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Tim Richards
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Learn About our Distant Relations at the Neanderthal Museum
, 9 March 2020

"There's something uncanny about the man in a suit as he leans on a concrete wall. No matter how much I try to focus on the museum's exhibits, my eye is drawn back to him. It's as if my brain can't believe that he's real. And that's fair enough, for the figure in a business suit is a dummy and not quite human – or at least, not human as we think of it today. He's a Neanderthal, a member of the species Homo neanderthalensis, which disappeared from the Earth about 40,000 years ago..."

Learning about pre-history at the Neanderthal Museum near Düsseldorf, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Tasting the Local Brew
, 12 September 2019

"Jörn is passionate about his subject, and tells us we're drinking an unpasteurised beer which needs to be consumed within eight weeks of bottling. Füchschen, he explains, means little fox, which explains the logo of the brewery – a easily recognisable symbol from the days when many couldn't read. Next stop is Brauerei Kürzer, where our guide talks about the combination of water, malt and hops, the only ingredients allowed in beer under a 16th century law..."

Joining a walking tour to breweries producing the distinctive altbier beer of Düsseldorf, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

The Naked Truth: German Bathhouse Culture
lonelyplanet.com, 19 February 2019

"Visitors to Germany have long admired its historic architecture, world-class museums, and excellent beer gardens. But there’s one aspect of German culture that fewer travellers experience: its bathhouse tradition. Often housed within beautiful buildings from the Art Nouveau era or earlier, these public facilities are the perfect place to relax au naturel while sharing a healthy tradition with the locals..."

Discovering the architecture, history and practices of Germany's spa culture

[Read the full article here]

A Magical Mystery Tour of Hamburg
, 12 February 2019

"'There's nowhere in the world the Beatles played more than here,' says tour guide Stefanie Hempel, as we stand in Hamburg's Beatles Platz. 'Here the foundation stone was laid for their career.' That may be so, but that doesn't explain the ukulele. For Hempel, a musician herself, is toting the diminutive stringed instrument as we set out on her tour of the band's Hamburg hangouts. However, its purpose soon becomes clear, as Hempel performs the song In My Life..."

Taking an unconventional Beatles tour in Hamburg, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Ten Australian Cafes Around the World
, 18 October 2018

"What do you get when you cross a Frenchman with an Aussie café in the capital of Germany? That's the intriguing set-up for this venue, its owner having spent years living in Sydney. It's a cosy space with a long dining table, and turns into a wine bar by night. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, including shakshouka, and a green lentil du puy salad..."

Detailing Aussie-style cafes in locations around the globe, including one in Berlin, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

The Alternative Destinations to Europe's Most Crowded Tourist Cities
, 16 December 2016

"Many people in popular European cities rely on tourism for their income, but it seems even these places can hit a point at which the crowds become a problem. What's to be done? Ration arrivals to these cities, and place turnstiles at its parks and most popular streets? I have another solution in mind: go elsewhere. What if we... or at least some of us... chose other European cities to visit? Places that have charms of their own, without being swamped by tourists?"

Proposing attractive alternatives (
including Dresden, Germany) to the most crowded tourist cities of Europe.

[Read the full article here]

Getting Naked in Germany's Bathhouses
, 17 November 2016

"Which of the world's many nationalities are the most casual about going nude? Could it be the Koreans or Japanese with their traditions of public bathhouses? Or the Finns with their famous saunas? These are strong contenders. But for Olympic levels of nuding up in public, the laurel wreath – or maybe fig leaf – must be presented to the Germans..."

Soaking my cares away in the glorious old bathhouses
of Germany.

[Read the full article here]

A Love Story
Discover, Spring/Summer 2016

"The Romantic Road touring route through southern Germany has lost none of its charm with age. Established in 1950, it’s a showcase of beautiful towns and cities which match our storybook expectations of Central Europe..." 

Highlighting the attractions along this popular route through Bavaria, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Masters of Marzipan: Lübeck's Sweet Success
, 3 August 2016

"Central Europe is famous for producing a delicious sweet treat that doesn’t grow in its neighbourhood: chocolate. For the true sweet-toothed connoisseur, however, there’s an even more exotic delicacy to be found in northern Germany. Since the 18th century, confectioners in Lübeck have used almond paste to produce the finest marzipan. Once the indulgence of kings, it’s now available to everyone..."

Sampling the marzipan delights created in
Lübeck, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Hamburg's Coffee Connection
, 3 August 2016

"Vienna, Melbourne and Seattle are all cities renowned for excellent coffee and lively cafe scenes. But there’s another place that can be added to the list, and it may surprise you: Hamburg. This port city in northern Germany has long thrived on trade, and with the coffee bean having passed through its docks and warehouses for centuries, there’s plenty here to interest lovers of the brew..."

Investigating the coffee history of the port city of Hamburg, Germany

[Read the full article here]

The 60 Best Travel Finds of 2015
(five items by me)
The Sun-Herald
, 27 December 2015

"You've drunk plenty of beer in Munich – but have you taken a bath? The German city's Muller'sche Volksbad public bathhouse sits on the banks of the River Isar. Its interior is pure art nouveau, with decorative arches and doorways framing its heated pools and steam rooms. On a chilly day, this is the perfect place to soak (there's even a cafe-bar) but, be aware, the German spa tradition is complete mixed-gender nudity."

I detail five of 60 interesting attractions, in Los Angeles, Munich, Singapore and Melbourne

[Read the full article here]

Airline Review: Emirates Economy
, 18 December 2015

"The system's programmers had fun shaking up the usual menu options, with  categories including Middle Earth, Film Club, Disney Classics and Arabic Cinema. The TV collection contains tired comedy stayers such as Big Bang Theory, along with Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and dramas such as Fargo, The Code and The Fall..."

Reviewing the economy experience on a flight from Dubai to Frankfurt

[Read the full article here]

Lightning Rod for Science
, 28 November 2015

"I clap my hands over my ears at the loud crackling sound, as a great arcing blaze of electrical power strikes a suspended metal sphere. However, the man seated inside its confined space survives thousands of volts of pure, deadly force. There will be no electrocution today. It's a regular demonstration at Munich's Deutsches Museum, but no less spectacular for its harmless outcome..."

Investigating the exhibits at a major science & technology museum
in Munich, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Cold War Ghosts Haunt Berlin's Wall
The Sunday Age
, 8 November 2015

"If I'd been standing in this S-Bahn station three decades ago, I'd be in a spot of bother. Nowadays Nordbahnhof is just like any other Berlin station. Opened in 1936, it's an unremarkable brick structure with below-ground platforms decorated with bland cream tiles. During the Cold War, however, Nordbahnhof was a so-called "ghost station" in East Berlin. Located in a no-man's-land behind the Berlin Wall, it was inaccessible to passengers for 30 years..."

Exploring Cold War 'ghost stations' and the official Berlin Wall memorial in Germany

[Read the full article here]

Along the Romantic Road
Get Up & Go, Winter 2015

"I arrive in the Bavarian town just as the sun is setting, and find my way to its Old Town on the east bank of the River Main. The view is impressive, with the mighty Marienberg Fortress perched high above the opposite bank. On my side, things are more mellow. People are milling about the old stone bridge here, chatting and sipping wine from nearby riverside restaurants. It’s a magical atmosphere. If this is the standard end of a workday for Würzburg locals, they’re lucky indeed..."

Travelling along a famous touring route through southern Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Raise a Glass to Munich's Food
The Sunday Age
, 5 July 2015

"If it's nowhere near Oktoberfest and I'm sipping a soft drink as I walk, can I possibly experience the real Munich? Apparently so, according to Iain, the British guide on Radius Tours' daily Bavarian Food Tour. Each member of our small group has a German soft drink thrust into their hands (mine's a cheeky pear and rhubarb flavour) as we head into the streets of the Old Town. Everyone knows about Munich's famous beer, so today is devoted to discovering its less-celebrated food..."

Taking a food tour featuring the highlights of Bavarian cuisine in Munich, Germany

[Read the full article here]

Passport Stamps Fading Away
, 3 June 2015

"Legalities aside, passport stamps are a romantic reminder of your time on the road. Sometimes they're prized because they look particularly florid and exotic, other times because of the memories they evoke. As the old-fashioned passport stamp starts to fade away, replaced by electronic entry procedures, they'll become even more attractive as proof that you really were there..."

Considering the appeal of passport stamps (including the former East Germany one) in an era when they're becoming rarer.

[Read the full article here]

Leipzig: The Music of History
, April 2015
(Turkish Airlines inflight magazine)

"I wonder who will reach me first  – the accordion player, or the waiter bringing my lunch? As I sit outside Zill’s Tunnel, a popular restaurant, I can see the accordion player making his way between restaurant tables on each side of the narrow lane. His music floats across the tightly-packed seating, as sunshine gleams through the umbrellas above the tables. This part of Leipzig is known as the Drallewatsch, a zone of restaurants within a maze of beautiful buildings from the Renaissance, Baroque and later periods..."

Outlining the attractions of Leipzig, Germany

[Read the full article here]

A Taste of Coffee History in Leipzig
, 29 March 2015

"Believe it or not, there was a time before coffee. Then, in the 17th century, it spread via trade routes north from Arabia. In Leipzig, Germany, the locals' gratitude for this remarkable beverage appears above the doorway of Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum. A gilt-edged sculpture depicts a man in Eastern garb handing a cup of coffee to a young boy. Opened in 1711, the 'Arabian Coffee Tree' is Germany's oldest cafe. And located on the floors above it is Leipzig's Coffee Museum, continuing the tribute to that much-loved brew..."

Exploring an institution dedicated to coffee in Leipzig, Germany

[Read the full article here]

To Berlin by Rail
Get Up & Go, Summer 2015

"I first spot the Reichstag building with its modern glass dome, then stroll through the Tiergarten park to the Brandenburg Gate. Once a symbol of the divided Cold War city, the gate on this warm summer evening is a magnet for visitors, wandering lazily through the attractive Pariser Platz. There’s plenty I want to do in Berlin over the next few days, but for now I’m content to wait for sunset to fall over this complex, fascinating city..."

Detailing a rail journey from London to Berlin, with stops at Brussels and Cologne.

[Read the full article here]

Taking it to the Streets
The Age, 1 November 2014

"'With street art, people think first of tags. Dogs marking their territory.' It's an opinion that rings true in Melbourne, where the public argument about the worthiness of street art centres on its appeal to the passer-by. Big, decorative illustrations earn the accolade of 'art', while obscure statements of the artist's identity are dismissed as 'tags'. Ben, our New Zealander guide on the Alternative Berlin Street Art Tour, is having none of this. 'Graffiti isn't made for the general public to enjoy...'"

Joining a tour of street art through the suburbs of Berlin, Germany

[Read the full article here]

A Crash Course in Modern Art
The Sunday Age
, 26 October 2014

"On the top floor of Cologne's Museum Ludwig, I discover a little secret. If you push through the glass doors next to the loos on this level, you end up on an empty brick-paved terrace with an excellent view of Cologne Cathedral. Somehow this seems fitting. The vast medieval cathedral is the city's pride and joy, and Germany's most visited attraction; while the museum houses an extensive modern art collection. Together they neatly bookend the city's art history, from the 13th century to the present day..."

Viewing the impressive modern art collection of a museum in Cologne, Germany

[Read the full article here]

Dresden Shuffle
The Sunday Age
, 23 June 2013

"I'm sitting in the retro interior of Scheune Cafe in the eastern German city of Dresden, having a beer with Danilo Hommel and talking about the bad old days. Back in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, Hommel was a young recruit in the army of communist East Germany. Nowadays, he leads the Nightwalk, a bar tour through Neustadt. It's the offbeat part of town – a grungy, hip flipside to the museum-packed city centre across the Elbe River..."

Joining a fascinating bar tour in Dresden, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

Oddest Food Museums
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013, October 2012

List of distinctive food museums in locales across the world (including three in the USA, two in Germany, two in Japan, one in Hungary, one in Belgium, and one in South Korea).

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Shades of a Darker Past
Medical Observer, 20 July 2012

"In front of me is a row of false rubber noses of various shapes. Above them are several wigs and false moustaches that look like props from a 1970s TV cop drama. Believe it or not, these props once had a serious purpose. They were used by agents of the Stasi, the feared secret police of communist East Germany, to change their appearance when they had placed a suspect under surveillance..."

Tracing the communist-era past in the city of Leipzig, Germany.

Rites of Passage
The Sunday Age, 4 March 2012

"Leipzig is a lively city composed of conflicting historical fragments. In the red corner, there are the remnants of its days within communist East Germany, including the Stasi Museum. In the blue corner, however, is its connection to music (as one-time home of Bach and Mendelssohn), its quirky local dishes and the numerous passageways and courtyards threaded through its attractive Old Town..."

Exploring the historic arcades dotted through the centre of Leipzig, Germany.

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Travel: Germany

I'm a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. This page contains examples of my travel writing, organised by location. Each entry includes a sample paragraph, and indications of available rights.

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