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, [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
"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, [...]