Looking for Linen and finding Silk or: Fabric Shopping in Tallinn and St. Petersburg

Looking for Linen and finding Silk or: Fabric Shopping in Tallinn and St. Petersburg

This almost sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? The Baltic States, Belarus and Russia are linen producers and well known for good quality linen. So, it made sense on my recent trip to St. Petersburg and Tallinn to increase the stash – …

Classical Music in St Petersburg: How to find  hidden treasures

Classical Music in St Petersburg: How to find hidden treasures

Russia and the former Soviet Union have an excellent reputation for classical music and dance performances. And when visiting St Petersburg, the Mariinsky (formerly Kirov) Theatre will spring to mind. It is the most famous theatre in St Petersburg – and also the most expensive.…

Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

My first trip to Russia post-Socialism took me, quite fittingly, to the imperial city of St. Petersburg, the Hero city of Leningrad, the modern city of St. Petersburg with its rich history and countless works or art. And where would be a better place to…

My Visa-free Russia Trip

My Visa-free Russia Trip

Now that I have returned from Russia, I cannot wait to give you the full report on my visa-free Russia trip! I booked this a few months ago when I figured out I can visit Russia without a visa, if only for a relatively short…

My Morrissey Years and a Saal Digital Photobook review

My Morrissey Years and a Saal Digital Photobook review

Do you print your photos? Make postcards? Books?  I used to, but my efforts in recent years have been pathetic. I am never sure which printing companies print a good quality photo or gift.  Most of my pictures have been languishing on hard drives and…

In the French Pharmacy: Cruelty-Free Issue

In the French Pharmacy: Cruelty-Free Issue

When in France… buy cosmetics! This was my mantra for years, once I discovered you can buy mid-priced, high-quality body care and cosmetic products all over France even in the tiniest village pharmacy. I think plenty knowledge is out now that France produces some excellent…

Staying in ultra budget F1 Hotel: What is it like?

Staying in ultra budget F1 Hotel: What is it like?

When you are looking just for a good nights sleep, when you have transportation to catch early in the morning, and you’re not interested in nightlife or sunset-watching, where do you prefer to stay? We had an early flight from Toulouse just recently, and instead…

Hotel Review: Boutique Hotel Minzifa, Bukhara

Hotel Review: Boutique Hotel Minzifa, Bukhara

Bukhara is perhaps the place with the widest choice of charming small hotels in Uzbekistan, and perhaps Central Asia. So, on my trip to Samarkand and Bukhara, it made sense to push out the boat a bit and book a characterful traditional small hotel.  I…

Hotel Review: Antica B&B, Samarkand

Hotel Review: Antica B&B, Samarkand

Samarkand is a large city and it is harder to find charming accommodation close to the major sights. A hotel in Samarkand hotel is typically large, business-orientated and geared towards tour groups. After my good and very cheap experience at the Hotel Rahmon, I decided…

Hotel Rahmon, Samarkand: A model of hospitality

Hotel Rahmon, Samarkand: A model of hospitality

On my recent flying visit to the Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, my first contact with the locals was in this guesthouse I had just booked quickly in order to crash somewhere upon arrival. I had already booked some fancier hotels in Bukhara…

Hotel Review: Hotel Globales Reina Cristina, Algeciras

Hotel Review: Hotel Globales Reina Cristina, Algeciras

“What on earth are you doing in Algeciras?” you might ask. This port city is mostly known as a passing through place en route to Morocco and the Spanish Enclaves, but not as a tourist sight on its own. What makes it a great place…

Hotel Review: Hotel Palacio de Los Salcedo, Baeza

Hotel Review: Hotel Palacio de Los Salcedo, Baeza

On our recent honeymoon driving round some of lesser known Andalucia, we thought we book ourselves a special treat. We checked into a real palace in Baeza. This town in Northeastern Andalucia forms an impressive coherent architectural ensemble of Renaissance buildings unique to Spain.  It…

What to buy in Andalucia

What to buy in Andalucia

When I travel I  cannot resist a bit of shopping.  I’m in a holiday mood, that money just sits a little bit looser. And I like nice things to remind me of my trip. I even managed to find something in Moldova.  But there is…

Haiku No. 8

Haiku No. 8

Odessa Just like yesterday water colours turned solid I walk and wonder Did you know that from November, Ryanair will fly from Berlin (TXL) to Odessa twice a week? I took the opportunity to nudge you to consider visiting this beautiful city, but got bogged…

Hotel Review: La Alcoba del Agua, Sanlucar de Barrameda

Hotel Review: La Alcoba del Agua, Sanlucar de Barrameda

Back from Spain for two, weeks,  a new job to settle into, house a mess and two bored cats – not the best circumstances for writing a long post. While I have loads from our Andalucian honeymoon to share, let me start with La Alcoba…