We’ve arrived in Hanoi. It’s inhumanely hot, humid, and oh god the traffic. The traffic! Scooters, pedestrians, cars, somehow they just weave in and out, traffic lights be damned, all part of an organic but incomprehensible flow. Our role in it is much like a spoon thrown into the blender, probably as upsetting to the motorists as they are terrifying to us.Read More
We take the cable car back down and finally push our way into the glitzy world of high density, freewheeling consumption. As we wade wide-eyed through the multitudes, possibly in circles because we’ve walked by the Innis Free shop at least six times, we start to forget what exactly we’ve come here to buy. In one beauty products store someone’s boyfriend is alone in a corner and passed out, his head sunken deep into a mound of shopping bags…Read More
Looking out from the top of the keep, we were also struck by how the farms, churches, and roads below actually looked like the pieces from the board game. Somewhere in the distance we thought we caught a glimpse of a patch of red, so we decided to go and check it out. After driving around aimlessly for half an hour through muddy farm roads, we found what we've been looking for – a poppy field!Read More
This was our second trip to the Abbaye de Sainte Croix in as many years (with very, very belated photos from both). Just up the hills from Salon de Provence, the Abbaye was built in the twelfth century, but is now a charming hotel with restaurant run by a staff thoughtful and obliging almost to a fault.Read More
"The history of Kells and its Abbey from late in the ninth century to the end of the tenth is a tale of continuous struggle against foreign centuries and domestic aggression.
In 899 the Abbey was sacked and pillaged.
In 918 the Danes plundered Kells, and laid the church level with the ground.
Rebuilt, it was again spoiled and pillaged by the Danes in 946.
Three years later, Godfrey, son of Sitric, plundered the Abbey.
In 967 the town and Abbey were pillaged by the King of Leinster's son, supported by the Danes; but the allied forces were assailed and defeated by Domnald O Neill, King of Ireland.
Only a year later the Abbey and town were despoiled by a united force of Danes and Leinster people; while in 996 the Danes of Dublin made yet another pillaging raid on both the town and Abbey.
How the Gospels of St Columba survived this century of violence and spoilation it is impossible to say."Read More