European way of life

Category: LIFESTYLE

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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…

Sir Albert Hotel entrance, Amsterdam, The Netherlands © Sir Albert Hotel

Review: Sir Albert Hotel, Amsterdam

It’s one of the gateways to the one which is nicknamed the Quartier latin of Amsterdam, the cosmopolitan De Pijp district. For a long time, it was the place to stay of the workers and the migrants. It’s now the land of the bohos, one of the landmarks of the artists, the students, and the homosexual community. De Pijp is…

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,…

Vue de la chambre Deluxe Terrasse Eiffel, Hôtel Wilson Opéra, Paris, France  © Hôtel Wilson Opéra

The Wilson Opera hotel, Paris

It was my refuge when Paris knew some terrible days at the beginning of this year. The Wilson Opera is a little three-stars hotel, so discreet that we could keep the address secret. Its name could make you think that it is located on the Grands Boulevards, but you’ll find it in the little Stockholm street instead, at a stone’s…

Gare de Budapest - Keleti, août 2014, Hongrie © Eurofluence

The InterRail pass in question

When you plan to travel in Europe by train, the first thing you think about are the InterRail passes. But are they always essential?  What is InterRail? The brand is self-advertised as backpackers-friendly and offers several passes that allow you to travel in all of Europe by train. Buy your pass and then, take any train without paying anything (except…

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…

« 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…

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