Paris – Ile de la Cité

One of two small islands in the middle of the Seine in Paris, the Ile de la Cité is the oldest part of the French capital. Settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, Paris's historic centre is home to Point Zero, the point from which all distances in France are measured. But it's... Continue Reading →

Tyntesfield

If I was ever to write an Agatha Christie-style 1920s murder mystery, I'd set it at Tyntesfield, a gloriously Gothic manor surrounded by acres of land in the middle of the Somerset countryside. It's the sort of place where you could imagine cocktail-drenched parties full of bright young things taking place and then a dead... Continue Reading →

London – Kew Gardens

I was in London in the spring catching up with friends, when one of my friends suggested we spend the day at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. I love Kew Gardens and hadn't been there for years, so I was more than happy to revisit one of my favourite London haunts. Home to more... Continue Reading →

Amman

A bustling, vibrant capital city that's home to more than one million people, Amman is a modern metropolis with ancient roots, having been inhabited in some form or another for millennia. Its former incarnations include Ammon, the capital of the Ammonite people during Biblical times, and the Greek and Roman city of Philadelphia. And it's where... Continue Reading →

Petra – the Monastery

On our second day in Petra, we set off at 7am to hike to the Monastery, an enormous monument cut into the rose-red rock, high on top of one of Petra's many mountains. Having learned our lesson about hiking in the searing midday sun the day before and with temperatures set to be even hotter... Continue Reading →

Petra – the Treasury and the Siq

I don't mind admitting I've been dreading writing this post, not because I didn't enjoy Petra or because I had nothing to write about, but because it's such an extraordinary, unique place, it's almost impossible to do it justice in a blog post. How do you succinctly sum up one of the great wonders of... Continue Reading →

Mount Nebo

According to the Bible, Jordan's Mount Nebo is the place from which Moses saw the Promised Land right before he died. The mountain, which overlooks the Dead Sea, is today home to the prophet's purported grave, as well as a church and a small museum. It was bright and early when we arrived atop Mount... Continue Reading →

Jerash

The most striking thing about the ruined Roman city of Jerash is its size – it's a vast site home to two extraordinarily well-preserved amphitheatres, two temples and even an intact mosaic floor. Known as Gerasa in ancient times, Jerash in north-west Jordan dates back to the 3rd century BC and today lies in the... Continue Reading →

Bordeaux

Following my week-long sojourn in Béarn, I headed north-west to Bordeaux for a whistle-stop 21-hour tour of France's ninth biggest city. It was almost 4pm by the time I arrived in Bordeaux and checked into my hotel near the city's central railway station, the Gare Saint-Jean. Having dumped my stuff in my room, I set... Continue Reading →

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