From Tartessos to Iberia

Ancient Greeks and Phoenicians were fascinated by the myths and mysteries of the unknown lands of the West, the existence of an unknown sea, beyond the columns of Hercules or a garden called Hesperides and a land or city whose name was Tartessos. Although not to be misled, myths hide interests, in this case metals that come from the mines of Huelva or through the secret route leading to the distant mines in the lands of Cornwall and Wales. Read more  See the pictures

Audacious Quay

It goes deep inside Trieste old port waters as if it were a sharp weapon, defying the clash of the waves or the violent north wind that pushes the water on the pier. Here steamers moored coming from distant harbours, and since the beginning, on gentle days, it was for the Trieste people a favourite place for the walk.

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Vasa's Short Sailing

What must have been seventeenth century largest warship destined to dominate the Baltic waters along the confrontation that Sweden maintained against Poland and Latvia in the framework of the Thirty Years War, ended up being a fiasco that barely sailed a mile before sinking in front of the island of Beckholmen, Stockholm, without having even reached open sea.  Read more  See the pictures

Desiderius' Cross

Santa Giulia Museum, in Brescia, Italy, exhibits an old and exceptional Lombard crucifix. It is covered on both sides by dozens of stone, glass and even Roman patrician portraits inlays. This is the Desiderius’ Cross. Read more See the pictures

A Neverending Name

Crossed Britannia Bridge, one of the two crossing the narrow stretch of sea that split the island of Anglesey or Ynnis Môn and Wales, there’s a town not known for its monuments because basically lacks of them, or by its church of Saint Mary or any imaginable tourist attraction as the column of the Marquis of Anglesey, a magnificent eighty eight feet high watchtower erected in memory of the courage of the Marquis, Henry Paget, at the Battle of Waterloo, but by the length of its unpronounceable name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.  Read more  See the pictures

Porto, the City of the North

On Douro River banks, before its waters melts in the Ocean’s, they say that one of Jason’s Argonauts called to find a city in the place where, years after, Greeks or Romans would introduce the crop of the vine. Barely dominated by the Arabs soon was formed a county called Portucale that finally become knew simply as the port, Porto.  Read more  See the pictures

At Pointe Courte, Sete

Pointe Courte – Short Point - is a small fishing village that is almost isolated behind the railway station and the highway link. Facing the great salt pond of Thau it looks like a world aside in Paul Valéry and Georges Brassens birth town.  Read more  See the pictures

The Seven Cities of Delhi

On the banks of the Yamuna River, a tributary of the sacred Ganges, halfway between the sands of the Rajasthan deserts and the foothills of the roof of the world, the Himalayas, had risen again and again one of the most populous cities in India and the whole world: Delhi. Read more  See the pictures

Utrecht, where the Treaty

Utrecht was one of the cities which created the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, embryo of the Netherlands. Here also was signed the treaty by which Europe was redistributed between the houses of Austria and the one of Bourbon, without forgetting the British interests. Read more  See the pictures

From Ragusa to Dubrovnik

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro, freedom is not for sale not even for all the gold in the world. The Republic of Ragusa, when it was a city-state on the Dalmatian coast, had to learn to swim and eat in the turbulent waters between Venetian and Turks to stay afloat and true to its slogan. Read more  See the pictures

Cluedo in Picardy, one Century Ago

One century ago, between April 20 and 21, 1918, Corto Maltes lived the awakening of springtime on the banks of river Somme, in the north of France, along First World War last warlike actions. There he witnessed the end of the famous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, in the episode that Hugo Pratt titled Côtes de Nuits and Picardy Roses. Read more  

Braga's Old Cafes

In the old town of the Portuguese city, neighbour of Oporto, three coffees are preserved as we usually call with no hidden satisfaction, those of lifelong. In this case lifelong began at the second half of the XIX century. Read more  See the pictures

Les Baux de Provence

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is an association of 157 municipalities that gathers and promotes the most beautiful villages in France. Les Baux de Provence, perched on a high rocky outcrop in the Alpilles Mountains, is one of them. Read more  See the pictures

Christchurch, N.Z.

The calm waters of the River Avon (the Hampshire Avon, not to be confused with Devon Avon, Bristol Avon, or Warwickshire Avon) placidly flows to the English Channel in Christchurch, near the summer village of Bournemouth. Setting upside down the globe we could say again the same phrase except for the precision about Avon rivers. Read more  See the pictures

South of Roussillon

Where the coast becomes sharp and, before it be called brave it is just called red, in a land surnamed La Marenda, and where the Pyrenees on its way down to the sea become soft and take the name of the Alberas. Read more  See the pictures

The City of Writers

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, looks like to have attracted in some special way to a significant number of writers. Numerous authors have been born or lived in the city, to the point that there are several monuments and a museum dedicated to them. Read more  See the pictures

Rotterdam, Work in Progress

The conquest of Holland by Nazi Germany was brief due to its forcefulness. Rotterdam was practically erased from the map, forcing the surrender of the country. After the war, reconstruction began. The one of the city was different and nowadays it has become a catalogue of avant-garde outdoor architecture. Read more  See the pictures

  

Niebla, a Western Taifa

The city of Niebla, halfway between the counties of El Condado and Andévalo, on the road from Seville to Huelva, is about thirty kilometres from the latter and lies along the banks of the Rio Tinto that once, when it was called Luxia, was navigable up to the city. Niebla preserved in a pretty good condition an admirable walls ring which completely encloses the old town. Read more  See the pictures

  

Trieste, the No Place

Changing city, colour filled, bordering and ductile bound. Some have defined it as a non-place, an atopic site. Trieste is everything and nothing, complements itself and is contradictory. All of this - and nothing - have made it cradle and port of call and stay of writers who have left in their pages evidence of such nuances. Read more  See the pictures

Winter's Morning Dream

In the winter solstice of 1918 Corto Maltese is awakened by a crow in the middle of the ruins of Stonehenge. In this way begins a new Maltese adventure that started in the fiction one hundred years ago. It was the episode of The Celts called Songe d'un Matin d'Hiver and in which Hugo Pratt makes a clear reference to British mythology characters who play in Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream.

Lisbon Lookouts

Portuguese capital, as the Italian one, Rome, extends, in an almost mythical way, over seven hills, a fact that favours to find out high points, belvederes or miradouros, from where scrutinize its neighbourhoods from above.  Read more  See the pictures

Goya's Birthplace

Fuendetodos is a small Spanish town where barely one hundred seventy souls live. It is quiet, a real haven of peace until a coach download a students’ bunch coming to visit the heart of the town where painter Francisco de Goya, here omnipresent, was born. Read more  See the pictures

The City into the Palace

Illyrian, born in Salona, Dalmatia, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus reached the summit of power in Rome on November 20 of the year 284, establishing a governance reform that became known as the Tetrarchy, dividing the state control between two Augusti and two Caesars, between East and West. When in the year 305, he was 59 year old he retired and returned to his homeland where he had erected a monumental palace that eventually would contain a city inside. Spalatum for the Romans, Spalato to Italians and Split in Croatia. Read more  See the pictures

The Island of the 500 Churches

Mykonos, Aegean Capital of sun and beach tourism, parties, debauchery and hedonism without limit, has a curiously disproportionate and unexpected high rate of churches, temples, shrines and chapels. Perhaps it could be to balance excesses.  Read more  See the pictures

Under the Flag of Gold 

This is the name of the second episode of The Celts where Hugo Pratt places Corto Maltes in the middle of World War I, the adventure happens after the battle of Caporetto, October 24, 1917, a hundred years ago. In it Corto knows a young Ernest Hemingway and Aristotle Onassis in a confused military scene in a volatile Veneto borders. Read more  See the pictures

Tana Toraja

It rains. No stops. I like the rain but this is too much. Doesn’t a drop fall after another. They fall all together. Incessantly. If Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim had visited this country would have believed that he had fallen overboard from Patna ship instead of being landed. It’s Tana Toraja, the land of Toraja people in Sulawesi, the Celebes Islands. Read more  See the pictures

Welcome to the Land of Ch'tis

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis is the original title of the French comedy of Dany Boon released in 2008. The film is an acidic comedy on life in northern France, Nord-Pas de Calais. Southwards, is the Somme department, the flowery Picardy region and the bitter memories of the war in the trenches. Read more  See the pictures

The Porte

From Café Loti’s terrace, on the last of Istanbul’s seven hills, view shows as Golden Horn splits new town and the old Seraglio and the memories of past empires. Beyond, Asia is sensed. Bridges stand between both shores with its frenetic traffic and numerous minarets project to the skies calling believers. Read more  See the pictures

The Island of Calm

Some will is needed to reach it. There is no airport, so the only access is by sea from Ibiza harbour. Its dimensions have necessarily limited accommodation for visitors, a fact that has slightly moved it away from mass tourism. Formentera is still relatively isolated from the rest of its neighbours and the rest of the world.  Read more  See the pictures

The Grand Canal

Passengers board with the indispensable caution the walkway leading to the vaporetto after selecting the right stop at Piazzale Roma. There starts line 1, which runs unhurried along the showcase of all the vanities that grow up above the water reflections on the great aquatic avenue winding between the Venetian neighbourhoods. Read more  See the pictures

Goin' Beatnik

In the late seventies and early eighties, finished adolescence without understanding what happened during military service, it was time to discover the first books published is this part of Europe about a then little known generation of rebels without a cause, which, also here, launched some young people on the road.   Read more  See the pictures

Onyar River Houses

It is one of the most known Girona landmarks, the facades looming to the Onyar River reflecting their colourful facades on the waters along city’s bridges. Read more  See the pictures

The Heaven's Embassy

It’s a state within a state occupying only a little bit of a city, just half one square kilometre. The Vatican is like a Heaven’s Kingdom embassy on Earth. No other religion aspires to such earthly legation. Read more  See the pictures

Napier, the Art Deco City 

Foxtrot and Dixie notes flow along the streets in an increasingly noticeable volume. Going ahead to meet the music suddenly appears a square where the playing band looks like any other coming from any Alabama or Missouri small town. Couples dance at the rhythm, dressed as if they were still living the roaring twenties. Buildings facades are in the mood. It’s Napier, New Zealand, the Art Deco city.  Read more  See more pictures

Slovenian Short Coast

Slovenia isn’t a microstate, but not a large country. On the West goes down from Triglavski National Park mountains, close to the Austrian border along the way of Isonzo River, Soča in Slovene language, bordering Italy. Consequently, the Adriatic coast is a not too long sample, a taste of Istria. Read more  See the pictures