A Day in Dulwich

The world’s first purpose-built art gallery, Ernest Shackleton’s boat, an old college, an American Garden and a lovely high street. I found plenty to see and do when I spent a day in Dulwich recently.

One of the things I’m trying to do when I visit London is to see more than just the usual tourist areas. Having lived there for over ten years (though not all in one go) I feel I know the city pretty well and I know that there’s plenty to see and do outside of the West End. I also know that there are still lots of areas well worth exploring that I’ve yet to visit. Continue reading “A Day in Dulwich”

A Day in Walthamstow

What do William Morris, Europe’s longest street market, an ancient house and 26,000 burials have in common? They’re all found in Walthamstow.

London is far more than just the West End. If you’re visiting and you have more than a couple of days, or if it’s not your first visit and so you’ve already been to Madame Tussaud’s and the Tower of London, then it’s well worth exploring a bit further than the usual Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent  Garden circuit.

Hop on a tube or bus and get out into the surrounding towns and suburbs. They are all so different and have their own characters and sub-cultures, and as there’re always plenty of interesting things to do and places to eat, not only will you have a great day, but you can go home and say you’ve seen a bit of the ‘real London’ too. Continue reading “A Day in Walthamstow”

Muscat Fish Market – A Photo Essay

An early morning visit to the new Muscat fish market in Muttrah was a fascinating glimpse into ‘life behind the scenes’ in Oman.

Earlier this year Muscat fish market moved into a new purpose-built hall. I wondered if ‘health and safety’ and, you know, basic consideration for the comfort and well-being of the men working there might have made it less atmospheric and photogenic, but I still jumped at the chance of an early morning visit. Continue reading “Muscat Fish Market – A Photo Essay”

Spending the Day on a Boat in the Gulf of Oman

What better way to spend a day than having your bottom thrashed as you are dragged behind a speeding boat. This is just one of the things that happened during my boat trip in the Gulf of Oman. Read on to find out what else happened.

Sometimes I feel very lucky. This was one of those times. Why? Because not only do I have friends in the beautiful desert country of Oman and not only do these friends invite me to visit them and show me around, but … big but … a couple of them even have a boat and invited me to spend the day with them on a boat trip in the Gulf of Oman. Continue reading “Spending the Day on a Boat in the Gulf of Oman”

Swimming in a Sinkhole

A beautiful desert sinkhole filled with warm, clear water and fish that nibble your feet. Why go to an expensive spa when you can swim in Bimmah Sinkhole?

On my recent visit to Oman I was lucky enough to have a friend take me out for the day to explore some of the desert near Muscat. After starting our day at Muscat’s fish market we hightailed it out of the city (or would have done if it hadn’t have been rush hour) and headed first of all to the Bimmah Sinkhole. Continue reading “Swimming in a Sinkhole”

Wadi Shab – A Spectacular Gorge Walk in Oman

I didn’t get time to explore Wadi Shab fully, but the bit I saw makes me want to prioritise a revisit next time I’m in Oman. However, there are some things I need to do first. Like improve my swimming.

A Wadi is a dry riverbed that in times of rain can quickly become flooded and inaccessible. As it doesn’t rain very often in Oman this is unlikely to be a problem if you want to visit. However, if it has rained do take advice before visiting.

Wadi Shab is about 90 mins drive from Muscat on the road to Sur. The entrance is spoilt by the modern highway bridge that straddles the two sides, but it doesn’t take long to lose sight of it once you start walking into the gorge. Continue reading “Wadi Shab – A Spectacular Gorge Walk in Oman”

A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat

One activity that needs to be high on your ‘must-do’ list if you visit Oman is a night at the Royal Opera House in Muscat.

On my first visit to Muscat four years ago, I wandered round the outside of the white building, but couldn’t get inside even for a brief glimpse. Of course, what I really wanted to do was get in to see a performance, but I never got the chance. Continue reading “A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat”

An Afternoon in Caldea Spa, Andorra

Caldea is Europe’s largest spa. When I found myself passing through Andorra on a road trip I couldn’t resist the opportunity to relax in its pools and hot tubs filled with water straight from Pyrenean hot springs.

The first thing I came across when I started researching ‘What to do in Andorra’ was the Caldea Spa. And as soon as I came across it I knew I had to go there.

I love a good spa. I haven’t been to many, but I’ve really enjoyed the few I have been to and at 6,000 square meters this is Europe’s largest. How could I resist? Continue reading “An Afternoon in Caldea Spa, Andorra”

Andorra in Sculptures

Andorra is usually known for its ski resorts and its duty free shops. I think it should be known for its street art. There were sculptures everywhere. Even a DalĂ­. Walking the streets felt more like walking through a giant art gallery.

Last month I got to visit Andorra as part of a road trip from the south of France to Bilbao in Spain.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as the blogs I’d read on Andorra hadn’t been too enthusiastic about it. Not that there were many. Unless you’re a skier it seems to be a bit of a forgotten destination. Continue reading “Andorra in Sculptures”

A Rainy Saturday in Wolverhampton

I hadn’t planned on spending a rainy Saturday in Wolverhampton, but as I did I may as well tell you about it. Then you don’t have to. Unless you really want to of course.

I hadn’t planned on spending a rainy Saturday in Wolverhampton.

I hadn’t actually planned on visiting Wolverhampton at all.

I probably would have got there at some point as part of my unofficial mission to visit all the random cities of the UK that no-one really goes to, but it hadn’t been my intention to go there this weekend. Continue reading “A Rainy Saturday in Wolverhampton”