The Sensations of the Sea: The Blind Sailors of the Rías Baixas

The smell of salt and seaweed, the sway of the waves, the cries of the seagulls, the lapping of the water, the wind in the sails and the force of the rudder, the spray on your cheeks and the chill of the air: these are the sensations of the sea through which the blind can navigate; feeling a landscape which they cannot see.  Continue reading “The Sensations of the Sea: The Blind Sailors of the Rías Baixas”

On the Plains of Spain: Castilla y León (Photo Essay)

Though the plains are wide and open, they tend to divide. They divide us into those who feel free with a far horizon, and those who feel the unconfined space uncomfortable, preferring instead the texture of the mountains or the energy of the sea. Castilla y León is a land of plains, and from its ochre earth have grown kingdoms of old and cities of architectural awe. Continue reading “On the Plains of Spain: Castilla y León (Photo Essay)”

Cangas do Morrazo: A Soul of the Sea

The peninsula of Morrazo is what happens when three deep valleys are flooded by a rising sea, leaving behind a chunk of land where the hills roll into the harbours, where oceanic currents carve out countless inlets and coves, where the terrestrial world is the deepest green and the marine world thee deepest blue. At the heart of this verdant peninsula lies the Cangas do Morrazo, a town whose soul is of the sea. Continue reading “Cangas do Morrazo: A Soul of the Sea”

Atlantic Explorations III: The Elements of the Algarve (Photographic Essay)

Lashed by winds, cursed with salt, pummelled by wave and current, the Alentejo and Vincentine Coast is the archetype of an Atlantic environment. Marking continental Europe’s western-most extreme, this natural park in Portugal’s Algarve offers the traveller one hundred and twenty kilometres of immense beaches backed by towering dune systems, of lonely headlands receiving the brunt of the ocean’s energy Continue reading “Atlantic Explorations III: The Elements of the Algarve (Photographic Essay)”

Atlantic Island Explorations II: The Ons Oasis

At the northern extreme of the Playa As Dornas there stands a lone bagpiper. He looks out to the sea and plays a lively tune, his fingers creeping over the pipe and his arms pressing on the bladder. The wind occasionally carries his notes out of earshot, and the sound of the waves constantly crashes over his melody. He is one of the few inhabitants of this Atlantic island, the Illa de Ons. Continue reading “Atlantic Island Explorations II: The Ons Oasis”

With his Head in the Clouds: Jules Verne Visiting Vigo

Anything one person can imagine, others can make real”, said the old author of adventure and science. Today, much of what Jules Verne imagined others have made real, from space travel to telecommunications and transport. Drinking from all the sources of science, Jules Verne created other worlds of possibility in his novels, reminding us of and personifying Einstein’s dictum that the imagination is more important than knowledge. Continue reading “With his Head in the Clouds: Jules Verne Visiting Vigo”

Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log

Sleeper number six” the mustachioed train conductor tells me, “…but run!” he commands. Sprinting across the platform an old man calls “fast!”, and another elderly woman yells from the carriage “get on!” just as the Mandovi Express releases her breaks and starts rolling forward through the sprawling expanse of Mumbai, through the hills of Maharashtra state and the flats of Goa, through eighteen provincial stations and on into the her last stop at Margao, nearly six hundred kilometres south of the megacity of Bombai. Continue reading “Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log”

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