All posts/entries, for now, from 15+ years of global travel.
Fifty-nine days, nine countries & (only) three missed inter-island flights. Saying goodbye to the sun, sea & sand after two months of Lesser & Greater Antilles island-hoppin’.
“Curacao’s capital of Willemstad is a gorgeous UNESCO-listed architectural treat that’s awash with pastel-coloured colonial buildings. Needless to say, it’s a rather photogenic location, no matter where you look.”
”Good for a day (or two at most) of exploration and the capital of the twin-island southern Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, Port of Spain is hot, green, bustling & world-renowned for its region-best Carnival, but somewhat aesthetically challenged & short on must-see sights.”
Country Music bars in rustic fishing villages, towering UNESCO-listed peaks piercing the azure Caribbean Sea, & an age-old fort protecting one of the largest sheltered bays in the Caribbean. And you thought St. Lucia was all flashy resorts, glamorous weddings & once-in-a-lifetime honeymoons.
The Caribbean’s out-of-the-way & coma-inducing Nature Island offering a reprieve from the all-inclusive beach resort, palm-tree-heavy, rum-swigging Caribbean norm.
“Saint Martin or Sint Maarten? French frolic or Dutch debauchery? In a region of island contrasts this one takes some beating. Forts, cruise ship hordes, duty-free shopping, casinos, condos, resorts, nightlife &, of course, the world-famous & unrivaled aviation thrill of the island’s Maho Beach, the most intimate plane-spotting location on planet earth.”
Isla del Encanto, the Island of Enchantment. The Caribbean’s US-sponsored economic powerhouse that’s broke as a joke. It’s America transported to the hot & steamy Caribbean.
From the New World firsts of the historic capital Santo Domingo, the oldest European settlement in the Americas, to the idyllic resort-heavy beaches of Punta Cana. Five days was nowhere near enough time in charming Dominican Republic, but as it turned out it was one day too many.
The Caribbean anomaly, regional whipping boy & the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, one still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Rastafarians, reggae, dreadlocks, Red Stripe & jerk. An exploration of the longstanding resort-heavy jewel in the Caribbean tourist industry’s crown.
The largest of the three Cayman Islands, an uber-rich tax-free banking haven & glitzy shopping mecca that is luxury personified, a UK overseas territory that’s more Miami than Manchester.
Cigars, rum, Castro, Che, classic cars, neglect & salsa. A look at travel in go-now-before-it-changes Cuba, the indefatigable Caribbean time warp & a country truly like no other.
God bless you Paris, you iconic metropolis by the Seine. You are (still) beautiful, but boy you know it & flaunt it.
”It’s historic, but about the only discernible purpose it serves today is to appease tourists, a sole function it fulfills with aplomb. Make no mistake, and regardless of the time of year you drop by, you won’t be alone sampling the so-called Pearl of The Adriatic. But sample it you must, at least once in your lifetime.”
A once-important Ottoman Empire crossroads settlement & location for the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), the oft-rebuilt bridge over the Neretva River.
“I find it somewhat ironic that a city in which Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christian & Catholics have lived in harmony for centuries should have such an unenviable and undeniably tragic past – Sarajevo was both the birthplace of World War I & the location for the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare.”
The Balkans Party central situated on a confluence of the mighty Danube River. A quirky & likable city still bearing very visible scars from the 1999 NATO bombing during the Kosovo War.
Rolling rural farmland, Neo-Renaissance & Medieval Dracula castles & Carpathian Mountain resort towns.
Wide Boulevards. plazas, beat-up Dacias, crumbling & eclectic architecture & gargantuan concrete monstrosities from the infamous Communist era. There’s more to the Romanian capital than a desire to leave.
Atop 4 hills & the location for the skyline-dominating Tsarevets Fortress, the stunning & historic former medieval capital of the Bulgarian tsars.
High in the Eurasian Caucasus, Georgia boasts thousands of years of history, stunning mountain scenery, a unique cuisine & overly hospitable locals.
One of the world’s oldest civilizations and the world’s very first Christian nation, Armenia impresses with a pretty capital & an array of medieval UNESCO World Heritage-listed church & monastery complexes.
Centre of the historic Silk Road, a country full of dust, unbelievably hospitable locals & even more unbelievably audacious Islamic architectural showstoppers.
From killing time in the capital Bishkek, a tree infested Soviet-era architectural nirvana in the Russified north, to enjoying the true Central Asia gem of Osh. A look at travel in Kyrgyzstan, the only visa-free ‘Stan.
Recapping a winter trip to Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest country, including cosmopolitan Almaty, the leafy former capital, & Astana, a.k.a. the Dubai of the Steppes, the futuristic capital on the northern windswept Kazakh steppe, the new petrodollar boom capital for the Central Asian region.
The meaning is rarely in doubt but the translation leaves a lot to be desired. A collection of humourous signs encountered on a recent trip to China.
Recapping a sixth visit to mainland China – including the capital Beijing & the two largest cities in the northeastern & northwestern extremes of the country, Harbin & Urumqi respectively – en route to pastures new in Kazakhstan & Central Asia.
“It was my first visit to one of my favourite cities in 2 years. I know London pretty well but I still like to find the time to be a tourist when I’m in town.”
Thirty-nine Pictures From 39 Days Of Travel Through Mystical Morocco, One Of The Most Picturesque Countries On Earth.
Striking & cosmopolitan Barcelona, Spain’s stylish & energetic second city, home to some of the world’s most bizarre architecture.
A pictorial look at some of the highlights of the Spanish capital of Madrid, a city of gorgeous architecture, stunning parks and world-class museums.