Select Page

Fallingwater, Pennsylvania

In 1934, when Edgar Kauffman Sr., a Pittsburgh department store owner, turned to Frank Lloyd Wright to design a weekend house in the country, it was to cost $35,000. At the time, Frank Lloyd Wright was 67 years old and a world famous architect, but thanks to the...

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

The genesis of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC - if that is the right word to use here - is 1847 when Pope Pius IX named the Virgin Mary as patroness of the United States, under her title of Immaculate Conception. In...

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Why a child in rural Perthshire should know the song “John Brown’s body lies a mouldering in the grave” is a mystery, but this civil war song was quite known to me, although at the time I had no idea who John Brown was. I thought of this when I went to Harpers Ferry...

Lincoln’s Cottage

In the spirit of continuing to discover Washington, we visited Lincoln’s Cottage which is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in the Upper North-west quadrant of the city. Lincoln was not the only president to stay here in the summer months, but...
NC500: Handa Island & Loch Assynt

NC500: Handa Island & Loch Assynt

The zodiac boat to Handa Island runs from Tarbet, which is about a 10 minute drive north of Scourie - which we determined is properly pronounced Scowree and not Scoorie. In season the boat runs frequently, but off-season it runs on the hour, every hour, and naturally...

NC500; Gairloch to Ardvreck

NC500; Gairloch to Ardvreck

We had planned to leave Loch Torridon around 0930 as we had a long-ish drive and lots of things we wanted to see, but there was a bit of a muddle with the two room bills which required the deciphering skills of Alan Turing. By the time we were all satisfied that both...

NC500; Loch Torridon and Applecross

NC500; Loch Torridon and Applecross

The North Coast 500 is a genius bit of marketing. It is the 'Silk Road' of North and North-West Scotland, because while it is essentially a roughly 500-mile coastal route round-trip from Inverness, the NC500 - like the Silk Road - also incorporates any number of tiny...

Last Day in Milan

Last Day in Milan

Aside from the church of skulls, the only place on our itinerary that we did not manage to see was the Basilica di Sant Ambrogio which was founded in the 4th century, so I'm sure it'll hang on a bit longer until my next visit. We did however manage to get back to La...

Another day in Milan

Another day in Milan

We did not set the clock - we are on vacation after all - and this morning we woke up very late. I have noticed that we have a tendency to do this by about day three or four of our mini city vacations which involve lots of walking, because we are absolutely knackered....

Milan; religious art and food shopping

Milan; religious art and food shopping

This morning we had reserved timed entry tickets for 1030 at the Pinoteca di Brera art gallery. A recommended breakfast spot which was advertised as being two blocks away, seemed a good idea until we realized that it was more like eight blocks away. Not wanting to...

Day One in Milan

Day One in Milan

We arrived in Milan around lunchtime and as a friend had told us to eat at Biffi in the Galleria, we obediently did just that. The restaurant was opened in 1852 by Paolo Biffi and moved to its present location in the Galleria when it opened in 1857. It hasn't survived...

Two Duomos and a Certosa

Two Duomos and a Certosa

I took the bus from Cadenabbia to visit the Duomo in Como without having any clear idea of where to get off. In the end it wasn't that complicated; Como is located on the southern end of Lake Como and as I could see the dome as we drove into town from the western side...

Lake Como – 1929 and 2019

Lake Como – 1929 and 2019

  Some years ago when I was living in California, I went to a flea market one weekend with a friend who is a collector of all things vintage. (She has a good eye, she once found a genuine Chanel jacket in a charity shop in a dusty Central California town for...

The Destruction of Yemen’s Heritage

The Destruction of Yemen’s Heritage

I went to a symposium on Saturday hosted by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Institute for Yemeni Studies at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, entitled Culture at Risk; Yemen's Heritage under Threat. The opening remarks...