Campo da Morte Lenta: Camp of the Slow Death
On the southern outskirts of the small fishing town of Tarrafel on Santiago, one of the Cape Verde Islands, is a haunting sight. Now a museum, this former concentration camp, also known as Campo da Morte Lenta, commemorates a darker time for the islands, under Portuguese rule.
Collecting countries: three in one day
Living on an island it has always been a source of some fascination to me that the people of other European countries can cross international borders as easily as they do, unhindered by a barrier of water. Even decades ago, before the European Union was conceived, it was simply a matter of driving to the border, showing a passport and you were through. No need to buy a ticket for ship or plane!
Gallery: seeking geometry in architecture
Architecture could be said to have begun with geometry. Since earliest times, builders have imitated natural forms, such as circles. Pattern can be found everywhere in nature, and nature knows what it is doing; geometrical shapes are not only pleasing to the eye, they provide strength.
Gallery: reflecting on birds
Maybe a desert isn’t the obvious place to look for bird reflections, or indeed reflections of any kind. Deserts are dry, no? And the Atacama Desert in Chile is especially so. In fact, it’s the driest non-polar desert in the world, and has had no significant rainfall for 400 years. And yet, the shallow waters of its barren salt flats offer picture-perfect reflections of feeding flamingos.
‘He keepeth a great court’: Fatehpur Sikri
There is something about a tale of a deserted city that tugs at the imagination. Here on this rocky ridge near Agra in Uttar Pradesh, the third Mughal emperor Akbar built a new capital: the walled city of Fatehpur Sikri, the ‘City of Victory’. But soon after its completion he abandoned his great city due to a lack of water at the site.
Spending time with the children of Chongjin
Visit most countries and you will be shown their grand monuments, historic sites, beautiful landscapes. Visit North Korea and you will see those sights too. But they are also keen that you meet some of their people and see how they live. Carefully selected people, that is. In the city of Chongjin, where major sights are relatively few, we had the chance to visit two very different schools.
Gallery: Staro Zhelezare, another street art village
Can you change the world, or at least one village, with art? It seems that in several parts of the world, that idea is taking hold. In this out of the way spot a group of young Polish artists have painted portraits of famous people on the walls alongside those of villagers.
The Lewis Burn inlet walk at Kielder Water
Set in one of the more remote parts of Northumberland, Kielder Water may be man-made, but it is a haven of tranquillity. This lovely stretch of water is surrounded by forest; at over 250 square miles, the largest working forest in England. The lake is a popular place for water sports, while the forest offers miles of walking and biking trails. It is a haven for wildlife, one of the few places in England where you can see red squirrels. And on a clear night its skies are full of…
King John was not a good man: Runnymede
The barons of early 13th century England would have agreed with A. A. Milne (the creator of Winnie the Pooh) that 'King John was not a good man'. In 1215 England was in political turmoil. King John had become vastly unpopular; his disagreements with the Pope over the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury led to a papal interdict against the country and the king’s excommunication, while the imposition of high taxes to fund the war with France led to mounting anger.
Bologna la Grassa: a foodie’s delight
Not for nothing is Bologna known as ‘La Grassa’, the Fat One. A visit here is truly a foodie’s delight! The city has had the nickname since medieval times, indicating that it was already famous throughout Europe for its wonderful food and drink as far back as the 1300s.