On our travels around Europe, we have by and large avoided big cities. Our focus has
been elsewhere. The secret of success on long journeys, we find, is to stop off in smaller
places. So you are more likely to find us in a small town or even a remote village than in
the hustle and bustle of city streets. It is easier, we find, to take the pulse of a community
when you explore on foot, even more so if you can walk from the market square out to
the countryside and back within the compass of an afternoon.
Of course there are exceptions. We have thoroughly enjoyed more extended stays in both Lviv and Odesa. And we would highlight Trieste as so magnificent that, despite its largish size (about 200,000), we would happily retire there to drink good coffee and watch the comings and goings of boats in the bay. All that said, one of the articles in this issue, namely the essay by Andrew and Suzanne Edwards, has certainly piqued our interest in Bologna, a place where we have changed trains but never stayed overnight. We are grateful to Suzanne and Andrew, as indeed to our other three guest contributors in this issue for penning such fine articles for the magazine. Those ‘other three’ include Rudolf Abraham and Laurence Mitchell who have, over the long years of the hidden europe project, been our two most frequent guest contributors. We reserve a special mention for Paul Scraton who over the last ten years has penned ten articles for the magazine, but has in recent years also been an inspiring source of wise counsel and encouragement. In this issue, Paul reflects on the experience of reading and then starting to write for hidden europe.
Watching this final issue of hidden europe magazine go to press is a bittersweet moment for us. We are immensely proud of what has been achieved over two decades, but it is now time for us to move on. We pen this editorial in a café by the quayside in the Baltic port of Stralsund. The ferry to the island of Hiddensee is casting off, making a journey of just under three hours to Kloster with a couple of stops along the way. It’s top of our list of journeys we want to make in the weeks ahead. And, when we do that, we’ll rejoice in the knowledge that this is a journey we make just for us, without any temptation to write about it for hidden europe.
Nicky Gardner & Susanne Kries