When is a catacomb not a catacomb?

You could walk from London to Edinburgh and back (twice!) in the time it would take to explore the entirety of Odessa’s underground tunnel network. But you wouldn’t need a hard hat, or pass through a Soviet cold war bunker, or walk the plank over roughly hewn, slippery stone, or admire underground street art or […]

Squaring up to history

Kiev’s iconic Independence Square was naturally the focal point earlier this year when a young democracy celebrated 30 years of independence. And worthy of celebration it was too given the obstacles overcome during this period. There has been continued interference from Russia (most notably the annexation of Crimea in 2014), described as “the worst aggressor […]

Black Sea is not plain to see

On first contact with the Black Sea I was disappointed to discover that the water is not really black! That said, when I returned on a gloomier day the name naturally seemed more appropriate. The reality is that the precise etymology is subject to debate and may not reflect the Sea’s colour at all. Theories […]

Lviv is authentic

Lviv is authentic. The past is not preserved; the past just is. It crumbles around you in random constellations as it once did in Europe’s other great medieval cities, the Lisbons and Pragues of this world, before the tourists flooded in and beautification works commenced. Granted tourist dollars bring improved infrastructure, fancier restaurants and a […]