Rome – The Colosseum: To the People Restored

We passed the Colosseum on the way to our hotel, and found it even more impressive than any images could convey.  The following day, with the sun high in the sky, I made my way past the Forum and over to the Colosseum to see it properly in daylight. When …

The Roman Forum at a Glance

I first saw the ancient Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) from a Segway bike. I looked up from the cobblestones as our tour guide gathered us together, and there it was – the scene so often painted by Grand Tour visitors from the C17th and C18th. Stretching out beneath us, stood …

Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Singapore – from a garden city to a city in a garden, the Gardens by the Bay symbolises Singapores 21st century transformation

Arles: Then and now – Van Gogh’s Yellow House

In May 1888 Vincent Van Gogh rented four rooms at 2 Place Lamartine, in a town called Arles in the south of France. This would come to be known as the Yellow House. The rooms were on the right wing of the nearest building in the painting. The two ground …

Travelling mindfully is like making a violin

Do you approach travel with excitement or trepidation? How do you find calm amidst the excitement? And importantly, how do you balance these to get the most out of travel, and out of life more generally? It seems to me, that to get the most out of our travel, we …

Pack a light heart – and travel positively

How do we stay positive when we travel? We’ve all been there. The flight gets cancelled, the accommodation is unavailable, the unexpected happens. We experience frustration – often magnified when we travel, perhaps compounded by language difficulties and cultural differences. What happens next is up to us. Tourists demand, pilgrims …

Arles: Van Gogh’s CafeTerrace at Night – then and now

Ever wanted to put yourself in the picture? It was evening and the sky was precisely the deep Prussian Blue that Van Gogh portrayed in his painting of “the Café Terrace at Night”. The lights under the awning reflected warmly in the wine glasses as we toasted our meal and our …

France: Les Machines de L’Isle in Nantes

Les Machines Some go to Nantes because it was the birthplace of visionary C19th author Jules Verne; others for the quirky botanical gardens, but for something truly unique, visit Les Machines de l’Isle. In 2004, as the former Naval shipyard lay closed and abandoned, two theatre designers –François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice …

Cassini – Science the Church and a Gnomon

As the Cassini Saturn probe prepares for its final few orbits before being de-orbited into the planet, it’s worth considering who it was named for – the C16th Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. These days the Vatican collaborates with the European Space Agency and NASA on space science. Even the Vatican Library …