Breaking Bad Ischl … crystal clear waters and meth-od in the madness of a gung ho emperor holidaying in this happy-go-lucky Salzkammergut town

This gallery contains 40 photos.

Usually, the view from high up on a mountain would most certainly have my undivided attention. Yet, whilst standing nearly 900 metres above sea level on the mountain of Katrin in the middle of Austria’s beautiful Salzkammergut region, I couldn’t … Continue reading

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Bologna … the Manhattan Island of the Middle Ages, and arguably the more impressive equivalent to Pisa with its fine array of leaning towers

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Poor Bologna. When it thought it had something truly iconic to give it world recognition, a fellow Italian city would steal the idea for themselves, leaving Bologna stuck with the erroneous distinction of being the home of a certain pasta … Continue reading

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Lumiere London … fish floating down Piccadilly, men flying over St James’s and an irate elephant stamping its feet on Regent Street

This gallery contains 41 photos.

This is the third of three posts on Lumiere London: the capital’s first light festival. Produced by the creative company Artichoke, fabulous light installations designed by international artists were placed across Piccadilly (see below), King’s Cross and Westminster for four nights in January 2016. The … Continue reading

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Lumiere London … the Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Mayfair-ry lights

This gallery contains 40 photos.

This is the second of three posts on the delightful Lumiere London: the capital’s first light festival. Produced by the creative company Artichoke, stunning light installations designed by international artists were placed across Mayfair (see below), King’s Cross and Piccadilly … Continue reading

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Lumiere London … being enlightened by the capital’s first light festival: the King’s Cross installations

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As little as thirty years ago, the prospect of walking alone at night around the area behind London’s King’s Cross station would have filled me with utter dread. It was a deserted, run-down area where the only ladies to be … Continue reading

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Antwerp … palatial train stations, precious metal overkill and a major public passageway where singing is forbidden: things to see, do and don’t in the sumptuous Flemish city

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Although my hotel was just around the corner from Antwerpen Centraal station, it took me several hours after first arriving in the Belgian city, to eventually check in to it. This was not due to any difficulty finding the hotel, … Continue reading

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Antwerp … how the beautiful Flemish city avoided being named after a fancy detail on a woman’s bra, and how the Virgin Mary helped some residents to avoid paying tax (allegedly)

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The lovely people of Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city, are eternally devoted to local folklore. How else can one explain why they prefer to believe their city name derives from the slaying of a Flemish giant and not simply from an … Continue reading

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Rotterdam … the very modern Dutch city proudly showcasing a rather cheeky statue of Santa Claus

This gallery contains 41 photos.

Standing in Rotterdam’s main shopping district is a rather interesting Christmas centre-piece. It’s a large, bronze statue of Santa Claus holding a festive bell in one hand and an unusual suggestion for a stocking-filler in the other. Rotterdam is like a … Continue reading

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Zagreb … Croatia’s cure for a broken heart, and how to out-run a funicular

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It is a shame, for the local economy at least, that most tourists arriving in Croatia via Zagreb skip the capital altogether and head straight for the beautiful Dalmatian coast. Zagreb is arguably not as glamorous as Split nor as beautiful as Dubrovnik, … Continue reading

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Zagreb … admiring the roof rather than raising it in the proud Croatian capital

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I never thought I would find myself falling in love with a tiled roof, but that’s exactly what happened when I first set eyes on the delightful church of St Mark’s, Zagreb. The 13th-century church is usually only opened to … Continue reading

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Bologna … discovering the city’s medieval canals, so hidden even the locals seem unaware that they exist

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Although not famed for being so, Bologna is actually one of several cities in Italy that has a large network of canals running through the heart of it. Yet, ask a Bolognian as to whether their city resembles Venice in … Continue reading

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Bologna … the delights and disappointments along the longest portico in the world, and where exactly is arch 666?

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Every year thousands of tourists make the pilgrimage to Bologna’s Basilica Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca (also known as the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca in some guidebooks) more for the experience endured getting there rather than for religious … Continue reading

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Zürich … walking at twice the speed of light (apparently) along the Uetliberg Planetenweg (Planet Walk) for a delightful out-of-this-world experience

This gallery contains 59 photos.

I am sure dear reader you are well aware that it is best not to stare at the sun with the naked eye … unless you find yourself on top of Zurich’s only mountain Uetliberg, in which case it is … Continue reading

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Salzburg … the streets are alive with the sight of art work: taking the Salzburg Foundation’s ‘Walk of Modern Art’ across the Austrian city

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The thousands of tourists who visit Salzburg every year may not be aware that there is far more to the pretty Austrian city than Mozart and The Sound of Music. The Salzburg Foundation has tried to enlighten the world to this fact … Continue reading

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Baarle-Nassau-Hertog … the fascinating town full of Belgian/Dutch borders but is not a Belgian/Dutch border town. Confused?

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The novelty of physically being in more than one country at the same time never wears thin for me. I will always take the (photo) opportunity to splay myself across official frontier lines even if the resulting pose may present me … Continue reading

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Bristol … Brunel, Banksy and Shaun the Sheep; the best of Bristol as seen along the region’s ‘Shaun in the City’ trail

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Shaun the Sheep is back. Baa-rilliant! This time he is in his native town of Baa-ristol (ok, enough of the baa puns for now). This Summer (2015), seventy Shaun in the City sculptures can be found across and beyond the … Continue reading

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Turin … a Hollywood legend’s pair of shoes, a shaftless glass lift/elevator and a huge show of affection for a rodent shaped landmark: the stunning Mole Antonelliana

This gallery contains 24 photos.

What do British authors Kenneth Grahame, Sue Townsend and the beautiful Italian city of Turin have in common? Maybe several things, but one answer is that they are all responsible for creating loveable moles. The Mole Antonelliana may not be … Continue reading

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London … what’s in Cancer Research UK’s first London art trail?

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There are twenty-one giant sculptures presently (Summer 2015) dotted around central London that look like fusilli pasta twirls. Far from celebrating Italian cuisine, these sculptures are actually inspired by the double helix formation of DNA and make up Cancer Research … Continue reading

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London … Sculpture in the City 2015: seeking solace in art during yet another London Underground Tube strike

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I cannot believe I am thanking RMT for their latest spate of industrial action affecting the London Underground. If it wasn’t for the Tube strike on the 9th of July (2015), I wouldn’t have encountered a 22-foot tall ‘little’ girl, … Continue reading

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Amsterdam … a mixed bag of delights at the fascinating Tassenmuseum (the Museum of Bags and Purses)

This gallery contains 25 photos.

“A hand-bag museum?” “Yes, Lady Bracknell. I was in a hand-bag museum, with a somewhat large, rare and sometimes controversial collection of hand-bags (most with handles) dating back to the sixteenth century, in it. An extraordinary hand-bag museum in fact.” … Continue reading

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