Browsed by
Author: Mike

A bit of a free spirit who loves to travel and share the experience. More years of travel writing than I care to mention. Also arts writer so the two worlds may collide. Also an eternal student, working in my PhD. I'm also an NUJ national executive member and equality activist.
Rediscovering Coventry – UK City of Culture

Rediscovering Coventry – UK City of Culture

Having pipped Swansea to being the UK City of Culture for 2021 it seemed only fair to visit Coventry to see what this city has to offer beyond the cliché of Lady Godiva and reputation for not particularly attractive post war reconstruction. Straight away a confession – I went for a job interview in Coventry in the very early 1980s and didn’t get it. I remember not only a horrible interview but a pretty bland city and nondescript buildings and…

Read More Read More

From Cardiff to Nizas

From Cardiff to Nizas

By Rhodri Ellis Owen For someone who has always wanted to plan ahead, I must admit that the Covid era, and the lack of knowing what’s on the horizon, is something that suits me. I am writing this in the South West of France, a small village called Nizas, to be absolutely correct. My journey from Cardiff to here over the last nine months has transformed my life yet has become completely organic with no plan. It has turned into…

Read More Read More

Stupendous stupas, dangerous dragons and sensational snorkelling

Stupendous stupas, dangerous dragons and sensational snorkelling

The traditional dancers in their exotic costumes were already coaxing tourists, having sampled the Indonesian lunch buffet, slugged down thirst-quenching drinks and commented on how hot it was, to join them on the stage. But Mad Dogs and all that. So we valiantly cooked under the by now seriously hot sun as more and more of our group headed for the lunch shade having decided they had seen enough carvings, climbed enough steps and listened to enough explanations for one…

Read More Read More

Size really does matter when you are all at sea

Size really does matter when you are all at sea

When it comes to cruising size really does matter. Yes, smaller really is better. That was patently clear as soon as we reached Dover and drove passed a towering floating town on water. Not our vessel. Phew! Instead, a few minutes later we were efficiently and friendlily checked in, on board, and after a turn on deck were sipping tea and trying to forget how many calories were in that second piece of cake. Yet, it is also true that…

Read More Read More

Cruising the Seine: lily ponds, Joan of Arc, afternoon tea – and the gym

Cruising the Seine: lily ponds, Joan of Arc, afternoon tea – and the gym

My partner Robin and I have different priorities for cruising – his involve visiting the gym, mine involve avoiding it. I judge the quality of the Afternoon Tea and views from the sofa; he the gym equipment and burning rather than consuming calories while watching exquisite sea and landscapes pass by. In fact, it was on Fred Olsen’s medium-sized ship the Boudicca that about eight years ago, we went on a cruise on the very same ship and he visited…

Read More Read More

Crossing the Arctic Circle

Crossing the Arctic Circle

You can tell there is something really special about sailing into Norway’s impossibly narrow Trollfjord when the Captain leans over the bridge to take his own holiday snaps. We were heading away from the stunningly beautiful Lofoten Islands off Norway’s North Western Coast on MS Boudicca when our excited captain announced that the weather conditions were good enough to take the ship through the 100 metres wide mouth of the Fjord Bear in mind that his ship is just over…

Read More Read More

What a hot geyser – Iceland

What a hot geyser – Iceland

On the first day I went swimming three times and spent 20 minutes on the running machine – well, gently ambling while watching the horizon gently tilting.  By day two, however, my pledge to the bathroom scales that I would not indulge in afternoon tea, show restraint with the wonderful dining and certainly avoid the midnight buffet had been thoroughly broken. As the stunning coast of Iceland appeared there was nothing for it but to accept this was going to a holiday of calories…

Read More Read More

ANTWERP: A WATERSIDE CITY WITH A CAPITAL

ANTWERP: A WATERSIDE CITY WITH A CAPITAL

ANTWERP’S official logo is a capital letter A with three little gold dashes either side. Some people tell you it has the dashes to remind you of the city’s glittering diamond heritage, others that is so you don’t confuse it with Amsterdam in the neighbouring Netherlands. I tend to go for the latter.   Sparkling Antwerp One of the galleries of Golden Age art in the Rubenshuis Antwerp benefits from having had a heyday in the 16th century, lapsing into…

Read More Read More

Coping in Copenhagen

Coping in Copenhagen

IF your idea of Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid and the Tivoli Gardens and probably the best lager in the world, you won’t be disappointed. But scratch a little deeper and you will find one of Europe’s most endearing and unusual cities, that is suited to a long weekend or the basis of a family holiday in Denmark. For families the unmissable attraction is Tivoli, one of the world’s amusement parks and unusually, it is located in the city centre….

Read More Read More