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 [...]
If you happen to be floating down the tranquil river Wisla, head off at the little branch called the Nogat, and you’ll come to a Gothic fairytale fortress and some intriguing Malbork Castle history, murder included! Disembark on the opposite bank, and this imposing 13th [...]
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, [...]
I’m off to Thailand on Saturday, folks - and was reminded that I still haven't told you about a terrific Bangkok daytrip I took last time. The old Siamese capital Ayutthaya is only about 70 km north of the Thai capital, and easily reached by bus, train or boat.
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 [...]
I've long been curious about all the little upon-Thames towns (partly due, no doubt, to having 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...
Oasis – it's such a wonderful word, isn't it? Like haven, or sanctuary. The proper definition, the Oxford Dictionary tells me, is a fertile spot in a desert, where water is found. And that is just what Al Ain is. An oasis. A garden at [...]