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A wander through Getsemani
Historically, Getsemani is the area of Cartagena where African slaves lived during colonial times. The Spanish had imported them (after they’d killed off most of the native population) to build their fortifications: the city walls and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. They were housed here, outside the city walls, away from the grand homes of the soldiers and merchants who controlled it.
A (steep) walk in the Valle Cocora
Cocora was a princess, daughter of Acaime, chief of the local Quimbaya indigenous people. Today she lends her name to Colombia’s Cocora Valley, where the native wax palms (the national tree) grow up to 60 metres and live for about 200 years.
Colombia, History, Lens-Artists, Monday walks, Photographing Public Art, Street art, Street photography
Finding peace in Medellín
How do you find peace in a city rife with crime and violence? During the 1980s and most of the 1990s Medellín had the reputation of being one of the most violent cities in the world.
A stroll around Villa de Leyva
Colombia’s Villa de Leyva is one of those places where time seems to have stopped still. Or at least, it would seem that way were it not for the large number of visitors, both Colombian and international, who descend on the town to see its perfectly preserved colonial architecture and huge main square. This is a town that is as much museum as place to live.
A walk in Patan, the City of Beauty
Patan is said to be one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. It is also known as Lalitpur, which means the City of Beauty. The name recognises its tradition of arts and crafts which continue to define the city.
A city stroll in London
The oft-quoted line, ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ comes from a discussion between Johnson and James Boswell about whether or not Boswell's affection for London would wear thin should he be living there as Johnson did, rather than enjoying the city on occasional visits.
Living on borrowed time in Djiffer
At the southern tip of a spit of land on the coast of Senegal, which separates the sea from the waters of the Saloum, lies the small village of Djiffer. Its narrow strip of houses is thus squeezed between the waters of the Atlantic to the west and the lagoons of the Sine Saloum delta to the east. The Atlantic Ocean to the west is continually nibbling at its sandy shores in an effort to meet up with the waters of the Saloum. People living here are doing so on…
Gallery: blowing the cobwebs away at Druridge Bay
Just a few miles north of built-up post-industrial Tyneside lies the wide expanse of Druridge Bay. Its seven miles of sands are lined with sand dunes and are just perfect for a winter walk. The landscape is an interesting mix, with wind turbines visible in the distance but otherwise feeling rather remote.
My travel year in review, 2022
All of us who love to travel, and are fortunate enough to be able to do so, will I hope be looking back on a year filled with both familiar and foreign places. For most of us, 2022 was the year in which we began to feel comfortable travelling again. When, despite a few new forms to fill in and masks to be worn, perhaps reluctantly, on planes, the world opened up again and we could scratch that travel itch, relieve that homesickness ‘for the places we have never known’.
In Bandipur, an ancient hilltop town
Strung out along a ridge in the Himalayan foothills lies the ancient town of Bandipur. It has only been fully accessible by road since 1998. The ridge is just 200 metres long and barely wide enough to accommodate the main street and the buildings that line it. Behind the houses the mountainside falls away steeply. The small market gardens farmed by the inhabitants are accessible only by steps cut into the hillside.