A London Walk That is Not for the Fainthearted

If you want to see the largest number of ghosts crammed together into the smallest possible space to get the biggest spectral bang for your London-walking-buck so to speak, go to the City of London. After all, before the square mile became a business district, it was pretty much all of London there was. While cows were grazing in what today is the West End and while South London was nothing but a wilderness (North

A London Walk That is Not for the Fainthearted

In Search of the Scary Ghosts of London

Some people travel to England to learn English, to do business, to watch a West End play or a football game. Others travel to Britain to meet a ghost. Don’t laugh: this is big business. Owners of castles try to lure overseas visitors with a promise of a meeting with their dead ancestors, stately homes offer Ghost Hunts, and there is a host of specialized providers who can arrange a trip for you through various

In Search of the Scary Ghosts of London

Scared to Meet Ghosts of the Undead of London?

Themed Walk in London Many of the city’s restless souls have chosen to reside in the tomb-like tunnels of the underground railway The most popular Themed London Walks deal with one of the following: Jack the Ripper (been there), pop music (done that), and ghosts – more of which soon.

But please don’t be impatient: you will meet them soon enough. Some of these restless spirits have been haunting the capital’s streets, pubs

Scared to Meet Ghosts of the Undead of London?

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 2

Themed Walks in London A walk through the “Florence of the 21st Century” The City of London is where most of the capital’s truly iconic works of modernist architecture are concentrated, but West London, too, has many fine new buildings.

The big difference is this: while London’s business district provides a homogeneous context of brashness – big and high “cathedrals of capitalism” vying with each other and encouraging the construction of ever bigger

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 2

Continue Walking London with Charles Dickens

Themed Walks in London Continuing our London Walk with Charles Dickens For part 2 of our themed walk, we visit the part of London where Dickens spent the most traumatic years of his life.

We start at Southwark tube station, walking straight into Union Street before turning right into Great Suffolk Street and right again into David Copperfield Street. This area, called “The Mint” in the 19th century, was notorious for its overcrowded,

Continue Walking London with Charles Dickens

Montmartre by Chansons

Themed Walks in Paris Walking in Montmarte by Chansons It seems to be more difficult to say goodbye to Paris than originally thought.

This is a postscript to last week’s post. A postscript appears in order because more songs have been written about Montmartre than about any other part of Paris, and rather than leaving out all but one or two of them (in order to preserve some sort of balance,) it appeared

Montmartre by Chansons

Paris by Chansons

Themed Walks in Paris Paris by Chansons This, in a way, is our farewell note to Paris. After 20 years, we have recently moved on to sunnier climes. We will certainly come back for brief visits and a walk or two, but most of our “easy hiking” from now on will concentrate on the Mediterranean.

Since this post is the last in a long series, it comes with a little twist or an

Paris by Chansons

Themed Walks in Paris: Bastille Day Walk

Themed Walks in Paris The Bastille Day Walk What better way to celebrate the 14th of July, the French national holiday, than to trace its events, following – as literally as that is technically possible – in the footsteps of history in one of our themed walks in Paris?

Whatever you may think of the French Revolution, at least, Bastille Day is one national holiday that does not commemorate a bunch of stuffy

Themed Walks in Paris: Bastille Day Walk

Poetry in Motion

Themed London Walks Poetry in Motion Literature and (easy) hiking have always gone together well. As a way of exploring nature, for one. Nature, after all, has provided a source of inspiration for poets since the dawn of literature.

But for many, I suspect, the more important thing has been the act of walking as such: new experiences and impressions slowly sinking in, set to the background patter of one’s own movement, the

Poetry in Motion

Themed London Walks: Swinging London – Part 1

British Parliament seen from Trafalgar Square in London

Themed London Walks Take a Walk in Swinging London – Part 1 In the first of our themed London walks, we are going to take a tour of Swinging London, visiting the places where its famous inhabitants once worked or played or both. (One reason why London was so “swinging” is that the lines between the two were not always clearly drawn.) We will take in iconic clubs and bars, places where pop music history

Themed London Walks: Swinging London – Part 1