With a good part of eastern Europe now effectively out of bounds to casual travellers such as ourselves, we have been very short on content from that part of the continent this past year. Other areas of Europe are the beneficiaries of this. In this 69th issue of hidden europe we look, possibly more than in any preceding issue, to our coastlines and inshore waters for inspiration. We visit islands off Croatian and Scottish coasts, take boat trips through Greek and Norwegian waters, stand at the point where the Skagerrak meets the Kattegat and explore the Wadden Sea’s special tidal landscapes. Some of this is made possible by articles from our four guest contributors, all of whom have written before for hidden europe. Our special thanks go to Darmon Richter, Laurence Mitchell, Paul Scraton and Rudolf Abraham.
This issue is the penultimate offering from hidden europe. That surely demands a few words of explanation. In issue 70, due out in mid-July, we shall reflect on two decades of exploring Europe and the sheer joy of being able to give space to a very particular form of travel writing with a slow and gentle focus on cultures and communities. That summer issue will be our swansong.
Of course, it will be a sad moment — for us, as surely for many long-standing readers. But there is a sense in which we feel we’ve said the things that we wanted to say about liberal values and European identity, about valuing journeys as much as destinations, and about restoring integrity to travel through a more conscious engagement with landscapes and communities.
Researching and producing hidden europe has only ever been one strand in a mixed portfolio of work. We were always keen that the magazine should never become too commercial. We have never sought or accepted sponsorship or advertising. Our insouciance to the pitches lobbed our way by PR agencies and tourist boards has marked hidden europe out as a magazine that stands proudly independent.
Happily, the magazine has made a modest profit, so our decision to stop with issue 70 is not a matter of economics. It is more a question of other good opportunities which come our way. We want to take advantage of those. Three score and ten feels like a good place to stop. Meanwhile, enjoy what we have on offer in these pages, and we’ll be back with hidden europe 70 in July.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries