• Italy,  Monday walks

    On a walk through Serra San Quirico

    Typical Italian stone village surrounded by trees

    Imagine a small hill-top town, its old buildings ringed by a defensive wall. The wall is threaded through with covered passageways, known as copertelle. In the past these afforded the residents a safe route around the town even at times of attack. Today they repay exploration by visitors who want to absorb some of the unique atmosphere of this pretty…

  • England

    Yes, I remember Adlestrop

    Yellow stone cottage with roses growing around it

    How many of you have had to learn a poem by heart as a child? It’s strange that something that was perhaps a chore at the time can become a fond memory, especially if we grow to love the poem. One of the most often learned English poems might just be Edward Thomas’s Adlestrop, first published in 1917. The poem…

  • Culture & tradition,  Monday walks,  Senegal

    A village built on shells

    Village street with men sitting on bench

    Fadiouth is an island village, and a rather unique one. It is also known as Shell Island, and the reason for this is pretty obvious; it is built on layers and layers of shells. These have accumulated over the centuries as the locals subsisted on cockle fishing in the shallows of the mangrove lagoons and simply discarded the shells, or…

  • Culture & tradition,  Guatemala,  Just One Person,  Street photography

    Traditional textiles in San Antonio Palopo

    Girl in traditional blue clothing

    There is something a little bit different about San Antonio Palopo, one of the smaller villages on Lake Atitlàn. Most of the villages in this part of Guatemala are Tz'utujil, where bright reds and embroidered flowers are the preferred shades for huipiles, the traditional embroidered blouses. But the people of this village are Cakchiquel Maya; and almost without exception every…

  • Gambia,  People,  Street art

    Wide Open Walls in a Gambian forest

    Man in white African dress walking past painted building

    It has become quite usual to see murals on many of the walls of our cities. Whether we call it graffiti or street art; whether we love it or hate it; it is part of the urban landscape. But do we expect to see it in a remote rural village in the Gambia?

  • Culture & tradition,  Just One Person,  Rajasthan

    Meeting the locals in Narlai, Rajasthan

    Lady in Indian dress with a goat

    The village of Narlai in Rajasthan would be completely off the tourist track were it not for the hotel that has been created in the former hunting lodge of Jodhpur’s royal family. It is a small village which faces some of the same challenges as rural communities everywhere. Its population is declining as younger people drift away, tempted by big…

  • Architecture,  Friendly Friday,  History,  Landscape,  New Mexico

    Following the High Road to Taos

    Mountain road with car on verge

    There are two ways to get to Taos from Santa Fe. There is the quicker (but still pretty) Low Road, and the more dramatically scenic and historically interesting High Road. This winds through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains through high desert, forests and tiny communities. On the way there are stories to be discovered, stunning landscapes to marvel at and…

  • Dark tourism,  Gambia,  History,  People

    Roots: dark history or tourist trap?

    Painting of young slave

    As our boat neared the jetty some village children ran to meet us. Whether in excitement at the break in the routine of the day, or in expectation that tourists meant tips, I wasn't sure - probably a mix of the two. I couldn't help but reflect how differently the boats docking here would have been greeted in the past.