Articles

Prague

Prague

The train to Prague whirled us full tilt in the direction of the western edge of the Slavic world. I had been given a tip before we boarded the train at Berlin’s Hauptbanhof to sit on the left hand side. “You’ll thank me when you get to the Elba” the passing passenger, a stranger on […]

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Berlin

Berlin

The first view of Germany was a confusion of woods and sparse villages. We had just crossed the border from Holland into Rhineland- Westphalia, surrounded by frozen mud fields and a pale sun, dulled by clouds, at a grim, austere, Bad Bentheim station. Here the Dutch engine on our train was unwanted – removed – […]

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Outward Bound – Amsterdam

Outward Bound – Amsterdam

The gamely cheerful girl took the final boarding pass – ours – and watched as the shuttle bus crossed the wet quay, round the loading trucks, from the railway into the boat. Water falling from the dark, overcast sky. The boat sat huge above the train, riding at anchor. Later, sometime after 11, we stood […]

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Salonica Train – England to Greece: the long way

Salonica Train – England to Greece: the long way

A journey back home from England to Thessaloniki.

Following great swathes of the old Orient Express route on seeper trains, a hint of muder and romance in the air. Stop-overs in the grand European cities of Empires’ past.
Or on rural trains through fields and plains in those mysterious regions between the Vienna Woods and the Black Sea.

A long detour round the back of Europe.

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North By Northwest Greece

North By Northwest Greece

Alexander the Great aimed for the Ends of the World and the Great Outer Sea. And I suppose we did too. We reached as far as Halkidiki and the Aegean Sea coast of Central Macedonia. Not bad. But time has run out and now we must turn and head back across the country. Homeward bound. […]

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Central Macedonia

Central Macedonia

Along the road between Florina and Edessa in Greece’s far north, Western Macedonia turns quietly, imperceptibly, into Central Macedonia. Waiting somewhere for us within this new Greek state are beaches of naked abandonment, a forsaken camp for five thousand refugees, a city of Eastern foods, a preposterously grand Orthodox wedding, the sworn sighting of a […]

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Western Macedonia

Western Macedonia

We are aiming for the Grammos mountain. Driving through the tail end – north western – part of Greece, in the region of Western Macedonia. Like a low rumble, turning into a rolling boil, the ground rises up dramatically all around us.  We stop and ask a man at a precariously tilted petrol station the […]

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Epirus

Epirus

Part 1: Epirus
From the Ionian Sea to the Albanian Border

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Travels in Northern Greece

Travels in Northern Greece

Part 1 – Epirus From the Ionian Sea to the Albanian Border Part 2 – Western Macedonia Civil war mountains, Greek lakes, Electric cities Part 3 – Central Macedonia Refugee camps, hippy beaches and an Orthodox wedding Part 4 – North By NorthWest Greece Alexander, Philip, Socrates, Meteora, and the Roman Road Home

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Karagiozis and the musical island

Karagiozis and the musical island

Corfu is a strangely musical island. Throughout Greece, music always seems to be there, in the background: from the singing cicadas in their heat-cocooned trees; to the dark Greek blues of rebetiko music, full of pain and intoxication, in the winter months coming from the streets of steamy ouzeri bars; to the tragoudia tis douleias […]

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