A market, some art and religion…

We ate our picnic lunch today out the front of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a Russian Orthodox cathedral near the centre of Moscow. It seems that today was the day for coach loads of rural Russians to visit the city. There were lots of elderly people including heaps of little bent old ladies…

Gorki Park and Metro

We had our picnic in Gorki Park today and spent quite a bit of time just sitting in the lovely sunshine – Jeremy was reading, I was people watching. Moscow is not what I had imagined not to be and I realise I have possibly fallen victim to 80’s propaganda of what it was like…

Moscow, Moscow…

I have to admit to a little bit of nervousness about visiting Moscow…especially with Russias sometimes negative impact on world affairs. And the hastle of getting a Visa…needing to be invited by your booked hotel. On the morning of our flight to Moscow from Berlin our accommodation was cancelled which lead to a rushed search…

Berlin – Stasi and Templehof

The Stasi Museum is in one of the buildings where the Stasi operated out of during the years of the GDR, until the fall of the wall in 1989. Having read Anna Funders, Stasiland, I am a little bit familiar with the stories linked to the Stasi and in particular how they forced people into…

Berlin…art and memorial

Today was another massive day in Berlin. In contrast to Brussels which felt edgy and uncertain, Berlin feels edgy and certain, a city that doesn’t care what others think, a city where people can be themselves. A city that is comfortable in its dishevelled exterior. It has been rapidly rebuilt after the destruction of WW2,…

Walls of Berlin

We’re in Berlin so of course the first thing we do is see the infamous wall. We are in easy walking distance to the wall memorial where part of the wall has been retained plus other bits added to create an informative and thought provoking memorial site. Nearby is the Nordbahnhof, or north train station,…

Another serve of Brussels?

The ICE International train zooms, almost quietly, across the Belgium and then Germany countryside, heading to Frankfurt. We will get off at Koln (Cologne) to catch our next train to Berlin. I take the opportunity to read some more opinion pieces on Brussels, because I am still trying to process my feelings for this contradictory…

High art, low art and a cultural melting pot

I sit in our inner city Brussels apartment with the window wide open. From two stories down the sounds of the street echo up. People’s laughter and chatter, children playing, lads kicking a football, distant music, women’s high heels clacking down the cobblestones. I sip beer and munch on salted peanuts and reflect on my…

Back across the channel

We arise early to catch the Eurostar to Brussels. It is interesting how we approach a new and unfamiliar city. Many things are similar, but with subtle differences, like getting a ticket for the Metro to get from the main station into the city. There are only so many ways this mass system of human…

Heading south

On our way back to Europe from Scotland we took the opportunity to detour to the lovely lush Herefordshire, to visit an ex-work mate of mine. Tanya and I worked together for many years and we reminisced about our days at the farm when it was really quiet and we had hardly any visitors. We…

Ruthin, North Wales

The hills of North Wales almost make up for leaving the Highlands of North West Scotland. We spend the time here catching up with Jeremy’s parents, Mike and Mary, in their lovely house and garden in Llangynhafal, taking some walks and checking out a few local sites. The first walk we take is the regular…

Denbigh Mental Asylum

Broken views through shattered windows. Glass crunching underfoot. Risky, dangerous…definitely spooky. Hidden in the middle of beautiful scenery are these beautiful buildings hiding a multitude of ugly sins. Broken cells for broken people?…or for people who don’t confirm to a broken society? What used to be a place of confinement, labotamies and autopsies is now…