Staying in Trastevere, the “Other Side” of Rome

Staying in Trastevere, the “Other Side” of Rome

Across the river from the main city, Trastevere is Rome’s “left bank”. A slightly bohemian area of students and artisans, its old narrow streets packed with bars and restaurants. I’d never explored the district before, but on my recent trip to Rome I stayed in an...

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Abu Dhabi’s Cultural District

I first visited Saadiyat Island, centre of Abu Dhabi's ambitious new cultural district, in 2010, when the first gallery opened. Madinat Al Saadiyat was, then as now, a very contemporary gallery, with a mixture of pictures, sculptures, performance and installations. It...

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The Not So Empty Quarter

If you stand in the middle of what the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger called "The Empty Quarter" – the vast tract of desert that makes up most of Abu Dhabi emirate – and look around, what you will see is... emptiness. Mile upon mile of emptiness, as far as the eye...

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A Different Side to the UAE

Most of my visits to the UAE have been spent in and around Abu Dhabi, and I had got into the way of thinking that the country consisted mostly of flat, featureless desert with a few bustling high-rise cities. So it was a welcome change to see some very different...

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Jantar Mantar: Delhi’s Open Air Observatory

Jantar Mantar, also known as Delhi Observatory, is a group of large red and white stone structures (or yantras) built in the 18th century to perform astronomical and astrological calculations. It was designed by Jai Singh II, ruler of Jaipur, and was the first of five...

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Exploring Singapore’s Chinatown

Singapore’s Chinatown dates back to 1819, when Sir Stamford Raffles established a British colony on Singapore and decided that separate areas should be set aside for each of the ethnic communities who moved onto the island. In the early days Chinatown was full of...

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My novel “Shadow of the Dome”
Now available from Amazon