Vladimir Cathedral

It’s been quite a while since I left the balmy shores of Lake Bled, with its backdrop of castles, dramatic peaks and rolling green hills.  In fact, the last month has been pretty much the polar opposite.

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My final stop in the Balkans was Slovenia, the economic powerhouse of the former Yugoslavia and a charming country resembling Austria and Switzerland.  In fact, I couldn’t really see how it fit with countries like Bosnia & Herzegovina or Macedonia – it was like chalk and cheese.

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I’m sitting in Sarajevo, reflecting on a very hectic week, in which I visited 7 countries in 7 days.  And yet it has been the most interesting, beautiful and puzzling part of my travels so far.  If you have never been to this part of the world, then I suggest you book your flights now!

Singapore Pano

I have a confession to make: I love Singapore.  Well, two confessions, actually…I also love tilt-shift lenses (and I apologise profusely for totally overusing tilt-shift images in this post, but I rented one for a day and figured I should make good use of it).

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In my mind Da Lat is an anomaly.  Situated 1,500m above sea level, and frequently facing prolonged periods of rain and overcast skies, the city is a good 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country.  This temperate climate, and the fact that the French colonialists treated it as a country retreat to get out of the stifling heat of Saigon, makes the place feel oddly European.

Paradise Cave

“Ok, now just remember to keep your feet pointed towards the ceiling, otherwise you could break your leg. Climb up to that one if you are feeling brave.” That is what is our guide shouted to me, standing waist-deep in a gigantic pool of mud half a mile inside one of the vast array of Karst mountains in Northern Vietnam.