Pamplona: Camino Country

In China I’m sent a link to a movie by one of my former students. ‘The Way’ charts a journey across northern Spain by the way of St James, otherwise known as the Camino de Santiago. Ever since seeing the film I’ve been smitten with the idea of doing the walk though it requires much […]

Madrid: Vista of Art and Food

So what happened in Madrid? Well, not a lot actually. The most unusual thing is the sudden lack of warmth doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. It’s cold, but a cold that I recognise. Coming from a much more agreeable Hanoi winter hasn’t had too much of an effect so that’s […]

Hanoi: Journey to Madrid

Time is money so the saying goes. Sadly I had plenty of the former but was running low on the latter. I was sad alright, not only to be leaving Hanoi (and my beautiful apartment) but also of saying goodbye to Laos before I had a chance to say hello. To make matters worse the […]

Hanoi: Hello Like Before

  It has been a year since my first visit and while the city looks the same, there have been casualties. The small corner shop where I had my first ‘banh mi’ (baguette) has gone. The cool cafe where I had lunch is now a hair salon. Even the magnificent Maison D’Orient has undergone some […]

Hanoi: Pictures from Le Cotta Cafe

As an appendix to my Hanoi blog, here’s some pictures of a spectacular three story cafe on the west bank of the west lake (Tay Ho). Every now and then you just get the feeling that it’s one you have to explore further and it ticked all the right boxes for a rainy or in […]

Saigon/HCMC: Journey to Hanoi

Saigon to Hanoi is the longest train journey I have ever undertaken, it’s 35 hours eclipsing Hong Kong to Beijing at 23 (back in 2011). Both took place in December and both were in search of new fortune, not just travel. A metro under construction and ancient buses meant a rare taxi ride, never my […]

Saigon/HCMC: Last in the Trilogy of Heat

REVERSING.. Last year saw me do travel I hadn’t planned until this year. It was my intention as I may have mentioned already to travel from Athens and work my way north. Instead I did this in reverse and Athens was approached from the north. Likewise in 2016 Hanoi was intended as the first stop […]