GlobalPost, July 2, 2012
BERLIN, Germany — Rats, it would seem, are once again a problem in the legendary German town of Hamelin … or are they?
Best known for the story of the Pied Piper who rid the town of its rats and then its children, Hamelin was suddenly the focus of international media attention last month. News had emerged that a town fountain had been put out of action by — of all things — rats.
“Hamelin: German town hit by new plague of rats,” was the headline from the BBC. “Wanted one Pied Piper – Hamelin suffering from rat problem again,” was the Daily Telegraph’s response, while the Huffington Post warned that a “rat infestation plagues Hamelin.” Could history be repeating itself? Was the town famed for its rat-catching stranger in the grip of a modern-day rodent invasion? Continue reading
The Local, 22 June, 2011
Famous for its dramatic gorges, sandstone rock formations and spas, Siobhán Dowling visits Saxony’s very own Switzerland.
Anyone who has ever taken the train from Berlin to Prague may have noticed the picturesque valley that stretches from Dresden to the Czech border. This stretch of the journey along the River Elbe passes through lush woods, with pretty villages on one side, and imposing mountains and the odd castle on the other.
What many foreign tourists may fail to realize, however, is that through those dense forests on either side of the track lies a unique and spectacular landscape, known as the Sächsische Schweiz or Saxon Switzerland.
The area is famed for its sandstone formations and table mountains, almost like canyons in the American West except set amongst dense woodlands instead of desert scrub. Continue reading