Tag Archives: Christianity

The first globe-trotter.

We live in an age where travel is becoming a commodity. £300 return fares, London-New York, non-stop. £60 tickets for the train to Paris. Competition has brought low fares and low fares have shrunk the world: the jet set is … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Iceland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Remembrance for scatterbrains.

Landing takes place at night. We descend into the warm Mediterranean air, those of us sat on the left-hand side being treated to a royal view of the entire city of Beirut lying, invitingly, beneath us. Here is Ras Beirut, … Continue reading

Posted in Lebanon, Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

To the last city.

No, that’s a misnomer. Tashkent was, if anything, Uzbekistan’s first city, at least in the modern sense of the term. First one to be occupied by the Russians, first one to be reached by a railroad, first to host all … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Chaos theory applied to abbeys.

Sometimes you don’t make it, sometimes you break it. Ian Malcom explained it in Jurassic Park, circa 1993. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.  A single valley, two abbeys, … Continue reading

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

Weren’t all they supposed to be madmen?

Lunatics. Zealots. Religious fanatics. These were a few of the attributes that friends and acquaintances slapped on the people of Iran whenever the topic came up. Unrequested opinions were offered, together with garbled memories of articles penned down by the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Iran | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

An afternoon south of the river: finding Armenians in Iran and how civilization begun.

“…a wicked regime where anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is official ideology, and with […] killing of women just because they’re women”  – Sarah Palin The south bank of the dried Zāyanderūd river is Armenian at heart. This piece of Iran, long … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Iran | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

People of the Book.

Cynics would say that, were copyright infringement laws to exist back then, the Apostles and Prophet Muhammad would’ve landed in court, for the similarities and reciprocal borrowings between Judaism, Christianity and Islam are staggering. This holds true for the theory but also … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Israel | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

(Not finding) my religion in the Holy Land: confession of a sceptical in Jerusalem.

For some people, the moment of detachment from a religious view they used to hold is a momentous one, the culmination of days – perhaps months – of introspection, self-assessment and doubt. In my case, instead, I cannot point out … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Faith, Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nuns

The group of nuns emerged from Zagreb’s Cathedral and immediately stopped in the piazza, gesticulating feverishly as they spoke with each other in a deluge of fast-paced Croatian. Initially they didn’t seem to notice the man approaching them. A backpacker, … Continue reading

Posted in Croatia, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacred and Profane – The art of the Neapolitan Nativity scene

When, in a remote Italian village, Saint Francis of Assisi put a baby in a crib well padded with hay, under the watchful eye of an ox and a donkey, he couldn’t have possibly foreseen what his idea to re-enact … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Italy, Napoli, Overlooked locations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments