Mountains in Hong Kong

Surely the skyline of Hong Kong observed from Kowloon is the finest in the world. Like all great skylines it’s seen across water, but this one has a back-drop, Victoria Peak. When I first saw it the Peak, which actually is quite flat, framed the high rise buildings. Then, towards the end of the colonial period, a few buildings, outstanding […]

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O dolce stil italiano!

Some people are afraid of crossing the streets in Italy, and it’s easy to see why, for the subtle conventions that regulate interactions between pedestrians and drivers are different here. But there’s no reason to linger on the footpath; all you need do is project an air of confidence as you step into the traffic, while being prepared to retreat […]

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Walking the streets of Rome

Arriving in the eternal city on the train from the airport I check into a small hotel in Via Filippo Turati and begin walking. As with most historic cities,  the neighbourhood around the main railway station is on the fringe, but nevertheless there’s a lot to see. Close by is Sta Maria Maggiore, one of the the four great basilicas of Rome that was founded […]

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Walking the streets of Liverpool

Lime St Station seems smaller than it did when I arrived in Liverpool as a student so many years ago, and the garish advertising across the street is certainly new, but walking away from the station towards the left you pass the same sad block in which many of the buildings are derelict and boarded up. The Adelphi Hotel also seems to have […]

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Arriving in London

The train that takes you along the Piccadilly line from Heathrow Airport to central London passes through places with such evocative names: there are Osterley, North Fields, Acton Town, Turnham Green, Stamford Brook…all of them Germanic, expressed in the language that has predominated here since about the fifth century, and suggesting a relationship between humans and the environment that, in both its closeness and […]

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