Travels with Books- Part One

On the first of January, holed up at home with what, I now realize, was a moderate case of the ‘nice flu’, I wrote up a list of things I look forward to this year, including, naturally, travels. For more than a decade now years have been framed, punctuated, divided by travels. I have never…

Cellini’s Saliera and the Mo Salah of Beer- A Weekend in Vienna

On an unseasonably warm February morning we strolled through the Belvedere park, among joggers running out of steam on its gentle incline and Asian ladies snapping selfies with bare legs (it was not THAT warm, but the Asian resilience to cold in touristy situations never ceases to amaze me). A few hours later, we were…

Refuge by the River- Visit(s) to Szentendre

It recently dawned on me that, shockingly, I haven’t written anything about Szentendre here, though I’ve probably been there more than to any other place in Hungary besides Budapest, which figures, since it’s a leisurely 40 minutes away by HÉV line number 5, which gently rocks upstream along the course of the Danube. (An extension…

Year of the Wunderkammer- Best of Travels 2019

A Day at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. This year has been, strangely (or not so strangely, given the current state of affairs in the world) that of the Wunderkammer. Every now and then something related to cabinets of curiosities would pop up, most recently in Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. Initially, I thought I did not like cabinets…

This is Not the Golden Age- Olof Palme House and Párizsi Udvar

I occasionally (as in, frequently) have questionable ideas, and one of these was jogging to the polling station a couple of weekends ago, keeping my fingers crossed that the chilly weather would allow me to be fairly presentable, both visually and odour-wise. I either succeeded, or the ladies in the electoral commission have by now…

The Roofs Have Eyes-Daytrip to Sibiu

To stop Romanians from ruling the world, God gave us a geographically perfect country. With no highways. And the chronic inability to build them. Yet when we set off on our short but sweet daytrip to Sibiu, we decided to ignore this dark curse and pretend that the 50 kilometres still lacking from the by now…

Me on My High Horse- A Visit to Troy

I would love to say that, as a half decent humanities major, I spent some of my profligate youth reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, but the farthest I got was borrowing one (can’t remember which) from the library, then procrastinate reading it, then forget to take it back on time, then pay a modest…

The Land of Pigeons and Wild Boars: The Hapless Guide to Kușadası

The first rule of Kușadası is that no one talks about the ineptitude of Google maps when it comes to Kușadası. For if they did, no one would ever go there. Jokes put aside, if your accommodation is in the old town, loosely referred to as Kaleiçi, basically the area surrounding the bazaar and the…

The Nicest Apocalypse Ever- A Visit to Șirince

In case, like most of humanity these days, you live with a constant fear of impending doom anyway, you might have already forgotten about that time the apocalypse was certain as predicted by the ancient Mayans. Opposed to now, when it’s predicted by climate scientists, but that’s a topic for another article altogether. So back…

Rocks, Saints, Rivers- A Visit to Ephesus

Present day Ephesus lies stranded inland, about 5 kilometres away from the coast. As with many ancient sites, one could hardly notice its presence if it wasn’t for the road signs. The closest settlement is Selçuk, a sleepy provincial town on the road from Izmir to the seaside resort of Kușadası. Most visitors also come…