I used to place Egypt quite high on the paradox list, as they have a lot of signs reading “Egypt – the land of peace” while a guard carrying an automatic weapon stands firmly posing in front of the very sign. However, there’s a new kid on the block. In Paraguay, I learned recently, there are people guarding the car tire shops in full Kevlar armor, holding a sawed-off shotgun with a finger on the trigger.
Roaming through Banff
"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."
Wazzup in Vaduz
"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."
The fairytale castles of Sintra
"The Portuguese town of Sintra is famous for many beautiful castles. Palácio Nacional da Pena is arguably the most stunning of the lot. "
The lakes of Lombardy
"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."
"But unlike the movie Chernobyl Diaries, we didn’t find anybody there. Nature had reclaimed the area and the silence was deafening."
Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul
"Inside the church there are still traces of rune inscriptions made during the Viking age by Varangians, an elite guard made up of Scandinavian immigrant warriors."