I was pleased to be able to spend a few days in Istanbul, Turkey this week. This city, often described as spanning two continents, lives up to its name with the influence of so many cultures on show. On this blog post I’m going to let the images do most of the talking but just to mention: The mosques: what a city in which to make my first visit inside one of these grand buildings. There is a wealth of history behind the mosques in Istanbul and plenty of guidance to make the most of a visit here. Visiting tip:
Gibraltar is one of my favourite places and I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to go back there again this year. This is a quick post because I just wanted to share with you the surreal, fantastic sight of Santa on a cherry picker sorting out the lights himself. Great to see the task not being delegated.
It’s great to be back in Switzerland, specifically Geneva which is a big focal point for the science community, with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN having generated so much interest recently. It’s a relatively well-known fact that the big underground loop of the LHC crosses international borders; the buildings above the surface are a real cross-border effort too. On that subject, it’s interesting to see that since my last visit in the summer of 2008, Switzerland has joined the Schengen zone so moving in and out of the country is friction-free. As well as re-discovering the city –
It was great to visit Rotterdam this week – the Netherlands’ second city. This was pretty much a day trip but thanks to its close proximity to the UK and the speed of Eurotunnel it’s possible to squeeze a nice long day trip from it. I’m pleased I found the time to ascend the Euromast – the views from there across the city were really striking. I must also mention the photos in the tourist information office showing the extent of the damage done in World War II and snapshots of the rebuilding efforts over the years. It was quite
Gibraltar is a wonderful home away from home for me; I’m sure others feel the same way. It may only be 6.7 square km but they certainly pack a lot in around “The Rock”, with the added benefit that there’s plenty of sea around it to be reclaimed bit by bit for extra stuff. This wasn’t my first visit to this warm, interesting, inviting country on the Med, but certainly my longest visit, with Gibraltar being my main destination rather than a stop along the way. Highlights on this trip included: Airport and runway: at the top end of Gibraltar.
Puerto Rico is a wonderful island in the Caribbean. A US territory, it has a rich culture and way of doing things all of its own. I really love how the Caribbean island culture takes a slight steer from its US influence but is very much its own thing. Just a short domestic flight away from Miami, although one hour ahead of there, there are stark contrasts between the city life in San Juan and many other areas of the island. There is a rich history here and of course mixed views about the level of US involvement that there