Category: Travel

Syria: We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know

Former Middle East correspondent, Sophie McNeill, appeared on a recent Late Night Live to talk about her new book, We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know. McNeill despairs at the world’s mute response to the atrocities committed in Syria and that we seem to be living in an age of impunity for those who wage war.

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Kurd Friends in the Mountains

My wife and I visited Turkey in 1988. We had endured our first English winter and spent two-weeks hugging the coastal sites and sunny beaches. We returned in 1990, venturing far from the coast, to the mountains of eastern-Turkey, where Kurds befriended us, and we learned a little of Kurdish culture.

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Writing From My Travel Journal

What could be easier than writing a piece based on travel journal entries from seven nights my wife and I spent in Moscow and St. Petersburg? Well, for a start, it was way back in 1993, and I was still finding my “writer’s voice”. Many of the entries are inconsistent, and some downright embarrassing.

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The Gift of 1000 Pencils

It was my birthday recently. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a charity gift of 1000 pencils to be sent by Unicef to children in need to help further their education. The gift reminded me of my backpacking days, travelling in East Africa, and being beset by kids begging for pens and pencils.

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The Intrepid Dervla Murphy

In A Book of Travellers’ Tales (Picador 1985) Eric Newby describes Dervla Murphy as: “Intrepid Irish traveller, mostly in Asia and Ethiopia, on bicycles or with quadrupeds, or local transport.” Her tale is titled: “A lone female cyclist deals with a randy Kurd on the Turkish-Iranian frontier, 1963.”

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Wimbledon lost in translation

My girlfriend and I had travelled all day to reach the small farming town of Nijemardum, in the northern Netherlands state of Friesland, to visit the parents of a former housemate. “My mother will be pleased to see you,” Jan had assured me. The bewildered look on Mrs B’s face indicated otherwise.

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Three Visits to Dahab (Egypt)

Is it wrong to want our favourite places to stay the same? Probably. It is over twenty years since I last visited Dahab. I have read tourists still flock there from all over the world. Aspects of Dahab’s villages and surrounds must have changed beyond recognition for this “old timer”.

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Published March 2020

This slim book is hard to put down. And the only regret we may feel after reading it is that we reached the end too quickly! ~ Denise O'Hagan

Both Sides of the Story by Robert Fairhead
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