San Marino, 2019. The world’s fifth smallest sovereign state punches above the weight of its landmass when it comes to historical facts.
The Berlin Wall, Germany, 1990s. Thirty years after the fall of this most iconic symbol of the Cold War, I am still grateful that it did not happen whilst I sat on top. You may wonder how I managed to climb up there in the first place but that remains a closely guarded secret.
Rainy season, Brazilian Amazon, 2014. Canoeing through a flooded rainforest brings the traveller up close and personal with monkeys, sloths and other creatures that usually spy unseen from their remote green watchtowers. And the swifter travel through swathes of forest barely accessible on foot makes the jungle feel endless. Yet WWF estimates that over a […]
Chapel of Bones, Évora, Portugal, 2016 – “We bones that are here, for yours await”. Await they did and their patience was rewarded as 5000 skeletal companions arrived. In the early 1500s, Franciscan monks relocated the bones from Évora’s overcrowded cemeteries to the chapel and slotted them into every crevice of every wall and pillar […]
Winter in Madrid viewed from my office at the old British Consulate-General, 9 January 2009. Madrid has extreme seasonal variations in temperature, with a record high of 40.6 °C and a record low of -10 °C, and is flanked by mountains, but snow rarely settles in the city centre. Indeed, this was the heaviest snowfall that […]
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentinian Patagonia. It is refreshing to discover a glacier not in retreat, and the consequences can be spectacular. Today, the Perito Moreno Glacier still advances to form a natural ice dam across the adjoining lake, before finally rupturing under the water pressure, with its 220-foot-high wall of ice crashing down into the […]
Huambo, Angola 2010. Eight years had passed since the end of Angola’s 27-year civil war, yet the scars were still apparent. Structures can be rebuilt but not the 500,000 lives lost in the war. Sadly, the world is little safer today. According to the Global Peace Index, only ten countries are totally free from conflict […]