Category Archives: Travel

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

Posted in History, Islands, Scotland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

Posted in Islands, Scotland, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sacred Fig

A recent re-reading of Richard Mabey on the ancient and revered Fortingall Yew in Scotland put me in mind of other trees with a well-documented spiritual connection. Such a tree is the sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) or bodhi tree in … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Minster in The Saints

The Saints is a small, loosely defined area of northeast Suffolk just south of the River Waveney and the Norfolk border. Effectively it is a fairly unremarkable patch of arable countryside that contains within it a baker’s dozen of small … Continue reading

Posted in History, Suffolk, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Skellig Michael – The Edge of the World

Today is St Patrick’s Day and March 17 is the supposed date of the 5th-century missionary’s death. Patrick was the forerunner of many early missionaries who came to Irish shores to preach Christianity, the island more receptive to new ideas … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Memory fields in the city of sock-wearers

The small city of Kruševac in south-central Serbia is probably best known for its fortress and 14th-century church, a fine example of the highly decorative Morava school. This was Prince Lazar’s capital in the late 14th century and it was … Continue reading

Posted in Balkans, Eastern Europe, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lammas Day, Suffolk Coast

Lammas Day – the first day of August. School holidays, warm weather, beach visits, perhaps a swim in the sea? Or, on a windy cloudy day, a walk; a beach walk. At low to mid tide it is possible to … Continue reading

Posted in Suffolk, Travel, Walking, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments