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."
Good morning Montenegro
"One would almost think that all this secrecy was made on purpose to keep the hordes of tourists away. Let them all perish in the crowds of Dubrovnik while the people of Montenegro can enjoy their beautiful country on their own. Or something like that."
Visions of Singapore
"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."
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. "
Vineyards of southern France
"Not far from Sauternes is the village of Saint-Émilion, also a famous wine region but what got me hooked was their impressive limestone caves."
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."