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Longer Latitude Journey behind the Ironic Curtain

Remnants of Old Dubai in the Middle of the Ultra-New City

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Friday, 9 Sep 2016 | Views [309]

This small museum is a former fort (Al Fahidi), which was founded in 1787 and is the oldest surviving building in Dubai. I especially liked the various exhibits, dioramas depicting everyday life in the desert ... mannequins of artisans, merchants ... Read more >

Tags: historic reminders

360° Views of a Hazy Metropolis

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Friday, 9 Sep 2016 | Views [408]

Whilst we were in Downtown Dubai we plunged into high tourism mode by taking in the obligatory Burj (Tower) Khalifa, at 829m (give or take a half-metre) the world's highest skyscraper/human-made structure. We did the standard thing, paid to go ... Read more >

Tags: structural ascents

A Small Sample of the Bedouin Life of the Bani Yas plus 4WDs

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Friday, 9 Sep 2016 | Views [202]

On our last day in UAE our TG took us on a late afternoon drive for a spot of dune-buggy "rally driving" in the sandhills. Well, that was the first part of why we headed for the hinter-hills. Desert dwellers with SUVs? Actually we spent an hour ... Read more >

Tags: emirati camp & desert life

Sandy Malldom

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Friday, 9 Sep 2016 | Views [344]

Upon arriving at our Dubai hotel, the Mecure Gold, I tried to exchange some of my money for the local currency, but I couldn't interest the next-door Islamic Bank on Al Mina Rd in my AUDs. They directed me to another bank "five minutes" down the street ... Read more >

Tags: mall trekking

Buda on High: Várhegy

HUNGARY | Friday, 5 Aug 2016 | Views [297]

Within the smaller, Buda part of Budapest the focal point for most tourists centres around Castle Hill ( Várhegy). On the top of the hill there is a square with St Matthias Church on one side of it and a parapet-like structure on the other.  ... Read more >

Tags: historic hub

Photos: Raygam

HUNGARY | Wednesday, 3 Aug 2016 | Photo Gallery

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Széchenyi 'Beach' Set

HUNGARY | Wednesday, 3 Aug 2016 | Views [380]

The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths are the largest in Europe and one of the continent's most famous thermal pool complexes with a history dating back over 100 years. It reminded me of the old Ramsgate Baths 50 years ago, but with a liberal measure ... Read more >

Tags: recreation & therapy

Photos: Brno

CZECH REPUBLIC | Tuesday, 2 Aug 2016 | Photo Gallery

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Busing, Boating & Walking around Budapest

HUNGARY | Tuesday, 2 Aug 2016 | Views [365]

Taking a tour on the Big Bus of the city on our first day in Budapest provided a concise snapshot of the scope and size of Budapest. One of the first things you notice from the top deck of the bus is the contrasting physical difference between the hillier ... Read more >

Tags: city tour

Viennese School for Stallions

AUSTRIA | Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016 | Views [346]

One of the tourism high points and cultural gems on a visit to Austria is the Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule) with a history of over 450 years in continuous operation. The white show-horses are bred in Piber (Western Styrian region of ... Read more >

Tags: horse riding school

Bratislava's Contented League of Recreational Drinkers

SLOVAKIA | Saturday, 18 Jun 2016 | Views [171]

The tour coach took the M3 expressway from Budapest to Bratislava. Most of the roadway between the two Central European capitals was a vista of seemingly endless fields of Van Gogh-like sunflowers. When we got to the Slovakian border we were able to ... Read more >

Tags: middle european small city

'Beering' up for the Summer Heat!

SLOVAKIA | Tuesday, 14 Jun 2016 | Views [331]

We parked up the hill near the tramlines & walked down the ancient looking steps to the Town. Old Bratislava was composed of a "rabbit warren" of roughly cobbled lanes and narrow streets leading directly or less direction to the town square. The ... Read more >

Tags: small medieval old town

CK: a Nano-sized Bohemian Fantasy

CZECH REPUBLIC | Thursday, 2 Jun 2016 | Views [327]

"Czechy Crumbly", well not exactly, but that's what I thought the name of this place sounded like when I first heard it was on the itinerary of our trip to the Czech Republic. This small town 170km south of the Czech capital isn't exactly crumbling but ... Read more >

Tags: medieval town & castle

Prague's West Bank: The "Royal Way" up to Pražsky Hrad

CZECH REPUBLIC | Monday, 28 Mar 2016 | Views [263]

The historic street of Nerudova in the Lesser Quarter used to be part of the "Royal Way" ( Královská cesta ), the traditional route taken by Bohemian kings to their palace coronations. Today, this is the hilly route taken by countless ... Read more >

Tags: palace district

Prague's Karlüv Most: A Bridge Wrapped in Bohemian Sandstone

CZECH REPUBLIC | Friday, 25 Mar 2016 | Views [322]

The Gothic style Charles Bridge over the Vltava River connects the Old Town (Stare Mêsto) with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and Hradčany (Prague Castle). It's construction, the Stone Bridge, was begun by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in ... Read more >

Tags: medieval landmark

If it's Tuesday it must be Brno: Brno Inside Three Hours!

CZECH REPUBLIC | Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 | Views [300]

After our coach deposited us at the central railway station we followed the tramlines from it by foot along Masarykova which took us through the middle of historic Brno. Masarykova connected with a very big square called Zelny trh, which was pretty ... Read more >

Tags: medieval city

Wieliczka's 'Sodium City': More than a Grain of Salt

POLAND | Saturday, 12 Mar 2016 | Views [345]

Before coming to Wieliczka in Southern Poland, my idea of what it might be like in a salt mine was informed largely by Hollywood and the Cold War. Hollywood - didn't Ben-Hur (AKA Chuck Heston) start his working life in the service of the Roman Emperor ... Read more >

Tags: medieval salt mine

Photos: Scopophile

POLAND | Saturday, 16 Jan 2016 | Photo Gallery

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Kraków: The Auschwitz Experience, Proof of Evil

POLAND | Saturday, 16 Jan 2016 | Views [514]

Whilst I was anticipating my upcoming trip to Poland with much relish, and to Eastern Europe as a whole, the prospect of visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau site wasn't one I was looking forward to. I wasn't at all keen on visiting the former Nazi ... Read more >

Tags: historic site, wartime concentration camp

Photos: Apodysophilia

POLAND | Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 | Photo Gallery

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