Land of Mountains and Monasteries

Armenia – or Hayastan to give it its Armenian name – is a small, landlocked country in the South Caucasus, a mountainous territory between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Lying at the eastern most boundary of Europe, the region is a strategic crossroads linking the ‘Old Continent’ with Asia.  Over the centuries, Armenia […]

Rapa Nui

One of the Remotest Inhabited Places on Earth

Before visiting Easter Island, I had not really realised quite how isolated it was.  In fact, it is one of the remotest inhabited places on our planet.  Set in the south eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, the small triangular island lies over 3700km west of Chile and more than 2000km east of tiny Pitcairn Island […]

Oman and the Al Hajar Mountains

Of Frankincense and Flowers, Pomegranates and Palms

During my latest visit to Oman, as well as visiting the coastal capital Muscat, I ventured into the interior to the Al Hajar Mountains, to Nizwa with its fort, and to the impressive Jebel Akhdar, or Green Mountain.   Click on the pictures below for a description of each place. Situated at the South-Eastern corner […]


Island of Dragon's Blood Trees

Socotra is a place of legends and myths.  In ancient times, the Phoenicians – the seafarers from what is today Lebanon – believed that it was on this mysterious island in the Indian Ocean that the phoenix lived.  It was also thought to be the home of another mythical bird, the giant roc, which featured […]

In the City of Gilgamesh

Fact meets Fiction at the Dawn of Time

Uruk, in what is today southern Iraq, is one of the oldest cities on earth and a thought provoking place to visit.  As I walked around the crumbling remains, the ground littered with shards of pottery thousands of years old, it was a strange feeling indeed. Referred to in the Old Testament as Erech, the […]