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Balkans Tour 2017 – Timisoara, The Final Act

After eight late September days away from the UK we had arrived in the sixth and final country of our mini-tour of the region. Had we left the best to last? On balance, we probably had. First up our accommodation. I promised the lovely hostess Miriana that I would write about her on my blog […]

Balkan Tour 2017 – A Journey To Kosovo

Kosovo is one of those places that conjures up thoughts of conflict and strife. Synominous with the Yugoslav Conflict in the same way as Sarajevo, Mostar and Srebdenica. The Islamic enclave and particularly its embattled capital Pristina certainly bore a heavy price due to the ethnic cleansing that the Serb forces carried out in those […]

Balkans Tour 2017 – Tirana

We found our hotel to be delightful and soon forgot our ‘taxi’ driver. Recently renovated the Hotel Areela was decorated very nicely throughout with plenty of interesting objects dotted about. We were about ten minutes walk to Skanderbeg Square, the social hub of the city. We had been there almost ten years to the day […]

Potter’s Portugal

Most people know the story about how the amazing J K Rowling wrote the beginnings of the Harry Potter series as a single mother sat in the Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh, often staying for hours on end with a single cup of coffee and writing the story on free paper napkins. Inspired by the […]

Syria Before The Conflict Part Five, Saladin’s Castle & Memory Tricks

Are you ever convinced of something only to find that the memory has played tricks on you? Well this happened to me whilst chronicling my 2009 Syria trip. I have just discovered some notes I scribbled along the way and have found two long held beliefs to be incorrect. First of all we visited in […]

Syria Before The Conflict Part Two, Castles & Monasteries

Aleppo had proved to be a superb host city, but this did not stop us from going on a couple of full on day trips by private taxi. First up was St Simeon’s Monastery, some 30km north. St Simeon is the guy who legend has it was driven up the pole! Simeon the Stylite lived […]

A Journey To Syria – Part Two

Originally posted on On Track:
The journey continues from part one…….. Ankara to Adana Depart 20.05 Scheduled Arrival 07.25, 674KM Feeling a bit peckish we perused the menu. There is something really special about eating in the restaurant car of a train. I automatically think of Alan Whicker and Murder on the Orient Express, tuxedos…

Free Fringe Frivolity

Originally posted on Wilbur's Travels:
Edinburgh is a fabulous city to visit anytime of the year, but August is extra special. This is when the Scottish capital grows a comedy extension to further embellish its already huge popularity. I first visited the Fringe in the late ’90s and laughed out load to the likes…

Western Crete – Part Two

For part one click here. Next day would be all about the journey and not the destination. We were headed for the beach at Elafonisi, which translates as Deer Island. It was described in certain quarters as the ‘ninth best beach in the world.’ Very pretty, very debatable rating in my opinion. We were journeying […]

Western Crete – Part One

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and also one of the most beautiful. It may lack the signature towns of Santorini or Mykonos, but its natural landscapes are up there with their Cycladic Island peers and its place in Greek history as a warrior land from the times of the Ancient Minoans right […]