Tag Archives: Europe

The Hard Yacht Knots

The Hard Yacht Knots

Hummingbirds are used to migrating but not quite like the one in front of me. This particular Hummingbird has circumnavigated the globe three times. Adventure tour company Rubicon 3’s 60ft clipper may have been named after a bird famous for speeding from flower to flower, but she was built for..
The Great Balkan Ride

The Great Balkan Ride

After more than two decades on and off-road Ursula was in bad shape. Her speedometer did not work, nor did her fuel gauge. Ursula’s odometer was stuck on 147,467.8km and nobody knew when it stopped counting. No one was even really sure who christened her Ursula. Her gear-stick felt loose,..
The Eire Up There

The Eire Up There

The smashed avo on artisanal sourdough, teased with freshly ground spices and enlivened with hand-squeezed citrus was being well received by my adolescent dinner guests. OK, I would go on to make the exact same thing for dinner the next night and, yes, it was ultimately just discounted avocado on..
The End of Greece

The End of Greece

At the end of the world, I am reluctant to report, there is excellent 3G coverage. Our understanding of the world is a little better – at least in geographical terms – than it was in the age of the ancient Greeks, but for them the Matapan, the southernmost tip..
The Scottish Gindustry

The Scottish Gindustry

The morning I set off to trace Scotland’s new gin trail feels like the wettest day in the history of wetness and days, a morning so vengeful that no material, artificial or natural, can really keep a person dry. When I get to the Gin Bothy I’m as grateful for..
Sevillian Days

Sevillian Days

I’m watching a freeloader outside a restaurant on a hot day in Seville. A hot day? It could be almost any day in this town. In summer, the temperatures sail past 40C – past 50C at their worst. What to do on days like that? The freeloader knows. Stay in..
Art and Soul

Art and Soul

I like to think I know the world. In a pub quiz, my specialist subject would be geography. I pride myself on identifying flags. Capital cities? No problem. Do you know that the currency of Guatemala is the quetzal, named after an elusive, exotic bird? I do. But for all..
Pure Electricity

Pure Electricity

They are underpowered. They have poor range. They are slow to charge. So who cares if refuelling is cheap and the world is being saved from the endless grind of fossil fuels? Purely electric vehicles aren’t anything more than glorified milk floats. They aren’t convenient, they aren’t cool, and they’ll..
The Scran Situation

The Scran Situation

“We fry in bronze deodorised beef dripping,” reads a laminated sign behind the counter at Stonehaven’s Carron Fish Bar. It’s unclear whether this is supposed to deter or encourage more custom, but on a bright Tuesday lunchtime, the place could hardly be busier. About half of the people in this..
Northern Exposure

Northern Exposure

Jim Melville didn’t leave Britain until he was 17 years old, and even then, stuck on a ship that he wasn’t allowed to disembark, he wasn’t doing so to visit a new country. Serving on the HMS London as part of the notorious Arctic Convoys in the Second World War,..