Category

Europe

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...

Sommières Daze

S

      moonlight echoes through nighttime streets reverberating off walls of limburger cheese and the yellow plaster of peeling bandages over Poseidon blue. razor wounds or Time’s shaving nicks? black cats scuttle through dead-end alleys like fading dreams they dissolve into cognac fumes rain dogs howl and the light peels away as the evening train mourns its passing with a brassy...

Island Siren Song

I

The Landscape: Stony Adriatic islands scattered along the length of Croatia’s coast. Coarse green shrubs and olive trees whose thin leaves flash silver undersides to the breeze. Translucent blue: a breath would cloud that water of glass. Light has a clarity there that is like no place else, and it provokes a clarity of thought. Priorities and needs slip so easily into place. You realize the...

A Postcard from Sarajevo

A

  Strong syrupy coffee in the cobbled streets of Sarajevo’s Turkish quarter. The Muslim call to prayer reverberates through narrow alleyways, the echoes compounding as it bounces back upon itself. Just around the corner is a synagogue and an Orthodox church. East meets West to the metallic tap of tinsmith’s tiny hammers. The centre is rebuilt, but further out bullets and shell...

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