Category Archives: holiday

Two weeks in Budapest

We’re staying in a very attractive top-floor flat just off Andrassy ut, between Heroes Square and the House of Terror. Andrassy ut is what’s known as a good address, with its cluster of designer outlets at one end, the Opera … Continue reading

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48 hours in Barcelona

I spent most of last week in Catalonia, the first few days rather wonderfully in the country near Banyoles (about which I’ll be writing very soon) and the last two in Barcelona. I don’t know how large the real city … Continue reading

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Book-loving in Catalonia

No, I’m not dead, in case you were wondering, and I haven’t been resting either, in the Thespian sense or otherwise. As we say here in Italy, when struck by wistful longing, magari (to the latter, obviously: I mean, not … Continue reading

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Holy moly

This may resemble a sacred anatomical relic, like Saint Bartholomew’s foreskin or the toe-clippings of some martyred Roman matron, but it’s actually the central part of a chiropodist’s window display in the Cortes quarter of Madrid. The rest of the … Continue reading

Posted in holiday, religion, spain | 2 Comments


Decades ago now, I read a short story set in the future, when time travel was so common people chose eras rather than places for their holidays: Tudor Britain rather than the Maldives. The hero, for reasons I don’t remember, … Continue reading

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The evidence

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What I did on my holidays

I’m tempted to make this a photographic record but there is a limit to the number of atmospheric shots – shingle beaches, empty oyster shells (empty because you always remember the camera after the oyster has been slurped down), half-timbered … Continue reading

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Croatia. The Mediterranean as it once was?

Thinking of going to Croatia on holiday? Read this piece by Diamond Walid and see if you fit into the rather narrow range of sexual and racial acceptability demanded by Croatian youths on the lookout for victims (you know, the kind … Continue reading

Posted in church, holiday, homophobia, race, ratzinger | 2 Comments

A few days off

I’ll be leaving the insufferable heat of central Italy tomorrow for a week in the more temperate climes of the English Midlands. I can’t wait. The blissful vacancy of travel. M&S duck à l’orange and Jeremy Kyle (my guilty secret, … Continue reading

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Edward Thomas was right. There are few places more evocative than a small country station in the summer, and those countries that still have them (stations and summers) should count their blessings. Not all stations possess the magic, of course. … Continue reading

Posted in holiday, travelling | 8 Comments