Oct 23

The Feynan Ecolodge: Stargazing and Coffee with the Bedouin in the Desert in Jordan

By Abi King | Jordan , Middle East

Sparks hissed from the fire where we clustered beneath the stars. The group fell silent, waiting for Hussein to finish his story. He sat cross-legged, wearing the traditional thawb and keffiyeh, his deep eyes lined with kohl.

“My darling,” he said, fixing his eyes on the girl in front of him. “Forget the astronomer. Come with me. I’ll show you the stars in the day.”

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Oct 16

Slow Food in Italy: What it is and how to enjoy it in Umbria

By Abi King | Italy

Close your eyes at the top of Mount Subiaso and you can hear the call of the owls. Their birdsong drifts through the windows with the early summer breeze, lifting the logs that crackle on the hearth and making the floor-length curtains sigh.

Pilgrims used to stay here on their way towards Assisi, climbing uneven stone stairs and watching the same stars dazzle at night, vivid and free from city light suffocation.

Yet “here” isn’t camping in the rough and it isn’t the latest gimmicky trend. “Here” is Le Silve Hotel in Italy, where slow food defines the local experience.

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Oct 15

7 Unusual Things to do in the Cotswolds

By Abi King | England

England’s stunningly honey-stoned Cotswolds bask in their reputation for combining muddy walks with roaring fires and great food at the end of the day.

And while these are great things to do in the Cotswolds, they aren’t the only things.

When it comes to the top attractions in the Cotswolds, you’ll often be guided to the world of Jane Austen and the UNESCO World Heritage Roman Baths in Bath. 

And with good reason. Bath remains one of my favourite places to visit in England and, well, the idea of Mr Darcy continues to swoop and swoon around the world.

But that’s not what many who live in England think of the Cotswolds, even if it may be technically true.

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Oct 14

Visiting the Peace Palace in the Hague: The Highest Court in the World

By Abi King | Western Europe

If any two words have come to symbolize the full weight of international justice and global condemnation they are The Hague.

War crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity hang in the balance here, as the world’s brightest lawyers look evil in the eye beneath the tree blossom and tiered brick gables of canalside houses in this part of the Netherlands.

Or so I thought. But like pretty much everything else in life, it’s a little more complicated for that.

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Oct 10

What to Do in Tokyo in 5 Days: The Best Things to do in Tokyo

By Abi King | Japan , North Asia

Tendrils of smoke curl and float past scarlet pillars. Fingers fold white paper into prayers. Heads bow, hands wash in water, and the soft, sonorous chime of a gong, flecked with gold, reverberates through the crowd.

This is the Asakusa Shrine, or Sanja-Sama (the shrine of the three gods,) in the heart of pulsing Tokyo. And right around the corner, I found worship of a different kind.

Heads bowed, sirens blazing, flickering lights in fuchsia and fluorescence.

This is the whir and buzz, the whizz and blaze of Pachinko: a Japanese pinball arcade where silence is forbidden and tranquillity long since forgotten.

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Oct 08

Marsh Library: The Best and Oldest Library in Dublin

By Abi King | Western Europe

Marsh’s Library, Dublin As a child, I dreamed one day of owning, or perhaps just prowling around, an overtowering library. Shelves would reach beyond my eyes, with creaky ladders required to reach the top. Sunlight would shimmer through dust and romance, and science and wild adventure would swim between the thick, creamy pages where black […]

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Aug 30

Fly Drive Florida: Orlando to the Gulf Coast Two Week Itinerary

By Abi King | Best Places to Visit USA

Forget dear old Mickey. Florida’s Gulf Coast offers wildlife of a different kind. Gentle sea giant manatees and wild dolphins skitting through sparkling surf. Scorching pink flamingoes and American Bald Eagles. Mile after mile of soft white sand bordered by mangroves and painted lifeguard huts. Just pull up and go for a swim, no organisation required.

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