Blog Archives

Druskininkai … walking around (and taking the odd selfie) with Lenin in Lithuania’s Grūtas Park a.k.a ‘Stalin World Theme Park’

This gallery contains 27 photos.

I have come across some interesting and sometimes bizarre exhibitions on my travels, but a collection of Communist-era statues dotted around the estate of an eccentric mushroom farmer is certainly one of the most unique I’ve seen to date. Grūtas … Continue reading

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Druskininkai … the Lithuanian spa town ‘carving’ a unique identity for itself (thanks to the wood sculptor Antanas Česnulis)

This gallery contains 37 photos.

If the Orthodox Joy of All who Sorrow church in the Lithuanian spa town of Druskininkai had cheeks, I would have gleefully pinched them whilst cooing uncontrollably at their utter cuteness. This charming nineteenth century little church that stands in … Continue reading

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Vilnius … so where exactly is the geographical centre of Europe, and which one is it?

This gallery contains 22 photos.

For most travellers, the country of Lithuania probably doesn’t bring anything uniquely Lithuanian to mind, yet the most southern of the Baltic states does have at least one claim to fame: that the geographical centre of Europe is within its … Continue reading

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Seville … celebrating the true home of azulejos and a tan-“tile”-lising look at Spain’s flamboyant and trend-setting past

This gallery contains 33 photos.

One of the greatest delights Portugal offers an explorer is its fine collection of azulejos: beautifully decorated mosaic tile work, some dating as far back as the sixteenth century, covering the walls of churches, monasteries and affluent villas. So prolific … Continue reading

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Seville … Metropol Parasol: Spain’s magic mushrooms

This gallery contains 11 photos.

According to some internet searches, fungal truffles can cost around £1 per gram to purchase, and Psilocybin mushrooms – more commonly known as Magic Mushrooms or Shrooms – can be as much as £10 per gram depending on the illicit … Continue reading

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Málaga … a touch of Granada’s Alhambra and Seville’s Alcázar without the heaving crowds, and where less is Moor (hawh hawh!)

This gallery contains 32 photos.

It is not surprising that Granada’s Alhambra and Seville’s Alcázar attract thousands of visitors every year. These beautifully restored Moorish palace-fortresses in Spain’s Andalusían region are simply enchanting. Yet, because of their overwhelming popularity, it is almost impossible to capture … Continue reading

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Bath … and why this Jane Austen fan is really not looking forward to the 18th of July 2017

This gallery contains 28 photos.

Unfortunately, I have a rather unique connection with the English novelist Jane Austen. I say “unfortunately” because in a few days time this connection could be far from fortuitous. I’d like to say that this connection is with regard to … Continue reading

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London … a horse, a Hirst and a real life magic money tree! It can only be ‘Sculpture in the City’ 2017

This gallery contains 59 photos.

It’s summertime and Londoners can be certain of two things in the capital during the next few months: rain, and ‘Sculpture in the City’. The free public art exhibition now in its seventh year, has firmly established itself as a fixed … Continue reading

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El Caminito del Rey, Malaga … is this still the most dangerous pathway in the world?

This gallery contains 36 photos.

I can understand why people risked their lives, up until recently, to walk across the remains of El Caminito del Rey – a century old concrete pathway that skirted around the stunningly beautiful Los Gaitanes Gorge, sixty kilometres north of … Continue reading

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Bobastro … the stunning one-thousand-year-old Spanish ruins sadly eclipsed by the once most dangerous pathway in the world

This gallery contains 44 photos.

Most people arrive in the Spanish village of El Chorro just to catch the bus out of it and to the start of the once infamous pathway El Caminito del Rey. This is understandable as admittedly, there is little else … Continue reading

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Sintra … palaces and adventures in Wonderland

This gallery contains 46 photos.

I didn’t stumble upon any Cheshire cats during my stay in Sintra last Summer, but if I had I wouldn’t have been remotely surprised. Thirty kilometres west of Lisbon and a few kilometres short of the most westerly point in … Continue reading

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Gibraltar … the controversial British territory that looks more like Seville than Sevenoaks

This gallery contains 49 photos.

Although I am proud to be British, I have been accused recently of not exploring and writing posts about my own country more. This is a very fair comment. I like travelling to unfamiliar places and I have to admit … Continue reading

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Ceuta … a land border between Europe and Africa (yes, really), a mountain peak with an amazing human face and a statue that is often mistaken for something very bad indeed. Curious sights from the Spanish Gibraltar

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Evidently, the British Prime Minister Theresa May had not been reading the newspapers nor consulting the news sources I have been perusing over the past twelve months. The PM and her Government appeared surprised when Gibraltar‘s British sovereignty was put … Continue reading

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Bratislava … using sculptures of local charmers, peeping toms and TV presenter Dara O’Briain to give the Slovakian capital some much needed street cred

This gallery contains 19 photos.

Since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s, the Czech Republic has done wonders in turning its beautiful capital Prague into one of the most desirable cities to visit in Europe. In contrast, Slovakia has not been quite as … Continue reading

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Bratislava … a wobbly bridge shaped like a UFO, a church obsessed with the colour blue, and a radio station housed in a huge upside down pyramid: romantic pre-war façades and minimalist communist architecture in post-Soviet Slovakia

This gallery contains 48 photos.

Walking around Bratislava is an exciting architectural lottery: one constantly wonders whether the next corner will reveal another fairytale palace from a bygone age or a modern concrete monstrosity from a recent nightmare era. In this post-Soviet-present-EU period for Bratislava, … Continue reading

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Bratislava … and the Slovakia-Hungary-Austria ‘trojmedzie’ (tripoint): the exact geographical point that looks more like the middle of nowhere

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Landlocked tripoints – the precise geographical point where three country borders meet – are a huge draw to those (like me) who love the novelty of standing in more than one country at the same time. As a result, these … Continue reading

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Vienna … in search of Vienna’s true Third Man and The Third Man’s true Vienna… with help from Harry the Lime

This gallery contains 47 photos.

Whilst in Vienna recently, a tourist guide suggested I paid a visit to the city’s famous Zentralfriedhof – the Central Cemetery. “That is where you will find the true Vienna,” she declared. So, on that recommendation I spent a sunny winter’s … Continue reading

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Europe … Lost in Translation

This gallery contains 66 photos.

A completely random selection of snaps and misinterpretations from my travels. Enjoy x

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Évora … where Christmas is celebrated all year round

This gallery contains 33 photos.

The day after midsummer’s day 2016, I found myself sweltering in forty-five degree heat in the Alentejo capital of Évora. Desperate to get my pale Celtic skin out of the baking sun, I stumbled into the shade of the Igreja de … Continue reading

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Nantes … the French city where one can find Nemo, a giant elephant, the Japanese Versailles and the meaning of life. And what exactly is a Dormanron?

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Having once visited the Sun King’s palace, I know for a fact that Versailles is just outside Paris. Yet, on a trip to the city of Nantes which is over three hundred kilometres south-west of the French capital in the … Continue reading

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