Bukhara history, legends – and pics.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, is one of the oldest cities in the world. Estimated to have been founded more than 2500 years ago, it can compete even with Rome due to its lengthy history. It’s of course a lot older than Paris or London, and about three times as old as Moscow. There aren’t many cities that come close to Bukhara in terms of age, and also former significance – since it was one of the main trading hubs along the Silk Road.

You can read all about facts and figures of this delightful ancient city on the net. Here though, I’ll go through what remains in my memory from what we were told by our guide, adding just bits from the www to fill in any gaps.

Read on: Basics, science and art…

Hamburg mini-wonderland.

Hi boys and girls!

Herewith, my next dispatch from Hamburg – and another delightful tourist attraction.

If you’ve never been to this northern part of Germany, or never really planned on doing so, well, I’ll bet many of you, after reading this post, will want to get here asap and spend a whole day, as we did, at Miniatur Wunderland.

1500 square meters of model railway + towns and cities and homes and folks and domestic scenes (including intimate ones) and just about everything else, across different countries of different climates, and so on and so forth…

The attention to detail is just mind-blowing.

Read on…

The red rocks of Kazakhstan.

Hi folks!

I’d long heard about Kazakhstan‘s Charyn Canyon and wanted to check it out. Well, seeing as though I was in Almaty recently, it was rather easy for me to travel the 200km directly to the east of Kazakhstan’s largest city to get there. And here she is:

At least, I thought it would be rather easy getting there. Turned out it took about three hours in a car. There’s a good highway takes you most of the way, but for the last 80 kilometers the road’s not so good. Not to worry; once we got there the views soon banished our transfer-woe ).

Read on…

Why gold’s so expensive.

You ever seen how they mine gold?

I mean, like how they clean it with dredging machines or by hand? Or how golden nuggets sparkle in the earth? Well I hadn’t either. But when I was asked if I want to go down a gold mine, I – naturally – jumped at the chance. So down I went – way down into the bowels of the earth…

Read on…

Caribbean geography lesson – in a helicopter.

Looking over all my Caribbean pics, the main thing that stands out is that there a lot of them; so many that I’m getting my Caribbean-post titles mixed up. The other day we had Montserrat, but I’m sure, with hindsight, we should have had an intro post about all the islands together. Oh well, too late for that, so now we’ll have a summary photographic overview of the Lesser Antilles instead, with pics taken from a helicopter.

Quick caveat: I apologize for some of the pics being a bit blurry. Helicopters tend to jolt around up in the sky, and twist and turn and shudder a lot, so setting up perfect shots was practically impossible.

All righty. Off we chopper – south from Anguilla. The first island we come to?…

Saint Martin – one half French, the other – Dutch. So the island has a France-Netherlands state border running across it!

Read on…

Peter: Picture-perfect for KL-partner-conf.

St. Petersburg when the sun’s come out to play is to me the best city to be in in Europe. And I’m not alone in declaring such a bold sentiment – I’ve heard it from many others from many different countries too. But why ‘in Europe’? That’s just so as to be able to compare meaningfully. It’s difficult comparing Russia’s second city with, say, Hong Kong or Singapore, as they’re just so different on so many levels. But I digress. So, about StP!…

Read on: nostalgic!…

Hamburg and ships please.

I wrote in my last post that I was headed home after Sheffield. But I’d forgotten about our scheduled stay en route in Hamburg – possibly the most beautiful city in Germany. I think that’s a sign the trip had been a bit too hectic: forgetting completely about an upcoming port-of-call is most unlike me.

So here we are – in Hamburg!

The possibilities for the tourist in Hamburg are vast. It was tricky deciding but, after the day’s business, my travel companion and I plumped for an Elbe river and seaport (one of the largest in Europe, and Germany’s main port) boat excursion.

Off we go! And the first thing we see: Tolkien!

Read on…

Up north for a (s)pot of snooker.

I often get asked what’s my favorite sport (along with, of late, which matches I’m planning on watching during the upcoming World Cup).

And my usual answer normally seems to disappoint a little: I don’t really have one, as I don’t like sitting in one spot in a stadium or on the sofa in front of the TV watching sport. I prefer to be doing the sport – rather, active activities – myself. Scaling volcanoes, going off on long expeditions in far-flung corners of the world, or just trekking along the banks of a river down a mountainous valley – that’s my bag.

And besides, I don’t watch TV – at all (dreadful habit:).

(Oops – me telling fibs again; I do watch TV in tiny doses: I watch kiddies’ stuff together with my own kiddies; I sometimes glance at the zombie-panel in the gym between sets; on the treadmill in the gym I switch to the nature/wildlife channels; and I’m not averse to peeking at a screen in business lounges in airports. But that really is it:)

Wait. I also watch Formula 1 races on screens, but that’s not quite ‘TV’. It’s normally in the Ferrari paddock, and there’s technical race info on the screens too. But I don’t watch a Grand Prix of a Sunday afternoon on regular TV.

So, yeah – you get it: I generally don’t watch telly. But there is one exception I make (besides all the other quasi-exceptions mentioned above). There is one thing on the TV that can force me to sit in one place for a long time. And it is a sport. And it is… snooker!

Not pool, not billiards… snooker, with its more refined rules and more tactical gameplay. And, by a strange (!) coincidence, we happen to sponsor one of the stages of the World Snooker Championship – Riga Masters.

And since I was in the UK, and my travel/business schedule permitted it, I got myself up to Sheffield, to watch the semi-final of the World Snooker Championship 2018!

Read on…

Thames Path – pt. 5.

Having just completed a vacation-till-you-drop tour of the Caribbean and Bahamas – up early every morning, late to bed every night, daily flights between the islands, sore index finger from all the snapping – it was time for a complete change: of continent. But the island theme, arguably, continued, for we were headed to London, capital of the UK – another island nation.

I find myself in the British capital frequently – our European HQ is here, so there’s always plenty of business needs seeing to. And seeing as though I’m here often, and have been known to enjoy a lengthy, brisk stroll if I can fit one into my working schedule, I decided a few years back to walk different sections of the Thames Path at different times, whenever I can. You can’t do the whole Path in one go as it’s just too long – nearly 300km! Well, I’d done four sections to date, with the last one taking me as far as Richmond Lock. Now, it was time for the fifth installment…

So, setting off from above-mentioned lock, the first things we come to are two bridges:

Conveniently, practically all bridges along the route have paths or tunnels going under them beside the river, meaning you don’t have to climb up from the Thames to get past them.

Read on…

Bahamama Mia!

Get ready folks – this post is full of extremely bright colors. I recommend wearing sunglasses (and a Panama hat) so you don’t get blinded (and sunburned:). For this post is dedicated to the 365 Bahaman islands – cays – of Exuma, one of the most beautiful places in the world…

As often occurs on these here blogpages when I encounter off-the-scale natural beauty, there’ll be few words today and, you guessed it, lots of pics…

Read on: