The Walls of Londonderry

The Walls of Londonderry

I always like walled cities. There’s something about walking right round a town, peering over the walls into little back streets, that gives me a sense of connection with all the people that have gone that way before. Sentries keeping a lookout for unwanted visitors,...

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Ancient Sites of Inishowen

Ancient Sites of Inishowen

Even the name is enough to conjure up a sense of ancient legends and history half-forgotten in the mists of time. Inishowen - the peninsula at the northern end of County Donegal - is home to some of the earliest religious remains in the British Isles as well as a much...

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The Legend of Finn McCool

The Legend of Finn McCool

Ireland is a land of myths and legends, and nowhere more so than the mysterious Giant’s Causeway. 40,000 tall basalt columns, formed in perfect interlocking hexagonals. Surely this couldn’t be the work of nature, there must be some other explanation. Only a giant...

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The Ghosts of Dunluce Castle

The Ghosts of Dunluce Castle

Standing alone on the edge of a tall rock, steep drops down to the sea on every side, and only connected to the mainland by a wooden bridge, Dunluce Castle has always been shrouded in mystery. Used as a fort ever since the Vikings sailed to the north coast of Ireland,...

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A Wobbly Bridge to Carrick-a-Rede

A Wobbly Bridge to Carrick-a-Rede

The rain and the mist had cleared, and we had a perfect view of the tiny volcanic island. The only thing that stood between us and Carrick-a-Rede was the rope bridge. A wobby construction of planks and wires, 60 foot across, and 100 foot above the sea below. In fact,...

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Bizarre street signs

Bizarre street signs

Some years ago, when visiting Copenhagen, I came upon an exhibition of bizarre street signs. These are supposedly all genuine signs that have been in use in various parts of the world.   It's always advisable to keep the hand brake on when there are crocodiles...

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The Hot Springs of Budapest

The Hot Springs of Budapest

Before I went to Budapest, I had not realised that it was renowned as a spa city. However, with over 100 hot springs, and numerous public baths, taking the waters is one of the 'must do' experiences for many tourists. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time on my...

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Eating out in Budapest

Eating out in Budapest

Gone are the days when Eastern Europe conjured up an image of bland and tasteless food. Today you can eat very well in Hungary, with the capital city, Budapest, offering the best of national and international cuisine. What to eat in Budapest Hungarian food is...

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Temppeliaukio: Helsinki’s Underground Church

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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