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The Europe I Have Left To See...

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Matavun 12, 6215 Divača, Slovenia
A tour of the massive World Heritage site Skocjan Caves affords the singular experience of peering into a glowing subterranean river that flows beneath a blanket of snow. 386/(0) 5-708-2100. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
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4220 Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Skofja Loka is home to the oldest preserved bridge in Slovenia, 12,000 people and a wonderful medieval center. Mostly, though, it's got a name you'll turn over and over in your head. SHKOfia LOka. Tempted to re-name my daughter, but that's...
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Långholmsmuren 20, 117 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Linked by a bridge to Södermalm, Långholmen used to house some of Sweden’s most notorious criminals. The island’s 19th-century prison was converted into the Långholmen Hotel in 1989. Visit the museum to learn about such former residents as...
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Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
In a city known for clean lines, Stockholm’s Södermalm district (“Söder” to locals) is surprisingly nonconformist. A slum in the 18th century, the neighborhood is now home to a mix of clothing and furniture shops; Thai,...
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The Horse Shoe, Iceland
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Iceland for my 40th birthday. We were lucky enough to be in Iceland during a somewhat-rare solar storm that made the Northern Lights much brighter and more active than usual, and since that's what I...
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Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
You can’t miss Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s 240-foot-tall, rocket-shaped church, which soars above the city skyline and is illuminated at night. Designed by famed national architect Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937, and inspired less by outer space than...
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Piz Gloria, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
From the Lauterbrunnen Valley south of Interlaken, you can take a series of cable cars up to the peak of the Schilthorn, across from the Jungfrau massif in the Bernese Alps. Silent, effortless, costly, and worth every Swiss Franc, you float up...
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Bratislava, Slovakia
Walking around the historic downtown area of Bratislava, I was pleased to come upon this little piece of clever utilitarian art. Any city planner can decide where to place a manhole cover on the street. But it takes someone with a little foresight...
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Lönnrotinkatu 29, 00180 Helsinki, Finland
Guests at the new GLO Hotel Art in Helsinki’s Design District can borrow a guitar or painting supplies to unwind before bed. From $173. Lönnrotinkatu 29, 358/(0) 10-344-4100
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Mannerheimintie 4 2.krs, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
The concept store Skanno features two sprawling floors of funky, modern furniture from emerging and established designers. Mannerheimintie 6, 358/(0) 9-612-9440
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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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Calle Alfolí, 11, 28280 Madrid, Spain
Tapas in Madrid are usually eaten before lunch, at “vermut” or “aperitivo” time. This can be done before lunch or after work. Apart from eating the Madrid tapas and drinking sangria or beer, these bars are a good place to watch football games and...
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R. de Belém 84 92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal
Pastel de nata is a Portuguese egg tart pastry, common in Portugal. Those found at Pastéis de Belém have become legendary for their super secret recipe. Any day of the week, a line trails out the door waiting to savor one of tens of...
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Praça do Comércio 3, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Martinho da Arcada is a Lisbon legend. Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I passed through it just to experience the phenomenon and look inside. The cafe was founded in 1778 as Café do Gelo (the Ice Cafe) and mostly sold beverages and ice. After...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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Porto, Portugal
At the mouth of the Douro River, the medieval city of Porto, Portugal, is undergoing an architectural renaissance. Old World icons, such as the baroque Torre dos Clérigos bell tower that helped the city earn UNESCO status in 1996, contrast with...
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R. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11, 1100-509 Lisboa, Portugal
Nutty bread layered with olive oil, jam, salt and cured pig's neck were the perfect accompaniment to rich Portuguese wine and 80 year old port. When visiting wine bars let the staff select your wines ask for the stories behind them. You'll feel...
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Alexanderpl. 7, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Berlin's most central hotel, the Park Inn, has some of the best views in Berlin. Rooms facing the Alexanderplatz central square provide premium viewing space for Berlin's most iconic architecture. The TV Tower (Fernsehturm) and Berlin Cathedral...