Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Ok, it’s not quite a Dodo, the much missed (and oft quoted) bird that was indigenous to the Indian Ocean island before being eaten to extinction by Dutch sailors. However, Mauritius is the only place in the world that you will find pink pigeons in the wild. They can be found at […]

The Ark, Khiva, Uzbekistan

Two years ago I was in Khiva in Uzbekistan, a truly wonderful walled city on the Silk Route. The minarets and historic buildings are fantastic and the small city has a relaxed vibe. I would love to go again! My photo to beat the Monday Morning Blues comes from inside Khiva’s Kunya-Ark Citadel, and features […]

Zurich, Switzerland

I have been to Switzerland’s largest city twice – once by train from Zermatt and this year in February, my last overseas leisure trip of 2020, where we took a train towards Liechtenstein. Zurich is a fine city served by a mammoth train station and busy airport. It screams money at you and like all […]

Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

#6 – Beirut, Lebanon (population estimated 1.3 million) The hardships currently faced by the Lebanese in general and the Beirutis in particular are hard to bear. The devastating explosion caused by negligent storage of fertiliser is symbolic of a incompetent, corrupt and careless regime. One can only hope that this changes very soon. I visited […]

View of Istanbul from the Bosphorus Ferry

In May 2009 I left Istanbul to embark on a journey overland to Syria. First up I needed to get out of Europe and into Asia. In Istanbul this is as simple as catching a ferry across the Bosphorus (or under it nowadays through the Marmara Tunnel, by train). You can read about my visits […]

I recently set up my publishing website over at http://www.hornbillpublishing.co.uk showcasing my current and future books. Take a look and give the site a follow if you can. Covid driven staycations have also had me reading more than usual as an imaginary escape, so I have decided to leave reviews of the books I read. […]

Bird Sanctuary, The Camargue, France
Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria

#7 – Damascus, Syria (population estimated 1.8 million) I visited Damascus in 2009, two years before civil war broke out. As a government stronghold, the main city has seen relatively little damage compared to the territories that were held by ‘rebel factions’ or ISIS. We travelled by bus from the Roman ruins at Palmyra and […]