Dear fellow travellers
A new issue of hidden europe is published tomorrow. Not just any issue of hidden europe, but one which marks our tenth birthday. Yes, it was way back in March 2005 that we published the first-ever issue of the magazine. For ten years, we have been quietly exploring our home continent, reporting on cultures and communities that seem to us worthy of note.
We have sought to capture a sense of place and the spirit of landscapes from the Azores to the Ural Mountains, from the islands of the Arctic to the shores of the Mediterranean. Along the way, we have stumbled on remarkable people and remarkable stories. Ours is a Europe with rough edges to be sure, but it is also a resilient continent full of fun - and from time to time we even stumble on considerable wisdom.
You can see the full table of contents for the new issue of hidden europe on our website, along with extracts from each article in the magazine. The issue is topped and tailed with features from France, two articles which look respectively at Brittany and Provence. In Lenten spirit, we include a feature on the Lithuanian tradition of carving wooden crosses. We have an interesting diversion via the Alps which leads us into the history of science as we ponder many shades of blue. Scope for cyanotic chill in that one.
Elsewhere in hidden europe 45, we remember Anna Walentynowicz who worked as a welder and crane driver at the Gdansk shipyards and was centrally involved in the formation of Solidarnosc (Solidarity).
Journeys are often as revealing as destinations, so we make space for some interesting journeys in this issue. We take a slow train through Apulia and reveal some great value train rides on Russian trains which can be used for shortish trips entirely within the European Union. We take to the skies above Norway and discover that flying can still be fun on the air routes run by Widerøe, an airline which serves 44 airports across Norway - including 21 which lie north of the Arctic Circle.
Throw in a border crossing into Belarus, a back street in the Holborn district of London and a dozen abandoned airports and there you have the mix which makes up hidden europe 45. A grand tour, no less! Oh, and we've not even mentioned the Count of Monte Cristo, the King of the Golden Isle and Dürer's rhinoceros, all of whom make cameo appearances in our article on the offshore islands of Provence.
Perhaps you've read our Letter from Europe for years and never actually seen a copy of hidden europe magazine. Perhaps you once had a sub which has now lapsed. Why not take a look at our tenth anniversary issue? Of course, we are immensely grateful to our subscribers, but it's also possible to buy just one issue. hidden europe 45 costs €8, inclusive of postage to addresses in Europe. If you live outside Europe, the charge is €9. No fuel surcharge, no charges for excess baggage. Travel just doesn't get any better than this.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(editors, hidden europe magazine)