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Geghard Monastery: carved from the mountain

Remember I wrote about the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral with the spectacular view of Mount Ararat? And a bit later, the monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin? Armenia’s third world heritage site is Geghard Monastery with its scenic surrounding canyon, the Upper Azat Valley. As you may have noticed, all three of Armenia’s sites are churches, [...]

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World at a Glance: Humayun’s Tomb

Like the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s tomb is a property worthy of special protection. And like the Taj Mahal, it’s a grave. And just as Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his late, much-loved wife, this tomb was built by Humayun’s widow, Biga Begum, in memory of her late (and equally-loved, one must assume) [...]

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8 Instagrams from Arctic Sweden

A visit in Arctic Sweden will likely begin in Luleå, one the biggest cities in the region. Luleå isn’t uninteresting in itself, with more than 100 cafes and restaurants, a pretty cityscape and some unusual street art. But I’m here to have a closer look at the Laponia region (the Latin name for the Sami [...]

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Mysterious Newgrange

You’ve heard about Stonehenge, of course, but are you familiar with Newgrange? Just across the water, in Ireland, Newgrange is a temple even older than the mysterious stones at Salisbury Plain. 97 standing stones surround the megalithic tomb. You’ll be with a guide; can’t wander about on your own in here; small groups are let [...]

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Old Rauma and Sammallahdenmäki, UNESCO in Finland

As I write this, I’m sat in my favourite cafe in Rauma, for the third time in two days. I’m in Finland to have a look at two of the country’s world heritage sites. As you know, I’m on a quest to see many of them, perhaps even all, and I’m really enjoying this self-imposed [...]

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Warsaw scenes

Are you curious about Europe’s not-quite-so-famous capitals? If so, may I suggest Warsaw? Poland’s capital is an excellent city to wander and explore, especially in spring and summer. Here are a few Warsaw scenes. Warsaw suffered heavily during World War II, with almost the entire city demolished and the population mostly decimated, either because they [...]

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Lavaux, Swiss wine country

When you think of wine, Switzerland is perhaps not the first country that pops into your mind, is it? Yet, wine bottles from as early as the 2nd century BC has been found here, so historians know wine has been produced in this land-locked mountainous country since Roman times, at least. The country’s largest continuous [...]

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