66925_446010691444_6381355_nHarvest festival at Domäne Dahlem in Berlin

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

10368485_10152526609756445_1100304248587584348_nTo the memory of those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary

Liberty (or Freedom) Statue on Gellert Hill, overlooking Budapest.  What this statue actually commemorates has changed over the years (you can read more here).  The phrase above is the current inscription.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

1934342_53100736444_7961_nLove the mix of rocks, shells and sand on Weymouth beach on the south coast of England.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

IMG_0708You can’t see the road winding up the hill to Marburg castle in Germany, but the houses give a clue as to where it is.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

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Best thing about summer: enjoying the long, warm evenings! Be that on a friend’s balcony with an an amazing view of Marburg Castle, enjoying dinner on a restaurant ship on the river Danube in Budapest, taking a stroll in the German countryside or recovering from a super hot and busy day near Jelka/Slovakia.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’


168634_10150094561426445_4433390_nThe Alhambra is one of my most favourite places ever, and I love how the hedges and the arch draw your gaze to what’s between them, deeper into the palace!


Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 5.21.33 PM

The picture of this empty Russian train heading from Moscow to the Ukraine caught my eye because it brings back so many memories.  Over teh years, I have spent a fair few days and nights on Russian trains and this is not what they should look like!  Usually they’re full of life, crowded with people who have brought enough food to last for 2 weeks, rather than the 20something hours the journey should take.

Very quickly, a temporary community is built, food and drink shared.  And if you’re lucky enough not have someone near you who has had rather too much to drink, they can be fun times.

Now the trains are empty, no one wanting to head to the Ukrainian coast for a holiday.



Screen shot 2014-06-15 at 1.54.14 PMThis hit the news a few days ago.  Crowds attacking the Russian Embassy in Kiev, protesting against the shooting down of a Ukrainian plane.

The thing is, I have been in that building.  And waited in front of it for some considerable time.  Years ago, but still.  We had taken the overnight train from Moscow to Kiev (see above). Before going on to the conference we were to attend, we had to make sure we would be able to get back into Russia a few days later.  Which required getting a visa.  So we headed straight from the station to the embassy.  For what felt like a very long time, we had to wait for the place to open.  It was cold (February mornings in Kiev are definitely not warm…) and I seem to remember there being a lot of annoying dogs around.

At one point, it seemed like we wouldn’t even make it in.  Too many people ahead of us in the queue. But then one of the guards realised we were German. He had lived in East Germany and liked the place.  So he let us in and we got our visas.

Very strange when the news story we get so used to seeing suddenly feature places we know!


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