Audio Dispatch: Athens, Crete

Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of sound-rich portraits of European cities and sites.  In this episode, I head to Greece.  First a visit to Athens, and then to the island of Crete and the port city of Chania.  Greece is much more than media reports portray; its history and pride are still evident. Two slideshows included.

The weight of the unknown, the false expectation, is probably heaviest on the airplane, just before leaving Zurich for Athens.  In these cramped seats one is unsure if the experience in Athens will be that of a visit to one of the world’s oldest, and grandest cities; or to one in distress, now the punchline to stories about debt and crisis.  Or perhaps it is something in between.  Here is my visit to Greece. Continue reading “Audio Dispatch: Athens, Crete”

Audio Dispatch: Austrian Achensee

Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of sound-rich portraits of European cities and sites.  In this episode, I head to the Austrian Alps, and climb a mountain above the Achensee.  The trains and ferries are no match for the nature…for those willing to enjoy it. Two slideshows included

You aren’t bothered by tourists up here, on the face of a mountain above the Achensee, an Austrian lake not far from the German border.  Here you can hike among the cows, facing a steep descent to the lake.  The Achensee region is one that thrives on tourism and gimmicks, but nature kept my troupe occupied and amazed. So it is on this mountain, with these cows, that I give you my trip to the Achensee.

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Audio Dispatch: Lake Constance

Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of sound-rich portraits of European cities and sites.  In this episode, I try to capture the feel of Lake Constance, and a visit to an Austrian town at the foot of a mountain.

The waves of Lake Constance act as sentries on the border of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.  The region around the Bodensee (as German-speakers call it) is so integrated that ferry companies from all three countries merged to save costs, and share their international resources.  But Lake Constance also has the benefit of sitting in the shadows of respectable mountains—meaning one can sail, lounge by the lake and hike up a mountain in one trip.  And that’s just what I did.  Here is my trip to Lake Constance…

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