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Friday Photo – Colourful Turkmen Pilgrims, Ancient Merv

In the complex of the Mosque of Yusuf Hamadani there lies a tomb of an unknown 12th Century dervish. As is a tradition throughout Turkmenistan, ladies use their holidays to make pilgrimages to important tombs. The ritual is that the ladies, dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry, walk round and round the epitaph asking […]

Mary & Merv

No this isn’t the name of a US sitcom or Australian talk show hosts, but modern & ancient cities a few kilometres apart in Turkmenistan. We arrived in Mary, one of the largest cities in the Central Asian country, by slow train from capital Ashgabat at around 1 in the morning and made straight for […]

Train to Provence

When the lovely chaps from Eurostar announced summer travels direct from London to Marseille, I immediately thought “I’ll have some of that!” The inaugural service via Lyon & Avignon was on 1st May 2015 and just a shade over three years later I took the plunge with Mrs Wilbur and our great friend Chris. At […]

The Joy Of Booking

I subscribe to the notion that the joy of a trip should be in the journey as well as the destination or more often than not the destinations. I love getting somewhere by train if possible. For example, SNCF strike permitting, I am off to Marseille by train from London in a few weeks. Eight […]

Taxi!

I share a loathing of taxis with the author of one of my favourite fellow bloggers, Andrew Petcher. A recent post of his inspired me to write this short piece. I find taxis to be over-priced at the best of times and my aversion to them has seen me get hopelessly lost on several occasions when […]

Sunday Photo – Blue Mosque, Yerevan

A-Z April Challenge – Norias of Hama, Syria

In May 2009 I was lucky enough to visit Syria. This is how it was before the tragic conflict. Hama is famous for its norias, huge wooden water wheels used to lift water from the River Orontes to irrigate the crops. It is claimed that they date back to 1100 BC and although no longer […]

A-Z April Challenge – Jerash

I visited Jordan in 2005 and whilst Petra was as you may expect the undoubted highlight, the Roman ruins of Jerash was not far behind. I am yet to visit the likes of Persepolis, Carthage and Leptis Magna, but having been to Volubilis, Butrint, Pompeii, Baalbek, Beit Sheehan and others, I would put Jerash (Gerasa) […]

A-Z April Challenge – Inca Trail

Not somebody that you would put in the ‘athletic’ category, the three day hike along the trail at altitude to Machu Picchu was one of the most physically demanding things that I have done. I so nearly didn’t get the opportunity………. It was 2001 and we had embarked on a three week tour of Peru […]

Sunday Photos – Orthodox Easter

Today is Easter Sunday in the Orthodox Church with celebrations in the likes of Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine & Romania taking place today. These pictures were taken on Friday evening and after midnight this morning in and around the St Constantine & St Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Norwood, South London. Christ’s Epitaph […]