Temppeliaukio: Helsinki’s Underground Church

The Rock Church in Helsinki (or Temppeliaukio to give it its proper name) is a modern church built underground. All that can be seen from the outside is the massive copper dome hidden in a rocky outcrop, but the interior is a harmonious blend of modern and traditional...

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The Riddle of English Turf Mazes

Hidden away, often far from cities or public transport, turf mazes are a puzzle of the English countryside. Many known to have existed across northern Europe, including at least 60 in England. However only eleven now remain: eight in England and three in Germany. The...

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A visit to Peterhof, St Petersburg

I was looking through my old photographs the other day and I came across the pictures of Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace near St Petersburg.We went there purely by accident. The intention was to take a canal cruise through St Petersburg but when we arrived...

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Pirates of the Malacca Strait

The Malacca Strait, which runs between Malaysia and Singapore and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has been a favourite haunt of pirates for over a thousand years. The problem persists to the current day, with 40% of the world’s pirate attacks taking place in this...

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Malay cooking and sambal belacan

Imagine the scene: a house in the jungle, surrounded by tall trees that provide welcome shade in the tropical heat. A long fishpond beside the cooking area. This is the setting for "Cook with Shuk", a traditional Malay cooking lesson. Langkawi is increasingly becoming...

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