Category

Europe

Time To Harvest The Olives

T

“The entire Mediterranean seems to rise out of the sour, pungent taste of black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat or wine, a taste as old as cold water. Only the sea itself seems as ancient a part of the region as the olive and its oil, that like no other products of nature, have shaped civilizations from remotest antiquity to the present.” – Lawrence Durrell...

A Postcard From Belfast

A

One evening Colin and I hiked up Cave Hill to take in Belfast at stereoscopic scale. On our way back to town, we paused to slake our thirst at a pub called The Front Page. It’s close proximity to the offices of the Belfast Telegraph and Irish News had reputedly made it a hangout for journalists and newspaper workers. While I tend to avoid other writers, Colin, a photojournalist by profession...

Valletta By Notte

V

It was Notte Bianca this past Saturday in many European cities. An all-night street party where the centre of town is turned into one massive public art display, and where buildings that aren’t normally accessible to the public throw open their doors in a late night architectural peep show. Everything’s free — and it feels like everyone in the country comes out to take advantage of it. The...

A Postcard From The Giant’s Causeway

A

Colin was mesmerized by the steady geometry of the rocks backed by grassy coastal cliffs which looked as though the land had been bitten off and then softly eroded. But for me the Causeway was just a strange pile of stones on an inhospitable day. I couldn’t buy into its myth. I only sensed something when I picked my way out to where the slippery stones were surrounded on three sides by the sea...

A Postcard From The Camargue

A

The chapel was bathed in cool subterranean light, filtered through high window slits as though between lily pads into the chthonic depths of a pond. Sitting in a pew, I felt as though I had drowned. The faint sound of religious music piped through hidden speakers became the Music of the Spheres, the sound of my consciousness as it fled my drowned body. All was stillness and shafts of light. The...

Liechtenstein? Where The Hell’s That…?

L

Liechtenstein is a strange place. It’s a monarchy ruled by a prince in the middle of Europe, landlocked in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria. At 62 square miles it’s the 6th smallest country in the world, but has the world’s second highest GDP per person thanks to it’s status as a tax haven. It’s the sort of anomaly on a map that people pop into for an hour, just to say they’ve been there...

A Postcard from Lastovo

A

  Lastovo: isolated Adriatic island of jagged hills clad in holm oak and aleppo pine, where the sea laps sunbleached stones with tongue translucent blue. Settled by Illyrians and later controlled by Rome, over the centuries it was destroyed by Venice for harboring pirates, joined the Dubrovnik Republic, and passed through the hands of Napoleonic France, Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia, to finally...

Jostled By The Motion

J

I’m alone in my compartment as the train leaves Slovenia and enters the broad rolling fields of Hungary. The dark blue seat upholstery smells of dust, and the nautical gloss of the walls have faded to matte. I see “Magyar” go past on a rusted sign, and I’m reminded of a stamp collecting album someone gave me as a child. It was filled with names like “GDR” and...

Images of London

I

We’ll get to North Korea soon, I promise. I’m in London at the moment and wanted to share something with you. Spent some time searching for the tomb of one of my heroes. He’s buried in a marble replica of a Bedouin tent in a little cemetery in Mortlake…   Captain Richard Francis Burton lived a life people today would hardly find believable. He spoke some 29 languages...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for my entertaining email newsletter


Get in Touch

Donate

Support the Personal Landscapes podcast with a donation

Recent Posts

Archives

WP AutoTerms Legal Pages