Last summer, I spent time in Bordeaux and the surrounding wine districts with my mum and sister. A highlight in the area was the ancient cave art in the nearby Vézère Valley. There are many excellent caves to visit in the valley. Having studied archaeology, I have a penchant for prehistory, and if you too […]
Messel Pit Entrance strictly forbidden Mortal danger That’s what it says, the sign on the metal gates in front of me, the gate leading to the Messel Pit. The sign is bright yellow – yellow for danger. Locked steel gates with a jagged edge on top; there’s no escaping the message. Luckily for me, I’m here […]
It’s difficult to appreciate just how powerful monasteries were in the Middle Ages. Here at Maulbronn, for example, the abbey owned land all the way up to Speyer – today, a one-hour drive away (or two, if your SatNav isn’t cooperating; speaking from experience here). But… a monastery, nevertheless. Plenty of those about. What makes […]
This weekend I’m out and about exploring Germany. UNESCO Germany has very kindly invited me on a journey through history; one with great time leaps at either end. If you’d like, you can follow along on the #joingermantradition social wall. With jobs and kids and whatnot, I have a window of a mere four days to […]
It’s raining out, a wet, chilly June day, typical in Ireland, I’m told. To escape the weather, I’ve popped in to Kyteler’s Inn in Kilkenny, to the cavernous cellar. Kyteler’s Inn has been a lively, merry place since its first owner bandied about here 700 years ago. Looks like it still is. There’s no mobile connection […]
On Vörösmarty Square in Pest, Gerbeaud has been around since 1858. Some say it’s touristy and over-priced. Me, I adore the atmosphere of another era in this Budapest cafe: high ceilings with plaster rosettes and crystal chandeliers, silk wall papers, solid brass-footed tables, and heavy velvet curtains separating the different rooms. The Royal Habsburgs came here, […]
In the Mesdag Panorama, you step into the painting: a 3D, 360° image of Scheveningen of another era; the people, the beach, and the rough North Sea. You’re in a museum – and you’re on the beach!