Ann was seventeen. Me too. It was 1977 and she spent several weeks that summer in Barcelona. I do not remember exactly how we met. Anyway, since then we spent whole days together. We read Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince, in our bad French. We met at bars and parties. We used to go up and down the boulevards and back. Ann was just beginning to speak Spanish. I was starting my poor English. So we understood together. Read more See the pictures
Captain James Cook, responsible for much of the toponomy of the Pacific Ocean, liked to be inspired by Admiralty friends or the Royals. In other cases never abused imagination and preferred to refer to the obvious. That was the case of Bay of Islands where he anchored, between the islands of Motuarohia and Motukauri, in late November 1769 . Read more See the pictures
Children laughs flood the deck at the stern side of the ferry. Others, teenagers, are feeding gulls throwing bread crumbs to the air. Seagulls skilfully trap it. Devoid of enthusiasm a waiter walks the aisle between the seats, carrying a hot teapot and a huge tray of sugary donuts. Other passengers sink their glances into Adalar Hürriyet local news pages. Read more See the pictures
Wales, Cymru i.e., is located under a large cloud. Under the cloud it’s raining and rain sometimes bends with the wind force. Then the rain falls horizontally. When the wind blows the cloud, while drags a new one. Cymru, i.e. Wales, does not suffer drought. Its underground aquifers are full. The rivers are full. The water falls from the sky and stays in the air. Then there is the sea. In summary, Wales is a wet country. Read more See the pictures
I let know to the customs official I had to overnight in the country and knowing the article was forbidden I should keep it in the office to retrieve it when I leave. I show him the bottle of blended and by his expression seemed to have seen the devil in person. He looked down at the bottle, tried to close his eyes without blinking and nervously entered and exited the small room to tell me that better I should go to talk with another official in a near office. I followed his friendly instructions and went there bottle in hand. Read more See the pictures
There is a curious piece in the Fiji Museum in Suva, the islands capital. It is simply the sole of a shoe. Yes, the sole of a shoe. And that's an uncommon element for a museum, it looks like out of place. Usually museums, maybe with the honorable exception of clothing and footwear, do not often display these kind of pieces. The phrase harder than a shoe's hole could summarize and justify the presence of the relic. Read more See the pictures
Whisky,kilts and tartans, golf, castles, a sausage called haggis, Sean Connery and a monster in a lake. A rugby selection and an unintelligible language, be either English or Gaelic. Bagpipes and last names beginning on Mac. Deep estuaries named firth and seven hundred islands. Robert Burns, Rob Roy and J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter's literary mother. Around and above plenty of water is added: is Scotland. Read more See the pictures
Jordan is a Bedouin chimera. A colonial ruling pen product. A Dead Sea riverside, a desert looking Arabia and a stony plane pointing to Mesopotamia.
- Wahad Arak , Mr.?
- Minfadlak, Hassan. Shukran jazilan!
f. Serendip, a former name for Sri Lanka + -ity. A word coined by Horace Walpole, who says (Let. to Mann, 28 Jan. 1754) that he had formed it upon the title of the fairy-tale `The Three Princes of Serendip', the heroes of which `were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of'.
The faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident. Also, the fact or an instance of such a discovery. Formerly rare, this word and its derivatives have had wide currency in the 20th century (from the Oxford English Dictionary) Read more See the Pictures
Knossos, Minoan Crete capital, home of the famous and legendary labyrinth, was undoubtedly the most important and known Hellenic island, but that position was disputed for many years, between 1600 and 1100 BC, and not always the capital of King Minos was preeminent. Four more cities disputed that hegemony: Eleftherna, Kydonia, Lyttos and Gortyn. Read more See the pictures
From Northern Ireland coast it’s clearly seen North Channel opposite bank, the steep profile of other lands. If not for water temperature would even be easy to reach swimming. Is the Kintyre peninsula, the island of Mull, and other Scottish coast. Further north, from White Park Bay it’s also seen, further away, the outline of Islay and the Mull of Oa, the Paps of Jura and amid Rathlin Island. Read more See the pictures
I may imagine Naguib Mafuz sitting in a table at Fishawa Café. Holds a cigarette between his fingers. Leafing through his notes. A little bit further, to the right, his cup of coffee. Occasionally lifts his head and looks carefully at his thoughts perhaps searching a particular recall. A waiter, attentive, renews the ashtray. Mafuz lowers his head and looks at his notes, after a puff of his half-smoked Kent. Probably a common scene in his favourite coffee in Jan al Jalili before a brainless assaults him with a knife injuring his neck and his hand. Read more See the pictures
In 1999 I used to meet with French fellows who lived in my neighbourhood. In those months of the end of the year the Rugby World Cup was at its heydays. Some were fierce supporters and even one of them had played before, when he was younger. Optimism reigned. On October 24 they win the quarter-final against Argentina at Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin. Read more See the pictures
The air condenses slowly around the iced cup while a Sanlucar de Barrameda Manzanilla subtle dash is poured in. Manzanilla is a kind of softer and lighter fino wine perfect for a southern aperitif. Nimble fingers holding a new slice as the knife masterfully glides over the leg of ham finely cuts it, converting white fat into a paradise almost transparent that melts in the mouth. One after another they are serving on a sheet of cellulose paper until together reach the table to accompany, with great fondness, cold manzanillas. Read more See the pictures
There was a time when the kingdom of Ulster, Ulaidh in Gaelic, one of four that existed on the island of Ireland with Connacht, Munster and Leister, left no heir to the throne. To solve such mismanagement was agreed a challenge, a boats competition, whoever who touched before the bank would be king. They say that the competition was tough and was already emerging a clear winner and future monarch when Labraid Lamh Dhearg, from the Uí Néill clan, more eager than anyone to sit on the throne, cut his hand and threw it to the shore. Strictly were no discussions about who was the first to score touch down. Read more See the pictures
Woman enters sparingly in the old temple, bows his head respectfully in front of the statue of the Bodhisattva, deposited some flowers and sets a thin smouldering incense sticks that immediately release a featured sandalwood fragrance. Others faithful remain and slowly and ceremoniously repeated the same gestures. Probably these have not changed over the past two millennia. What is changed is the temple itself, just a ruin in an old hundreds of years ago abandoned city. Here the cult is still preserved in the temples besides excavations and restoration. Read more See the pictures
In its years of glory Ajoblanco countercultural magazine published at the beginning of summer a special issue, a travel guide. It talked about from the legendary Magic Bus, a DKW linking Paris and Kathmandu via Kabul and Tehran, to the Europe's freak capitals. Read more See the pictures
Almost, as Male’ has a nearly rectangular shape. In has only two kilometres long by just over one wide, housing a hundred and fifty thousand people, roughly half the population of the Republic of Maldives, which is capital. In fact much of its surface area is land reclaimed from the sea. Read more See the pictures
Venice is full of wonderful terraces where to stay quietly sipping coffee or spritz and meanwhile keep an eye on life passing by just in front. There is one which is peculiar enough, despite not having any notable feature, its metal tables are ordinary, the premises has no special charm that deserves just stop staring at him. Spread their tables and chairs in a corner in the campo del Arsenal curiously halfway Paradiso and Purgatorio bridges. The particularity of this kind of limbo is that from their tables can peacefully watch the four lions guarding the Arsenal gates. One of them, the one on the left is singular, about ten feet tall is carved in marble from Mount Penteli, the same that was used in the construction of the Parthenon and other places on the Athenian Acropolis. It has engraved on its back, on both sides, a snakelike string in runic characters. Read more
Fields have an indefinite colour in early fall between Corbie and Vaux-sur-Somme, in French Picardy. Plowed surfaces, ready for sowing, alternate with the remains of rapeseed and maize crops. Gentle hills following one another in the landscape with meandering Somme have a radically different appearance in spring. Buds are growing in grain fields in late April and transform the perspective of the horizon. Everything is brightly green. It was the last colour seen by Manfred von Richthofen on Sunday April 21, 1918 at eleven o'clock in the morning while he was trying to land the triplane Fokker DR I Dreidekker he was piloting. He succeeded, but was already dead. Read more See the pictures
Usermaatra Setepenra, the chosen of Ra, born to be a god, and if not, he was deeply convinced. Son of Seti I and Queen Tuya was the third Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty. Rule Egypt for nearly seven decades between 1279 and 1213 BC with the name of Ramses II or Ramses Meriamon. Read more See the pictures
Is Ao Tea Roa, or New Zealand. At bird's eye view and if weather is clear, is easy to understand why Maori give some names to the islands. The South Island is Te Waka or Aoraki, the canoe of Aoraki, chasing the North Island, Te Ika a Maui, the great fish of Maui. To the south, now called Stewart Island is Te Punga or Te Waka Maui, the anchor of the canoe of Maui, the mythological hero. Read more See the pictures
In fact, at its highest point, does not exceed more than seven feet, while the average stays at five. So there is a good reason to worry about rising sea levels in a climate change scenario. Moreover, recalling the aftermath of the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Read more See the pictures
In the tiny and dispersed village of Clonfert, in the district of Galway, and near to the cathedral is a small and silent forest, which easily awakes the desire to walk in. A metal door in the wall gives access. On the fence a sign posts San Brandan Tree and Nuns Walk. Read more See the pictures
Qairuán has an affordable medina. Not too big and remarkably relaxed. Carpets hang on the whitewashed walls and marquetry decorates windows under a clear blue sky. Traders sit patiently in the shade, on the streets, waiting for a customer in front of their business. Read more See the pictures
Fernando VII, by the grace of God and the Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, King of Spain, and in his absence and captivity the Regency of the Kingdom appointed by common and extraordinary Parliament session, to all who see and hear these, let know: That the Parliament have decreed and sanctioned the following Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy. Read more See the pictures
Λαβύρινθος, Labýrinzos: in ancient Greek means something like the place of the double blade axe. In times of the Minoan civilization Labros axe symbolized the city of Knossos and by extension Pasiphae son’s myth, the Minotaur, the famous dweller of the Cretan palace maze. And etymological origin for Labyrinth word. Read more See the pictures
It’s Parisian. Very Parisian. The square is so much that could be unabashedly compared with place du Marche de Sante Catherine in the heart of the Marais or the Latin Quarter Contrescarpe of the French capital. Arguments not lacking. At one of its side rises the Hotel de Francia y Paris, that's the name, a very reasonable three star, with a somewhat vintage flavour and a transitional reforms limiting water sporadically. Read more See the pictures
Somebody said Adelaide looks like a British city. I found it rather an American one, thought its people are with no doubt genuinely Australian. The spacious layout of its streets and avenues is as rectangular as it could be Manhattan in New York or San Francisco's North Beach, with large murals and Chinatown included, but maybe in a smaller scale. There is also a tram, thought it doesn’t climb any hill as Nob Hill and also have a cathedral which could vaguely remember Saint Patrick in the Fifth Avenue. Read more See the pictures