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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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Day out Bordeaux: Vauban’s military trilogy

Once an orphan living in poverty, later an engineering genius with a prestigious career. A familiar story, perhaps. Yet that doesn’t diminish its power to inspire. That is also the story of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban: military engineer, advisor to Roi Soleil Louis XIV, France’s most famous king, and most importantly for this little piece, […]

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Carlingford: colours, craic and leprechauns

Dublin and Belfast: two capitals, two countries. Although that might not be the case in the future, if some of the predictions in the aftermath of last week’s dramatic Brexit will come to pass. The EU will feature a bit further along in this story, in a way you might not quite expect. For now, […]

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Day out Copenhagen: Medieval Lund

How about a pleasant day trip from Copenhagen which involves crossing an international border on a famous bridge? I’m in Lund for the day, a city I’ve been meaning to visit for quite some time. With me, I have my iPhone, wallet and sunglasses. That’s all. Travelling super light today. Lund is a lively university town just 40 […]

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Day out London: Kingston-upon-Thames and the fickle king

I’ve long been curious about all the little upon-Thames towns (partly due, no doubt, to having seen one too many episodes of Midsomer Murders, or read one too many Daisy Dalrymple mysteries). There’s an array of them: Henley-on-Thames, Staines-upon-Thames, Richmond-upon-Thames, Kingston-upon-Thames…

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Day out London: Blenheim Palace

If you’re in London – or in the Cotswolds, one of my favourite parts of England, I recommend an outing to the little town of Woodstock and Blenheim Palace. The palace represents the early stages of the English Romantic movement – an architectural style characterised by closeness to nature. I love the medieval towers, and […]

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