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 more […]

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 […]

Shenzhen: Making a Pig’s Ear of Spring

After kicking off the year with many visits to regional Guangdong it was time to re-aquaint myself with the one and only Shenzhen, the city that still holds a special place for me even though I’ve now lived longer in Guangzhou. This time I try something different which is to catch a bus. Having discovered the joys […]

Abbreviated Romantic

  And here is the more concise version, just the countries with no adjectives. AFRICA: ALGERIA – JJ72 Song of the same name by GNAWA DIFFUSION ANGOLA – CARL CRAIG AND PEPE BRADOCK Song of the same name by CESARIA EVORA and WAYNE SHORTER BENIN (nothing yet) BOTSWANA – ADJ BURKINA FASO – ATSUSHI YANO […]

The World is Romantic: Oceania

  Please see the introduction if you haven’t already. Alternatively read on… AUSTRALIA – KOALA Songs of the same name by GYROSCOPE, STEVE HOWE, JONAS BROTHERS, THE KINKS, MANIC STREET PREACHERS, MANGO and SHINS *The Manics song is neither atmospheric or about Australia but a namesake song nonetheless. BALLADEERS OF AUSTRALIA – SLIM DUSTY EVERY LITTLE […]