An Autumn Mystery

A true tale from the mountains of Liechtenstein

You have no doubt heard the expression ‘things that go bump in the night’.  It is a rather hackneyed collection of words, usually referring to tales of nocturnal visits by ghosts or poltergeists.  Overuse has given it a tongue in cheek meaning. Well, this autumn I had a strange and rather unnerving experience when something […]

Erta Ale

Ethiopia's Most Active Volcano

Staring into the crater of an active volcano and watching the boiling lava churn and crash against the rock is at once an exciting and humbling experience.   At Erta Ale, a volcano in northern Ethiopia, you can do just that.   It’s located in the country’s Afar region, not far from the border with Eritrea.  […]


Gate to Hell

In the middle of Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert lies one of Central Asia’s more unusual attractions – a huge crater in which gas escaping from hundreds of cracks in the ground burns day and night.  Yet these seemingly eternal flames are no relic left by the Zoroastrian fire worshippers who once lived in the region:  the […]

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

As a child my imagination was caught by the film version of Jules Verne’s 1864 science fiction novel ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.  The story tells of Professor Lidenbrock, who is convinced that volcanic tubes lead to the centre of the planet.  Together with his nephew Alex, he travels to Iceland and descends […]