Royal Mile – Edinburgh – 4

On Canongate on the right, the People’s Story Museum is a museum housed in the historic Canongate Tolbooth. Their collection tells the story of the people of Edinburgh from the late 18th century to the present day through oral history, reminiscence and written sources. The museum also houses Britain’s largest collection of reform flags andContinue reading “Royal Mile – Edinburgh – 4”

Rosslyn Chapel – 3

There are depictions of Trillium, Indian Corn, and Aloe Vera indicating the sculptors of the chapel were familiar with these plants, even though Western Explorers weren’t supposed to have reached North America and India, where these plants originate, until at least 10 years after the carvings were crafted. There are also representations of an elephantContinue reading “Rosslyn Chapel – 3”

Royal Mile – Edinburgh – 3

To the south the view is of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags where energetic lunch-time athletes go running. Between the Parliament and the crags is Our Dynamic Earth, a visitor attraction that tells the story of planet Earth and how our world works, how life has evolved and the future challenges faced by the planet.Continue reading “Royal Mile – Edinburgh – 3”

Rosslyn Chapel – 2

The most famous features of the chapel are the two pillars carved by the master mason and an apprentice mason. The story goes that the master mason carved his rather simple column and then went on a tour of European cathedrals, looking for inspiration for the other major pillar in the chapel. While the masterContinue reading “Rosslyn Chapel – 2”

Royal Mile, Edinburgh – 2

There are guided tours of the inside of the buildings and there’s also a leaflet allowing people to take a self-guided tour of the exterior. Some of the features left me baffled at times, particularly the large, thick sticks that covered some of the windows, and the odd-shaped window designs, supposedly inspired by the silhouetteContinue reading “Royal Mile, Edinburgh – 2”

Rosslyn Chapel – 1

Before the book, the Da Vinci Code, was first published in 2003, Rosslyn Chapel received between 5,000 and 5,500 visitors per year. After the release of the film of the same name in 2006, 176,000 visitors arrived in the next six months. This figure is now the average number of tourists the chapel receives eachContinue reading “Rosslyn Chapel – 1”

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh – 1

The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town. With all the historic buildings along this street, it came as a surprise to me to learn the name ‘Royal Mile’ was only coined in 1901 in W M Gilbert’s Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century.Continue reading “The Royal Mile, Edinburgh – 1”

Phil Collins: why I took a Soviet statue of Engels across Europe to Manchester

Friedrich Engels spent two decades in Manchester. The horrific conditions he saw in the cradle of industrialism forged his great works. But the city has never commemorated him – until now – and it’s not that Phil Collins, it’s another one.

Nevis

Nevis was untouched by the bitter disputes affecting its near neighbour. It became the region’s most profitable sugar cane producer and was a major spa destination for Britain’s rich people. Nevis is a short ferry ride from St Kitts. The capital, Charlestown, is far more charming than Basseterre. Alexander Hamilton was born here in 1757Continue reading “Nevis”

St Kitts

Trains leave Needsmust station and passengers are soon immersed in the landscape of fields of sugar cane. There are views of the Atlantic coast, nearby islands, and local life in equal measure. Besides sugar cane there are pineapples, bananas, and papayas in the fields. At La Valle Station, passengers transfer from the train to sightseeingContinue reading “St Kitts”