Entries from 'Middle Earth'

High on a Hill

On the slopes of the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran  a remarkable village dating back to 1006 ,  Masuleh , still bustles with life today. The unique ochre-brown structures of Masuleh resolutely follow the steep 60-degree slope of the mountain that the village nestles on—or rather, grows from—giving the village its most unusual quality…

read more →

BIG little ARMENIA

Armenia may be a little country. But it is really BIG on grit! It stretches like a tadpole from north to south. Not a friend, or an ocean, in sight. Neighbours double down to douse, snuff out, smother and choke it. It’s a marvel Armenia is still on the world map. Just take at look!…

read more →

Time Warp

I often listen to music while riding and a song called Time Warp ( Rocky Horror Picture Show) rings true as we pass through Armenia and Northern Iran. “It’s astounding; Time is fleeting; Madness takes its toll” With its gray identikit buildings, cars from another era and a pace of life long forgotten one could…

read more →

Armenia – “The Ground beneath their Feet”

Footprints criss-cross a country. “We bear witness to history”! Large and small, old and new, they are. This way and that, over and under each other, they go. Some stroll, some march, some stagger, some stomp. It always bewilders. But in Armenia, two sets of bold footprints claim us! One set belongs to Christianity and…

read more →

Ruth’s Tail

We drop our roll-bags, expansion bags, tank-bags, helmets and jackets with heavy sighs. We are eager for three days and three nights of no-where and nothing, in a cabin on a ferry from Burgas, Bulgaria to Batumi, Georgia. Then, a dog barks! And our hearts leap. Oh, we miss our Potter and Oscar. We crave…

read more →

Sea Legs

As a child I had a fascination for ships and anything that floats. In those days the government harbour and rail agency, the SAR & H (South African Railways and Harbours) controlled everything – they even had their own drab olive green uniform police force with standard issue snor (moustache). It was this police force…

read more →

Romania – A last few Photos

Here is a last little collection of photos from Romania ….

read more →

Over, Opulence

Cast your mind back to 1989. The Cold War was ending, The Berlin Wall was coming down and satellite Soviet States were demanding democracy. Mass protests and revolutions in the streets caused communist regimes to fall in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and on and on. Perhaps you remember watching this, in South Africa, on…

read more →

Gypsies – “The Measure of a Smile”

Gypsies are Roma. But Roma are not from Romania. Roma or Gypsies leave north India in the early Middle Ages. They travel and settle throughout Europe. Here they adapt, and adopt local religions and languages. Gypsies are Europe’s largest minority group with 11 million people. They endure centuries of discrimination. It culminates in WW2 when…

read more →

Transylvania – “Now you see it, now you don’t”

Transylvania evokes medieval villages, Saxon castles and Dracula!! Yes, it’s the mid 1200s and the world’s empires race to claim land. Present day Germany craves the land to its east; Transylvania. It’s magnificent, in the heart of Romania. Grand Carpathian Mountains shield a fertile valley on all sides. The peasants there are mild. And a…

read more →