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10 reasons to like Austria – and 30 pictures

As the coronavirus crisis continues, I’m writing upbeat posts to celebrate countries I’ve lived in.

Here are ten reasons to like Austria, where I lived from 1984-87 and have again since 2016.  I’ve tried to pick some non-obvious things as well as favourites – comments welcome.  Here we go.

1.  Vienna has more flak towers than – I think – anywhere on earth.  Did you know that “flak”, as in a “flak jacket”, stands for Flug Abwehr Kanone or anti-aircraft gun?  They were built during the Second World War and mostly stand empty, although one is occupied by a climbing wall and an aquarium.

Flak tower in the Augarten, Vienna (all photos RP). Never again, indeed. (more…)

Ten reasons to like Lesotho

Let’s celebrate.  We’re going through a ghastly coronavirus crisis.  But we should not forget that the world is wonderful.  I thought I would write in praise of several countries I’ve lived in.

Here are ten things to like about Lesotho, where I lived from 1964-70.  We didn’t have digital cameras back then, so the following photos are a mixture of old slides digitised by my brother Stephen, and pictures from trips I made back to Lesotho in 1980, 1988 and 2011.

1.  Lesotho is a mountain kingdom with beautiful scenery.  These are “The Three Bushmen” at the Sehlabathebe National Park in the east of the country, viewed through a rock arch (photo: RP).

Three Bushmen and Rock Arch

2.  Lesotho has what is said to be the highest pub in Africa, at the 2,876m summit of the Sani Pass.

The Highest Pub in Africa

(more…)

Ten reasons to like Turkey

Let’s celebrate.  We’re going through a ghastly coronavirus crisis.  But we should not forget that the world is wonderful.  I thought I would write in praise of several countries I’ve lived in.

Here are ten things to like about Turkey, where I lived from 2012-2016.

1.  Istanbul is one of the most ancient and spectacular cities on earth.  Here’s me by the Golden Horn.

2.  Turks are crazy about fresh fish.  Here’s a chap delivering some to a restaurant.

(more…)

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