Monthly Archives: August 2013

HENRY MOORE IN AMSTERDAM – Rijksmuseum

Why is everyone ignoring me?

Why is everyone ignoring me?

To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.

We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

VILLAGE SNAPSHOT – Safranbolu, Turkey

There was time for a bath on a hot day. Wish we'd done it.

We could have done with a Turkish bath on a hot day. Some of our more enterprising fellow travellers managed to arrange it.

Preserving historic villages hasn’t been a high priority for the Turks. Life is a struggle for many and restoring old buildings is expensive. It’s usually easier to knock down the old and replace it with something cheaper.

Which is why Safranbolu is a welcome exception to the rule. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Black Sea, travel photography

FASHION CRIMES ON THE CRIMEA – Sebastopol and Yalta

Romanov2

There is plenty of history, most of it tragic, around Sebastopol and Yalta. The Peninsula was hotly contested in the Crimean War with absurd loss of life on all sides.

These days they’re still squabbling to establish beachheads, but only for sunbathing purposes. It’s hardly what we spoiled Australians would call beach at all; just a strip of pebbles by flat, uninviting water.

But if the beach is unappealing, there is plenty of fun to be had on the promenades. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Black Sea

BALLET BUFFS BEHAVING BADLY – Odessa, Ukraine

One of the world's great opera theatres.

One of the world’s great opera theatres.



‘Are you sure you want to go there?’ asks our cruise ship’s excursion organiser. ‘It’s a bit of a weird show, look, it’s got skulls in it. And maybe you won’t like the music. We can get you tickets to a Ukrainian folkloric performance instead.’

‘No thanks. We know Stravinsky and we’re prepared to risk the skulls.’

I don’t envy Vanessa her job. Probably there will be complaints if the production is too avant garde. With skulls. But if you play safe in the middle of the road you may get run down by a bus. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Black Sea

NESSEBAR or MESSY BAR? – Bulgaria

Nessebar, Bulgaria.

Nessebar, Bulgaria.



‘Some people call it not Nessebar, but Messy bar.’ Our guide Stefan is almost apologetic. And indeed the first impression is not promising.

Was UNESCO being overgenerous when it handed this little Bulgarian peninsula a World Heritage listing? Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Black Sea