Koprivshtitsa: a Bulgarian time capsule
Koprivshtitsa is no ordinary town but rather a time capsule. Several of its houses are associated with significant players in the 1876 April Uprising against Ottoman rule. The uprising failed, but a fire had been ignited. The brutalities committed by the Turks while suppressing it led to widespread condemnation across Europe which was the trigger for the Russo-Turkish War. This ended in Turkish defeat. Thus the April Uprising can be regarded as having eventually achieved its original aim, the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.
A postcard from Colombia: a street corner in Guatapé
Many of the houses in Guatapé are decorated with friezes along the lower portion, known as zócalos.
Stepping back in time: living history at Beamish
How does it feel to step back in time and immerse ourselves in the world our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents knew? There are places where we can do just that, living museums that collate and preserve not just objects but the buildings that housed them and the environments in which those buildings sat. One such place is Beamish, in north east England.
Stepping back in time in Bulgaria
Koprivshtitsa is not a regular sort of town; all the buildings of the town centre constitute a museum. Together they form a sort of time-capsule, encapsulating the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period of the 19th century. Wandering its streets you can feel yourself transported back in time; and exploring its historic houses opens your eyes to a difficult period in the country's past.
Lunch with a Bedouin family in Oman
Salma is an Omani Bedouin. She lives part of the time in a tent on the fringes of the vast Wahiba Sands; and part of the time in a modern house in the nearby town of Bidiyyah. She wore the traditional Bedouin face mask, designed to protect from sandstorms and the elements in general, as she and her daughter in law served our lunch of traditional bread, rice, dhal, chicken, fish and salad.
Out of Africa: visiting Karen Blixen’s home
'I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.' With this sentence Karen Blixen opens her account of life on a coffee plantation just outside Nairobi. It was the 1920s, and this was British East Africa, not Kenya - part of the (by then fading) British Empire. The book presents a vivid, if at times uncomfortable, picture of African colonial life and the relationships between colonists and native inhabitants.
Gallery: the Painted Ladies of Cape May
Until I visited, all my images of New Jersey came from song lyrics - Paul Simon's traffic-clogged turnpike and Bruce Springsteen's urban working class childhood.
Gallery: the merchant houses of Takayama
There was something special about Takayama. I could feel it in the air as soon as I stepped off the train – crisp, fresh mountain air, so refreshing after the heat of Kyoto.