“Berlin is more a part of the world than a city. ”
—Jean Paul, Writer, 1800
Arriving in Berlin in the midst of the winter solstice I shouldn’t have been taken aback by the chill in the air, the whiteness of the sky, snow falling on my face – but it was claustrophobic, looming above my head, closing in on me. The whole week I was there, I never saw the sun. Thankfully, the magic of the Christmas Market lights meant that even in its gloomy winter state, the city sparkled.
Marrakesh (mar· uh· kesh) – aka The Red City, The Land of the Atlas, The Maghreb
“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses.
Madrid in August – some people said it was a deathwish, for August is the time of year where those who can afford to shut up shop, heading straight for the coast for some much welcomed relief from the scalding sun.
In 2015 I went to Scotland for the first time. Not a place I’d really thought of visiting before possibly due to the curse of Londoner’s ignorance, I can only put the urge down to hearing ‘Scottish Independence’ around 451 times over that past year and my subsequent fondness for Nicola Sturgeon. That aside, any country who has a unicorn as their official animal has to be pretty awesome.
I’ve wanted to explore Egypt since I was a teenager; my room was strewn with DIY Ancient Egyptian art and much to the dismay of my parents I had a shisha set-up in my room, forced myself to be into Turkish coffee and had mastered the art of Kushari (that part is impressive, shut up).
It was one of those things that never came to fruition for one reason or another, until last month – and even then, it was scarcely planned; I’d barely had time to get to grips with the layout of the country on the map, which is something I like to do before visiting any country so I can sound intelligent and informed providing you don’t ask me too much. I mean, did you know the Sinai peninsula was once under attack by… No, I’ll do that later.
I flew to Cairo on December 22 after confirming it the day before and packing on the day.