Getting the Perfect Photo at Neuschwanstein Castle

I was lying on my stomach in the snow at the edge of a ridge in a forest, eye squinting through a camera lens. I clicked the shutter, stood up, brushed myself off and looked at the camera display. Nope, that was also terrible. I dragged my beleaguered wife back down the hill, saying we…

A Christmas Cruise Around the Caribbean

New York right now is as cold and hostile as our landlord when we told them they need to turn up the heating. So to warm myself I’m going to make myself a nice cup of tea, put on a pair of slippers, and talk about how warm and wonderful our Christmas Caribbean cruise was….

Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center is perfect for a day trip out of New York on a mild Summer’s day. Presumably it’s also good on a warm spring or fall day or a heatwave in the middle of winter. So, if I were to rewrite this opening, I might have said Storm King Art Center is…

A Winter Weekend in Portland (no, not that one)

We recently spent a weekend in Portland, which I have to clarify by adding “Maine”, because we did not, I repeat we did not, go to Oregon. The gift shops in Portland know all too well that if you tell someone you went to “Portland” they automatically assume the one in Oregon. Every fridge magnet,…

Sunset From Prizren Fortress, Kosovo

  Often when you travel you come across something unexpected or breathtaking or something to make you stop in your tracks and go “woah”. It could be beautiful blue water off the coast of a Greek island. It could be an ugly naked man snorkeling in said beautiful blue water. For me recently it was a sunset…

Warning! Snow Monkeys May Cause Cuteness Overload!

When I was in Tokyo, I took five hours’ worth of trains and buses and hikes to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where I spent about three hours looking at animals, before taking five hours’ worth of hikes and buses and trains back to Tokyo. 10 hours total travel time. What was so special about that monkey…

A Very Serious Post About Nuclear Apocalypse

Here are some things that are creepy: clowns hiding under bridges. A forty year old man with glasses and a camera sitting on a swing in a children’s playground. My grandma’s fondness for sucking on popsicles. But my visit to Chernobyl, Ukraine, site of the worst nuclear incident in history, was creepier. Way creepier. It started…

Hot Strawberry Wine at a Christmas Market in Budapest

The snowfall was patchy and half-hearted, like a 50-year-old woman’s attempt at giving up her 40-a-day habit. It came down in a flurry for a few minutes as I weaved my way through the dense crowds of this night-time Budapest Christmas market. I was thankful; I mean, what Christmas Market is complete without a dusting…

One Night with Cristina on Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam is one of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World, alongside other greats like Komodo National Park of Indonesia, Table Mountain of South Africa, and the Great Majestic Gorge of Your Mum. I did a one-night, two-day tour, spending the night on a ship called Cristina. Here’s a photo…

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

When it comes to time of day, I don’t have too many preferences. I mean, obviously 7pm is pretty sweet, 1am needs some kind of award for excellence, and 12 noon deserves a special place in everyone’s hearts, but beyond that I’m not too fussed. However, 4am is hands down the worst time of day….

Bromance in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina

We were looking for a bluegrass station on the car’s radio. Driving along this lush Blue Ridge Parkway highway in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, bluegrass felt appropriate. We didn’t find anything so we ultimately settled for a Johnny Cash greatest hits CD my friend had in the glove compartment. As the outsider here…

Meanwhile, Somewhere in a Place No One’s Ever Heard Of…

If you don’t know where Bratislava is, you’re forgiven. It’s the end of semester. If you sort of somehow recognise the name from somewhere but you’re not sure where, half marks. If you know that Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia in eastern Europe and a charming little place, you can come sit on teacher’s…