 1,029.9 163
Tokat 9 958 612.6 61
Trabzon 4,664 807.9 173
Tunceli 7 432 88.2 12th
Usak 5,341 367.5 69
Van 19 299 1,123.8 58
Yalova 847 262.2 310
Yozgat 14 072 424.9 30th
Zonguldak 3 304 599.7 182
1) The names of the province and the capital are identical, unless otherwise stated.


The judiciary is overseen by the Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. The council consists of 13 members (6 appointed by the President, 7 elected by Parliament).

The structure of the ordinary jurisdiction has been in three stages since 2005. Courts of first instance are peace and district courts for civil and criminal matters as well as special courts such as B. Commercial, consumer, labor and family courts. Military jurisdiction was repealed with the constitutional reform that came into force in 2018. The newly established court of second instance will act as the court of appeal for all ordinary courts of first instance. The third and final instance is the Court of Cassation (Yargitay) in Ankara. The factual jurisdiction of the courts is in principle determined according to the value of the subject of the dispute. In each judicial district consisting of several provinces there is also an administrative and a tax court,

The legal system is characterized by two large reception processes. The first served to underpin the social and structural change from the Ottoman Empire to a western-oriented parliamentary republic whose main characteristics were secularismand the rule of law are. This process was initiated with the first constitution of the Turkish Republic (1924) and the adoption of the Swiss Civil Code, the first two books of the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Swiss Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act, the Civil Procedure Code of the Canton of Neuchâtel, the Italian Criminal Code and the German Code of Criminal Procedure in the years 1926 to 1929. A commercial code composed of elements from French, Belgian, Italian and German law came into force in 1926 and a maritime trade code composed largely of German law in 1929 (both merged and revised in the new commercial code of 1956).

The second reception process was caused by Turkey’s rapprochement with the EU. With the establishment of the Customs Union in 1996, Turkey had to revise or enact new laws, particularly in the area of ​​commercial law. But the major codes have also all been revised: the Civil Code (2002), the Code of Civil Procedure (2004), the Code of Criminal Procedure (2005) and the Criminal Code (2005). Most of the Commercial Code and the Code of Obligations were also revised. The death penalty has been abolished since 2006.

Turkey Politics

Information about Greece

Information about Greece

Most trips to Greece go to the southern parts and the beautiful islands where the subtropical Mediterranean climate promises warmth with radiant sun. The wind from the sea makes the heat comfortable in the coastal areas, but if you prefer a little more moderate temperatures, spring and autumn are best for a visit.

Here you will find practical information and facts about Greece


Weather and best time to travel
Most trips to Greece go to the southern parts and the beautiful islands where the subtropical Mediterranean climate promises warmth with radiant sun. The wind from the sea makes the heat comfortable in the coastal areas, but if you prefer a little more moderate temperatures, spring and autumn are best for a visit. Visit for sunny Greece.

In Greece, euros (EUR) are used. The Greek state has for many years fought to get all businesses in the country to pay taxes. This has resulted in stores having a sign at the checkout that says that the customer must demand a receipt for their purchase. However, there are still many shops and restaurants that do not take cards or give receipts. However, there are usually plenty of ATMs in cities and villages, but check what the fee is for cash withdrawals.

However, you are often pleasantly surprised by the cheap prices of both restaurants and hotels that are far below the European average.

Beer beer in the Greek archipelago is an experience in itself. Southeast of Athens are idyllic archipelagos. From the lively port city of Piraeus there are countless ferry lines with different levels of price, comfort and destinations. It’s almost like taking the bus with lots of departures and lots of islands to choose from. There is an island for every taste, from the almost packed port of Fira on the popular holiday island of Santorini to the small island of Folegandros where the only ticket office staff has plenty of time to enjoy the view of the quiet port. You can buy the tickets on site, but in high season we recommend that you book and buy your tickets well in advance from home. Like everything else in Greece, the ferries can also be delayed, but take the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere and follow your ferry on the MyShipTracking app.

If you want to travel around Greece by bus, you will get acquainted with the bus company KTEL which runs all long-distance routes. KTEL has 62 subsidiaries that handle different cities, areas and islands. In the cities, you should be aware that there may be several different bus terminals, but in smaller towns and villages, the bus terminal is sometimes just a stop at a café that also serves as a ticket office. Always arrive well in advance as you do not always keep to the timetable but the bus can run both before and after the timetable.

Trains in Greece are neither modern nor particularly fast, but many routes are known for going through beautiful landscapes. The trains are operated by TrainOSE and most long-distance lines depart from the capital Athens.

In most countries, tips are part of the salaries of employees in the service industry. Therefore, it is good practice (and sometimes directly necessary) to give tips to, for example, cleaning staff, waiters, guides, drivers, etc. depending on the country you are visiting. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with how much is normally given in tips and to whom before you embark on your journey. Find information on tips in Lonely Planet’s guidebooks.








Lower your shoulders and take it easy
The Greek islands have absolutely fantastic, white sandy beaches. The water is azure blue, crystal clear and calm. The wind waves gently in the palm crowns which gives a streak of shadow on your towel. The pace is more than calm. It is this mentality that you should take with you on your holiday in Greece. The Greeks are a friendly and welcoming people, who prefer not to stress more than is necessary. So forget the Swedish pace and efficiency at home in the desk drawer and only bring the lowered, relaxed shoulders on holiday.

A fantastic kitchen
Fresh feta cheese, juicy kalamata olives, grilled aubergines and crispy tomatoes. Locally produced olive oil in combat streams over the Greek salad or creamy tzatziki. The aroma of the fantastic Greek cuisine whets your appetite, so take a break from the sun and sit in one of the cozy taverns. Maybe you meet some local families, hear when the street musicians play a classic zorba. Almost all taverns serve delicious souvlaki, meat on skewers in Greek marinade. You also have to try surprisingly cheap gyros; super tasty pita bread stuffed with meat, tzatziki with french fries or vegetables.

The addictive island life
Rhodes, Crete, Kos, Corfu and the Cyclades archipelago do not attract many tourists for no reason. The Greek holiday islands in all parts of the country are truly holiday paradise. The sun is blazing on chalk-white beaches with small boats bobbing on the turquoise blue waves. A darker shade of blue is repeated on roofs, fences and chairs in the cozy taverns as a contrast to all the white in the beautiful coastal towns and villages. The price level out on the islands reflects its popularity and it is more expensive there than on the mainland but not close to Swedish prices.

The cradle of civilization
The capital of Greece is called the cradle of civilization. Athens, however, is neither clean, calm or child-friendly as other cradles are. It is not said that one should in any way avoid Athens. The city is incredibly exciting, hectic and authentic with its colorful shops, noisy markets and hectic road users. Here you get an incredible amount of adventure for the money. And so it is with this that it was precisely here that civilization arose, or at least Western democracy as we know it today. This very relevant part of the city’s history is still very much alive in Athens even today. Most popular is to visit is the city landmark Acropolis. But plan your visit carefully so you do not come here when it is the hottest and most tourists.

Poor economy and tax evasion
In 2009, it became known to the whole world that the Greek economy was completely under the ice. Today, it is on the road to recovery. In the big cities, there are still many homeless people and many refugees also come here. Out on the tourist islands, however, it is something completely different. As a tourist, you see the fight against tax evaders. There is a law that says that all stores must have a sign at the cash registers that informs that you as a customer must request a receipt. However, there are still many stores and restaurants that do not accept credit cards and do not provide receipts.

Information about Greece

Sudan Recent History

Sudan Recent History

In the presidential elections in April 2010, Bashir was confirmed in office with around 68.2% of the votes, according to the election commission. The NCP won around 73% of the votes in the parliamentary elections that were held at the same time. In South Sudan, S. Kiir Mayardit was elected President with around 93% of the vote. In July 2010, the International Criminal Court also issued an arrest warrant against Bashir on charges of genocide. In January 2011, in a referendum in South Sudan, 98.8% of voters were in favor of independence. President Bashir promised to accept the referendum result. Inspired by the Arab Spring protestsand in response to rising food prices, the end of subsidies and the secession of the South, riots broke out in Khartoum and other cities in mid-January 2011. The police broke up the demonstrations with tear gas and rubber truncheons. In the period that followed, there were disputes with the south about the future course of the border. Troops from the north advanced into the disputed region of Abyei between North and South Sudan and also captured the city of Abyei on May 21, 2011. The residents of the southern Sudanese tribe of the Ngok-Dinka were expelled.

On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became independent. On September 8, 2011, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to withdraw their troops from the Abyei area, their positions were taken by Ethiopian soldiers of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). In the provinces of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, fighting broke out between government troops and suspected members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM / N) from June and September 2011. In early September 2011, the military occupied the capital of Blue Nile, Damazin, and deposed the provincial governor there, a member of the SPLM / N. Darfur was also the scene of clashes between the government in Khartoum and rebel groups. In May 2011, peace talks between various rebel factions and the government took place in the Qatari capital Doha. However, Khartoum only reached an agreement with the relatively insignificant group Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM). Various rebel and opposition groups from Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, including JEM, SPLM / N and SML / A, formed the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in November 2011.

According to loverists, the main problem for relations with South Sudan remained a mutually acceptable division of oil revenues and the associated amount of transit costs from the south to the port of Port Sudan. In January 2012, Sudan confiscated South Sudanese oil as compensation for allegedly lost transit fees, whereupon South Sudan stopped oil production. After military clashes with South Sudan over the Heglig oil field in April 2012, negotiations took place in Addis Ababa with the mediation of the African Union. On September 27, 2012, a cooperation agreement to solve the disputed problems (oil production and drawing of boundaries) was signed, but its implementation remained difficult. In the meantime, fighting between government troops and rebel units continued in the two states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The summer of 2012 saw the largest protests in Khartoum since the Arab Spring spread to Sudan in early 2011. The first, consistently resolved demonstrations in mid-June 2012 came from students in Khartoum who complained about nepotism at their institutes. Given the sharp rise in the cost of living as a result of the government cutting subsidies on gasoline and sugar to offset the drop in revenue following the collapse in oil exports, other population groups joined the protests. There were protests in September 2013 as well, resulting in numerous deaths. At the beginning of January 2013, Sudan and South Sudan agreed on the rapid implementation of the agreement signed in 2012. In March 2013, Sudan signed another agreement with South Sudan to resume oil production. Relations between the two states, however, remained prone to failure. The violent clashes between rebels and government troops as well as between different ethnic groups in Darfur also cost numerous lives in 2013/14. In January 2014, President initiated Bashir initiated a “national dialogue” for political reforms, but important opposition forces stayed away from it. In October 2014, the ruling NCP party elected incumbent President Bashir as the top candidate for the 2015 presidential election, which took place in mid-April 2015 together with the parliamentary elections. The elections were boycotted by most of the opposition parties. Well over a hundred people were killed in violent clashes. Bashir emerged from the election as the winner with over 94% of the votes. The ruling NCP won the parliamentary elections clearly and won 323 of the 426 seats. Despite an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, the President traveled unmolested in mid-June 2015 to the summit of the African Union in South Africa, which, as a member state of the International Criminal Court, would have been obliged to execute the arrest warrant. In October 2016, Bashir stated the »National Dialogue« started in 2014 is over. As a result, the office of Prime Minister was established in 2017, 65 members of parliament were appointed from among the forces involved in the dialogue process and a government of national consensus was formed. To this end, it was decided to draft a new constitution. In order to stabilize the conflict hotspots in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, the government and the rebel groups agreed on a so-called roadmap for a peace solution in 2016 with the mediation of the African Union. However, implementation proved difficult.

When the government tripled the price of bread in December 2018, it triggered prostates against the 30-year rule of O. al-Bashir. During the demonstrations, people were neither provoked nor intimidated by the police and secret services, although an estimated 70 deaths have been counted and there have been over 2,500 prisoners since the beginning of the protests. After months of protest, the military took long-term rule into custody on April 11, 2019 and seized power for the next two years. The constitution was suspended, borders and airspace were closed. After the coup, the secret service announced that it would release all political prisoners.

Sudan Recent History

Malawi Economy

Malawi Economy


Malawi inherited from the colonial era an essentially commercial agriculture whose large plantations, started by white settlers, were on their property. pedological (almost 30% of the national surface is uncultivated and unproductive), Malawi was able, once it achieved independence in 1964, to somehow implement development programs only thanks to massive foreign aid and investment. The marked dependence on foreign capital inevitably conditioned the government’s economic policy; little changed the economic monopoly of the white minority, it was indeed widely benefited by a clearly liberal economic line, which in practice aimed to create the most suitable conditions to encourage foreign investment. The strong dependence of the economy on climatic conditions, as well as the lack of crop diversification (it exported sugar and coffee), the variability of their prices and the high transport costs (in addition to the lack of sea outlets) forced the country to resort to the aid of IMF and to radically restructure the economy through privatization and fiscal consolidation programs. In 1992 Malawi was hit by the very serious drought that hit all of southern Africa, which caused a sharp decline in agricultural production despite the adoption of fertilizers and hybrid seeds which had led to a significant increase in productivity; moreover, in the same year, due to constant violations of human rights, Malawi suffered the withdrawal of all non-humanitarian aid. Faced with these difficulties, the government adopted rigorous stabilization measures: supporting and encouraging the liberalization of the economy and the participation in the economic process of all those agents who in the past had been excluded from it; ensure a more important role for small landowners; privatize some state-owned enterprises; guarantee greater social equity and greater diversification of production. In the first decade of 2000, Malawi’s economy was still heavily dependent on international aid and foreign investment with inflation at 8.7% (2008), GDP growing by US $ 4,268 and GDP per capita among the lowest in the world of US $ 313 (2008). Visit for Malawi – the warm heart of Africa.


A large part of the active population is employed in the agricultural sector (which contributes for almost 31% to the formation of the national income and which does not differ much from the situation in which it was found during the colonial period), mostly devoting themselves to pure activities. subsistence, from which generally rather modest productions are obtained: environmental conditioning is also sensitive, and in particular the state of instability of the territory, impoverished by unsuitable cultivation operations. For local needs, maize and other cereals (sorghum, rice) are grown mainly, then potatoes and cassava etc. The main plantation products, largely destined for export, are tobacco, cotton grown mainly in the south of the country, tea, sugar cane and peanuts. § Approx. one third of the national territory is covered by forests with precious woods, such as teak, mahogany and cedar; the timber is processed in various sawmills, such as in Blantyre and Zomba; forestry exploitation could be greatly enhanced. § As for livestock breeding, it is an activity of a certain consistency only in the high and medium-sized lands of the Center and North; goats and cattle prevail, as well as poultry. § Fishing is also discreetly important, on the contrary it registers a certain increase; it is mainly practiced in Lake Malawi and to a lesser extent in the other Chilwa and Malombe lakes, as well as in the Chire River. forestry exploitation could be greatly enhanced. § As for livestock breeding, it is an activity of a certain consistency only in the high and medium-sized lands of the Center and North; goats and cattle prevail, as well as poultry. § Fishing is also discreetly important, on the contrary it registers a certain increase; it is mainly practiced in Lake Malawi and to a lesser extent in the other Chilwa and Malombe lakes, as well as in the Chire River. forestry exploitation could be greatly enhanced. § As for livestock breeding, it is an activity of a certain consistency only in the high and medium lands of the Center and North; goats and cattle prevail, as well as poultry. § Fishing is also discreetly important, on the contrary it registers a certain increase; it is mainly practiced in Lake Malawi and to a lesser extent in the other Chilwa and Malombe lakes, as well as in the Chire River.


Despite the very serious underlying problems, the industry has nevertheless recorded encouraging developments: manufacturing activities, thanks to some incentives promoted by the government, in 2007 supplied over 17% of the national product. Blantyre is the largest industrial center in the country. However, the more traditional processes related to the transformation of agricultural products prevail, such as sugar refineries, oil mills, tobacco factories, breweries, etc. There are also cement factories, sawmills, as well as small companies that produce clothing items for the domestic market. § The development of the economy is strongly held back by the almost absolute lack of mineral resources, limited in practice to small quantities of coal, bauxite, uranium and precious stones (rubies and sapphires).


The trade balance is constantly passive. Mainly tobacco and tea, sugar, peanuts and rice are exported, while imports are mainly represented by fuels, means of transport, machinery, industrial products in general. § As it is without access to the sea, the problem of communication routes appears particularly serious for Malawi. The situation in the central and northern areas of the country is rather lacking, while the Chire valley and the region of the southern highlands, crossed by the railway that connects Salima, are better Balaka. The road network developed for approx. 15,450 km in 2001, connecting with that of Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Boat services serve the main centers of Lake Malawi and travel long stretches of the Chire River. Air services play a good role; the major airports are the international ones of Blantyre / Chileka, Lilongwe / kamuzu and Mzuzu.

Malawi Economy

Zambia History

Zambia History

From quite remote times Bantu migrations moved southwards in successive waves, resulting in complicated processes of mixing and an unusual diversity of tribes and languages ​​ (ca. 80). The most consistent and reliable invasions came in the century. XVII from the southern regions of the Congo basin, and in the century. XVIII from East Africa. They were followed, at the beginning of the century. XIX, Arab invasions from the north, and Ngoni from the south. The Kalolos, coming from Basutoland, also settled in Barotseland, ruled by the Lozi people. The first Europeans to reach the country were, in 1789, the Portuguese Lacerda and, in the following century (1851-73) D. Livingstone. The British penetration to the North began mainly through the work of C. Rhodes, which intended to control – through the British South Africa Company (BSAC) established in 1889 and equipped with a Royal Charter – the copper deposits of those regions. Rhodes came into contact in 1890 with local leaders by negotiating various agreements intended to place them under the protection of the Company and therefore of England. The most important treaties were signed with Lewanika, king of the lozi of the upper Zambezi (1890, 1900). Towards other peoples, such as the bemba to the S of Tanganyika and the Ngoni to the E of the Luangwa River, the British imposed themselves with arms. In 1911 the authority of the Company was by now recognized throughout the territory. As a result of increasing pressure from European settlers, in 1924 the powers of the BSAC were transferred to the Colonial Office, which established a Legislative Council, from which Africans were excluded. The intense exploitation of mineral resources (discovered in 1931), the rapid industrial development, the massive use of African labor at pure subsistence wages led to the formation of worker and political associations among Africans, and the emergence of authoritative nationalist and trade unionist leaders. After the Second World War, the British Labor government authorized the establishment of trade unions and in 1948 the Northern Rhodesia Congress was born from the aforementioned associations, the first African party in the area. Meanwhile the European subjects were demanding the cessation of the colonial government and the annexation to Southern Rhodesia. In 1953 the British government, again led by Labor, created a federation (Central African Federation) between Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi). According to a2zcamerablog, Zambia is a country located in Africa.

Around 1958 a radical African movement was formed, led by K. Kaunda, which gave birth to the United National Independence Party (UNIP). It was following the energetic political action of UNIP that the British government adopted in 1962 the first constitutional reforms for the launch of the territory to independence, which was proclaimed on October 24, 1964. Kaunda became the head of the new state, which took the name of Zambia. Starting in 1972, UNIP became the only legally recognized party in the country. The following year, following the entry into force of a new Constitution, Kaunda was re-elected head of state (reconfirmed in 1978, 1983 and 1988). On the inter-African level, the Kaunda government was characterized by a firm anti-colonial and anti-racist attitude. Inside, however, the discontent against Kaunda grew stronger and stronger, with strikes and protests against the austerity policy imposed by the government to deal with the serious economic situation in the country. Induced by this widespread discontent and by the change in the international political climate, the head of state in 1990 adopted constitutional amendments aimed at introducing multi-partyism (December), also favoring later, through an in-depth confrontation with the opposition, the promulgation of a new Constitution (2 August 1991), with which they made possible presidential elections, which took place the following October under international control. The result of the popular vote decreed the end of Kaunda’s power and awarded the victory to the opposition candidate, following October under international control. The result of the popular vote decreed the end of Kaunda’s power and awarded the victory to the opposition candidate, following October under international control. The result of the popular vote decreed the end of Kaunda’s power and awarded the victory to the opposition candidate, F. Chiluba, leader of the Movement for Multi-Party and Democracy (MMD), who took office on November 2, 1991. The fragile new structures of Zambia were subjected in the following years to political tensions and subversive attempts: the 1996 elections took place despite the boycott carried out by the opposition and F. Chiluba was reconfirmed as head of state. In December 2001, new elections for the renewal of Parliament and for the designation of the President of the Republic saw L. Mwanawasa prevail. (MMD), who became the third president of Zambia, against the UNIP candidate, but also for these consultations the accusations of fraud and irregularities by the opposition were repeated, to which was added the condemnation of international observers. Despite this, the Supreme Court validated the election results. Mwanawasa, who in his first term led the country through a slow process of democratization and condemnation of the Kaunda regime, was reconfirmed in the 2006 presidential elections and in the subsequent legislative elections the MMD again won the majority of seats. In August 2008, President Mwanawasa died of a heart attack and was succeeded by Rupiah Banda (MMD). In November, presidential elections were held which saw Banda himself and Michael Sata as challengers; the incumbent president was reconfirmed, creating strong protests from the opposition candidate. In the 2011 elections Sata was elected president, until his death in October 2014. Guy Scott became president ad interim, while in 2015 Edgar Lungu was elected.

Zambia History

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)

The monastery complex dates back to the 10th century. After a major fire in the 19th century, it was rebuilt and advanced to the nucleus of the strengthened national feeling as well as the spiritual center of Bulgarian culture under Ottoman rule. The valuable wall paintings in the Church of the Mother of God are particularly worth seeing

Rila Monastery: Facts

Official title: Rila Monastery
Cultural monument: original monastery from the 10th century near today’s monastery, the appearance of which dates from the 19th century; valuable wall paintings with apostles, martyrs and floral decorations in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, 16,000 book library with 134 manuscripts from the 15th-19th centuries. Century
Continent: Europe
Country: Bulgaria
Location: east of Rila, south of Sofia
Appointment: 1983
Meaning: Legacy of St. Ivan Rilski (876-946) and a symbol of Slavic identity

Rila Monastery: History

10th century Founding of a hermitage by Iwan Rilski (Johannes von Rila)
14th century Destruction of the monastery complex by a landslide
1335 Construction of a 25 m high fortress tower
1343 Church building
1469 Transfer of the bones of Iwan Rilski to the monastery
1816 Start of construction of a three-wing monastery complex
1833 Destruction of the monastery complex by conflagration
1834-37 Reconstruction of the monastery complex with the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Sveta Bogorodiza)
1840-48 Wall paintings in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin
1961 national memorial

A bulwark of Orthodox traditions

Located almost at the end of a long, deeply cut valley, the visitor is initially offered a less inviting view of the monastery complex. Almost 20 meters high, smooth stone walls, which appear even higher due to the struts, create the image of a small fortress. Two gates allow entry into this well-fortified monastery complex, which in the course of its history indeed had to defend itself from many attacks – and not infrequently also succumbed to the onslaught.

Today there are busloads of tourists who are hungry for education and interested in culture, but also numerous locals, for whose onslaught the monks have to prepare. And so it is above all in the early morning and late afternoon, when there is silence over the walls and only a few roam through the complex, where you can best experience the tranquil atmosphere of this otherwise secluded place.

Once you have entered the inner courtyard, a completely new world opens up, almost cheerful and playful to call it, compared to the craggy and repellent outer wall. First of all, it is the courtyard facades, forming an irregular square, that draw the eye. In front of the multi-storey residential wings are airy arcades, on the lower floors structured by stone arches of different heights, the top floor is closed off almost everywhere with rows of wooden arches. Bay windows and balconies interrupt the regularity of the rows of arches and thus give each wing its own character. The color scheme of the facades – the alternation of black and white, painted brick arches and many small ornaments and wall paintings – as well as the wide, open stairs complete the varied design.

The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin rises in the center of the monastery courtyard. With its numerous larger and smaller domes, its round shapes and its lively exterior shape, it harmonizes with the detailed shape of the buildings that surround it. The interior of the church, but above all the surrounding open colonnade, is adorned with colorful paintings, the hundreds of Old and New Testament scenes of which eloquently provide information about religious ideas of the time; but they also reveal the high artistic level of Bulgarian painters of the 19th century. After the previous church was destroyed, some of the best artists in the country worked on its reconstruction, which was regarded as a national project in Bulgaria, which was still not liberated according to computerminus.

Above all in the outside area of ​​the church there are numerous very vivid depictions of the torments of hell – a kind of visual ecclesiastical code of morals of the 19th century, in which wild, terrifying animals and fire-breathing mythical creatures next to the “ruler of purgatory” and the terrible tormented creatures exhort sinners to repentance. Many of these depictions overcome the medieval canon of orthodox painting by depicting contemporary people and scenes from everyday life. Rich citizens who were among the patrons of the monastery are also immortalized on the frescoes. The fact that many of the works were signed by the performing artists is unusual for Orthodox art and breaks through the anonymity of medieval art.

Next to the church rises the oldest surviving building in the monastery complex, the so-called Chreljo Tower from the 14th century. However, the history of the Rila Monastery points back much further into the past. It was the monk Ivan Rilski who, in the 10th century, had withdrawn into solitude as a hermit near today’s Rila monastery because of criticism of the mendacious morality of the official church. Soon other fellow believers gathered around him – the basis for a new monastery community was created. The monk, who was canonized soon after his death, enjoyed great veneration in the centuries that followed. The Rila monastery developed into the destination of numerous pilgrims who, due to their large number, had to be housed in several secondary monasteries.

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

Dambulla has been an important Buddhist pilgrimage site for more than 2000 years. It has exceptionally well-preserved cave temples with over 150 Buddha statues and unique Buddhist wall paintings on an area of ​​over 2300 m². Highlights are the “Gods-King Cave” with the 14 m long reclining Buddha and the “Cave of the Great Kings” with a blessing Buddha.

Dambulla Golden Rock Temple: Facts

Official title: Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla
Cultural monument: in a gneiss rock five cave temples with Buddhist wall paintings on an area of ​​2326 m² as well as 157 Buddha statues, among others. “Divine King’s Cave” (Devarajalena) with a reclining Buddha filling the cave and the 48 m long and 15 m wide “Cave of the Great Kings” (Maharajalena) with a blessing Buddha, the wooden figures of the Bodhisattvas Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara and the images of the kings Vattagamini Abhaya and Nissankamalla as well as “Great New Temple” (Maha Alut Vihara) with the statue of the Kandy King Kirti Sri Rajasingha
Continent: Asia
Country: Sri Lanka
Location: Dambulla, between Kandy and Anuradhapura
Appointment: 1991
Meaning: An important pilgrimage site for more than 2000 years and the best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka with Buddhist wall paintings

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla: History

103 BC Chr. Incursion of the South Indian Panca Dravides
100 BC Chr. proven origin
11./12. Century first phase of design
1187-96 King Kirti Sri Nissankamalla
18./19. Century second phase of the design
1747-81 Kandy King Kirti Sri Rajasingha, the innovator of Buddhism

Under the eyes of the Buddha

It takes a few seconds for the eyes to get used to the darkness and for the matt gold to become visible in the glow of weak light sources. The skin signals pleasant coolness, the nose perceives slightly musty cave air: first fleeting impressions when entering the rock temple. Seconds later they appear in all their glory like mystical greetings from bygone times: a larger than life, peacefully reclining Buddha, gold-shining Buddha statues in a lotus position and rock vaults artfully covered with tempera paintings. It seems as if one has suddenly entered the treasury of a palace through a secret door.

It is believed that it was King Nissankamalla in the 12th century who had the remains of the first temple from the second or third century BC restored and transformed into today’s beauty. In times of war, kings are said to have found refuge here again and again. According to tradition, coronation ceremonies were even held in the Dambulla caves.

Most of the tempera paintings that cover the “sky” of the caves are believed to be around a thousand years old in their current appearance. The opinions of experts on the age of the individual frescoes, which also show scenes from the life of Buddha – from the dream of the Mahamaya to the temptation by the demon Mara – nevertheless differ. Some experts assume that the most colorful tones were only applied at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, they too date the oldest surviving frescoes at least half a millennium into the past.

In the first cave you come across the largest Buddha statue of the temple complex with a length of 14 meters. The founder of the religion rests here under the watchful eyes of his student Ananda with his eyes closed. The adjoining cave contains standing and seated Buddha statues, images of Hindu deities such as Saman and Upulvan, a Sinhala king who hid for a few years with the monks of Dambulla from the invaded South Indian Panca-Dravidae. The approximately seven meter high ceiling is decorated over and over with images of Buddha. In a large bowl, water is collected that drips from the cave ceiling – allegedly the cool water of an underground river that, according to legend, flows uphill, which does not dry up even in the dry season.

In Dambulla, strict attention is paid to the appropriate demeanor of visitors: no uncovered shoulders, no tourist legs wedged into shorts. But just in case you are prepared, as the strict temple guards have toga-like strips of fabric in subtle shades to cover unseemly nakedness.

Before you can find your inner peace in the Golden Rock Temple, you climb the long stairs to a height of around 122 meters. Particularly intrusive are the numerous monkeys who frolic on the stairs to the temple entrance and are notorious for stealing everything that is small and handy or that could be nutritious. Outside the sanctuary, traders and snake charmers have gathered, who every day hope for wealthy customers, because Dambulla is one of the tourist highlights of a trip to Sri Lanka according to carswers. Buddha seems omnipresent: you can feel this on the drive to Dambulla as well as on short taxi tours across the island. Again and again you see cars stopping in front of temples with their engines running. Drivers quickly jump out of their car and pause, if only for a few seconds, in devotion. sacrifice a coconut or donate a few rupees to get back on the road as soon as possible. “A prayer,” says taxi driver Chandra, “is a must. After all, everyone wants to be well protected on the go. ”If, for once, there is no Buddhist shrine in the immediate vicinity, a short prayer is said in a church or in a Hindu temple. This is also an expression of other religions that are tolerant of Buddhism.

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

Augsburg, Germany City History

Augsburg, Germany City History

City foundation, antiquity

Augsburg’s name goes back to the Roman Augusta Vindelicorum. The name “Augusta” is explained by the fact that the city was built at the behest of the Roman emperor Augustus in 15 BC. Was founded. The settlement, which initially existed as a military camp, was also given the addition of Vindelicorum, which has to do with the tribe of the Vindeliker, who settled with them in that area. If one takes the already mentioned year 15 BC. as the city’s founding date, Augsburg would be Germany’s second oldest city. In any case, Augsburg was one of the largest Roman settlements north of the Alps after Trier.

In 121 the settlement of Augusta Vindelicorum was given Roman city rights by Emperor Hadrianus. From the end of the 1st century it even served as the capital of the Roman province of Raetia. The Germanic Juthung invaded Italy and Raetia in 260 ; they abducted thousands of Italians, but were crushed by the Roman governor on their march back. In 1992 the Augsburg Altar of Victory was discovered; this is invaluable evidence of this battle. In 271 the Juthung (as well as other tribes) invaded the province and the city again.

From the year 294 – after the division of the Raetia Province – Augsburg functioned as the capital of the Raetia Secunda Province. Since the 5th century there has been an increasing number of Alemanni incursions into this province. It is noteworthy in this regard that the settlement was not destroyed in the process. This fact is certainly related to the fact that at this time various pilgrimages to the grave of Saint Afra of Augsburg took place, which are mentioned, for example, in the Vita Sancti Martini by Venantius Fortunatus.
The martyrdom of Afra fell around the time around 300, when Augsburg had already been the seat of a bishop.

In the Middle Ages

According to intershippingrates, Augsburg gained in importance after Emperor Otto I, with the support of Bishop Ulrich von Augsburg, was able to defeat the Hungarians breaking through to the west near the city in the battle on the Lechfeld. In 1156 Augsburg was granted city rights again (this time by Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa) and in 1251 the right to tax citizens and to use a seal. 1276 was an even more important year for the city: The then King Rudolf von Habsburg granted Augsburg imperial immediacy, which meant nothing less than that the city was now allowed to have the status of a free imperial city.

As a result of this extended independence, however, there were violent conflicts with the bishopric, which was the secular domain of the prince-bishop. After the main episcopal residence was relocated to Dillingen (that is, to the Danube), a power vacuum was released, for which various patrician families were fighting. In 1368 there was an uprising of the urban craftsmen in this context. The result was the establishment of a guild constitution. After the guild constitution was introduced in Augsburg, which, by the way, was supposed to join the Swabian League of Cities in 1379, the influence of the guilds grew more and more. Until 1547 they were even involved in the city government.

At this point, reference should be made to the dictator Ulrich Schwarz, whose rule represented the climax of the guilds’ participation in government. He became mayor in 1469 and initially managed to give the guilds, which had not been given the opportunity to have a say, more influence in the city government. Augsburg’s debts could also be drastically minimized. But when the city patriciate got in his way, he made use of crude means: He had the patrician brothers Vittel executed and thereupon himself was given the death penalty (1478).

Augsburg, Germany City History

In the early modern times

The early modern period marks Augsburg’s most important historical phase. It was a time of political and religious decision-making and an economic rise of imposing strength.

After the rule of the guild was finally ended in 1547, Augsburg began its impressive development into one of the most influential trading and economic centers in the world. This was largely due to the wealth and influence of the famous Fuggers, the Augsburg merchant family who were able to steer the fate of Europe with their money and connections.

Decisions of unbelievable consequences were made in Augsburg in the following decades: At the Reichstag in Speyer (1529), the city belonged to the representatives of the evangelical minority. However, she did not take part in the famous protest, but demanded the unhindered expansion of the Lutheran denomination (= Confessio Augustana). This was formulated by Philipp Melanchthon at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. That Confessio was nothing less than the creed and founding document of the Lutheran Church.

Another important event was the so-called Augsburg Synod of Martyrs in 1527: It was an international gathering of delegates from the Anabaptist faith. Its name hinted at the tragic fact that most of those who took part in the synod later died as martyrs.

The next important political decision was ordered by Emperor Charles V in 1548: the so-called Augsburger Interim was an imperial law that was intended to regulate the ecclesiastical and religious situation in the empire for a transitional period until a general council would finally determine the situation. The interim had to be withdrawn again in 1552. Before that, it had led to fierce opposition on both sides of the denominational spectrum.

The undisputed most important event in the history of the city so far was the establishment of the Augsburg Religious Peace, named after it, which was signed in 1555 at the Reichstag in Augsburg. Ferdinand I concluded this peace with the imperial estates – with the power of attorney from his brother Emperor Charles V. The most important provisions of the text of the treaty included: legal acceptance of Lutheran Protestants, princes’ right to choose their own religion, princes’ right of conversion (Ius reformandi), subjects’ right to emigrate (Ius emigrandi) and the establishment of the ecclesiastical property for the year 1552. The Augsburg resident Religious peace was an important stage victory for the princes over the central imperial power and the idea of ​​a universal Christian empire.

Augsburg suffered the conquest by the Swedes under Gustav II Adolf (1632) during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). The statue of Stoinerner Mo and the Schwedenstiege still remind of this dramatic event for the city.

Historical significance of Augsburg

Augsburg’s historical significance must be emphasized as an absolute specialty. Especially in the early modern period, political and religious decisions were made on a large scale in the city on the Lech. The city belonged to the representatives of the Protestant minority at the Reichstag in Speyer (1529). However, she did not take part in the famous protest, but demanded the unhindered expansion of the Lutheran denomination, the Confessio Augustana. This was formulated by Philipp Melanchthon at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. That Confessio was nothing less than the creed and founding document of the Lutheran Church.

Another important event was the so-called Augsburg Synod of Martyrs in 1527: It was an international gathering of delegates from the Anabaptist faith. Its name hinted at the tragic fact that most of those attending the synod later died as martyrs. The next important political decision was ordered by Emperor Charles V in 1548: the so-called Augsburger Interim was an imperial law that was intended to regulate the ecclesiastical and religious situation in the empire for a transitional period until a general council would finally determine the situation. The interim had to be withdrawn again in 1552. Before that, it had led to fierce opposition on both sides of the denominational spectrum.

The undisputed most important event in the history of the city so far was the establishment of the Augsburg Religious Peace, named after it, which was signed in 1555 at the Reichstag in Augsburg. Ferdinand I concluded this peace with the imperial estates – with the power of attorney from his brother Emperor Charles V. The most important provisions of the text of the treaty included: legal acceptance of Lutheran Protestants, the princes’ right to choose their own religion, the princes’ right of conversion (“Ius reformandi”), the subjects’ right to emigrate (“Ius emigrandi”) and the establishment of the ecclesiastical property for the year 1552. The Augsburg Religious Peace was an important stage victory for the princes over the central imperial power and the idea of ​​a universal Christian empire.

Aschaffenburg, Germany History

Aschaffenburg, Germany History

Aschaffenburg: city history

In the records of the geographer of Ravenna (approx. 450 – 500) there is a mention of a settlement called Ascapha in the Alemannic Nordgau. Today’s Aschaffenburg. Aschaffenburg also formed the eastern center of the Electorate of Mainz for a large part of its history. Before that, the Romans ruled the area as the border region of their empire. The so-called ” wet Limes ” as the border of the Roman Empire at the Mainknie near Aschaffenburg is evidence of this era. The Romans were taken over by the Alemanni, the latter by the Franksreplaced as ruler. The Franks established the Franconian Empire here from the 8th century.

From 982 to 1814 Aschaffenburg was affiliated to the Electorate of Mainz, with its bishops as the highest authority. After Mainz, some bishops also took Aschaffenburg temporarily as their second royal seat. In 1144 the settlement developed into a market and was granted the privilege to mint 17 years later. From here began the most prosperous period in the city’s history, which lasted until the 16th century, when the city lost its coinage and other privileges as it took part in the Peasants’ War. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) finally put an end to prosperity.

When the ecclesiastical Electorate of Mainz was dissolved in 1803, Aschaffenburg became the seat of the former Archbishop of Mainz and Elector Carl Theodor von Dalberg, who initiated the establishment of a university in Aschaffenburg in 1808, shortly before the city belonged to Austria for two years (1814-1816) and was then incorporated together with the Lower Maing area in Bavaria. Bavaria tried to find its new territories. In the German-German war of 1866, fighting between Prussia and Bavaria took place in the Aschaffenburg area.

At the end of the 19th century industrial companies began to settle in the city on a large scale. During the Second World War, the city was therefore also the target of several air raids by the Allied forces against Germany. After the war, the reconstruction began and at the same time the development as an industrial location continued.

Aschaffenburg: arrival and traffic


The most important traffic rules in Germany, which of course also apply in Aschaffenburg, can be found on thereligionfaqs.


The nearest airport to Aschaffenburg is the international airport in Frankfurt / Main, about 75 kilometers away.


The Aschaffenburger Verkehrsbetriebe has a modern fleet of buses that serve the city and the surrounding area with 17 lines.


There are numerous taxis in the city. There are almost always waiting taxis to be found at the stations at the main train station and at Freihofplatz.


From the Aschaffenburg marina you can take harbor tours, lock trips and river loop trips.
Address: Ruhlandstraße 5


Aschaffenburg is not a downright bicycle city. But the city administration has tried to expand the paths in recent years. Today the cycle path network, including bus lanes (also allowed for bicycles), is 46 kilometers.

Sightseeing flights

Airfields for small planes and glider pilots are located in Obernau or in Großostheim.


The Collegiate Church
(St. Peter and Paul)

It is the oldest building in the city. It was built in the 10th century at the behest of Otto von Schwaben. The nave, as the oldest preserved section, dates from the 12th century and has pillar arcades that lead the view towards the high altar. The chancel is equipped with a canopy from 1771. The most important works of art are the Romanesque crucifix from the early 12th century, as well as the painting of the nave and the renaissance pulpit by Hans Junker from 1602. The “Resurrection of Christ” can be seen here by Lucas Cranach and the showpiece “The Lamentation of Christ” by Mathias Grünewald. The masterpiece by Grünewald (actually Mathis Gothart Nithart) is dated around 1520 and is exhibited in the first south side chapel. The outbuildings house the city’s museum.
Address: Stiftsplatz

Our Lady
Our Lady is the oldest parish church in Aschaffenburg. On one wall of the early Gothic tower there is a tympanum from the 12th century, which represents the Mother of God between John and Catherine.
Address: Schlossgasse

Church The Sand Church is a richly decorated rococo church from 1756. The church contains a Vespers image from the 15th century.
Würzburger Strasse

Church of the former Jesuit college
The church of the former Jesuit college was built in 1621. It consists of a nave and a semicircular apse. The municipal gallery now uses the church as a space for changing art exhibitions.
Address: Pfaffengasse.

St. Agatha Church
The St. Agatha Church was built in the 12th century. The choir dates from 1280. Only the choir and the tower are preserved. The rest of the church was built in 1964 according to Heinzmenn’s plans.
Address: Erthalstraße 2a

Johannisburg Castle

Johannisburg Castle is an impressive Renaissance castle that the Bishop of Mainz and Elector Schweickard von Kronberg had built from 1605 to 1614 on the right, higher bank of the Main as a sign of his power and influence based on the designs of the Strasbourg architect Georg Ridinger. The castle keep, the mighty tower in the castle courtyard, comes from the previous building, a fortification that was destroyed in 1552. Today the imposing square with the towers towering at the corners is the symbol of the city. The reddish sandstone of the region in particular gives the castle its own character. The castle burned down during the war, but was restored down to the last detail in the post-war years. In Europe it is considered to be one of the most important buildings of the Renaissance.
Address: Schlossplatz


Seen from the palace, the Schönbusch park is on the other side of the Main. The English complex with a labyrinth, pavilions and lakes dates from the 18th century. It is one of the most beautiful parks of its kind in Germany. The Archbishop of Mainz and Elector von Erthal gave the order to build it. The executing architects were Emanuel Josep d’Herigoyen, who was also responsible for the theater, and Ludwig Sckell. The Schönbusch concerts take place here in summer.
Address: Schönbuschallee

The Schöntal Park is located in the center of the city. His magnolia home in particular is a destination for walkers and tourists. In the middle of the park are the ruins of the Holy Sepulcher Church, surrounded by a moat.
Address: Between Platanenallee and Würzburger Straße

A little further east of Schöntal Park is the pheasantry with its lake. The park is mainly used by walkers and joggers. Other visitors only come because of the beer garden located here.
Address: Deutsche Strasse

Aschaffenburg, Germany History

Shopping in Hungary

Shopping in Hungary



The following articles can be imported into Hungary duty-free when entering from non-EU countries:

When entering by land: 40 cigarettes or 20 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50 g tobacco;

For entry by air: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco (from people over the age of 17).

1 liter of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 liters of spirits with an alcohol content of not more than 22% or sparkling wine;

4 l table wine;

16 liters of beer (from people older than 17 years);

Gifts / other goods up to a total value of € 430 (air and sea travel) or € 300 (travel by train / car); Children under 15 years of age generally € 150.

Import regulations

Travelers who bring meat and milk products into the EU from outside the European Union must register them. The regulation does not apply to the import of animal products from the EU countries as well as from Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland. Anyone who does not register these products must expect fines or criminal penalties.

Prohibited imports

Animal products that are not canned (e.g. meat, milk and dairy products) (see also import regulations). There is a general import ban on live poultry, meat and meat products from third countries (with the exception of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).

Import / export to the EU

The movement of goods within the EU is unrestricted for travelers, provided that the goods are intended for personal use and not for resale. In addition, the goods must not have been bought in duty-free shops. Proof of personal needs can be requested from travelers. Member States have the right to impose excise duties on spirits or tobacco products when these products are not intended for personal use.

The following maximum quantities apply as personal requirements:
800 cigarettes (people 17 and over);
400 cigarillos (people aged 17+);
200 cigars (people 17+);
1 kg tobacco (people aged 17 and over);
10 liters of high-proof alcoholic beverages (people aged 17 and over);
20 liters of fortified wine (e.g. port or sherry) (people aged 17 and over);
90 liters of wine (including a maximum of 60 liters of sparkling wine) (people aged 17 and over);
110 liters of beer (people aged 17+);
Perfumes and eau de toilette: No restrictions if it can be demonstrated that the amount is for personal consumption.
Medicines: amount according to personal needs during the trip.
Other goods: The movement of goods within the EU is unrestricted for travelers. However, gold alloys and gold plating in the unprocessed state or as a semi-finished product and fuel are excluded from this. Fuel may only be imported from an EC member state exempt from mineral oil tax if it is in the vehicle’s tank or in a reserve container carried with it. A fuel quantity of up to 10 liters in the reserve tank will not be rejected.

If additional quantities of these goods are carried, z. B. a wedding an event with which a bulk purchase could be justified.
Note: There are, however, certain exceptions to the regulation of the unrestricted movement of goods. They particularly concern the purchase of new vehicles and purchases for commercial purposes. (For more information on taxes on motor vehicles, see the European Commission’s guide “Buying goods and services in the internal market”).

Attention: 300 cigarettes (17+) can be imported from Hungary when entering Germany.


Duty-free sales at airports and shipping ports have been abolished for travel within the EU. Only travelers who leave the EU can shop cheaply in the duty-free shop. When importing goods into an EU country that were bought in duty-free shops in another EU country, the same travel allowances and the same travel allowance apply as when entering from non-EU countries.

Shopping in Hungary



Popular souvenirs are embroidered blouses and tablecloths, Herend and Zsolnay porcelain, woodwork and costume dolls. Bargain hunters should try their luck in Budapest at the Ecseri flea market or the so-called ‘Chinese market’ near the Kerepesi cemetery; There is a wide selection of antiques and knickknacks on both markets.

In Hungary you can find numerous foods and drinks that are ideal as souvenirs, such as sausages and spicy salami, tons of peppers, canned food with foie gras, caviar, wine and spirits. The best salami comes from Szeged in the south of the country. Caviar is relatively expensive and comes from Russia rather than Hungary. Paprika is available in seven different degrees of heat from mild to very hot and is offered in special gift boxes, which makes it a good souvenir for those who stayed at home. All of these goodies can be found in the markets in Budapest. The largest selection can be found in the Nagy Vásárcsarnok (Great Market Hall) in the center of Pest, which offers groceries and fresh produce on the ground floor and handicrafts on the upper floor.

Opening hours

Most shops open Mon-Wed, Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thu 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m., grocery stores usually open Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Shopping centers are open Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.


Tobacco products and spirits are sold in special shops without window displays; minors are not allowed in here.

Getting to Germany

Getting to Germany


Arriving by plane

Germany is served by over 100 international airlines. The national airline Lufthansa (LH) alone (Internet: connects Germany with more than 160 cities worldwide. Thanks to the global route network and coordinated flight schedules of the Star Alliance, travelers from Germany can reach more than 720 destinations worldwide.

From Austria: Lufthansa (LH), Eurowings (EW) and Austrian Airlines (OS)fly to German airports in regular service. From Vienna there are direct connections to Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Hamburg, Cologne / Bonn, Leipzig / Halle, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt / M. Additional connections: Linz – Düsseldorf, Salzburg / Linz – Berlin, Graz / Innsbruck / Klagenfurt / Linz / Salzburg – Frankfurt / M. as well as Linz – Leipzig / Halle.

From Switzerland: Lufthansa, Eurowings (EW) and Swiss (LX) offer scheduled flights from Zurich to Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne / Bonn, Leipzig / Halle, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt / M. at. Additional connections: Basel – Berlin, Basel – Dresden, Basel / Geneva – Frankfurt, Basel / Geneva – Düsseldorf, Basel / Geneva – Munich.

air Berlin flies from various major German cities to Vienna and Zurich, among others.

Flight times

Vienna – Frankfurt: 1 hour 25 minutes Zurich – Frankfurt: 1 hour

Arrival by car

A first-class road network connects Germany with all neighboring countries.

Long-distance bus: Numerous coach companies regularly travel to Germany. Ua Euro Lines (website: and Flixbus (website: drive from Austria and Switzerland to Germany.

Arriving by train

There are excellent rail connections between the Federal Republic of Germany and its European neighbors.

The most important train connections are listed below:

There are fast EuroCity and InterCityExpress connections from Deutsche Bahn (Internet: every 1 or 2 hours to, among others, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Prague, Brussels, Paris, Budapest, Vienna and Zurich.

The French high-speed train TGV (Internet: connects Stuttgart with Paris (journey time: 3 hours 40 minutes) and Frankfurt with Paris (journey time: 3 hours 50 minutes).

ICE -Trains with tilting technology (ICE T) run from Zurich to Munich and Stuttgart.

The Austrian Railjet (Internet: runs five times a day, the ICE-T once a day between Vienna and Munich. The Railjet also connects Munich with Budapest via Vienna.
EuroNight trains run to Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Rome and Paris, among others.

The Nightjet – night trains (website: drive, inter alia, Austria and Switzerland to Germany:

Vienna – Linz – Frankfurt – Cologne – Düsseldorf;

Vienna – Linz – Hanover – Hamburg;

Innsbruck – Munich – Hamburg;

Innsbruck – Munich – Cologne – Düsseldorf;

Vienna – Dresden – Berlin and

Zurich – Basel – Berlin – Hamburg.

Thalys – high-speed trains (website: operate daily between Cologne and Aachen to Liege, Brussels and Paris. There are tiered tariff offers on Thalys trains as well as special offers for senior citizens and young people. There is a Thalys ticket sales point in Cologne Central Station, which also sells tickets for Eurostar, TGV, Lyria, Italo, Renfe and Elipsos trains.

From Brussels and Paris there are connections with the Eurostar (Internet: through the Channel Tunnel to London.

The ICE International Amsterdamconnects Amsterdam (Netherlands) with Frankfurt / M. via Cologne and Amsterdam with Berlin via Hanover up to seven times a day every two hours. The ICE International Brussels connects Brussels (Belgium) with Frankfurt / M three times a day. in 3 hours 30 minutes.

Tickets and discounts for rail travel in Europe:
The most important economy / combination tickets and special offers for rail travel from Germany to other European countries are listed below. Detailed tariff / timetable information is available from the DB information centers.

InterRail: Children (4-11 years), young people (12-25 years) and adults (from 26 years) who have had a permanent residence in Europe, the former Soviet states or Turkey for at least 6 months can use InterRailuse.

The InterRail One-Country Pass is available for travel in almost 30 European countries including Macedonia and Turkey and is valid for 3, 4, 6, 8 days within 1 month in one country. Children aged 4-11 travel at half the adult price.

The InterRail Global Pass enables travel through several countries and is offered with different periods of validity. Either 5 days out of 10 days total validity or 10 out of 22 can be selected. A continuous period of 22 days or 1 month is also possible.

RAILPLUS:As an addition to the BahnCard, RAILPLUS enables a reduction of 25% on cross-border rail travel to 29 European countries, but not on purely domestic transport in the destination country.

SparNight: Limited offer for overnight trips through Germany, Denmark, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Applies to travel on EuroNight trains.

Eastern Europe saver fare: Under certain conditions, you can travel with this offer to the following Eastern European countries at a discount: Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Poland (not on the trains of the Berlin-Warszawa Express), Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus. Further information is available at

Motorail trains
A car train will connect Lörrach with Hamburg from May 2017 (Internet:

An ÖBB car train (Internet: runs on the routes

– between Vienna and Hamburg, Düsseldorf and

– between Innsbruck and Hamburg, Düsseldorf.

Arrival by ship

The Danube (Internet: connects Germany with the Danube countries. A wide variety of shipping lines offer regular ferry connections to Germany. The most important of these are:

Bodenseeschifffahrt (Internet: Romanshorn / Switzerland – Friedrichshafen; Bregenz / Austria – Constance.

Color Line (Internet: Oslo / Norway – Kiel.
Krantas Shipping (Internet: Klaipeda / Lithuania – Kiel.

DFDS Seaways (Internet: www.dfdsseaways. Com): Klaipeda / Lithuania – Kiel.

Scandlines(Internet: Rødby / Denmark – Puttgarden / Fehmarn; Gedser / Denmark – Rostock; Trelleborg / Sweden – Rostock; Trelleborg / Sweden – Sassnitz / Rügen; Ventspils / Latvia – Rostock.

Stena Line (Internet: Gothenburg / Sweden – Kiel.
TT-Line (Internet: Trelleborg / Sweden – Rostock; Trelleborg / Sweden – Travemünde.

Finnlines (Internet: Lübeck / Travemünde – Rostock – Gdynia / Poland – Helsinki / Finland).

Further information is available from the Verband der Fährschiffahrt & Fährouristik eV, Esplanade 6, D-20354 Hamburg (Tel: (040) 35 09 72 33.

Getting to Germany

ETA – Euskadi Ta Askatasuna

ETA – Euskadi Ta Askatasuna

Voters betray “ETA party”

The 2001 regional election was a major defeat for Euskal Herritarrok, who won about 10 percent of the vote and lost half of his 14 seats. After the election loss, some of EH’s leaders were replaced, and some veterans who criticized ETA’s methods were said to have left the party. At the same time, the party changed its name to Batasuna ( Unity ). Spanish media interpreted the changes as meaning that the party has now chosen a more radical separatist path.

The Nationalist Party strengthened its position in the election and PNV leader Juan José Ibarretxe was able to remain as the region’s president, now with a minority government supported by a couple of small parties in the Basque parliament. Note: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna is also known as ETA on abbreviationfinder.

The noose is tightened around ETA

When the fight against international terrorism came to the fore after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Spanish government was given opportunities to intensify the hunt for the country’s own terrorists. Spain was able to use the US electronic electronic interception system Echelon, which helped to trace important ETA cells.

In October, one of the organization’s most notorious support groups, the Donosti Command, was arrested in San Sebastián. In a joint operation in the border areas, Spanish and French police arrested one of ETA’s leading figures. In total, almost 200 ETA members had now been arrested since the ceasefire ended in 1999.

When the EU compiled a list of terrorist organizations after the terrorist attacks in the United States, Spain got through its demand to include ETA as well as some of the movement’s subgroups, including the support group for ETA prisoners, Gestoras Pro Amnistía . The left-wing guerrilla group Grapo was also declared a terrorist group. The decision meant a ban on supporting these groups in any way and it became possible to seize their financial assets.

ETA’s political branch is banned

The Spanish government wanted to go further and in June 2002 passed a bill in the Spanish Parliament banning parties that support terrorism. It was aimed at Batasuna, which was no longer allowed to engage in any open political activity.

The party had never condemned ETA’s acts of violence and the government considered itself to have sufficient evidence that it was in fact a front organization for ETA. The ban made it more difficult for members of Batasuna and other support organizations to raise money for ETA’s activities and to recruit new ETA members through Batasuna’s youth organization. The Supreme Court later decided to seize all of Batasuna’s bank assets after the party refused to comply with a call from the country’s leading investigating judge, Baltasar Garzón, to pay multi-million sums in compensation to the victims of ETA’s violence.

In March 2003, the Spanish Supreme Court decided to completely ban Batasuna as a party. It was the first time since the introduction of democracy that a political party was banned in Spain. Despite the ban on the party, many Batasuna members remained in political positions in several smaller towns and municipalities. The ban sparked protests in the Basque Country and ETA carried out new attacks.

ETA greatly weakened

The Spanish authorities estimated that ETA’s hard core in the years around the turn of the century consisted of only 30 to 40 members. But they, and an approximately equal group of activists closest to the inner core, were significantly decimated in the years 2002-2005. Many young ETA members were caught early in their careers.

At the end of 2003, the Spanish Minister of the Interior declared that ETA was now weaker than ever before. About 170 suspects were arrested in 2003 alone, partly as a result of both Spanish and French agents succeeding in infiltrating the organization.

Demands for a referendum on increased independence

The increasing pressure on the Basque separatists led to stronger nationalist currents in the Basque Country. The PNV-led regional government considered Garzón’s actions aimed at “a majority of the Basque people”. The Great Nationalist Party decided to make more far-reaching demands on Madrid. A main reason may have been that PNV also wanted support from the Basques who used to vote for Batasuna.

In the autumn of 2003, the region’s leader Ibarretxe presented a proposal for a Basque region in a “free union” with Spain, a free state with, among other things, its own legal system where the people have both Basque and Spanish citizenship. In a referendum, the Basques would have their say on the proposal.

The reaction in Madrid was strongly negative as the plan was contrary to the Spanish Constitution and the proposal was rejected by the Spanish Parliament.

The regional election in April 2005, where a yes or no to the Ibarretxe plan was seen as the most important issue, was a setback for PNV, which lost four seats. The newly formed Communist Party of the Basque Country (Ehak) received over 12 percent of the vote, probably from many Batasuna sympathizers.

ETA - Euskadi Ta Askatasuna

OSCE – Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe

OSCE – Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe


The main result of the OSCE’s disarmament work is the CFE Agreement (Agreement on Conventional Forces in Europe; see Progress). This agreement involved the scrapping of 50,000 major weapons systems in Europe. The millennial dream of forging swords into plowshares thus seemed to come true. The agreement did not initially concern all OSCE participating States, but only members of the former Warsaw Pact and NATO. According to abbreviationfinder, OSCE is known as Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.

The CFE agreement involves a comprehensive exchange of military information and close surveillance of military forces, as well as radical cuts, especially in the former Soviet Union, of five categories of conventional weapons: tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, fighter jets and attack helicopters.

The agreement covers the entire European area from the Atlantic to the Urals. This originally meant that each side, formerly the Warsaw Pact and NATO, was not allowed to have more than 20,000 tanks, 30,000 armored vehicles, 20,000 artillery pieces, 6,800 fighter jets and 2,000 attack helicopters in this area. In addition, Russia must destroy or rework a large number of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery pieces, which the Soviet Union had moved to the area east of the Urals before the CFE agreement was signed. The cuts were completed on 15 November 1995. The CFE Agreement is valid indefinitely and, unlike the OSCE Agreements, is a legally binding treaty. The Treaty was later supplemented by a politically binding agreement, CFE 1a,

The CFE agreement has an efficient control machinery. Thousands of inspectors check that the agreement is complied with. This also gives the parties a significant insight into the other party’s military apparatus and knowledge of his thinking. So far, everyone has followed the demanding provisions of the agreement, with only minor deviations.

There is no doubt that the CFE agreement has made a significant contribution to European security. This benefits not only the parties to the agreement, but also other European countries. It is often said that there is hardly any OSCE State that does not describe the CFE Agreement as a “cornerstone” of European security architecture.

Despite this, various problems with the application of the agreement soon arose. Following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union and later NATO enlargement with new member states from the former Warsaw Pact, the balance sheet thinking that permeated the CFE agreement faltered.

In 1996, it was agreed to revise and make some adjustments to the agreement in order to adapt it to the new security policy situation in Europe. That review was completed in 1999, and a new, adapted CFE agreement could be signed at the Istanbul Summit the same year. Even states that were not part of the original CFE agreement between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were given the opportunity to join if they so wished. However, Sweden is not included in the agreement.

A number of countries, mainly NATO members, never ratified the adapted CFE agreement. They considered that Russia was not fulfilling its commitments from the Istanbul meeting to withdraw Russian troops and military equipment from Moldova. Russia, in turn, suspended its implementation of the adapted CFE agreement in 2007 on the grounds that the agreement had not been ratified by NATO countries.

In March 2015, Russia also suspended its participation in the CFE Joint Consultative Group, a forum for discussing arms control, thus closing a communication channel to the West and completely terminating its commitments under the CFE. The move was seen as a direct result of the conflict between Russia and NATO that erupted after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March 2014 and later Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The events in Ukraine to some extent brought Europe back to the Cold War that prevailed until the early 1990’s.

In 2000, the OSCE Security Forum adopted a document on small arms. The countries have committed themselves to control the manufacture, sale, marking and possession of small arms.

The human dimension

The human dimension is a concept that first began to be used during the two-year Vienna meeting, which began in 1986. The term usually refers to issues relating to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The principle of respect for human rights was enshrined in the 1975 Final Act, and over the next two decades Member States adopted additional regulations and developed controls on their compliance. For the revolutionary transition to a democratic system of society in Eastern Europe in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the principles of human rights served as a catalyst. Not least important for cooperation in the human dimension is that all OSCE States now accept transparency and interference in each other’s affairs.

During the Vienna Summit, the control of respect for human rights was developed through the so-called Vienna Mechanism, a procedure for exchanging information on the human rights situation in the participating states. This gave one state the right to demand information from another state on human rights issues and the right to request a meeting. The requested state is obliged to respond and to appear at requested meetings. In addition, OSCE States have the right to disseminate information on human rights to other States Parties.

Another of the advances of the Vienna Summit was the decision to hold a conference on the human dimension, which, to the great surprise of the West, was based on a Soviet proposal. The conference on the human dimension was divided into three different meetings: the first in Paris in 1989, the second in Copenhagen in 1990 and the third, finally, in Moscow in 1991.

The Paris meeting was held in a chilly east-west climate and ended without any concrete results.

At the Copenhagen summit, the political situation in Europe had changed radically, and the results were therefore far-reaching. In addition to agreeing on commitments in a number of areas, the states also agreed that future societies would be based on democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

The conference in Moscow took place only a few weeks after the failed coup attempt against the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the autumn of 1991. The meeting sharpened the former Vienna mechanism by introducing the possibility of using experts and reporters. Among other things, it became possible for a Member State to invite an expert group to assist in resolving an issue related to the human dimension. The organization was also given the right to send up to three rapporteurs to a state against its will, if it is considered that there is a serious threat to any of the commitments within the human dimension.

The monitoring of the human dimension also takes place in other forms. The mandate of the field missions often includes some form of monitoring and advice on human rights, the judiciary or democracy. The task of the minority commissioner to identify threatening hotbeds of conflict where minorities are involved is also of central importance.

There is also a special secretariat for democratic institutions and human rights, the ODIHR, which monitors the elections in various OSCE States and is democratic and fair, and which has a certain responsibility to monitor the implementation of the human dimension. During the first years of the 21st century, election observation became a source of controversy, especially between Russia and other member states, as OSCE observers criticized the electoral process in several former Soviet republics. Russia has accused OSCE observers of double standards and attempts to incite political upheaval in Georgia and Ukraine, among others.

The disagreement will concern such fundamental issues as the OSCE’s legitimacy as an organization, its activities and the values ​​on which it will be based.

The disagreement intensified in the following years. Russia, Belarus and several other countries of the former Soviet Union claimed that the ODIHR had a political bias and too quickly came up with accusations of electoral fraud instead of acting as a support for the host country. When Russia, in the run-up to its parliamentary elections in December 2007, only agreed to issue visas to 300 ODIHR election monitors, the organization chose not to send any at all.

Russia has called for a better balance between the OSCE’s three original “dimensions” – security, economic and human.

OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe

History of APEC

History of APEC

The then Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke took the initiative to form APEC. In 1989, the first ministerial meeting was held in Canberra, Australia. The six then ASEAN countries (see separate chapter on ASEAN) attended the meeting, as did the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

At the opening speech, Hawke explained with the cape aimed at the European Union, the EU, that one reason for the formation of APEC was to prevent the world from being divided into “defensive trade blocs”. That APEC does not intend to become a new protectionist EU, the members have clarified on several occasions since then.

The need to find more efficient and organized forms of the sharp increase in trade between North America and East Asia over the past two decades drove the organization’s formation. For the United States, it was important to try to remedy the growing deficit in trade, mainly with China and Japan. It also sought to reach agreement on the ongoing negotiations on freer world trade within the Uruguay Round of the GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was replaced in 1995 by the World Trade Organization, WTO). It was hoped that the tough negotiations would be facilitated if the Pacific countries agreed on a common line.

The United States argued early on to link the major Asian economies – China, Taiwan and Hong Kong – to the organization and give it a firmer shape. However, the ASEAN countries were skeptical of attempts to strengthen APEC; they were partly afraid of undermining ASEAN’s position in the region, and partly worried about the idea that the USA would further consolidate its influence.

In an attempt to find a counterpoint to American influence, Malaysia in 1991 took the initiative to form a new economic organization without the United States as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The United States considered that the initiative threatened to split APEC and therefore launched an intensive counter-campaign in which both Japan and South Korea were exposed to strong pressure not to participate. An East Asian Economic Caucus was nevertheless formed in 1994, but it did not become the significant force that Malaysia had envisioned, but stayed with a group within APEC.

When APEC members eventually agreed to allow new members, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan joined the organization. The ministerial meeting in the South Korean capital, Seoul, in 1991 was attended by the three new members. However, Taiwan and Hong Kong (then another British crown colony, returned to China in 1997) did not have the same status as China, which was a prerequisite for the Chinese to approve their presence. Taiwan joins APEC under the name Chinese Taipei, the name of the island in China, and was also only given the right to send lower-ranking officials to APEC ministerial meetings. In 1993, Mexico and Papua New Guinea became members of APEC and in 1994 the membership was further expanded when Chile was also adopted. In 1998, Peru, Russia and Vietnam were also admitted to APEC.

According to shoppingpicks, APEC gained a firmer structure through the decision to set up a permanent secretariat at the 1992 ministerial meeting in Bangkok. However, plans for free trade cooperation progressed at a slower pace. At the Seattle meeting, many of the Asian countries were hesitant about the expert group’s proposal to introduce a free trade area in the Pacific region as early as 1996. But they agreed on a more general wording in which they expressed their desire to work for freer trade in the region. At the 1994 summit in Bogor, Indonesia, the APEC countries decided to form a free trade area by 2020; the more industrialized countries would have liberalized their trade as early as 2010.

At the Osaka ministerial meeting in Japan in 1995, the APEC countries took another step towards a free trade zone after agreeing on an action plan for trade liberalization. However, the negotiations stalled for a long time because the countries had different views, mainly in the field of agriculture. Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan were reluctant to allow foreign competition into their agricultural markets while large exporters of agricultural products – such as Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand – refused to allow exemptions. The lock-in only eased after a compromise was reached, which in short was based on the countries liberalizing at their own pace until a certain end date. However, at the Philippines’ ministerial meeting in November 1996, each member could present an individual action plan.

At the Manila Summit in November 1996, the Ministers of Economy decided that tariffs and other barriers to trade in information technology would be removed from the year 2000. When the Ministers met the following year in Vancouver, Canada, the major topic of discussion was the economic and financial crisis. It was also agreed to speed up the liberalization of trade on a voluntary basis, so-called Early voluntary sectoral liberalization, EVSL, in certain areas, including the fisheries sector, wood products, medical equipment, toys.

At the meeting in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur the following year, Japan refused to agree to reduced tariffs in the forest and fisheries sectors, which caused negotiations on reduced tariffs in the various EVSL areas to stall. It ended with the APEC members handing over the customs negotiations to the World Trade Organization, WTO. The work within the EVSL project was instead concentrated on reducing other types of barriers to trade as well as on economic and technical cooperation.

History of APEC

The 10 top honeymoon destinations

The 10 top honeymoon destinations

A wedding is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in your life. On this day you marry the love of your life and you promise it eternal loyalty, support and affection. But a wedding must also be planned so that it can be a wonderful day and of course the honeymoon also belongs to the wedding.

In order for the honeymoon to be unforgettable, you should talk to your future spouse as early as possible about what ideas you have about the honeymoon and what wishes you would like to fulfill. Sometimes you have to compromise, because not everyone has the same taste. But which countries or cities are particularly suitable for honeymoons? Would you rather go to the sun and the sea or is a city trip the perfect choice for a honeymoon? Below are the top 10 honeymoon destinations.

Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

The remoteness of this island is the perfect place to start your marriage.

Paris, France

It is not for nothing that Paris is called the city of love, because couples who are in love and newlyweds regularly get lost in this city.

Bali, Indian Ocean

In Bali you can also make yourself comfortable on your honeymoon on the white sandy beaches.

Venice, Italy

Venice is also a very romantic city that is often visited during honeymoons. You can sit in one of the gondolas with your spouse and glide through the canals or take a romantic night stroll through the narrow streets.


Greece has a lot of pages that are ideal for a beautiful honeymoon. You can spend your honeymoon, for example, on islands like Rhodes with their cute white houses and blue shutters, or you can visit a cosmopolitan city with a history like Athens.

Maldives, Indian Ocean

No place is better suited for a dreamlike and heavenly honeymoon than the Maldives.

Rome, Italy

If you read Roma the other way around, it’s called Cupid and that’s why this impressive city is also suitable for a honeymoon.

New York City, United States

If you love the big city flair, New York is the perfect honeymoon destination.


In the Caribbean, you can forget all your worries during your honeymoon and enjoy a few heavenly weeks by the sea.

Las Vegas, United States

Las Vegas is not only useful for a short-term wedding, but also for the subsequent honeymoon, because here you can test your fresh luck directly in a casino.

Las Vegas, United States

The 10 most famous sights in New York

The 10 most famous sights in New York

There is a lot to discover in the city that never sleeps. If you don’t have time to see everything, you can limit yourself to the 10 most famous sights:

  1. New York’s Times Square

Right in the heart of Manhattan’s Broadway is the square named after the famous New York Times newspaper. Imposing neon signs and pure life attract tourists here in droves every day. In addition to the dazzling scenery, Times Square also offers countless leisure activities.

  1. The Empire State Building

New York’s second tallest building (after the One World Trade Center) and one of the tallest in the world was built between 1930 and 1931. From the upper viewing platform, it offers its visitors an unforgettable view of the entire Big Apple.

  1. The Rockefeller Center

The observation deck of the Rockefeller Center – the so-called Top of the Rock – in Manhattan also offers an excellent view of the city, although it is only the 14th tallest building in New York. The impressive building complex has been built and continuously expanded since the 1920s.

  1. The Brooklyn Bridge

This New York landmark connects the Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods and is considered one of the most famous bridges in the world. In fact, it was built in 1883, making it one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States.

  1. The One World Trade Center

The tallest building in the United States and the fourth tallest in the world today houses mostly offices. It was built between 2006 and 2014 on Ground Zero, the site where the original World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001.

  1. Central Park

Central Park, known from film and television in Manhattan, is the largest park in the city. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it offers an oasis of peace and nature and is therefore often referred to by the New Yorkers as the “lung of the city”.

  1. Staten Island Ferry

The ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island is free – and it offers every visitor to the city a unique view of what is probably the most famous skyline in the world.

  1. Wall Street

A visit, maybe even a tour, through this well-known absolute center of power is definitely worth it. A large part of all important financial transactions in the world are carried out here.

  1. Grand Central Station

The Manhattan train station was inaugurated in 1913. Since then it has been the largest train station in the world. A visit to this building, which can be seen in countless films and series, is always worthwhile.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Located in the middle of famous Fifth Avenue is the largest museum in the United States. Over three million works of art from really all eras and corners of the world can be admired here.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

England Famous Philosophers and Theologians Part II

England Famous Philosophers and Theologians Part II

Wilhelm von Ockham (about 1285-1347)
English philosopher and theologian. Wilhelm von Ockham was born in Ockham around 1285 and trained in the Franciscan order. He studied theology at Oxford University. He left behind writings on natural philosophy and theological as well as works on logic and politics. Von Ockham is considered one of the leading exponents of nominalism.

Matthew Parker (1504-1575)
Archbishop of Canterbury and Reformer of England. Parker was born in Norwich in 1504. He studied at Cambridge and became a deacon, then a priest in 1527 and finally Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559. During his career he was strongly influenced by the so-called Cambridge Reformers, whose chaplain he was appointed after Anne Boleyn was put on the throne. Parker died in Lambeth in 1575.

Nicholas Ridley (c. 1500-1555)
Bishop of Rochester and Anglican martyr. Ridley was born into a distinguished family in Northumberland around 1500 and studied at Cambridge. As a priest-professor he temporarily moved to Paris and a few years after his return became the highest proctor of the University of Cambridge. In 1547, Ridley was ordained Bishop of Rochester. He was executed under Maria I in 1555 – along with Hugh Latimer.

Lord Robert Runcie (1921-2000)
Archbishop of Canterbury 1980-1991. Robert Runcie was born in Liverpool in 1921 as the son of an electrical engineer. He studied Ancient History and Literature at Oxford during World War II and volunteered for combat. Runcie became a priest in the early 1950s. In 1980 Margaret Thatcher named him Archbishop of Canterbury. Runcie wed the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana in 1981.

John of Salisbury (ca.1115-1180)
theologian, scholastic. John of Salisbury was born in England around 1115 and received his training from the famous Pierre Abélard in Paris, who made a significant contribution to making Salisbury one of the most popular theologians of his time. He is also seen as a thought leader in the English Enlightenment. One of his role models was Aristotle. Von Salisbury died in Chartres in 1180.

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)
moral philosopher, politician. Anthony Ashley-Cooper was born in London in 1671 and grew up in the famous Exeter House. As a philosopher, he played an enlightening role that contradicted Hobbe’s philosophy of egoism. The essence of harmony was of central importance in his views. Its influence on subsequent generations is enormous, so it was very well received by Leibniz, Herder, Diderot and others. Ashley-Cooper died in Naples in 1713.

David Sheppard (1929-2005)
Bishop of Liverpool. Sheppard was born in Surrey in 1929 and studied in Cambridge. At first he distinguished himself as a cricketer over many years. Sheppard was very active in his church career and was one of the pioneers of “Faith in the City”. In 1998 he received the honorary title of Baron Sheppard of Liverpool. Sheppard died in Liverpool in 2005.

William Tyndale (c. 1448-1536)
priest and scholar, translator of the Bible into English. Tyndale was born in North Nibley around 1448. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge. His translation of the Bible was most widely used to date, due to the invention of the printing press. He introduced entirely new words into his mother tongue. However, the work was banned in England. Tyndale was executed in Vilvoorde in 1536 for his translation.

Chad Varah (1911-2007)
clergyman and founder of the Samaritans (telephone counseling). Varah was born in Barton-upon-Humber in 1911, the first of nine children of a priest. He studied at Keble College in Oxford, among others. In 1953 he set up the Samaritans, a telephone counseling service on a non-clerical basis. Between 1953 and 2003 he was also the church leader of a London congregation. Varah died in Basingstoke in 2007.

Baroness Mary Warnock (born 1924)
philosopher and writer of existentialism. Warnock was born in Winchester in 1924, the youngest of seven children to a wealthy family. She studied at Oxford, then became an honorary member and taught philosophy at the university. In 2008 she was charged with campaigning for euthanasia in people with dementia. She also takes the view that religion cannot be the basis of political decisions.

John Bainbridge Webster (1955)
Anglican theologian. Webster was born in Mansfield in 1955 and studied in Cambridge. He worked as a chaplain and tutor at Durham University, and later as a professor in Oxford and Aberdeen. He writes recognized writings in the field of social, historical and moral theology.

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
Protestant reformer, front fighter against the slave trade. Wilberforce was born in Kingston upon Hull in 1759 and studied at Cambridge University. He was elected to the British House of Commons. Later he dealt with India, freedom, religion and campaigned vehemently against the slave trade in Great Britain. Wilberforce died in Chelsea in 1833, days after British slavery was abolished after decades of struggle.

Thomas Wolsey (circa 1475-1530)
Cardinal and Archbishop of York and founder of Christ Church College in Oxford. Wolsey was born in Ipswich around 1475 and studied theology at Oxford. This was followed by ordination, doctor of theology, appointment as a Roman Catholic cardinal and finally the post of English Lord Chancellor. For a long time he was considered the most powerful man in England until he was charged with high treason. Wolsey died in Leicester in 1530.

John Wyclif (Wycliffe), (about 1330-1384)
philosopher, theologian and religious reformer. Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire around 1330. He studied at Oxford and later headed Balliol College. In his teachings he took the view “power only through grace” and denied the Pope his claim to political power. The people admired him, the rulers persecuted him. Wyclif died after suffering a stroke in 1284.

John Wyclif

Questions and Answers for Travelling to Morocco

Questions and Answers for Travelling to Morocco

Is it safe to travel to Morocco?

Due to the current circumstances, we strongly recommend that you keep up to date with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel instructions in connection with COVID-19. You can read more about how we handle cancellation, travel guarantee and much more in relation to coronavirus right here . Below you will find our general recommendations for the destination.

Yes, it is relatively safe to travel to Morocco. Millions of tourists visit the country every year and crime is relatively low. On the whole, you go a long way in taking your precautions as a tourist and showing respect for local customs.

What is the climate like in Morocco?

According to, the climate in Morocco generally offers sun and heat, but can vary depending on where you are in the country. In the interior as well as the southwestern part of the country, the climate is affected by the Sahara desert, where temperatures can approach 45 degrees in summer and freezing point at night when it is winter. Temperatures along the coasts are lower due to the cooler sea breezes and more reminiscent of a typical Mediterranean climate.

Where to go in Morocco?

There are experiences for all tastes in Morocco. Where you should go depends entirely on the type of experience you want. Are you, for example, trekking in the Sahara on camelback, mountaineering in the Atlas Mountains, or do you want to experience the 1001 night atmosphere at the market square in Marrakech? Finally, contact our travel experts if you want inspiration for your next trip.

Should I apply for a visa to Morocco?

If you have a Danish passport, you are visa-free in Morocco for up to 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months in addition to the duration of the trip. We recommend at all times that you stay up to date with the current passport and visa rules for Morocco on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website .

What currency is used in Morocco?

The currency in Morocco is called the Moroccan Dirham and is abbreviated MAD. It is a good idea to exchange from home, but several places are gradually accepting credit cards, and if you run out of cash, you can find ATMs in most major cities.

What is the time difference between Denmark and Morocco?

The time difference between Denmark and Morocco varies depending on whether it is summer or winter time in Denmark. If you travel during Danish winter time, the time is the same in Morocco. If it is summer time in Denmark, you must set the clock back one hour when you land in Morocco.

Do you need to be vaccinated when you go to Morocco?

Both climate and hygiene conditions in Morocco are different than at home, so therefore you should research what vaccinations you should get before your departure. You can do this either at your own doctor or at the Statens Serum Institut .

What language is spoken in Morocco?

The official language of Morocco is standard Arabic, but a trained ear will hear that it is the Moroccan variant of Arabic, Maghreb that is spoken on the streets and in private homes. Berber, which is the language of the indigenous North African people, is spoken by approx. 40% of the population. In addition, French is the second language of Morocco, as the country is a former French colony.

Can you drink tap water in Morocco?

No, we do not recommend that you do. Buy bottled water instead.

How is the price level in Morocco?

The price level in Morocco is much lower than in Denmark. You get a lot for your money as a tourist, and a good meal food at a restaurant can be obtained for reasonable money. If you go shopping in the nearest souk, be prepared to haggle over the price – nothing has a fixed price here. It is customary for tourists to give tips, which are often given to eg guides, piccoloes and other service staff as well as in bars, cafés and restaurants (approx. 10%).

Can you go to Morocco with children?

Morocco is a suitable destination for the whole family, and a fairytale world with snake tamers, belly dancers and camels is not very far away. There is virtually no time difference, so you avoid jet lag, which can otherwise be disruptive to the smallest sleeping times. In addition, Morocco is a budget-friendly destination, making it an obvious place to go if you are a slightly larger family.

Questions and Answers for Travelling to Morocco

Places to Visit in Morocco

Places to Visit in Morocco

Sahara Desert

On a trip to Morocco, you should not deceive yourself for an overnight stay in the barren desert landscape of the Sahara. Here the blue sky stands in stark contrast to the huge, golden sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The world’s largest desert Sahara has a daytime temperature of around 40 degrees. Incredibly, the night hours can offer freezing temperatures. The Sahara is one of the driest places on earth, and the landscape is therefore almost completely devoid of vegetation.

The trip to the Sahara takes place on camelback, so you can have the unique experience of traveling in a caravan through the desert. We travel through a local Bedouin camp and admire the sunset, which bathes the soft sand hills in a beautiful pink glow.

Dades Valley

In the majestic Atlas Mountains is the Todra Gorge, which is created by the Dadès River that runs through the mountains. The Todra gorge is spectacular nature, with the 150 meter high rock walls, which for millennia have been smoothly polished by the river water.

Along the river in the Dadès valley, the terrain is very lush, thanks to the river, which provides good opportunities for plant life. In fact, the valley is known as the ‘Valley of the roses’, as large quantities of roses are grown here for the production of rose water.

The lush landscape along the river stands in stark contrast to the dry and rocky mountain landscape that otherwise characterizes the area. The life-giving Dadès River is to the great delight of both the surrounding fauna, as well as the local people.

Dades Valley


According to, Jebel Toubkal is the highest point in the North African mountain range Atlas Mountains. Here you can trek all the way to the top of the 4,167 meter high mountain. On the way there, there is an unbelievably beautiful view of the Moroccan landscape.

In the winter months from December to April, the summit is covered in snow, which makes the trip to the summit a little more challenging. However, Toubkal is an achievable goal for most, as no special mountaineering equipment is required.

The trip can thus be completed on foot. Along the way you can stay in the small shelters along the route. The trip up the Toubkal is unusually beautiful, and also gives an insight into the local Morocco when we stop in the small villages along the way.

Souken in Marrakech

In many Moroccan cities, one can visit local marketplaces, also called souks, where one can buy everything from ceramics and leather goods to all kinds of foods. The souk in Marrakech in particular is known for its large size and for its abundance of goods. You will find this souk in the center of the old medina.

This is a covered marketplace with characteristic narrow paths and small stalls. Clothes, food, spices, beautiful rugs and much more are sold here. The souk in Marrakech is to that extent an experience for all the senses, due to the many scents, shouts from sellers and the large selection of merchandise.

The Minarets of Marrakech

Marrakech is a city that for centuries has been influenced by the Islamic architectural tradition of magnificent mosques, which are densely populated with colorful handmade tiles.

When looking out over Marrakech, the gaze automatically falls on the city’s minarets, which tower over the city. The Moroccan minarets are tall, often square towers, which are used to call the inhabitants of the city to prayer several times a day.

The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in particular has a special significance. Like the mosque, the tower is built of sandstone, and points a full 77 meters into the air. The mosque was completed in the year 1195, and has since called citizens to prayer.

Popular animals you can experience in Morocco

Morocco is a large country with different climate types, which means that the country’s fauna is very diverse. On your holiday to Morocco, for example, you may be lucky enough to meet Berber monkeys who live in the Atlas Mountains. However, the monkeys’ existence is threatened by tree felling, and the species is therefore described as vulnerable.

Dromedaries are among Morocco’s larger animals, which for millennia have been of great importance to the local population as they have been used as a means of transport. Most dromedaries in Morocco are tame and are still used for practical purposes. In addition, the North African country is home to wild boars, hyenas, gazelles and desert foxes, among others.

England Famous Philosophers and Theologians Part I

England Famous Philosophers and Theologians Part I

Francis Bacon (1561-1621)
philosopher, writer, statesman and pioneer of empiricism. Bacon was born in London in 1561, studied various subjects in Cambridge from the age of 14 and lived with his brother Anthony, who later became a spy. He left behind many valuable philosophical and legal writings. The saying “knowledge is power” comes from Bacon. He died in Highgate in 1621.

Roger Bacon (1214-1292 or 1294)
Franciscan monk and philosopher. Bacon was born near Illchester in 1214 and studied at Oxford University, where he also briefly taught. He later went to Paris University to teach in Europe’s intellectual center. In history he is an advocate pioneer of empirical methods. Bacon became a Franciscan monk at an advanced age and eventually died in Oxford. He was called “Doctor Mirabilis” – “wonderful teacher”.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
philosopher, social reformer, lawyer. Jeremy Bentham was born in Spitalfields in 1748 to a lawyer and studied at Oxford. He was considered a radical and campaigned for women’s suffrage and also for freedom of the press. He also called for the abolition of the penalty for homosexuality and was a spearhead of utilitarianism. Democracy was also very important to him. Bentham, who usually thought far ahead of his time, died in London in 1832.

Lady Anne Conway (1631-1679)
The philosopher was born Anne Fich in London in 1631 and spent her childhood in what is now Kensington Palace. During her short life, she maintained an intensive philosophical exchange with the Platonist Henry More. Jewish Kabbalah, Quakerism and the teachings of Descartes shaped Conway’s views. With her debut and only work called “The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy” she exerted a significant influence on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Conway died in her native town in 1679.

Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688)
philosopher and theologian. Ralph Cudworth was born in Somerset in 1617, the son of a minister. After studying in Cambridge, he was given a chair in Hebrew studies and was henceforth titled Regius Professor. Cudworth belonged to the Cambridge Platonists and placed emphasis on human free will in his studies. His epistemology was based on the concept of relation. Cudworth died in Cambridge in 1688.

John Graham (1794-1865)
Bishop of Chester, English academic and tutor to Charles Darwin. Graham was born in Claypath in 1794 and educated at Cambridge. In the university town he was appointed deacon in 1818, later head of Christ College and from 1834 vice chancellor of the university. He was Charles Darwin’s tutor during his studies. In 1848 Graham became Bishop of Chester. He died there in 1865.

John Harvard (1607-1638)
English-American theologian. Harvard was born in London in 1607 and studied at Cambridge. Five years later he moved to America with his wife and became a Doctor of the Church. He died in Massachusetts in 1638 and bequeathed half his fortune and his library to an educational institution. Harvard University was named after him to show its gratitude for the donation, which in turn paved the way for the university system in the USA.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
philosopher and state theorist. Hobbes was born in Westport in 1588, the son of a minister. Recognized as a child prodigy, he studied at Oxford University at the age of 17. Hobbes most famous work is “Leviathan”, which contains his theory of absolutism. He also dealt intensively with egoism and represented it. He died in Hardwick Hall in 1679.

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)
Anglican clergyman, theologian, and writer. Kingsley was born in Devon in 1819. He studied in London and Cambridge. He later taught at Cambridge, was chaplain to Queen Victoria from 1859 and became a decade later to the canons of Chester and Westminster Abbey (1873). As a writer, he excelled in particular with the children’s book “Die Wasserkinder”. Kingsley died in Hampshire in 1875.

Hugh Latimer (ca.1485/1492-1555)
bishop and Anglican martyr. Latimer was born a farmer’s son in Leicestershire between 1485 and 1492 and later studied at Cambridge for his academic achievements. Latimer was appointed university minister in 1522. He was a radical advocate of the Reformation, supported the planned divorce from Henry VIII and made many enemies. Latimer was made Bishop of Rochester and Worcester, but was eventually executed under Mary I at Oxford in 1555.

JB Lightfoot (1828-1889)
Anglican Bishop of Durham and British theologian. Joseph Barber Lightfoot was born in Liverpool in 1828. He studied at Cambridge and later became a Fellow and Professor at Trinity College. In 1866 he became a Whitehall preacher, in 1871 a canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and finally in 1879 Bishop of Durham. Lightfoot researched the Bible using new methods before he died in Bournemouth in 1889.

John Locke (1632-1704)
philosopher, psychologist, educator, father of liberalism. John Locke was born in Wrington in 1632. His father was a lawyer. Locke studied medicine and philosophy at Oxford and advanced to become one of the trend-setting representatives of empiricism in Great Britain. The member of the London Royal Society left behind several works, including “Two Treatises of Government” (1690) among the most important. Locke, who exerted great influence during his lifetime, including the American Declaration of Independence, died in Oates in 1704.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
philosopher, sociologist, political economist. John Stuart Mill was born in Pentonville in 1806 as a descendant of the philosopher James Mill. Even as a teenager he dealt with a wide variety of doctrines such as logic and metaphysics. In his philosophy, the principle of experience plays the decisive role in gaining knowledge. The term dystopia (as opposed to utopia) also goes back to him. Mill became one of the most influential positivists of his century. Mill died in Avignon in 1873.

Henry More (1614-1687)
philosopher, poet. Henry More was born into a wealthy family in Grantham in 1614 and later studied at Eton. He led the group of the Cambridge Platonists. The core of his philosophy was the immortality of the soul. After intensive correspondence with the philosopher Anne Consway, he dedicated his book “Antidote against Atheism”, which came out in 1653, to her. Many other writings against materialism and atheism were published by him. More died in Cambridge in 1687.

Henry More

Kosovo Social Security

Kosovo Social Security

Proportion of literate adults: 91.9% (2007)

Major religions: Islam, Christianity (Serbian-Orthodox, Roman-Cat.)

Urban population: 38% (2012)

Life expectancy (female / male): 81.6 years (2016)

Gender Inequality Index: –

Birth rate: 2.0 (2018)

Infant mortality: 10.6 per 1000 births (2018)

In 2001, a three-pillar pension system was established in Kosovo under the supervision of the World Bank and USAID introduced. In 2015, the pension expenditure of all pension benefits amounted to 4.5% of GDP. The first pillar comprises a basic pension that covers all persons who are permanently resident in Kosovo and who have reached the retirement age of 65 years. The corresponding pension payments are set at a flat rate of € 75 and therefore do not have any reference to the career history of the pensioners. The so-called wage replacement rate, which is around 17%, can be calculated from the ratio between the basic pension and the average wage. The basic pension is financed from the public budget. In 2018, 127,000 beneficiaries received the basic pension, which corresponds to 7.1% of the total population. The second pillar of the pension system follows the individualized funded principle. This pension system is compulsory for all employees born after 1946 and formally employed. 10% of the earned income (shared equally between employer and employee) is invested in an individual asset account each month, which is dated from Kosovo Pensions Savings Trust is managed. Upon retirement, the accumulated assets are transferred to a pension insurance scheme from which pension benefits are granted once or monthly. The total number of active contributors in this pillar was around 244,000 in 2017. Less than 7% of the special assets that have accrued to date (€ approx. 1,500 million, 2017) will be invested in Kosovo. Between 2002 and 2015, the Kosovo Pensions Saving Trust generated an annual return of 2.17%. The third pillar comprises voluntary, individually made pension payments as well as additional employer-financed pensions. The relevance of these optional pensions is negligible.

According to THESCIENCETUTOR, the law on the status and rights of families of martyrs, invalids and members of the UÇK as well as of civilian victims of war regulates the various benefits in favor of war disabled persons, e.g. B. family, disability or survivors’ pensions, but also tax exemptions, employment benefits or easier access to educational institutions. Pension benefits range from € 40 for civil war invalids to € 534 for families with four or more members who belonged to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and are considered missing. 201813,138 relatives of martyrs and invalids received a corresponding rent, in total approx. € 40.8 million and 38,345 war veterans received a veteran’s pension, in total € 70.1 million – together these social expenditures make up 1.7% of GDP. The level of expenditure in this service category has risen sharply in recent years and is likely to continue to rise. The services are almost entirely concentrated on the Albanian majority.

The basic social security law covers two categories of benefit recipients. Category I defines families as beneficiaries in which all family members are temporarily or permanently unavailable for the labor market, e.g. B. Children up to 14 years, young people up to 18 years, if they are integrated into the education system, single parents with at least one child under 15 years, people with severe and permanent disabilities over 18 years, older people over 65 years. Category II comprises those families in which at least one family member is available to the labor market and in which at least one child younger than 5 years or an orphan younger than 15 years is cared for. The benefits from both categories are linked to strict means tests. The monthly benefit varies from € 50 for a single person to a maximum of € 150 for a family with seven or more members, which corresponds to a wage replacement rate of 11.2% (individual). In 2018, around 25,345 families with around 103,409 family members received social assistance, a proportion of the population of 6%. At around € 32.9 million, or a share of 0.5% of GDP, the total expenditure is low. In Kosovo there are two special institutions that specialize in the care of adults with mental illnesses (in Shtime) and in the care of the elderly (in Prishtina). In addition, five municipal facilities for people with intellectual disabilities and facilities for the elderly were recently opened. The institutions in Shtime and Prishtina have been repeated with in the past linked to human rights abuses.

The capacities of institutionally provided social services are very limited. In addition, only a few locally accessible outpatient services have established themselves so far. One of the reasons for this is that the municipalities are financially heavily dependent on transfer payments from the state budget. The demand for care services is significantly lower than elsewhere in Europe due to the specific demographic reality in Kosovo, but also due to the pronounced role of traditional family structures. However, the demand will increase in the medium term, especially against the background of falling birth rates and increasing life expectancy, socio-structural changes, but also with regard to the migration movements in Kosovo.

Kosovo Jashari monument, Prekaz

India Domestic Issues

India Domestic Issues

There are numerous domestic political challenges, the two most important of which have recently been in the Jammu and Kashmir region and building a temple in Ayodhya city:


In early August 2019, the Indian government lifted the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided into two union territories with restricted powers: Jammu and Kashmir on one side, Ladakh on the other. The Modi government wants to increase its access to the area that has been disputed between Pakistan and India since 1947. Modi thus implemented an old demand of the BJP. In order to avoid unrest, the new Jammu and Kashmir were also blocked from going out and communicating (e.g. Internet access or visits from domestic and foreign journalists). With this step, Modi allegedly wants to accelerate the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir and fight terrorism there. Pakistan has strongly criticized this move and brought the matter before the United Nations Security Council.


In November 2019, the Supreme Court of India declared in a momentous ruling that a temple in honor of the god Rama may be built in the north Indian city of Ayodhya. The site on which the temple is to be built has long been disputed between Hindus and Muslims. It is said that the 16th century mosque, which was demolished by fanatical Hindus in 1992, stood there on the ruins of an originally existing Rama temple. The ruling is controversial but is expressly welcomed by the Hindu nationalists. The building of a new Rama temple in Ayodhya was also one of Narendra Modi’s central election promises.

According to, there is a risk that violent unrest between Hindu and Muslim religious groups will be fueled by the judgment.


As in many other countries, corruption is widespread in India. In an international comparison, the extent of corruption is at a high level (80th place out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index 2019 by Transparency International) and comes last among the countries in the Asia / Pacific region. Even if the fight against corruption under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the main goals of government work, it has not yet been possible to systematically curb corruption in India.

In autumn 2010, what observers believe was the largest corruption scandal in the history of the Republic of India shook the country. The focus was on the former telecommunications minister A. Raja. Raja is said to have granted telecommunications licenses over the counter, resulting in revenue losses of an estimated 39 billion US dollars for the state. Most recently it became known that the well-known diamond dealer Nirav Modi is said to have defrauded the state-run Punjab National Bank by 1.43 billion dollars.

Regular corruption allegations against politicians from practically all parties show that corruption continues to be a social and highly political issue. The GAN anti-corruption portal offers a good overview of the various forms and the extent of corruption in India.

Human rights

Violent assaults against indigenous people and Dalits, violence against women and unpunished rape, millions of child laborers suffered millions of times, some of whom lead hard and short lives in debt bondage, or numerous attacks by the police are just a few examples of human rights violations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the US Department of State report.

Official crime statistics can be found on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) website.

India Human rights

Press and other public media

Freedom of the press is protected by the Indian Constitution, but journalists risk their lives reporting on politically or economically sensitive issues. Recently there have even been murders of journalists critical of the government, most recently the journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot by unknown perpetrators in front of her house in Bangalore in the summer of 2017. Many therefore see press freedom in India at risk. India already ranks 142nd out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom. The Indian press is not free from corruption as there are strong links between the press, politicians and business leaders.

Media: What’s on in India?

In India there is a large number of newspapers, both in English and in the many regional languages, with an overall very large readership. In the meantime, an impressive number of English-language daily and weekly newspapers or political magazines from India appear on the Internet, reporting on current topics.

  • The Hindu
  • The Times of India
  • Hindustan Times
  • The Economic Times offers business news.
  • Frontline
  • Tehelka
  • Outlook India

Of course, there are many other newspapers and magazines in India that report in very different journalistic quality. The Wire is particularly recommended as an online medium.

Broadcasting is of particular importance for mass communication and entertainment. The television medium in particular has become a huge market for employment and advertising.

The number of Internet users is also increasing, to around 451 million per month in 2019, which puts it in second place worldwide behind China. The US news broadcaster CNN is even of the opinion that the future of the Internet lies in India. However, access to the Internet is subject to massive government restrictions. For example, Kashmir was without an internet connection for four months during the explosive political abolition of its special status. In 2018 and 2019, India even tops the list of countries that most frequently block access to the World Wide Web – 138 times in 2018.

5 Attractions in Iceland

5 Attractions in Iceland

In recent years, our Scandinavian neighbor Iceland has become a very popular travel destination, and rightly so. Has this piece of sugar not yet caught your interest? Let me then tempt you with five sights that can turn the tables!

Yes, many of us long to be able to get on a bus, train or plane and get to a better place, without having to be dragged along with all the duties and challenges of everyday life. Sometimes we want to get away even when we can not afford it. While some choose to borrow for travel , others choose to wait to move. If you are going to make the decision to borrow money, it is of course very important to review the terms.

Black beach in Reynisfjära

According to Softwareleverage, Iceland is known for its beautiful landscapes and environments. One of the country’s most famous tourist destinations for those who want a sight to behold is the black beach in Reynisfjära. The coastal area has received a lot of attention around the world and major film productions such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones have been filmed there.

The blue Lagoon

Craving for natural and highly relaxing treatment for the body? The Blue Lagoon is what is called a “geothermal spa” and has become one of Iceland’s most visited tourist destinations. It is located in something as exotic as in a lava field. Next time I go to Iceland I will definitely make a trip there.


No country that attracts tourists for the beautiful views and environments would be complete without a national park? Skaftafell was founded in the autumn of 1967 and consists of almost five thousand square meters of natural beauty. There is also a camping area for those who want to spend more in the park and have time to see everything it has to offer. Perfect for the family as the children do not learn to have a boring time there.


If you, like many others, need to get a little closer to yourself and find inner peace, the Húsey area is right for you. There are great landscapes to walk on and a popular retreat center. It is also possible to ride an Icelandic pony.

Hekla volcano

The volcano is one of the coolest phenomena in the world, but it is very rare that we actually get the chance to see them in real life. In Iceland there are several volcanoes to witness and the coolest is probably Hekla, which is about 1500 meters high and one of the country’s most active. Just do not hope it gets an outbreak when you are there!

There we have it, five sights in Iceland. Do you get the urge to go?

5 Attractions in Iceland

Climate in Madagascar

Climate in Madagascar

When is the best time to visit Madagascar?

It is difficult to determine a single best travel time for Madagascar . Due to the size of the island and the hilly structure, different weather conditions prevail depending on the region. The climate in Madagascar is tropical. But the characteristics are different in the highlands than in the coastal regions. As a result, there are different best travel times for Madagascar for the north , the south , the highlands and the coastal areas . There are no seasons like in this country on the island. A distinction is made between dry and rainy seasons. From January to March there is an increased risk of cyclones on the entire island. Plan her a round trip through Madagascar? The months of April, May, September and October are ideal for this. The high season in Madagascar is between July and October . In order to get cheap accommodation and cheap flights, you have to book well in advance for this period. In this article you will find detailed information about the climate and the best travel time for the individual areas of Madagascar. So you are well prepared for your trip to the island in the Indian Ocean.

Best travel times for Madagascar by region

North April to November
South all year rou
West Coast all year rou
East coast July to November
central highlands April to October

What is the climate like in Madagascar?

While moderate temperatures prevail in the interior, vacationers in the coastal areas can expect a tropical climate . There is a rainy and a dry season in Madagascar . The rainy season lasts from November to April. During these months, tropical cyclones can hit Madagascar. These arise in the north and migrate over the entire island to the south. The dry season in Madagascar is from May to October. A trade wind blows over the east coast all year round. This brings moist air from the Indian Ocean with it. The north and west coasts are influenced by dry easterly winds and monsoon winds. The average temperature on the island is 28 degrees Celsius. The water temperatures are pleasant all year round. With minimum temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius and maximum temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, the Indian Ocean is always suitable for a beach holiday. The weather on the island differs depending on the region. In general, it rains less in the west, at higher altitudes and in the south than on the coasts and in the northwest. The southwest is the driest region in Madagascar. In the following I will tell you which climatic conditions prevail in the different areas.

Indian Ocean water temperatures

North 28-30 degrees Celsius
East 24-28 degrees Celsius
West 24-30 degrees Celsius
South 24-27 degrees Celsius

Climate in the north

According to shoppingpicks, the mountains in the north of the island weaken the trade winds coming from the east , which means that there is less rainfall in this region than on the rest of the island. The dry and rainy seasons are more pronounced here than in other areas of Madagascar. With the help of the climate of the city of Antsiranana, I will show you what weather awaits you in the north of the island during your trip.

Climate table for Antsiranana

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 31 31.5 32 32 32 31 30 29 30 30.5 31.5 32
Min. Temperature in ° C 24 24 24 24 23 22 21 21 21 22 24 24
Hours of sunshine per day 6 6 7 8.5 9 9 9 9 10 10 9.5 8
Rainy days per month 16 15 12 6 4 3 4 4 2 3 5 10
Precipitation in mm 291 280 192 48 12 17 19 17 9 15 56 145

In the north of Madagascar, vacationers expect warm summer temperatures all year round . The maximum temperatures are on average 29 to 32 degrees Celsius. The minimum values ​​of 21 to 24 degrees are also pleasant. The sun shines 6 to 8 hours a day in winter. In spring it shines for 7 to 9 hours a day. Summer and autumn bring 9 to 10 hours of sunshine with them. Travelers expect the least rainfall in September with 2 rainy days per month. The best time to travel to the north is from April to November. During this time, the least rain falls on 2 to 4 days a month. The highest value with the most precipitation is reached in January.

Climate on the west coast

The west coast of Madagascar has a semi-arid climate. This means that pronounced dry phases alternate with periods of heavy rainfall. The dry season takes six to three quarters of a year. The annual average temperature here is 26 degrees Celsius. Clouds cannot pass the adjacent highlands and therefore do not penetrate to the west coast. This makes the west the driest region on the island. This can also be seen in the vegetation. This part of Madagascar is lined with dry and thorn savannahs. The flora is adapted to the special climatic conditions of the west coast. Resistant succulents, including cacti, grow here. Baobab forests (African baobabs) are also typical of the west coast. During the rainy season, clouds are blown over the high plateau by the stronger east wind. Then here too, nature blooms in lush green. As an example for the climate on the west coast, I provide you with a climate table for the city Morondava available.

Climate table for Morondava

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 32 32 32 31 29 28 27 28 29 30 31 32
Min. Temperature in ° C 24 23.5 23 21 17.5 15 14 16 18 20 22 23
Hours of sunshine per day 9 9 9.5 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 10
Rainy days per month 11 10 6 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 8
Precipitation in mm 250 211 115 15 6 5 1 1 5 8 24 133

The weather on the west coast is very warm all year round . Temperatures are a minimum of 14 degrees Celsius in July and a maximum of 32 degrees from December to March. Compared to the east coast, there is much less precipitation on the west coast. It rains most frequently during the rainy season from November to March. If you look at the whole island, the dry season is most pronounced on the west coast. Here it rains an average of 1 day a month between April and October. With 9 to 11 hours of sunshine per day, this part of the island state is sunny all year round. Due to the optimal climatic conditions, the west coast is suitable for a vacation all year round. The best travel time for Madagascar’s west coast is therefore from January to December. The beautiful beaches in the west are ideal for a beach holiday. The water is calm and if you are lucky you can see dolphins and whales swim by.

Climate on the east coast

The climate on the east coast is influenced by the trade wind all year round. This brings hot air with it during the summer months. Due to the nearby mountains, it rains more often on the east coast compared to the rest of the island. The trade winds hit the mountains from the southeast and bring rain and hot air with them. Using a climate diagram for the city of Toamasina, I will show you the typical weather conditions on the east coast.

Climate diagram for Toamasina

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 30 30 29 28 27 25 24 24 25 27 28 30
Min. Temperature in ° C 23 23 23 22 20 18 18 17 18 19 21 22
Hours of sunshine per day 7 7 6 6.5 6.5 5.5 5.5 6 7 8 8 8
Rainy days per month 19 17 21 18 17 18 22 20 15 13 14 17
Precipitation in mm 392 390 488 311 253 260 265 210 124 105 175 291

The best travel time for Madagascar’s east coast is from July to November. During these months there are pleasant temperatures of a maximum of 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. The lows are between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius. The number of hours of sunshine varies only minimally and is between 5.5 and 8 hours per day. The climate diagram shows that the highest level of precipitation occurs during the rainy season between December and March. The most rainy days per month are in March, July and August. The months of September, October and November are the driest. The Indian Ocean reaches between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius over the year. A bathing holiday on Madagascar’s white sandy beaches is therefore possible all year round. It is true that the east coast is lined with one fantastic beach after the other. However, you have to note that there is no protective reef here.

The Indian Ocean is therefore rougher on the east coast than on the west coast and sharks swim closer to the shore. You can find safe stretches of beach, for example, at the Bay of Ramena and the Fort Dauphin peninsula. The climate also has a great influence on the flora. The tropical, humid weather favors the cultivation of rice, fruit, vegetables and cassava.

Climate in the central highlands

In the highlands there are pleasant temperatures all year round . The average temperature is 20 degrees Celsius. Compared to the other regions of Madagascar, it is milder during the day in the highlands. Many travelers find this pleasant. However, holidaymakers have to be prepared for cooler temperatures here at night. Due to the altitude, the humidity is also lower. Using a climate table for Antananarivo, I’ll show you what weather you can expect in the highlands of Madagascar. Because Antananarivo is not only the largest city in the island state. It is also the capital of Madagascar and is 1,400 meters high in the island’s mountainous region.

Climate diagram for Antananarivo

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 28 26 25 25 23 21 20 20.5 23 25 26 26
Min. Temperature in ° C 16.5 17 16 15 13 11 10 10 11 13 15 16
Hours of sunshine per day 6 7 6 8 7 7 7 8 8 9 7.5 7
Rainy days per month 18 17 17 9 6 6 8 9 4 8 14 20
Precipitation in mm 270 257 183 50 20 7 11 15 9 67 170 304

Compared to the climate on the east coast, it is only slightly cooler during the day in the highlands. The maximum average temperatures are between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperatures are on average 10 to 17 degrees Celsius. Most precipitation falls in Antananarivo in the months of December, January and February. It rains a little less in March and November. These two months mark the beginning and the end of the rainy season. The best time to travel to Madagascar’s highlands is from April to October . During these months you will spend a nice holiday on the island with the most optimal climatic conditions. Due to its volcanic origin, the highlands are the most fertile regions the island and is therefore used for the cultivation of coffee, sugar cane and vanilla.

Climate in the south

In the south , the climate is pleasant all year round and therefore easy to travel to every month. This part of Madagascar has very little rain. Even during the rainy season, there is little rainfall. From May to July, travelers expect warm temperatures without heat waves during the day. Temperatures drop at night. The climate table for Tolagnaro shows you the typical weather for the south.

Climate table for Tolagnaro

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 29 29 28 27 25.5 24 24 24 25 26 28 29
Min. Temperature in ° C 22 22 21 20 18 17 16 16 17 18 20 21
Hours of sunshine per day 7 8 6 8 8 7 7 8 8 8 8 8
Rainy days per month 11 12 12 12 11 10 10 8 7 8 11 11
Precipitation in mm 201 166 224 128 132 125 130 103 65 98 105 124

The rainy days per month fluctuate only minimally in the south. It rains on an average of 7 to 12 days. The number of hours of sunshine is also quite balanced. The sun shines between 6 and 8 hours a day in the south of Madagascar. The average temperatures are at maximum values ​​of 24 to 29 degrees Celsius. It gets coldest in July and August with 16 degrees. Due to the constant warm weather, this area is suitable for a holiday all year round. Therefore, the best time to travel to the south of the island is from January to December . Do you want to sail the Onilahy River? Due to the water level, this is only possible from November to February.

The best time to travel to Madagascar differs from region to region. If you look at Madagascar holistically, you can speak of a tropical climate. At higher altitudes, however, the weather conditions are more moderate than on the coast. Madagascar has the rainy season from November to March . This is different. In the east it rains a lot all year round. In comparison, on the west coast there is only half as much precipitation during the rainy season as on the east coast. At the beginning of the year, the cyclone risk is between January and March the highest. Roads can be impassable due to heavy rainfall. Avoid this period so that your trip does not fall into the water. If you want to save money, book your vacation during the rainy season. The optimal travel time for a round trip is in April, May, September and October. During these months there is a pleasant climate all over the island.

Now you know everything about the best time to travel to Madagascar. Book your flight and your hotel and let yourself be enchanted by the second largest island nation on earth. Enjoy the unique flora and fauna. Try the local cuisine and experience the culture of the Madagascans. I promise you: a trip to the multi-faceted island is highly recommended! I wish you good weather and an unforgettable time during your Madagascar vacation.

Madagascar Attractions

Exotic Burma

Exotic Burma

Many Westerners have visited Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia in recent decades. Few, however, have discovered the exotic Burma, which is without a doubt one of the region’s most interesting destinations. Burma was closed and inaccessible for too long but has now opened up to the outside world. Foreign visitors can now take part in all the fantastic things that were previously so rare. The nature of Burma is spectacularly beautiful, the cultural treasures are endless and the people are extremely welcoming. The Burmese face a brighter future and want to share it with the world around them.

Exotic Burma 2

Although Burma is undergoing political change and ongoing internationalization, much of daily life still seems to be progressing at a slower pace here than elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Quiet curiosity in front of foreign visitors shines strikingly often. There is much that makes Burma the ideal destination for those who want to experience the beautiful and the different.

Burma borders India, China, Thailand and Laos and has since time immemorial absorbed impulses from these neighboring countries into a constant interplay between civilizations. However, there is something that makes Burma completely unique, despite the deposits from the traditions of neighboring countries. Travelers who have visited other Asian countries occasionally recognize themselves – but still do not. Join us on a journey that will take you to Asia’s probably most exciting and exotic country!

This is Burma, and it is very different from all the countries you know.
Rudyard Kipling

Day 1: Flight to Yangon (Yangon)
Flight to Yangon , Myanmar (Burma) largest city. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Arrival in Rangoon
We arrive in Yangon. We begin our journey with a city tour and visit, among other things, the Golden Sole Pagoda, the National Museum and the Shwedagon Pagoda – Rangoon’s main landmark and the city’s most famous pagoda. This is one of Burma’s most sacred places that every Burmese person wants to visit at least once in their life. You do not have to be a Buddhist to be filled with wonder at the beauty of the gold-plated pagoda. The rest of the day free time. The rest of the day you can rest after the long flight before we gather in the evening for a welcome dinner . Overnight in Rangoon. (Lunch and dinner.)

Day 3: Rangoon
After breakfast, transfer to the train station to take the local train Circular Train , a ring line that connects central Rangoon with the city’s suburbs. For a few hours we stay on board to experience everyday traffic and the colorful life of the people. We then visit a local tea house . The tea houses are important gathering places for ordinary Burmese and here we get to experience Burmese folk life in a genuine environment. In the afternoon we walk through some of Rangoon’s most picturesque neighborhoods. At Rangoon’s largest market, Bogyoke Aung San, or Scott’s Bazaar , you can shop for everything from precious gemstones such as rubies and sapphires to beautiful and inexpensive cotton clothing such as the traditional longyi hips. Overnight in Rangoon. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 4: Rangoon – Bagan
Early in the morning we take the domestic flight to Bagan. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the royal city of Bagan was the region’s foremost seat of learning and religious practice. During this period a very large number of stupas, shrines, temples and monasteries were built here. The ruined city is located on a large plain in a bend of the Irrawwaddy river and together the magnificent ruins with their religious architecture form a fantastic sight. Some of the religious buildings still attract large numbers of Buddhist pilgrims. Today’s highlights include a visit to the shimmering Shwezigon Pagoda , known for its Buddha statues from the heyday of the Bagan Empire. We also visit the lively and colorful morning market in Nyaung U, a market which provides great photo opportunities and also an opportunity to meet and mingle with the locals and see how they feel in their lives. We end the day with a ride by horse and carriage through Bagan’s peaceful surroundings. During the tour we visit the Ananda Temple, known for its Buddha statues and old murals. Ahead of dusk, we finally wait for the moment when the sun sets over Bagan’s pagodas and temple ruins. Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 5: Mount Popa – Bagan (Pagan)
In the afternoon we take a bus to the Burmese countryside. We visit an interesting monastery complex on top of Popa Taung Kalat (“Pedestal Mountain”)and from here you get a breathtaking view of the surroundings after first walking along a winding covered staircase from the sanctuary at the foot of the mountain (optional walk – there is also a bazaar area at the sanctuary to discover). Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 6: Irrawaddy river cruise to Mandlay
In the morning we border the express boat that will take us downstream of the Irrawaddy river from Bagan to Mandalay. A journey that takes about 7 hours. During the cruise we get breathtaking views along the river and we meet families in fishing boats that glide by. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 7: Mandalay
Today a full day excursion awaits in Madalay’s surroundings. In Amarapura in the morning we witness the daily distribution of food to thousands of monks from the Mahagandayon Monastery and then continue to Sagaing , the spiritual center of Burma known for its many Buddhist monasteries. We end the day with a stop at the U Bein bridge – probably the world’s oldest and longest teak bridge. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: Mandalay
We make a boat trip to Mingun to visit the begun, but never completed construction of Pahtodawgyi – a half-finished brick pagoda from the late 18th century. The construction, if completed, would have become the world’s largest pagoda. Although much of Pahtodawgyi was destroyed during an earthquake in the 19th century, the ruins after the brick construction began on the river are an incredibly impressive sight. We return to Mandalay and arrive at the area at the foot of Mandalay Mountain with its many temple buildings. We see the Mandalay Palace where the last king of an independent Burma resided and the beautiful Shwendandaw Monastery built in teak. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 9: Mandalay – Inlesjön
We fly to the city of Heho. From here, the journey continues by bus to Inlesjön. On the way, we stop at Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery and have the opportunity to taste something as exotic as Burmese wines in a fantastic mountain landscape. We are now in the vast highlands of Burma, which differ from the lowlands in many respects. Here you will find several of Burma’s many minority groups, of which the dominant ethnicity is the Shan people. After the wine tasting go to our hotel. Overnight at Inlesjön . (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 10: Inlesjön
Today a full day excursion by boat awaits on Inlesjön, beautifully framed by the rolling Shanberg Mountains. Here are pole house villages, floating markets and gardens anchored at the bottom with bamboo poles. Along the shores and on the lake you will also find the most exquisite temples and pagodas. During the boat trip, we do a beach break to see local crafts. The population living on Inlesjön consists for the most part of the Intha people who are devout Buddhists whose way of life is adapted to the conditions that the lake offers. Overnight at Inlesjön. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 11: Inlesjön – Ngapali
We leave Inlesjön and the highlands behind us to travel by air to the coastal strip at the Bay of Bengal. After a short transfer from Thandwe Airport, we arrive at the small seaside resort of Ngapali, known for its wonderful beaches, clean waters and tranquil atmosphere. In addition to sunbathing, swimming, fishing and snorkeling, it is possible to go exploring in the surroundings. There are several restaurants in the hotel and in the village to choose from. Overnight in Ngapali. (Breakfast)

Day 12 -13: Ngapali
Days for sun, swimming and relaxation. Overnight in Ngapali. (Breakfast)

Day 14: Ngapali – Rangoon
Transfer to Thandwe Airport and flight to Rangoon. The rest of the day free time. In the evening we gather for a farewell dinner. Overnight in Rangoon. (B)

Day 15: Rangoon
Transfer to the airport before returning home. Meals are included on the long-haul flight.

Exotic Burma

Round trip in China

Round trip in China

This is the trip for you who want to experience the most and best of China! You visit the capital Beijing and see here the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, the imperial city of Xi´an with the famous Terracotta Army, the vibrant world city of Shanghai, the garden cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, the beautiful Guilin, experiences and places that together create a unique Chinese panorama! Have you planned to travel to China once in a lifetime then this is the trip for you!

Round trip in China 2

Day 1: Travel to China
Flight to Shanghai. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Shanghai
You land in the world city of Shanghai. There are more skyscrapers here than in most big cities in the world. It is advisable to start with a trip up one of the tallest skyscrapers, Jin Mao Tower. From the 88th floor you have a glorious view of Pudong and the beautiful promenade the Bund with colonial buildings. In the evening time to try Chinese cuisine. Overnight in Shanghai.

Day 3: Shanghai
Shanghai is only a few hundred years old, but there are still some old buildings and parks. We suggest first visiting Yuyuan Garden, a garden that a wealthy official had planted several hundred years ago. After seeing the Bund from above, it’s nice to walk here and enjoy the views of the Huangpu River and all the skyscrapers on the Pudong Peninsula. Then it’s shopping time for those who like this. Otherwise, it is very enjoyable to just stroll along the impressive pedestrian and shopping street of Nanjing Lu. The day may end with a breathtaking acrobatic performance with one of the famous Shanghai groups. Overnight in Shanghai.

Day 4: Shanghai – Suzhou
Museums are not just boring establishments with rows of objects. At the Shanghai Museum, considered one of the foremost in China, Chinese history and cultural history are served in a very interesting and captivating way. After the museum visit, you get on the bus and go to Suzhou, “Venice of the East”. Suzhou is a paradise for garden lovers. First, walk through the garden of the humble official and get an insight into what the Chinese think a garden should look like. Suzhou is also known for its silk production. During a visit to a silk manufacturing center, you get the opportunity to learn more about the silk’s path from silk butterfly, via cocoon, to finished raw silk. In the evening, a walk through the beautiful Nätmästaren’s garden is suggested and listening to classical Chinese music. Overnight in Suzhou.

Day 5: Suzhou – Hangzhou
In the low-lying landscape around Suzhou, there are plenty of waterways. During the bus journey to the destination Hangzhou, you stop in the small canal town of Tongli, where you take a boat trip, and then walk around among the picturesque houses. Once in Hangzhou, considered one of China’s foremost tea-growing districts, visit Longjing, the “Dragon Fountain,” where one of China’s most exclusive teas is grown. You get information about the background of tea cultivation and can also try different types of tea. Overnight in Hangzhou.

Day 6: Hangzhou – Guilin
In the city of Hangzhou lies the West Lake, praised for its beauty by generations of Chinese poets. A boat trip on the West Lake, and you get the opportunity to judge the poets’ views for yourself, before you fly on to Guilin. Overnight in Guilin.

Day 7: Guilin
In southern China, most of China’s rice is grown. During a full-day excursion to the major agricultural districts, you will get a good insight into the Chinese farmer’s cultivation efforts. At Mount Longsheng, “Dragon’s Backbone”, you can see with reverence how all the winding terrace plantations stretch for miles along the slopes. Here you will also meet several of China’s many minority populations. Overnight in Guilin.

Day 8: Guilin – Yangshuo
Down here in southern China there are also other scenery. During a four-hour boat trip along the Lifloden, we get to enjoy and admire the famous sugar top mountains that line the river during the journey. In the evening, there is an optional opportunity to see a lavish “River Show”, designed by the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. He was the one who directed the Olympic inauguration in Beijing in 2008! Overnight in Yangshuo.

Day 9: Yangshuo – Guilin – Xian
In the morning you have time on your own and can therefore take a little longer to eat breakfast. You also have time to explore Yangshuo. In the afternoon you go back to Guilin and on the way visit the famous Pipe Flute Cave with all its strange stalactite and stalagmite formations. In the evening you fly on from Guilin to Xi’an. Overnight in Xi´an.

Day 10: Xi’an
The city of Xi’an has more than six million inhabitants but still feels much smaller. For two thousand years, the city has been a cosmopolitan center. Buddhism is strong here, and there are several great shrines. You should visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda to get a good insight into how Buddhism came to China. This is how a jade carving is visited, where raw jade stone is treated into exquisite works of art. The afternoon is dedicated to the highlight of the day, the 8,000-strong terracotta army. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Shi Huangdi, had his mausoleum built here, and after his death the tomb is guarded by these terracotta soldiers. In the evening free time. Overnight in Xi´an.

Day 11: Xian – Beijing
After breakfast, you board the new exciting and talked about ‘super train’ that started after Christmas 2012. This high-speed train connects several important cities in China, and you will travel for 4.5 hours from Xi’an to Beijing. The average speed is over 300 km / h! During the trip you can visit the varied Chinese landscape. After arriving in Beijing, a first visit is made to the Temple of Heaven. This impressive park with the large temple was built in the early 15th century. The emperors went here every year to ask for good harvests for the coming year. Overnight in Beijing.

Day 12: Beijing
Start the day with a tour of the world’s largest square, Tiananmen Square, with the surrounding buildings Mao’s mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum and the Gate of Tiananmen. The next stop is the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex and home to the emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties for nearly 500 years. Then it’s time for a little tour of some of Beijing’s remaining hutons, or old alleys. In the evening, there is a colorful Peking Opera, perhaps a party more for the eye than for the ear! (Optional) Overnight stay in Beijing.

Day 13: Beijing
Today it will be a full day trip in the surroundings of Beijing. You start at a factory for the production of cloisonné, typically Beijing handicrafts. Then you continue to the holy way, the way of the Spirits. Here you walk slowly and are reminded of how an emperor after death would be transported along this road to get his last rest in one of the Ming tombs. As the journey continues, it is noticeable that the mountains rise more and more and the road becomes more winding. At an altitude of 700-800 meters, you will soon get the first glimpses of the Great Wall of China, this remarkable building that was being completed for several hundred years, and which stretches over more than 6,000 kilometers! Overnight in Beijing.

Day 14: Beijing
After breakfast visit the Summer Palace. Afternoon free for own program. Overnight in Beijing.

Day 15: Return from Beijing
Transfer to the airport for return to the destination. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Round trip in China

To Silk Road’s Samarkand

To Silk Road’s Samarkand

Join us on a tour that takes you to the heart of Central Asia and the legendary and magical Samarkand. During the tour we will also visit the Uzbek capital of Tashkent and the fabulous cultural cities of Khiva and Bukhara. You get the opportunity to discover a part of Asia with an exceptionally interesting cultural history, hospitable people and beautiful nature. The vast land area between East Asia and the Far East, which we today call Central Asia, has for more than two millennia served as an important link between East and West and has enabled long-distance transport between different civilizations and high cultures. The cities we visit were all important hubs in the network of caravan routes between China and Europe that is usually called the Silk Road. Long-distance merchants and various conquerors have left traces over the centuries and given rise to a fascinating cultural treasure that more and more travelers have begun to discover. We travel in small groups with Swedish-speaking tour guides.

To Silk Road's Samarkand 2

Day 1: Travel to Tashkent
Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Tashkent
We arrive early in the morning at Tashkent International Airport. We are met by our local guide and go to the hotel. After lunch, our sightseeing tour of Uzbekistan’s capital begins. We start in the Old Town where we visit the Usaman Quran Museum which houses the world’s oldest Quran (600s). Then we see Tashkent’s famous monument dedicated to the victims of the great earthquake of 1966. The catastrophe hit Tashkent very hard and most of the city had to be rebuilt. We then visit Mustakillik Square (Independence Square) which before Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991 was called Lenin Square. The square is located in the heart of Tashkent and here you will also find the most important government institutions. During the tour, we get to see some of the city’s most famous buildings, including the Navoi Theater, largely built by Japanese prisoners of war in 1942-47, and the Uzbek Arts and Crafts Museum, which is a stunningly beautiful building originally erected as the residence of a wealthy Russian diplomat. We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.) We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.) We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 3: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
After breakfast we head to the domestic airport before the flight to the city of Urgench in southern Uzbekistan. From here we go to the nearby Khiva with an environment taken from “A Thousand and One Nights”. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 and one could spend several days here just exploring all the palaces, majestic villas, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and other architectural masterpieces. The city was once an important station along the Silk Road. Here, in Khiva’s older city center, you can really feel the wings of history. Sometimes it is as if they have suddenly been moved centuries back in time. During the day we get to see the minaret Kalta Minor and Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, originally a university (madrasah) built in the middle of the 19th century by the prince (khan) who also got to name this amazing building. Since the Soviet era, however, the old university functions as a hotel. We also visit the Djuma Mosque (Friday Mosque), built in the late 18th century on the ruins of an earlier structure. The mosque is known for its ingenious architecture where over two hundred richly decorated wooden pillars support the beautiful wooden roof that allows sunlight to flow freely into the room. Then we visit Kunya Ark Castle, dating from the late 17th century. The castle served as the khan’s private residence and center for the exercise of authority. Within the beautiful palace area you will find, among other things, administrative buildings, harem homes, courtyards and a mosque. We continue to the Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, which is the Khiva Khans’ last resting place. The tomb monument with its green dome and fantastic mosaics is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful building complexes in the city. Then we visit Khiva’s highest minaret Islam Khodja and then end the day with a visit to Tosh Havli which was once the harem where the khans could meet their official wives and harem ladies. Overnight in Khiva. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 4: Khiva – Bukhara (450 km)
After breakfast we travel by bus to the city of Bukhara through the Kyzylkum desert. For centuries, this barren landscape formed the border area with the endless expanses of the north populated by various nomadic peoples. During the trip you will see Amu-Darja which is one of the most important rivers in Central Asia. We arrive in Bukhara in the afternoon. Jewel Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and houses some of the region’s foremost masterpieces in architecture and is often associated with the greats of past times in science and poetry. Over the centuries, Bukhara developed into one of the most important hubs for culture, education, and religious practice throughout Central Asia. There is a famous saying in Bukhara that reads: “The light shines from Heaven all over the world,

Day 5: Bukhara
After breakfast, a city tour awaits. We start the day by visiting the mausoleum of the Samanids built of brick laid in fantastic geometric patterns and formations. The monument was built in the late ninth century and is one of the oldest Muslim monuments in Central Asia. It is also the only monument from the Persian Samanid dynasty that has survived the test of time. We then visit the religious complex Poikalon known for its beautiful minaret from the 12th century and magnificent mosque from the early 16th century. In the morning we also visit Ulugbek Madrasah, a high seat of education built in the early 15th century on the orders of the enlightened sultan Ulugbek (grandson of the last great Mongol conqueror Timur Lenk). Ulugbek had a great interest in astronomy and mathematics and wanted Bukhara to also become a center of science. In the afternoon we visit one of the most elegant trading places in Bukhara – Tim Abdullakhan. The domed indoor market was built during the latter half of the 16th century and here once long-distance Afghan merchants sold their precious silk and wool. Today, Tim Abdullakhan is known for his sales of Central Asian rugs. We also have time to visit the Maggoki Attori Mosque (today a carpet museum), built in the 10th century on a site where there used to be a Zoroastrian temple. Before the dinner, which consists of local delicacies, we see a traditional music and dance performance in a medieval madrasah. Overnight in Bukhara. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 6: Bukhara
After breakfast we first visit the Chor Minor Madrasah, built in 1807 by the Turkmen merchant Khalif Niyazkul. We then head to Sitorai Mohi Hosa which was the last palace of Emir Alim Khan. The architecture is a playful mix of both Russian and Central Asian elements, typical of the early 20th century. Before lunch we also visit Bukhara’s synagogue (the city still has a small Jewish congregation). The afternoon is open to discover the city on your own or maybe just take it easy. Overnight in Bukhara. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 7: Bukhara – Samarkand (250 km)
After breakfast we take a bus to Samarkand. During the journey there, we visit a potter in the city of Gijduvan who is known for his ceramic production. We are expected to arrive in Samarkand at lunchtime and head to the hotel to check in. We are now in the magical Samarkand. For centuries, the city has been invaded by foreign powers attracted by the city’s wealth. Alexander the Great, Arab conquerors, Mongol chiefs Genghis Khan and Timur Lenk have all left their mark. During today’s tour, we see, among other things, Registan Square, which was the official center of the Timur kingdom. Here you will also find three famous madrasahs – Ulugbek, Sher Dor and Tillya Kari. Overnight in Samarkand. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 8: Samarkand
After breakfast we visit Gur Amir which is the mausoleum of the Timurid dynasty where among others Timur Lenk (the founder of the dynasty) is buried. The monument has a fantastic dome adorned with mosaics in blue tones. The building is built in a unique style where Persian and Mongolian elements are mixed. We also visit the Shahi Zinda complex which consists of more than twenty different mausoleums and tombs from different eras. After lunch, we visit a tissue paper manufacturer that still produces its paper in the traditional way. We end the day with a visit to Ulugbek’s observatory from the early 15th century. The observatory was once considered one of the foremost in the world. Overnight in Samarkand. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 9: Samarkand-Tashkent
After breakfast, we visit the Bibi Khanym Mosque, which is the largest of the buildings Timur Lenk had built in his capital. Then we go to the famous market at Siab Bazaar and get some time for shopping on your own. We then go to the train station to take the high-speed train “Afrosiab” to Tashkent. Farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 10: Tashkent – Sweden
After breakfast transfer to the airport before returning home.

To Silk Road's Samarkand