The Rebel Vineyard Of Paris – Le Clos Montmartre And Le Fête Des Vendanges Festival

Paris might be the last place you’d think to find a wine-producing vineyard, but there is one (just the size of a city block) tucked away in Montmarte! In the shade of Parisian apartment blocks, the twisted stems of hillside grapevines is a curious sight to see. It’s so small, that many people walk by … More The Rebel Vineyard Of Paris – Le Clos Montmartre And Le Fête Des Vendanges Festival

The Gigantic Stork Nests on the Rooftops of France’s Grand-Est

Across the Alsace region in north-eastern France, near the German border, the houses and chimneys are topped with special platforms. These are to accommodate the resident stork population (Les cigognes blanches), 1-metre tall migrating birds with long, slender beaks. Their elaborate nests on the rooftops can be gigantic – weighing 500kg and almost as large … More The Gigantic Stork Nests on the Rooftops of France’s Grand-Est

Gothic Cathedrals – Appreciating Europe’s Medieval Masterpieces

The Gothic style of architecture, which rose to prominence in the mid-twelfth century, represented a revolutionary new way of building cathedrals. Architects and builders during the High Middle Ages employed new architectural techniques, allowing buildings to be taller, with large stained glass windows, grandiose displays of sunlight and lofty interior spaces to amaze visitors. The … More Gothic Cathedrals – Appreciating Europe’s Medieval Masterpieces

The Yamaguchi Steam Train – Riding Japan’s Historic Locomotive

The SL Yamaguchi Steam Train, billowing almighty plumes of dense, oily smoke, is Japan’s most endearing historic train. Nicknamed The Lady, it’s a black iron locomotive built in 1937 that travels between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano in Yamaguchi prefecture. While Japan’s high speed train lines have pushed the limits of rail technology, the Yamaguchi steam train … More The Yamaguchi Steam Train – Riding Japan’s Historic Locomotive

The Cannonball Lodged in the Wall of the Hotel de Sens

On the 28th of July, 1830, a cannon was aimed at the Hôtel de Sens in Paris. The powder exploded, and the projectile, a lump of iron weighing several kilograms, collided with the stone with a hefty thunk. Instead of breaking the stone or bouncing off harmlessly, it embedded into the side of the hotel, … More The Cannonball Lodged in the Wall of the Hotel de Sens

Roman Ruins in Paris: Wandering through the Arènes de Lutèce

With a muffled thunk, the petanque ball landed in the sand of the arena, landing next to another heavy steel ball. Sheltered from the stress and the noise of Paris, there’s often a group of older gentlemen playing petanque in the sands of the Arènes de Lutèce, a little-known Roman ruin in Paris. It’s a … More Roman Ruins in Paris: Wandering through the Arènes de Lutèce

The Promenade Plantée, Paris’ Secluded Elevated Park Walkway

Paris has some famous and beloved parks. The Jardin des Plantes, The Tuileries, and the Jardin du Luxembourg are all famous green spaces that Parisians and visitors love. However, there’s a little-known park that is just as wonderful as any of these – the Promenade Plantée. It’s elevated up to 10 metres above the city, … More The Promenade Plantée, Paris’ Secluded Elevated Park Walkway

Sketching Nikkō, Japan’s UNESCO Temple Town

Something strange happened when the clocks hit 5pm in Nikkō. The town suddenly fell quiet, the people disappeared, the shops shut their doors, and restaurants turned their ‘open’ signs around to ‘closed’. The sun went down in a haze of muted oranges and purples, a chilly evening began to creep in, and we were left … More Sketching Nikkō, Japan’s UNESCO Temple Town

Christmas in Kyoto – What to see, do and eat

Winter illuminations, KFC buckets, and romantic dates! Christmas in Kyoto is filled with Christmas spirit, even though it is not a national holiday. All around the country, Japanese people love to celebrate this unofficial holiday with their own unique Christmas traditions in true Japanese style. In Kyoto, there are lots of little charms that make … More Christmas in Kyoto – What to see, do and eat