Diary of Life During a Pandemic
On Wednesday 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization declared that the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak was now a pandemic acknowledging that the virus is likely to spread to every country on the globe. At the time I was being re-patriated to the UK on one of the last flights to leave Italy as that country closed down dramatically curtailing a ski trip I was leading in the Italian Dolomites. My life and those of many others was about to be turned upside down. I decided to keep a personal diary of my life during a pandemic.
Tracing the Story of Art Nouveau in Riga
It is difficult to find an all-embracing definition of Art Nouveau architecture. Buildings in this style represent a breakaway from traditional, more rigid styles. In general, it introduced a fluidity of lines in the structure of buildings and decorations embracing the theme back to nature. There are animals, both real and fanciful, plants, fruits and suns everywhere. Art Nouveau blossomed more in Riga than anywhere else in the world as it coincided with a time of rapid expansion and a large number of talented architects ready, and able, to experiment.
A Sunday Morning Stroll Around the Marais, a District of Paris
Le Marais is an old Parisian district situated on the north bank of the River. It is a glorious mixture of history, architecture, cultures and cuisine. It is home to the Hôtel particulier, a large private mansion incorporating several bedrooms for the use of guests and some grandiose religious buildings reflecting early settlements of religious communities. As cars are not permitted in the central area of the Marais on a Sunday it is the ideal time to walk through this fascinating district. Highlights of my visit included the meringue shop and polyphonic singing.
Kiev, City of Domes
Kiev or Kyiv, the capital of the Ukraine is renowned for its high-rise architecture. Elegant nineteenth century residences punctuate its sky line, austere blocks serve as a reminder of Russian occupation but for me the lingering memory is the domes that dominate a grand array of impressive churches.
Landstrasse, District 3 of Vienna
Landstrasse, also referred to as District 3, in Vienna may be predominantly residential but there are still pockets of this area that reflect the former glory of the widespread Austrian Empire including the splendid Belvedere Park and the Baroque Salesian Church. Less crowded than the historic core of the city Landstrasse has plenty to offer the discerning traveller.
Minarets and More in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mostar, a city in Bosnia & Herzegovina is divided into two areas by the River Neretva which is spanned by the famous Stari Most, the old bridge. This river once formed the boundary between Croatia and Bosnia but the latter has risen from the ashes of war and today its mosque studded old town is a proud reflection of its former Ottoman glory.
Destination 2020 The United Kingdom
Exploring natural landscapes is a wonderful way to have a holiday. The United Kingdom or UK has some areas of outstanding beauty. These include the exhilarating St David’s Peninsula in Wales, the unique Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, the New Forest in England and the Lizard, the southernmost point of England. All of them offer an opportunity to get into the countryside and explore its quirks and curiosities at your own pace.
Destination 2020 Croatia
A long, naturally beautiful coastline studded with hundreds of islands make Croatia ideal for a beach holiday. The Makarska Riviera, with its dramatic back drop of Mount Biokovo is ideally situated for walking holidays. Sightseers will revel in an abundance of pretty historic towns and villages in the region of Dalmatia..
Destination 2020 - Three Beautiful Baltic Countries
The Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are gaining in popularity due to their historic capitals of Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. But, beyond these capitals those prepared to venture further will find stunning natural landscapes pretty villages and remarkable towns bursting with history, legend and their own unique cultures. These include a Hill of Witches Hill rising above Juodkrantė on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania.
New Titles on GPSmyCity.com and One Giveaway
For me, the last few months have been a whirlwind of travel. I have visited many towns and cities both in my own country, the UK, and overseas. Everyone is unique in character yet there is a common theme – the reason it came into existence. I love to know that reason and to find evidence to support it. Was it trade, defence, pilgrims, enjoying the sea or a king building a home for his mistress? My four latest town stories are now available on GPSmyCity.com.