One of Colombia’s most famous crops
Colombia is notorious for a particular crop, but as a visitor you’re not very likely to visit any farm growing that! However, they are very openly proud of their coffee and many farms welcome visitors. We visited a typical farm with a guide, Juan-Paolo, who was a former employee.
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.
Exploring the temple town of Manakamana
I can never resist the opportunity to ride in a cable car. So when our tour company suggested that we break the long drive from Chitwan to Bandipur with a ride up to the temple at Manakamana, I agreed immediately. It would be a chance to see a different side of Nepal, I thought. And it was, but not quite in the way I had imagined.
A postcard from Nepal: Annapurna
The Annapurna Range of the Himalaya Mountains can be seen from Bandipur, an ancient hill town in Nepal
Mount Paektu, the revolutionary mountain
Straddling the border between North Korea and China is a still-active volcano, Mount Paektu. Its last eruption was in 1903 and scientists consider that another one could be imminent, based on a trend of eruptions roughly 100 years apart. The crater lake, Lake Chon (‘Heaven Lake’) was formed in the 946 AD eruption.
The best views of Paris?
It’s hard to ignore the Tour Montparnasse. This 210 metre high skyscraper dominates the skyline on the southern fringes of central Paris. Its monolithic appearance has often been criticised as incongruous or inappropriate for this proudly elegant city.
Udaipur, Rajasthan’s city of lakes
Udaipur’s setting in the Aravalli Mountains, and around a string of man-made lakes, gives it a unique character among Rajasthan’s cities. Arriving here it is immediately obvious why it is so often called the ‘city of lakes’.
In the footsteps of the Anasazi: Tsankawi
One reason for our planning to spend several days in Santa Fe on our New Mexico road trip was to visit nearby Bandelier National Monument. I had read a lot about it and knew it was just the sort of place we would enjoy visiting. Then a few months before our visit a wildfire swept through the area, devastating over 146,000 acres, including about 60% of Bandelier’s area. Almost all of the monument was closed to visitors.
Gallery: I want to meet you in the big sky country
For the keen traveller, what makes a place special? Sometimes it’s the place itself, a beautiful landscape that captures the heart. Sometimes it’s the people, making you feel comfortable and welcome. Or maybe it’s all about the activities, whether you’re into bird-watching or gallery hopping, an adrenaline-junkie or culture buff. One thing that ties together many of the places that have most lifted my heart is a sense of openness.
Gallery: enjoying serene views in Costa Rica
A holiday in Costa Rica is all about connecting with nature. The animals, the birds, the landscapes. The Pura Vida indeed.