A visitor from Australia

A visitor from Australia

We are about to have a visitor from Australia: my brother is coming to stay with us for a week. For months, we have been counting down the days and now he is almost here.

He will only be with us for a week but we are very excited. I was going to say that Miss M is very excited, but the truth is, we are all very excited. We don’t get that many visitors from Australia – it is a long way! – though this is my brother’s third trip.

One of the great things about having family visit is that you get to be a tourist in your own town (and see parts of Europe, like we did when my Dad visited). Peter grew up in Solingen, so he had already seen the tourist attractions ad nauseam on school trips. For Miss M and I, it is still quite new. Visitors are our excuse to go and see some of the sites that we might otherwise neglect.

What are we planning to do with our visitor from Australia?

As it is his third trip, there are some things that my brother does not need to see again. He also has some idea of what he wants to see (apart from us, of course). I plan to blog about some of the highlights:

Schloss Burg

A medieval castle that was built in 1130. It has fantastic ramparts that you can walk around and a keep that has just reopened after extensive renovations.

Schloss Burg an der Wupper

Burgers’ Zoo

One of the biggest zoos in the Netherlands and one of the best in Europe in our opinion.

Cologne or Düsseldorf

Or perhaps both. My brother has already seen the sites in Cologne, so it might be Düsseldorf this time.

Knife shopping

Probably. Solingen has been famous for its blades for centuries. Currently, there are no fewer than seven knife manufacturers and numerous scissor manufacturers with factory outlets, as well as a number of manufacturers who don’t sell through outlets. Appropriately, there is also a blade museum and an industry museum (in an old scissor factory), and most of the main tourist attractions sell local knives.

Tristan the T-Rex at the Naturkunde Museum Berlin


In addition, we will be meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law in Berlin. We are going to a Metallica concert but will be seeing some of the city, too. You can expect a post on Berlin with a small child and probably also one about the Natural History Museum (Museum für Naturkunde) and its dinosaurs (because we need more dinosaurs in our lives).

We don’t often get visitors from Australia, so when we do, we try to fit in as much as possible. (That’s code for “I over plan things”.) We have a busy few weeks ahead – hopefully not too busy – and a lot to post about when it is over. I hope you will come back to read our reviews.


  • Mariam Tsaturyan

    Wow, this was actually a great post! I enjoyed reading it very much and learned some great sightseeing options 🙂

    • Rachael Matthews

      Thank you Mariam. What would you like to know about in more detail first? I’ll see if I can adjust my schedule of blog posts over the next few weeks to fit.

  • jennybhatia

    I am an over planner as well. I am always way too ambitious with my itinerary, this is why I call it “soft itinerary.” Good luck and have fun with your visitor from Australia, he is gonna love it.

    • Rachael Matthews

      It is so nice to know I am not the only one! Fortunately, he has been to visit before, so he gets a say in what we do and I know he isn’t just missing out on something because he doesn’t know what it is.

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