Many organisations publish regular lists of cities ranking them by liveability or, in other words, the quality of life. Some of the lists are more respectable than others but most of them put Vancouver very high or even on top. There must be something in it. This year I finally had a chance to visit this famous city and compare it to the nearby (by North American standards) favourites of mine, Seattle and Portland. Read More Vancouver

Mount St. Helens

It was my second attempt to see Mount St Helens. First time, more than a decade ago, the weather was so bad that we only managed to reach the first visitor centre located at Silver Lake, 30 miles from the mountain itself. There we were told that there was no point of going any further as due to dense fog and heavy rain the visibility was near zero and even from the furthest viewpoint up the road you couldn’t see the mountain.

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British Columbia

I guess most people when they hear the name of British Columbia they imagine high mountains, endless forests, wild landscapes and rain. We had exactly the same expectations when we entered Canada’s westernmost province driving from Lake Louise via the spectacular Kicking Horse canyon. And we were right. Read More British Columbia

Rievaulx Abbey

After leaving Kingston upon Hull we realised it was still too early to head straight back to London. A quick scan of the map revealed that we were only about 55 miles from the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey in North York Moors National Park so we decided to head there. Read More Rievaulx Abbey

Civil War Reading

Today let me recommend two good books about a pivotal event in US history, the American Civil War. Both of these books are rather hefty volumes (totalling over 1600 pages between them) which makes the ongoing winter evenings a perfect time to tackle them. Read More Civil War Reading