Author Archives: awtytravels

Beach life.

A pebble beach. Cold wind, the waters of the fjord lapping the polished stones of the shore. A faint smell of trees hanging in the air. A crowd, gathered in expectation. People are waiting patiently. Some carry binoculars, some have … Continue reading

Posted in Scotland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Palermo Street Art.

I don’t know when humanity built the first wall; what I’m certain of, however, is that it mustn’t have been long before somebody drew on it. Street art has been found everywhere, from Aya Sofia in Istanbul to Pompeii: it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Sicilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Read Chapter 1 of “Turn Left at Lenin’s Statue” for free!

Turn Left at Lenin’s Statue is my first travel book. It’s the story of a journey through Central Asia, past frontiers and across seasons; a journey whose aim was to understand this region, to go beyond the (scarce) headlines and, … Continue reading

Posted in The Book | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Ashes and blue skies: a Palermo travelogue.

Warm air rushes in to fill the plane. We disembark by row, adhering scrupulously to the new socially-distant orthodoxy, ditching jumpers and jackets as we do: summer might be a distant memory where we left off, washed away in the … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Sicilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Saving a corner of wilderness.

Regulars of this blog will know that I originally hail from NW Italy. I was born in Piedmont but spent a lot of time in neighbouring Val d’Aosta (also known as Almost Switzerland). A region of glaciers, woods, gurgling streams, … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Uncategorized, Val d'Aosta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Postcards from the city at the edge of the island.

This place is ancient. Countless generations lived here; even more passed through. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans. Then Vandals, Goths, the Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards. Germans and the Allied forces. All left a piece, a memento of their passage. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Sicilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The ultimate StairMaster.

From the comfortable flatness of London, Alpine trekking evokes images of paths meandering towards isolated peaks and a soft mattress of pine needles covering a path running through the woods. Not in the mountains surrounding my hometown, though. Boulders make … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Piemonte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Turn Left at Lenin’s Statue: Travels in Central Asia.

It’s taken three years, five revisions and a list of rejections as long as Donald Trump’s comb over, but at long last Turn Left at Lenin’s Statue is here – or, rather, on Amazon. Here’s a little bit of a … Continue reading

Posted in The Book | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

It’s (almost) Alive!

…well, almost. As soon as Jeff’s industrious elves (or, rather, a server in some Amazon Web Services data centre in suburban Leighton Buzzard) check that neither the Kindle nor the paperback are hiding contents unworthy of featuring on Jeff’s Big … Continue reading

Posted in Odd ones out | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

They can speak.

Animals can speak. And thanks to a nifty little app I downloaded, I now speak animal! “Say what?” says the hind. – “Hey, mister Heron…” “What’s the matter, darling?” “Have you seen those two bipeds? The one with the camera … Continue reading

Posted in London, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments