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Gori: birthplace of the world’s most infamous dictator

Looks innocent enough, doesn’t he, young Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili? What could this rather dashing 20-something possibly have on his conscience? At the time of this portrait, probably not much else than the odd bank robbery. Give him a few years, however… Earlier, I mentioned visiting the home country of the world’s most infamous dictator. It took […]

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11 things you’ll love about Baku

My initial impression of the Azerbaijani capital is that of a giant modernisation project, one where the old and the hyper contemporary vie for attention. The city actually feels a bit… undecided. Baku is a crossroads in every sense: between Europe and Asia, between conventional and modern, between traditional Middle Eastern culture and nouveau riche. […]

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Gobustan: rock art and mud volcanoes

Rock carvings; we’ve spoken about that frequently here on Sophie’s World – in the Caribbean, and around in Scandinavia: in the Arctic, in the very south of Norway, and just across the border in Sweden. In fact, there are rock carvings in my home town; the nearest one is a moose, next to a playground, barely […]

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World at a Glance: Temple of Heaven, Beijing tranquility

It’s early evening; the sun is slowly setting. As I wander through the gate in the bright red wall and into the park, I wonder: if I travel ever westwards, how fast will I have to go to see a perpetual sunset? A continuous magical golden hour? Let’s see: if we stick with the Equator, […]

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City of Luxembourg: more than money

Luxembourg. What first pops into your mind? Money and banking? ✔ Yup. Most important industry, by far. A tax haven? Financial secrecy? ✔ It is indeed. Although Luxembourg’s PM claims it isn’t and never was. Amazon HQ? ✔Another yup. Can’t imagine why… One of the three official capitals of the EU? ✔ Along with Brussels and Strasbourg. One […]

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Altkunkendorf: Ancient beech forest and a hypnotic village

Trees! In my search for world heritage, the important places on the planet, those worthy of special protection for the future, I sometimes find myself in somewhat curious situations. This time, I am looking for trees. Beech trees, to be specific. Fagus sylvatica. Of course, we know trees are vital to our survival. And that […]

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World at a Glance: Stoclet House

Stoclet House – or Stoclet Palace – is a secret heritage site. All you’ll see is the back of the building. Through an iron fence. I’m feeling a bit like a stalker, snapping photos through the fence as cars pass by on Brussel’s busy, snazzy Avenue de Tervueren. Now, the back of the building does […]

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