European way of life

Category: CULTURE

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The Eurovision song contest: myth and reality

Every year in May, Europe has a spike of strange fever that leaves the Non-Europeans absolutely skeptical: the Eurovision, a ritual gathering of the kitsch, of the musical improbabilities, of the easy glitter, created in the middle of the fifties when it was necessary to gather Europe around peace and cooperation and dispel the spectre of the war. What about sixty…

Vue sur Pest depuis la Basilique Saint-Étienne de Budapest, Hongrie © Eurofluence

10 things to do in Pest

Budapest: two cities in one, Buda and Pest. So far, nothing difficult, but these two cities joined by History both have their own soul. Pest is teeming with the life of a European capital, Buda invites to strolls in its charming little streets on which the centuries left their mark. Discover a few ideas for itineraries through Pest thanks to…

Cuisson d'un Kürtőskalács hongrois à la broche, au feu de bois, photo de Zlerman  (CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The chimney-cake: kürtőskalács or trdelník

Winter is the best season to taste this typical Central European pastry. A lot of ephemeral food stands will sell you these cakes in the streets of Czech or Hungarian cities. You can warm up near the wood-fire, above which they are slowly glazed, you can divide them and share them with friends. And if you don’t know any better,…

Ligne 2 du tramway de Budapest, le long du Danube © Eurofluence

The tram line No. 2 of Budapest

The tramway network of Budapest is one of the most important in the world: 155 kilometers of tramway routes! The tram line No. 2 stretches along the Danube and winds between the buildings that made Budapest famous. On the Pest side, be lazy and let yourself be let – the tram No. 2 will allow you to enjoy the finest…

Borgen © Mike Kollöffel / DR Fiktion / Arte

5 European TV shows to (re)discover

« I need a daily dose of fiction to survive. […] The fiction serves to perfect and make this flawed life a little better. » Pedro Almodóvar. As far as fiction is concerned, Old Europe’s small screen has no reason to be jealous of the fabulous America anymore. Nowadays, European shows – especially British and Scandinavian ones, can hold their own in the…

Non loin de la place Župné námestie, Bratislava, Slovaquie © Eurofluence

Eurotrip in Central Europe, day 4: a day in Bratislava

Bratislava is astonishing. If you expect a capital, you’ll be disappointed, if you expect an open-air museum of communism, you’ll be disappointed, if you just expect a Baroque town, you’ll be disappointed. Bratislava is a little bit of the three, and much more. Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capitals in the world (65 kilometers as the crow files).…

Sachertorte du Café Sacher, Vienne, Autriche © Eurofluence

The Sachertorte: a sweet story about a Viennese legend

« Don’t make me feel ashamed, it’s the only thing I ask you… ». The story of the most emblematic Viennese pastry begins with these words. And it’s often the same story. Exactly like the Madeleine of Commercy in France or the Trdelník of Skalika in Slovakia: one day, an earl, a duke or a prince orders to his pâtissier a special…

Les familles déchirées se font signe, de chaque côté du Mur, 1961 (domaine public)

The Berlin Wall in 10 numbers

For the 28 years it stood, it was an open wound between the two Germanies, the two Berlins. Today, the German capital commemorates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and organizes a lot of events to celebrate this decisive episode of the recent European history. Five years ago, in 2009, I followed  the official ceremonies which gathered together…

« Der Zeit ihre Kunst - Der Kunst ihre Freiheit », « À chaque époque, son art - À chaque art, sa liberté », Palais de la Sécession, Vienne, Autriche  © Eurofluence

Eurotrip in Central Europe, day 3: eclectic Vienna

It’s already my last day in the Austrian capital. Bye, Sisi: from the Baroque to the Vienna Secession, it’s time to explore this part of the local History. The MuseumsQuartier The sky is low this August 19th, 2014 and a few raindrops escape from it. The Secession building is a twenty-minute walk away from my hotel. I go through the…

Café Central by night, Vienne, Autriche © Eurofluence

Impressions: the Café Central, a Viennese institution

I said so: Vienna has more than a thousand coffeehouses. But this one is like no other. The Café Central is a living museum, a swarming institution that makes us familiar with an old way of life. « To understand this, we must understand that the Viennese coffeehouses are an institution with no equivalent anywhere else in the world. It is actually…

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