Category Archives: Travel

San rock art – Drakensberg, South Africa

One of the highlights of my recent trip to South Africa was to see some really well-preserved rock art. The cave paintings were made by the San people, the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the Drakensberg mountain region in KwaZulu-Natal province close … Continue reading

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Kumano Kodō, Japan

My feature on walking part of the Kumano Kodō pilgrimage trail in Japan will be published in a few days time in Elsewhere journal. Elsewhere is a Berlin-based print journal, published twice a year, dedicated to writing and visual art that explores the idea of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ghosts of Empire – Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

One way of looking at this evocative, if mildly disturbing, place is as a hidden enclave populated with the ghosts of colonialism. Situated right in the middle of Kolkata, tucked away purdah-like from the mayhem of the city streets, the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Lenins of the world, unite!

I don’t quite know what it is but whenever I have come across an old Lenin statue anywhere in the territories of the old Soviet Union I have usually not been able to resist taking a photograph. It may be … Continue reading

Posted in Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Crowland

Crowland – the name seems to be well chosen. Walking into the village I cannot help but notice several dozen crows perched on the wires above the village sign: a welcoming committee taking a brief respite from wind-wheeling above the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Palmyra 2000

The news is always bad from Syria these days. The newsworthiness of the conflict seems to fluctuate as we in the West become increasingly inured to a lexicon that includes words like barrel bombs, Isis, chlorine gas, jihadi, caliphates and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hanami

The Japanese have a word for it – hanami. The full meaning of hanami is difficult to translate accurately but in literal terms it means ‘flower viewing’ and normally refers to sakura, the blossom of cherry trees in spring.  Incorporated … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Cities, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rainy Day Kyoto

A  rainy morning in Kyoto. The immediate reaction is one of disappointment – a damper on photographic aspirations for the day. But umbrellas have their own aesthetic charm, as do rain-washed streets and silvery skies. The kimono-clad young women who … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Cities, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Easter Eggs

Easter, as well as its obvious Christian association, has strong connections with the giving and receiving of eggs in one form or another. In Britain, and in no doubt much of Western Europe and North America, we give chocolate eggs … Continue reading

Posted in Eastern Europe, Folklore, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Osh Bazaar

The first thing to know is that it isn’t in Osh. Rather, it is in the capital Bishkek. Why this bazaar shares the name of Kyrgyzstan’s second city is uncertain. Perhaps it’s because it is here that you come to … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments