Greenland: Real life… and certain death

‘ONCE your plane takes off again, you’re stuck here until Monday,’ says Susanna, the guide who meets me on Friday morning. ‘There are no more flights in or out.’ Welcome to one of the most remote spots on Earth, where the January temperature averages a bracing -27ºC (-16ºF). Kangerlussuaq in Greenland is the former USContinue reading “Greenland: Real life… and certain death”

Canada: The Rockies theme

‘ALL A-B-O-A-R-D.’ Who of us has not wanted to climb aboard a big North American train as the guard calls out that iconic warning? OK, there’s no tearful blonde waving on the platform, only the Rocky Mountaineer office staff lined up to send us off from Vancouver (a nice touch, though). But we’re going onContinue reading “Canada: The Rockies theme”

Sri Lanka: Going eco

I’M NEARING the end of my second day at Vil Uyana – one of Sri Lanka’s premier new eco-lodges and close to the famous Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ in the heart of the country – when it finally clicks. Thatched wooden houses on stilts, set among tropical lagoons – where does it remind me of? ItContinue reading “Sri Lanka: Going eco”

Vancouver: Birthplace of Green

LIKE all of us, I’ve indulged in those ‘What’s your favourite city/holiday destination?’ conversations. I used to know the answers. Now, having been to Vancouver, I’m less sure. Before I went, this Canadian West Coast city didn’t figure on my radar; having been there, it’s shot straight to the top of my favourite cities. SoContinue reading “Vancouver: Birthplace of Green”

China: The road to Shangri-La

HAVE you noticed you never quite get to Shangri-La? I arrived in the pretty town of Lijiang at night and, although it is a Unesco World Heritage site, I was totally unprepared for its charms. Red lanterns lit up narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional Chinese wooden buildings and small stone bridges spanned an intricateContinue reading “China: The road to Shangri-La”

Armenia: Taste of the old order

IT’S HARD NOT to go to a country from the former Soviet Bloc without a James Bond moment. I had a perfect one on arrival at Yerevan Airport, a pleasing concrete flying saucer of a building. A police officer kept staring at me. Perhaps I should have been a tad more nervous but, despite theContinue reading “Armenia: Taste of the old order”