Hiroshima is completely lovely and charming. Many people think of the atomic bomb and stop there. But for journeying to the south of Japan, the city is an essential stop. Here’s why.Read more
We were the last ones in the bus, sitting in the back seat with our backpacks still on. We craned our necks to find any kind of sign as to where we were, but night had already fallen, and there were no streetlamps on this zig-zagging mountain road. It reminded me very much of the bus stop scene in My Neighbour Totoro – a cold rain drumming on the roof of the bus, the dark and eerie forest climbing over the mountains, the squeaky old bus, occasionally a weathered street sign in Japanese characters.Read more
2000 birthday candles. That’s a hell of a cake! It’s not a super-old person i’m talking about, but Nijmegen, a small city in the south-east of The Netherlands, and the oldest in the whole country. That’s like, more than 8 USA’s! It was a Roman legion encampment first, set up in the days when the Romans were still figuring out their calender.
In Montreal, there’s a place up the hill from Place d’Armes metro, where the roads devolve from asphalt to cobblestones, the street signs suddenly change from a plain white to a rich maroon with sort of ‘old timey’ calligraphy, and the skyscrapers give way to stylish 17th and 18th century colonial buildings. It’s Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal), and it’s great!
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh was beautiful. Through the madness of ticket queues (one for Cambodians, one for visitors), Cindy and I somehow emerged the the very first people to enter compound, and for a precious few moments, we had the palace to ourselves.
It was a hulking monster, the dark grey of a brooding storm, 45 tons of heavy steel, it’s hard unsmiling face festooned with a big white star. A war machine, angular, menacing, fearsome. It was an American tank, on display in front of Saigon’s War Remnants Museum. As Jeff and I posed for a brotherly self portrait in front of the tank, a figure ran up to photobomb the photo. It was long-lost Matt. We had planned to meet him and Alysha later in the day, but here they were, a chance encounter in the city of Saigon.