The Breathtaking Beauty of Bolivia’s Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve

Bolivia is often overlooked in favour of its more accessible neighbours Peru and Chile, but to bypass it is to miss out on one of the most captivating countries on Earth. With Amazonian jungle, Andean plains, colonial cities and the incredible Salar de Uyuni salt flats, the diversity of this landlocked nation deserves to be appreciated. And it was to one of Bolivia’s most striking landscapes that I was most drawn during my South American...

Impressions of India Part 2 – A Brief Stopover in Bangalore

A few months ago, I introduced you to my former colleague David Bader (and his unique way of seeing things), as he visited India on a work familiarisation trip. We now join David on days 3 and 4 of his visit. As with the first article, (I recommend you read it first if you haven’t already done so!) it’s a collection of his thoughts and observations, told as only he can tell them. Here is the second instalment of ‘Impressions of India’.

The Rare Ecosystem and Alien Landscapes of Paracas National Reserve in Peru

With the gold and russet dunes folding into each other in the distance, I stepped straight out onto the arid Martian landscape. Or so it seemed. If it wasn’t for the bold blue of our earthly sky, I could have sworn I’d just set foot on our neighbouring planet. That, and the fact I wasn’t wearing a spacesuit or breathing apparatus! It certainly wasn’t the panorama I was expecting to be met by when I booked...

Opitsaht, cow, clayoquot, canada

The Curious Case of the Opitsaht Cows of Vancouver Island

To be fair, the cows themselves don’t rouse all that much curiosity. I am, after all, talking regular mooing livestock commonly found roaming in herds across green fields or dusty plains. It’s where you find this particular little group of cattle, and what brought them there, that adds the hefty pinch of intrigue.

By our jeep at the Uyuni salt flats

El Salar de Uyuni – how to plan your trip to Bolivia’s spectacular salt flats

It’s rightly proclaimed as one of the must-see bucket-list destinations in South America. Mind-boggling, remote and achingly beautiful, the Uyuni Salt Flats (aka El Salar de Uyuni) in Bolivia are the largest salt flats on the planet, spanning over 10,000 km2 at an altitude of almost 12,000 feet. Set within a harsh volcanic landscape in one of the most naturally diverse and striking countries on Earth, the vistas of this region stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other...

Vinicunca, the 7-coloured mountain (Rainbow Mountain) in Peru

7 fabulous destinations featuring…..the number 7!

It’s in our nature to seek out patterns, to find symmetry and to group things in meaningful clusters. Cultures through the ages have found significance in doing so, with fables and rituals often the result. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be superstitious, some of us will still, for example, have a ‘lucky’ number. Ask anybody what that number is and there’s a good chance they’ll answer ‘7’. Think about it. We often group...

Edvard Grieg’s Troldhaugen – in the home of Norway’s musical king

Click on this link, close your eyes and listen for a couple of minutes. What does the music make you think of? Even if you already recognise composer Edvard Grieg’s classic ‘Morning Mood’ masterpiece, there is no doubt this is one of those musical works of genius which conveys exactly what it is supposed to. There is something about the composition that evokes an image of our noble sun rising at dawn, in a pastoral scene...

The Castle Garden of Malmö – an urban oasis

Less than 10 minutes’ walk from Malmö’s Central Train Station and even closer to the city’s famous Lilla Torg medieval square, lies a little enclave of ecological heaven which is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. The Castle Garden, or Slottsträdgården, is an organically-managed series of plant and vegetable gardens with a café, nestled between the major attractions of Malmö Castle and the impressive trees and parkland of both Slottsparken and the...

Lilla Torg – medieval Malmö’s little square, in pictures

  ‘If you’re short on time, you’ve got to visit Lilla Torg first’, my fellow hotel guest advised, without hesitation, ‘it’s a beautiful little medieval square less than 15 minutes from here’. And I was indeed short on time. I had just a few hours – a tiny window during a hectic weekend celebrating my best friend’s son’s wedding, where I could explore Malmö, Sweden’s gateway city from across the Øresund Bridge, which connects the country...

7 reasons to feel the love on Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air… Well… for some, perhaps – certainly there’s some love from the retail sector, as cash registers go ker-ching across the western world. This is because we’re all rushing out to buy the perfect (i.e. not too gushing/rude/cutesy) Valentine card, frantically trying to book a half-decent restaurant (because, quite frankly, you’ve left it too late), or choosing the least-cheap-looking bunch of flowers we can afford (seriously, how much can a dozen...