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Astana

What do you think of when you hear Kazakhstan? OK, let’s get it over with: Borat. If nothing else, Sacha Baron Cohen did place Kazakhstan on the map. Enormous flat steppes, once the secret home of Soviet gulags and a nuclear weapons testing zone. Also, once the secret home of the Soviet space programme: this […]

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Soviet Yerevan: time travelling in Armenia

As I’m finalising this post, Yerevan has become a happening place. The prime minister just resigned a few hours ago, after several days of protests. According to my blogger friend Megan, who is there just now, the whole city is a party. The police, military, and everyone is partying.  Now, with Yerevan firmly on your radar, […]

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Grandhotel Cosmopolis, lobby, with people

Grandhotel Cosmopolis: a concrete utopia

In Augsburg’s old town, Grandhotel Cosmopolis is perhaps the most curious hotel in all of Germany; certainly the most unusual I have seen. This particular Grand hotel, you see, functions not only as a hotel, but also as home for asylum seekers, as artists’ studios, open work-spaces, a venue for concerts, exhibitions and other artistic […]

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World at a Glance: Heidelberg’s Student Prison

From its foundation in 1386 and until World War I, Heidelberg University had jurisdiction over unruly students. Depending on your misdemeanour, you could land a sentence of anything from 24 hours to 4 weeks in the Studentenkarzer (student lock-up). The most common offences? … loud singing in the city lanes, inappropriate behaviour in public as […]

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A look inside North Korea

Come with me on an extraordinary journey to a very curious corner of the world. Let’s step inside North Korea for a look at Pyongyang and the fabled DMZ.

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Christmas in India: 4000 steps, camels and sleeping amongst lambs

Reminiscing about a Christmas past today, a Christmas in India. You’ll pardon the photos – they’re from the days of 35 mm-film in rolls. Remember those? We rarely travel over the holidays. It’s a sacred time of sorts – not in the conventional meaning, but in the sense that it’s home time. It takes a […]

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Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan with G Adventures: a trip review

“Welcome to Kazakhstan!” Those were the first words I heard in Central Asia – spoken with a big smile at passport control in Almaty airport, just seconds before midnight on the last day of June. Central Asia, what made me choose such an odd destination, you ask? Well, this blog is about the world’s curious […]

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