Category Archives: Travel

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 , , , , , | 10 Comments


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


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 , , , , , | 6 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


The winter solstice marks the dark frontier of the annual cycle: that time of year when days are at their shortest; the period of feasting before the corner of the year is turned and daylight and warmth return to awaken barren … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments


There’s a good omen as we leave Heacham before dawn: the sharp cry of a tawny owl emanating from somewhere in the woods. Fifteen minutes later, walking from Snettisham RSPB car park towards the beach at The Wash, there are … Continue reading

Posted in Norfolk, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Kyrgyz Graveyards

You see them everywhere in Kyrgyzstan. From afar they resemble hillside villages of mud-brick dwellings but a closer look reveals them to be cemeteries. Usually located a little way outside a village, sometimes on top of a low bluff, they … Continue reading

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