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 in Valletta
"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."
A journey through Iran
"I woke up freezing on a Persian rug with aching back. Behind a corner I saw the damned rooster that kept me awake during many hours."
Historic locations in Gothenburg
"Hundreds of houses were quickly build, but unfortunately all of it was burned to the ground in 1611 by Danish forces."
The dark days of Sarajevo
"The city survived on the edge of annihilation and has started to recover, but the stone walls still seem to cry out in lament of all the horrible things they have seen."
Eating my way through Basque country
"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."
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. "