Warsaw: Travellers’ Cafe

Serendipity, now there’s a word. Have you ever been looking for something and stumbled on something else by accident. A few days’ into Warsaw I came across the Travellers’ Cafe. I have to wait til 2pm for it to open which seems odd given the normal hours for a cafe is 7 or 8 in […]

Warsaw: Uprising Phoenix

It all starts with the research… even before leaving China, the signs are there, the growing dissatisfaction with ‘things,’ the realisation that the honeymoon period has passed, the boredom of knowing what another year of teaching in China will entail; meeting a nice smiley woman who once you sign the contract isn’t so nice anymore, […]

Vilnius: Scene of a Hundred Churches, Scent of a Thousand Women

  I’ve been fascinated by Vilnius for years mostly because it sounds like some sort of futuristic domed city on some distant planet only the Starship Enterprise would visit, or failing that, The Jetsons. The reality is despite the clutch of gleaming modernist new builds over in Snipiskes and the TV tower everything is much […]

Riga: Baltic River Town

At 10am on the 10th of July I pull out of Tallinn bound for the next Baltic capital Riga. In the row before me is an American family and opposite a Lithuanian tour guide. Like Helsinki and Tallinn it will be my first time there and again there are wrangles with Hotels who want firm […]

Tallinn: The Curse of the Terrible T’s Continues…

  Today’s workshop is brought to you by the letter T, which as you will see is not good luck for me… On a map, any given feature looks the same in 2D, however seeing it in reality from either a plane or in this case a large sailing vessel is all very different. Do […]

Helsinki: A Correlation of Worlds (between Finlandia and the Antipodes)

There is no doubt there is a clear delineation between my formative years in New Zealand and Finland. Both are known as clean, green destinations. Both are sparsely populated, both have risen from relative global slumber to be desired liveable countries and both now command a good degree of personal wealth to be able to […]

Guangzhou: Pictures from the Park Hyatt

Went for a wander to the Park Hyatt recently. I have been to the adjacent Four Seasons (in the IFC building) a few times but this was my first visit to the Park Hyatt and its Sky Lounge. Usual wow factor included as well as a partial sunset. *As always, my thanks to the staff […]