In a land of fire and ice

FIRE AND ICE: Bathers at the Blue Lagoon hot springs swim in hot mineral waters amid a chilly wind as a thermal electricity plant looms in the background

A chance of seeing the Northern Lights has drawn busloads of increasingly cold onlookers to this remote spot.

Walking on glaciers

Seduced by the lights

Detour to Iceland

The road less travelled

Old Town in Krakow, southern Poland.

Think you've done Europe? Well, here are 10 great countries beyond the tried and tested.

Anne Frank's legacy

Anne's diary was one of the most important books of my childhood.

It's impossible not to be moved by the faded marks on the doorframe where Anne measured her height.

Christmas Markets: 6 treats gallery

Mulled wine

Our adventures through the Christmas Markets of Europe were a culinary quest with high and lows.

Best Viennese coffeehouses gallery

Cafe Hawelka: Tucked into a laneway in Vienna's Innere Stadt (old town) is one of its favourite coffeehouses. Cafe Leopold Hawelka has long been a meeting place for artists and writers and has a relaxed yet gloomy charm. Settle into one of its striped velvet booths by the window and linger over a "cafe melange" (an espresso with steamed milk, topped with whipped cream), which comes with a glass of water and a teaspoon on top, a Viennese tradition. There are newspapers to read (some in English) and when it's time to leave, your bow-tied waiter will simply add up your bill in his head and give you change from his belt-purse.

Long the meeting places of writers and thinkers, they offer an instant fix of caffeine, chocolate and cream...

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france

A winter wonderland video

WINTER WONDERLAND: Skaters enjoy the ice on a giant ice rink at the Grand Palais exhibition hall.

Every December, Paris' Le Grand Palais turns into a gigantic ice-skating rink.

Paris loses its love-locks

Paris is slowly, oh-so-slowly, moving toward a love lock-free future.

'Empire of the dead'

Street art or vandalism? video

italy

Holiday success in Venice

A gondolier navigates his passengers along a canal near the luxury retail district in Venice.

Family trips - especially those of the multi-generational variety - are fraught with potential problems.

War on noisy suitcases

Famed for the serene silence of its timeless nooks and crannies, Venice is about to get even quieter.

QUIET PLEASES: Locals want peace in Venice.

Venice bans noisy suitcases

Famed for its serene silence, Venice is getting tough on the rumble of luggage on cobblestones.

germany

Where to see the Berlin Wall gallery

Tourists stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate on June 16, 2009.

Sunday marks 25 years sinceĀ the fallĀ of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989.

Tales from Oktoberfest gallery

This year, it became clear that I'm too old to camp - or at the very least, to camp at Oktoberfest.

Germany celebrated 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall by throwing a huge open-air street party at the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

25 years since Berlin Wall's fall video

Germany threw a huge open-air street party at the iconic Brandenburg Gate.