Archives: Features

At Rigoletto’s place

Mantua’s Gonzaga dynasty casts a long shadow – in fiction as much as fact. There’s a sequence in Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot when Spats Colombo, played by George Raft, is questioned about his whereabouts on the night of … ..more

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Estonia’s museums: getting interactive

Estonia, it seemed to me during a recent visit, must have more museums per head of population than any other country in the world.  They range from collections of samovars to state of the art national museums. Writes Valery Collins. … ..more

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Extreme travel: five record breaking destinations

We’re all guilty of a smug, post-trip gloat. We explain with pride the time we visited the world’s largest castle, or regale in heart-pumping detail the time we cycled down the most dangerous road on the planet. Experiencing the most … ..more

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Religion in Estonia

The excitement among the mainly Polish congregation at the Catholic Church of St Peter and Paul in Tallin on Sunday 27 April 2014 was palpable. Their beloved Karol Wojtylo, John Paul ll, was being canonized in distant Rome. There could hardly … ..more

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Stanisław Witkiewicz’s Carpathian style architecture

There is a peculiar beauty to buildings created out of wood. The town of Zakopane in southern Poland is a good spot to reflect on such architecture. This is largely thanks to architect and designer Stanisław Witkiewicz who designed many buildings … ..more

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Colonial splendour on the streets of Yangon, Myanmar

Everywhere you turn in downtown Yangon you’ll find a crumbling government office or huge commercial building dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The fast and furious development of the city, from small riverside town to international hub, saw … ..more

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The migrating monarch butterflies of Mexico

“Las mariposas?” The butterflies? A man on a horse rides slowly out of the low sunlight on the edge of a heath. “Si,” I call back. Yes, I am looking for the butterflies. He waves for me to follow him … ..more

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The Peking-to-Paris motor challenge

It was back in 1997 when I was working as a news journalist in Beijing that I first heard about the Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge, one of the longest and toughest rallies undertaken in a classic car. The very first race had … ..more

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Stuttgart’s Schweine Museum: the world’s largest pig museum

If you’re going to open a museum to house a collection of pig-related artefacts then the site of a former slaughterhouse is a good a place as any. The Schweine Museum (Pig Museum) in Stuttgart hosts around 50,000 porcine exhibits. … ..more

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Michelin-starred food in the Austrian Alps

It reminds me of buses: you get one Michelin-starred chef and, blow me, another three come along. High in the Alps of Austria, close to the Swiss border, four chefs are hiking to a mountain lodge with 60 international travel … ..more

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