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Travel Memories 4: Granada

Flamenco in the afternoon.

The reason I went to Granada was to see the Alhambra, the Moorish palace/fortress. Checking online just now to date the Alhambra (largely 13th and 14th centuries), I see that these days (well, pre-pandemic) the site is so popular you must book timed tickets in advance; in 1992, I simply walked up from town when the mood took me. I wandered the back streets of the old town, stopped for tapas and sherry, listened to guitar and ‘canto jondo’. I strolled around the Generalife Gardens, where there always seemed to be the sound of water — gurgling, trickling, tumbling water. And I marvelled at the flamenco. Not paid performances or professionals, these were ordinary men and women, in jeans and skirts, having a great time dancing in tents set up in the streets. Some of the women wore elaborate (and heavy!) dresses. The makeshift tent floors vibrated and rang with the stamping of people’s feet, mothers danced with young children, and girls in their own ruffled dresses looked on hopefully from the sidelines. It was totally unexpected, and quite stupendous.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


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Travel Memories 3: Monaco

Is this row of helicopters not what you expected for Monaco? There is a reason! In 1998, while living in London, I won a trip for two to Monaco, courtesy of a radio station and whatever entity was sponsoring the trip. We flew to Nice, and then were taken in a private helicopter to Monaco. (If you have sharp eyes, you can just about make out the words “Heli Air Monaco” on the tail of the black helicopter in the feature photo.) The holiday was off to a great start! Sadly, the flight is more like a hop — practically up and then down again. Nonetheless, we felt as if we had arrived in style.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


click here for a larger version of the map below

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Travel Memories 1: Goa

Park Hyatt Hotel, Goa. The view from my balcony.

This photo was taken in 2013. From 3 March to 14 April, I had sailed on the tall ship Lord Nelson from Durban in South Africa to Kochi (Cochin) in India. Definitely the longest time at sea I’d ever spent! We did stop along the way — Mauritius, Sri Lanka — but still, it was many weeks on a boat with 40-odd other people in weather ranging from the high winds and chill of 35deg South to the hot humidity of the Equator. After we’d reached India and gone our separate ways, I headed to the Park Hyatt in Goa for a few days of spoiled luxury, a big bed, clean sheets and unlimited showers. And (of course) bubbly!

This is the first post of a new theme for me, called Travel Memories. I plan to post a single photo from a trip: one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.