Gutenberg Castle

Hilltop fortress with film-star looks and a rich history

Looking like a set from a movie, Gutenberg Castle in Liechtenstein sits atop a steep hill above the small town of Balzers.  Together with Vaduz Castle – the residence of the country’s ruling Prince – it is one of only two of the principality’s five castles that have not fallen into ruin.  Yet the castle […]

Liechtenstein

An alpine principality celebrates its 300th anniversary

The principality of Liechtenstein nestles between Austria and Switzerland.  It is one of only two doubly-landlocked countries in the world, meaning its neighbours are also landlocked. Europe’s fourth smallest country, the German-speaking principality covers only 160 km² and has a population of just under 38,000. Click on the photos to enlarge them and see the […]

The Haenyeo of Jeju Island

Free-diving females with a fondness for fish

The female divers or haenyeo of Jeju are part of the South Korean island’s rich history. In 2016, UNESCO added the haenyeo to its list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Yet, unless things change, the haenyeo might soon be a thing of the past. For centuries, they have dived in the waters around the […]

Jagalchi Fish Market

Where the skate on your plate is never out of date!

The Jagalchi fish market in Busan is South Korea’s largest fish market and one of Busan’s top attractions. Busan is South Korea’s second city.  Situated on the South Eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, it is the country’s biggest port and the fifth largest in the world. The city is known for its beaches, mountains […]

Jeju-do

Founded by gods, loved by tourists

The volcanic island of Jeju lies to the south west of the Korean Peninsula.  Known for its warm climate and beach resorts, it is South Koreans’ favourite domestic holiday destination.  Yet with a dormant volcano towering nearly two kilometres over the middle of the island, a landscape of volcanic craters and a multitude of museums, […]

South Korea

Land of the Morning Calm, Country of Contrasts

What springs to mind when you think of South Korea?  Top brands such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia?  Korean barbeque?  K-pop with its synthesised music, dance routines and colourful clothes?  Or perhaps Gangnam, the stylish upmarket district of the capital Seoul, which gave its name to the K-pop global hit ‘Gangnam Style’?  These are […]

Discovering the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Culture and Happy Horse Riding

The Dominican Republic is renowned for its white sandy beaches, palm trees and sparkling blue seas.  For visitors from North America and Europe it can offer the quintessential Caribbean experience. Yet, as I discovered, there is much to see and do beyond the confines of the all-inclusive resorts for which the country is renowned. My […]

Leiden

A rich heritage in science, arts and commerce

The Dutch city of Leiden is only 180km away from Brussels, where I live, but it took me many years to finally get round to visiting the picturesque city.  Even then, it took a proposal from a group of friends in the UK to go to see an exhibition on the ancient Persian city of […]