Mount Athos, Greece – Holy weekend, abstinence and hospitality

I do not claim to be a spiritual person and probably the most profound thing discovered by my friend Ed and I during our visit to Agion Oros, the ‘Holy Mountain’ was that it is easier to give up women for a weekend than pockets! There is however something very special about the Greek monastic peninsula which protrudes proudly into …

Travel People Watching – Airport Characters

Being processed through Gatwick airport one day, I indulged in a little people watching and was reminded of the many different characters that struggle through the departure lounges at airports daily. Airports may not seem the most interesting places to visit despite the number of reality television programmes that try to convince us otherwise. Apart from young children for whom …

Postcard from the French Pyrénéan Peaks

These Pyrénéan mountains may not be the highest and the weather may not have been pleasant on my recent visit to the French Pyrénées but scenes like this remain breathtaking. Taking a short drive down the Val d’Azun from the village of Arrens-Marsous and the mountains will soon be surrounding the visitor. I love mountains, they have always felt like my …

Lucerne Museum of Transport – Planes, Trains & Automobiles

The opportunity to travel to Lucerne in Switzerland offered a further chance to establish some ‘culture vulture’ credibitlity, visiting several museums in just a few days. I especially enjoyed the Bourbaki-Panorama which was the pre-cinema equivalent of 3D movies. It is a huge walk-round painting which depicts the retreat of the French at Les Verrières in Switzerland in the Franco-Prussian …

Portraits of Culture – Peoples of Destination

Travelling is about enjoying experiences, either visiting a well known or little visited destination, savouring the journey, relaxing, finding adventure, visiting family, attending a festival or event these are just a few of the multitude of reasons for travelling. An often quoted reason by travellers is to experience a different culture, to immerse themselves in an alien community. “The wider …

Travel; A Right or Privilege?

“Travel is a right for those with the means and opportunity” If asked, most would probably and quite rightly vigorously defend the right of every individual to travel. The accuracy of this has been the subject of a few of my online conversations recently. Travelling is considered a right in the ‘developed’ countries of the World, however for the vast …

‘Tempting’ Eyes of Saudi women – A Culture of Discrimination?

Thanks to a highly respected source posting on social media site Twitter, a shocking story of discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia has surfaced. There is a possibility they may require to cover their eyes in future, and this seems worthy of  comment. Apparently Saudi women with ‘attractive’ eyes may in future be required to cover them up; the reason …

Catalonia – The Character of a Nation

In a trip overflowing with highlights including canyoning and a hot air balloon ride on a recent visit to Catalonia and yet the main highlight for me remains the people. The populace of a region are what gives it character, Catalonians are proud of their heritage. Their passion was immediately apparent for preserving their culture and their eagerness to demonstrate …

Fabulous Aveyron – Art and Artistic French Cuisine

On a recent visit to the Aveyron, France I surprised myself. Never likely to be accused of being a ‘culture vulture’, this trip was a feast of cultural treats. I can appreciate  captivating art, good cuisine and enjoy listening to a powerful piece of music. However visiting the Louvre was more due to peer pressure than my own interests. The …