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The Netherlands, Travels

Hotel JL No76, Amsterdam

When you move from Amsterdam’s historic canal districts to the city’s museum square, the colour palette changes from bright primary colours to more discreet, prestigious looking cityscape built of red brick. Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Banksy and Warhol, design in museums and shops. Amid all this, JL No 76 is an elegant art lover’s hotel.

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The Netherlands, Travels

Boutique B&B Kamer01, Amsterdam

Rain starts to rattle against the rooftop when I climb up the wooden stairs of my home for the night in Amsterdam. Outside, the Amsterdammers cycle a little bit faster than normally to make it home before the heavy rain. The lights of the street-level restaurants and shops reflect against the wet asphalt. A few blocks away, a tram announces its arrival with a bell.

I am in the core of cosy Amsterdam, indulging myself in Kamer01.

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France, Travels

A Dozen Things to Do in Toulouse, part II

Toulouse, La Ville Rose, with its softly glowing pinkish architecture, hipster-filled Universities and ancient monasteries may lose to its northern competitor Paris, or, to its southern opponent Riviera, in tourist popularity – but maybe this is for the best, as when you do visit Toulouse, you get the feeling that you are being let in on a secret.

Here are a dozen things why you should visit Toulouse!

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France, Travels

A Dozen Things to Do in Toulouse – part I

Toulouse, La Ville Rose, with its softly glowing pinkish architecture, hipster-filled Universities and ancient monasteries may lose to its northern competitor Paris, or, to its southern opponent Riviera, in tourist popularity – but maybe this is for the best, as when you do visit Toulouse, you get the feeling that you are being let in on a secret.

Here are a dozen things why you should visit Toulouse!

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France, Travels

Chambres d’Hôtes d’Arquier, Vigoulet-Auzil

As I approach Chambres d’Hôtes d’Arquier, near Toulouse, I get the feeling that I am floating in a dream. The rays of an early autumn sun sieve through the branches of trees aligning a gravel road leading to a countryside mansion. Apart from the sound of slight wind rustling the leaves and the gravel shifting under my feet, no sound is to be heard. A flock of birds flutter in the air, and I start to understand why so many people fall in love with the French countryside.

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Spain, Travels

Hotel Aigua Blava, Begur, Costa Brava

As I descend from the medieval village of Begur towards Costa Brava seashore, I get a feeling that I am going to arrive somewhere special. And then, few curves and spectacular views later, I see it; a sign announcing of my destination. This is Hotel Aigua Blava: a Mediterranean oasis, holding its fort luxuriously against the ruggedness of the seacliffs.

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Ireland, Travels

3 Bookshops in Dublin

Dublin, for many, is about books, pubs and pints. It is a city where (mostly) men have gathered for centuries into the pubs to grumble about life, women and literature. It is a city of which one famous writer (yes, James Joyce) said that it is impossible to walk across the city without passing a pub on every street (actually, it is possible, but will take some effort). For me, Dublin was always about books (mostly). But strangely enough, for a city of its size and with all its literary connections, Dublin did not have an abundance of awe-inspiring bookshops. Nevertheless, there were few of those cosy little nooks that invite you to step in every time you happen to pass by.

So, dear reader, step in, and visit a few!
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