Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

When I was a kid, we often spent our family holidays travelling around the area you see below on the map. Favourites were Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Northern Italy. So it’s quite likely that I’ve been to Villefranche-sur-Mer but I really want to go there now...
Nordschleife Nurburgring: Germany

Nordschleife Nurburgring: Germany

If you’re a motor racing fan (like me) then the Nurburgring needs no introduction whatsoever. But have you driven it? If not, add it to your to-do list right now. These days, the ‘ring even offers plenty for the non-motorsport fans in the family....
Monument to the Unknown Artist: London

Monument to the Unknown Artist: London

There are a couple of unusual things that you might need to know if you come across this sculpture in London. The first is that it isn’t the work of one artist but of a collective. That’s not terribly unusual but stand and watch the sculpture for a few...
Key West’s Dark Past: Carl Tanzler

Key West’s Dark Past: Carl Tanzler

When you visit Key West these days it’s difficult to imagine that events of true creepiness took place there. Today it’s a pretty innocuous place and plenty of fun for cruise passengers and tourists. But one of the creepiest events I’ve ever heard...
Fernando de Noronha Island

Fernando de Noronha Island

If you were to create your dream island, what would it be like? Mine would be exactly like Fernando de Noronha. Tropical weather, stunning views and, as you can see in the photograph above, the deepest blue and sparkling ocean. There are swaying palm trees, lovely...
Lake Maggiore: The Legend of the Bugatti

Lake Maggiore: The Legend of the Bugatti

Lake Maggiore is simply beautiful. This sparkling lake is located partly in Italy and partly in Switzerland. And during the early twentieth century, there was a curious legend regarding the lake – a legend that turned out to be true. Locals were sure that a 1926...
Château de Candé, France

Château de Candé, France

Château de Candé is situated in Monts, Indre-et-Loire and, although it isn’t one of the grandest chateaux in France, it has an interesting historical significance. It was here in June 1937 that the abdicated king, now retitled the Duke of Windsor, married his...
Colonia Fara: Italy

Colonia Fara: Italy

  it seems that in the 1930s, Hitler and Mussolini were on the same page when it came to building coastal resorts of the people. Hitler had Prora and Mussolini had Colonia Fara. And both still exist and are equally spooky. Also, both are in the process of being...
Visiting Norway: Z2 Georg Thiele

Visiting Norway: Z2 Georg Thiele

Visit the Narvik area in Norway and you’ll find that the scenery is breathtaking. And as you look out over the fjord, at the blue waters, you might spot an incongruous man-made object. It’s been there since 1940 and was once the proud ship, the Georg...
Chuck Berry’s House. St Louis, Missouri

Chuck Berry’s House. St Louis, Missouri

Chuck Berry was known as the father of rock ‘n’ roll and today, the house he lived in for several years and where he wrote several of his most well-known classics, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was already 40 years old when the...
St. Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool

St. Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool

St. Peter’s Church has an unusual connection. The clue is in the church’s location. Wikipedia describes Woolton as ‘an affluent suburb of Liverpool’ and this might suggest something to you. Liverpool is well-known for many things, one of which...
Visiting France: Chez Claude Monet

Visiting France: Chez Claude Monet

In the late nineteenth century, Claude Monet – the painter who was known as the Father of Impressionism – was travelling on a train in northern France. He spotted a very small but very attractive village called Giverny. He decided that this was where he...
Ghost Town: Oradour-sur-Glane

Ghost Town: Oradour-sur-Glane

It was June 10th, 1944 – at the height of World War Two. The village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Nazi-occupied France was destroyed by the Germans. The inhabitants, over 600 men, women and children, were massacred. In the entire village, there were only six...
Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan

The photograph above typifies Baku as the city is an unusual mix of extremely modern architecture plus ancient buildings. It is one of the quickest-growing cities in the world and has every possible modern amenity along with a huge slice of history and romance. The...
Alcatraz Island, California

Alcatraz Island, California

Imagine. You’re going to stay at a private island in sunny California. It has amazing wildlife and a fascinating history. What’s more, it’s not going to cost you a penny – your stay will be absolutely free of charge and even all your meals will...
Movie Locations: The Lady in the Van

Movie Locations: The Lady in the Van

I can’t even begin to describe to you that wonderful moment when I realised that Maggie Smith was going to play Miss Shepherd in Alan Bennett’s Lady in the Van. And a marvellous film it is too. For those who don’t know, it’s the (largely) true...
Love Locks & Eiffel Tower: New Orleans

Love Locks & Eiffel Tower: New Orleans

They say that writer Guy de Maupassant used to eat lunch every day at the restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower – because it was the only place in Paris that didn’t have a view of the thing. This ‘fact’ is doubted by my family as we once drove...
Locations: Game of Thrones

Locations: Game of Thrones

Dark Hedges is a stunning – and rather magical – parade of beech trees to be found in Northern Ireland and brought to general attention by its use as a location in the TV series Game of Thrones. This dark avenue of gnarled trees was planted in 1775 as the...
Ramones Museum, Berlin

Ramones Museum, Berlin

Way back in 1990, Flo Hayler started collecting Ramones memorabilia. He collected tickets and t-shirts, posters and pants. These were to form the basis of the Ramones Museum in Berlin. Yes, you’re right of course, the Ramones are mostly associated with their...
Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori, Italy

Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori, Italy

Here’s another seriously spooky hotel, this time the Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori in the Italian Alps. The hotel was abandoned when tourism declined in the area. Since its abandonment, in the late 1960s, the hotel fell into a ruinous state. Furniture and decor...
Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Isle of Lewis, Scotland

The Hebridean Islands are well-known because of their incredible scenery, wild seas and astonishing wildlife.  The islands are largely unspoiled and the Isle of Lewis is no exception.  And if you want to baffle a friend with a trivia question, who do these three...
Tianducheng: Paris in China

Tianducheng: Paris in China

Paris is a beautiful city. Few people would argue with me there. But what exactly is the deal with reproducing wonderful places? Tianducheng is a suburb of Hangzhou in China and Paris has been reproduced – not very well – in a development that was built in...
Kunsthofpassage, Dresden, Germany

Kunsthofpassage, Dresden, Germany

Kunsthofpassage is a series of alleyways in the student district of Dresden. The area contains quirky bookshops and cafés – and unusually decorated buildings. One of the most famous is the one you see above. A series of drainpipes are displayed not only in an...
Visiting Paris: Musée Édith Piaf

Visiting Paris: Musée Édith Piaf

Even though French iconic singer Edith Piaf died as long ago as 1963, most people would recognise her voice today. Even those who aren’t old enough to remember her will probably know this: And there is a private museum dedicated to her in Paris. It can be...
Bunce Island, Sierra Leone

Bunce Island, Sierra Leone

Bunce Island has a fascinating and rather chilling history. Today the island is deserted but in 1670 a castle was built there by a British slave trading company which became a hub for the slave trade. People from the west coast of Africa were kidnapped and shipped as...
Visiting the UK: The Cats of York

Visiting the UK: The Cats of York

York is a truly amazing place. It’s packed with history, ancient architecture, museums, parks … there are fabulous places to eat, the local scenery is unbeatable and it’s even a great place to shop. Bizarrely, you can also – free of charge...
Gnomesville, Western Australia

Gnomesville, Western Australia

There is a state in Western Australia called Dardanup and within that area is Ferguson Valley. There’s not much there, really. A timber mill was there back in Victorian times but it closed in 1929. In 1950 the town there was mostly destroyed by fire. Yet...
Lombard Street, San Francisco

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of those strange American sights that are so beloved of tourists. And it’s hardly surprising as it’s known as ‘the most crooked street in the world’. You can see in the photographs and videos below just...
Rab: Royal Rumpy Pumpy

Rab: Royal Rumpy Pumpy

Royal scandals tend to be a thing of the past these days but in the UK in the 1930s there was plenty of royal scandal to keep everyone entertained. The British papers tried hard to rise above these matters but the foreign press had a field day with the new king,...
Joe Cocker Meadow, Dresden, Germany

Joe Cocker Meadow, Dresden, Germany

It seems unbelievable to us today. It was June 2, 1988. Joe Cocker gave a concert in Dresden, Germany. That doesn’t sound too unusual, does it? A musician playing a public concert? But it was unusual when you realise that at that time, Germany was still a year...
The Ghost Town of Goussainville-Vieux Pays

The Ghost Town of Goussainville-Vieux Pays

If you’re flying to Paris and are just about to land at the airport, the chances are that you’ll be flying over the ghost village of Goussainville-Vieux Pays . When you’re read the story that led to this village being abandoned, you’ll be sure...
Brighton, UK: The Royal Pavillion

Brighton, UK: The Royal Pavillion

England abounds with eccentrics – people and buildings. And the Royal Pavillion at Brighton is so much a part of English culture that it’s only when I take a step back, and see it as a foreigner would, that I realise just how bizarre it is. Let’s...
Icelandic Phallological Museum

Icelandic Phallological Museum

So you happen to be in Iceland, in Reykjavik. And you see that there’s a museum ahead – it’s the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Do you go in? Actually, I suspect that the real question here is who thought about having a willy collection in the first...
Treetops Lodge, Kenya

Treetops Lodge, Kenya

Even if it didn’t have important historic associations, Treetops would still be a fascinating place to stay because of its location – – 100 miles from Nairobi in the Aberdare National Park. The hotel is the ideal place to view Africa’s...
Pont-en-Royans, France

Pont-en-Royans, France

There are many incredibly picturesque villages in France and Pont-en-Royans is an excellent example. You can see from the photographs how the brightly-coloured houses cling to the craggy cliff sides with the river running peacefully below. As you can see from the map...
The Reichenbach Falls

The Reichenbach Falls

Probably the most well-known waterfall in the world, Reichenbach Falls has a fictional hero to thank for its fame. For it is here that Conan Doyle’s detective, Sherlock Holmes, had his ‘fatal’ battle with his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty. It was...
The Fake House at Leinster Gardens, London

The Fake House at Leinster Gardens, London

Baywater is a lovely area of London with elegant terraces featuring delightful architecture. But next time you’re in London, it’s worth visiting Leinster Gardens because two of the houses there are not what they first appear to be. Numbers 23 and 24 are...
Hashima Island

Hashima Island

Seriously spooky, Hashima Island is also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island. At one time it was densely populated and busy – today it’s a ghost town. It used to be a mining community that first started in 1900 thanks to the Mitsubishi Corporation...
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

My dad was the most travelled person that I’ve ever met and he always maintained that Cape Town was the finest place he had ever visited. Bo Kaap is a fabulous area to explore. With Table Mountain forming its backdrop, the area has brightly coloured houses on...
Visiting the UK: The Mouseman of Kilburn

Visiting the UK: The Mouseman of Kilburn

I was still at school when I found out about the Mouseman. The school, which was quite posh, needed new furniture for the teachers’ use during assembly. I recall that the headmistress was very proud because he had purchased the furniture from the Mouseman....
Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Ireland

Imagine it … about a hundred feet below you, heavy waves are crashing onto jagged rocks. Seabirds swoop at you. The wind is high. The only way forward is to walk across a fragile rope bridge swaying in front of you. The walk won’t be a long one, less than...
Balestrino Ghost Village

Balestrino Ghost Village

The movie Inkheart tells a fantasy story that features an abandoned village that was revitalised. Here’s the trailer. The village actually exists and it is abandoned. The film gives us some idea of what the village would have been like before it was abandoned,...
Movie Locations: Joliet Prison

Movie Locations: Joliet Prison

If you’re anything like me, you hear or read ‘Joliet’ and it means only one thing – The Blues Brothers! At the beginning of this super-cool, classic, cult film, Elwood Blues is collecting his brother Jake who is just being released from jail...
London: The Fryscraper of Fenchurch Street

London: The Fryscraper of Fenchurch Street

It’s not only me who finds this building (above, left)  perfectly awful. In 2015, the building won the Carbuncle Cup – which is awarded annually to the ugliest building in the UK. And it’s not just ugly, it also has a serious solar glare problem....
St Thomas, USVI

St Thomas, USVI

Although it’s an excellent idea to research the places you’re going to when you’re travelling, I also find that reading historical books about an area can be just as interesting, if not more so, than researching the best restaurants and where to find...
Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, Norway

What does Trollstigen mean? In Norwegian, it means ‘Trolls’ Road’ and this twisty and narrow road runs perilously on the side of a mountain. It’s appropriately named as in Scandinavian mythology trolls are rather evil little goblin-like...
Linby Village: England

Linby Village: England

If you’re in the UK and travelling on the north-to-south M1 motorway, then it’s worth a small detour to visit the tiny village of Linby. I’m afraid that I don’t know exactly when the village was initially founded but the church dates from the...
The Vine Bridges of the Iya Valley, Japan

The Vine Bridges of the Iya Valley, Japan

Well, would you? Would you cross the Iya Valley on this vine bridge? History doesn’t reveal who built these bridges – or why – but it certainly was an ingenious solution. Wisteria vines were woven together along with planking to produce a footbridge...
Olympic Village: Germany 1936

Olympic Village: Germany 1936

Most of us know a little about the 1936 Summer Olympics that were held in the outskirts of Berlin. And even for those of us who know very little, the combination of Germany, 1936 and Hitler indicates very creepy undertones. As we can imagine, Hitler saw the games as...
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