Category Archives: Travel

Ghosts of Mattancherry

The best of India is often seen in the slow hours before breakfast, the time of day when the subcontinent’s multitude of people and gods stir themselves in the cool mercury light that follows dawn. On my last day in … Continue reading

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Palani – a temple town

  Palani, a temple town in western Tamil Nadu, barely gets a mention in the guidebooks. Too close to the hill resort of Kodaikanal to be of much interest other than as a transport hub, the town was a necessary … Continue reading

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A Berlin Interlude

What do you do on a drizzly grey day in Berlin? A midwinter day when the sun is enfeebled and hidden, cowering somewhere beneath a thick duvet of cloud. What do you do in a city that you do not … Continue reading

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The Rule of Home

As a few of you may know, I have been working on a much longer project, a book in fact, for quite some time. This work is centred on a walk made coast to coast across England and Wales, from … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beside Song-Köl Lake

There are places that stay in the mind long after visiting. Places that haunt the mind’s memory cache to prevail even years after having set foot there. Such places might be mountains, or rivers, or stretches of coastline; or even … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Kyrgyzstan railway wagons

Kyrgyzstan does not have much of a railway system. A branch line from Moscow extends down from Kazakhstan to Bishkek, the Kyrgyzstan capital; another offers an excruciatingly slow service to Balykchy on Lake Issyk-Kul. Another line extends from Jalal-Abad in … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Human Geography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Bridge to Nowhere and the Bays Road

Just three main roads radiate out of Stornoway, the capital of the Isle of Lewis. One heads across mountains towards Tarbet and Harris to the south; another goes east past the island’s airport and along the Eye Peninsula to come … Continue reading

Posted in Human Geography, Islands, Scotland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Callanish

“a place appointed for worship in the time of heathenism” Martin Martin A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695 Someone once said that the wonder evoked by historical sites is inversely proportional to the number of eyes … Continue reading

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The Shape on the Map — South Lochs, Isle of Lewis

Eleven miles east of the main road, six from the nearest shop (closed on the Sabbath), two miles from the open sea as the raven flies. Glen Gravir – a slender thread of houses stretching up a glen, just four … Continue reading

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Under the Greenwood Tree – Forest Bathing in the Deep, Deep Woods of Coed Felinrhyd

The Japanese have an expression – shirin-yoku (‘forest bathing’) — which refers to time spent in a wood or forest for purposes of health and relaxation. Scientific field studies have demonstrated that spending even a short time among trees promotes … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments