Chasing Lenin – The Moldova Edition

Continuing on from my previous post, my friend Jessie (The Wandering Kiwi) and I were recently travelling together  in the Wild Wild East of Europe (Ukraine, Moldova, Transnistria, Belarus and Poland) and we decided we wanted to track down statues, monuments and the like dedicated to the glory of the former Soviet Union and in…

Chasing Lenin – The Ukraine Edition

Hi All, Given my limited blogging on this page for some time, you could easily be mistaken for thinking I have not been travelling much but on the contrary I pretty much haven’t stopped travelling for the past year! I just lost the drive to blog about it! Don’t worry I am still going to…

The Gallipoli Landings – Lest We Forget – ANZAC Day

The legend of the ANZAC was born from the courage and bloodshed of brave young men from Australia and New Zealand on the shores, steep cliffs, ravines and hills of Gallipoli in 1915. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) along with British and French forces faced stiff opposition from the Turkish troops of the Ottoman Empire during…

The Dreaded Gas Warfare of World War One

Enemy artillery shells come screaming in and crashing about, bringing a thunderous nightmare! Soon an eerie great cloud drifts slowly towards the trenches. The call to don a mask is roared out along the line, “It’s the dreaded gas boys!“. Blinding, gaseous poison that could burn the skin whilst destroying lungs in a single breath, leading to a slow,…

Mephisto – The Last German A7V Sturmpanzerwagen

I recently revisited the always impressive Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which is currently exhibiting an interesting and very rare piece of World War One history. Wander into the ground floor of the large ANZAC Hall and you will be confronted by the mighty Mephisto, the only surviving A7V Sturmpanzerwagen (armoured assault vehicle) Imperial German World War One tank…

Snapshots of Europe: Predjama Castle, Slovenia

Predjama Castle sits majestically in the middle of a 123 metre high cliff,  deep in the south-western country side of Slovenia. In the valley below, the River Lokva disappears beneath the castle and deep underground. A winding country road makes its way through the hills to the small village of Predjama and the castle which in one…

Snapshots of Europe: Graz, Austria – The Styrian Armoury

Graz in the Styria region of southern Austria is a city full of ye olde world charm. It goes way back and became the capital of the Duchy of Styria in 1180. There are plenty of impressive old buildings and structures including cathedrals and castles. The Clock Tower of Graz, high on the overlooking hill is one…

Snapshots of Europe: Bratislava Castle, Slovakia

From its hilltop perch, Bratislava Castle dominates the city skyline of Bratislava (it is a national museum with various exhibits). Construction of the various forms of the castle was conducted between the 9th century and 18th century (first it was part of the Kingdom of Moravia, then Hungary, then Czechoslovakia and today Slovakia). An accidental fire begun by soldiers…

Iceland’s Viking Saga’s

Over 1,000 years of Viking history is ever-present in Iceland. From the Icelandic Horses descended from those once used by Vikings, to museums and monuments, the Viking founders of Iceland are not forgotten (Vikings from other Scandinavian countries settled Iceland between 874 AD and 935 AD). Vikingaheimar (Viking World) Now this was something I was keen…

An Icelandic Aviation Journey

As originally posted on my aviation blog Aces Flying High: I have nothing but praise for the Icelandic airlines I flew on in January 2015. Icelandair (international) and Air Iceland (domestic) were on time, comfortable, offered great service and provided even greater views of the arctic north. The flights were an added bonus to a…

A Grim Reminder of the Past: Auschwitz-Birkenau

Poland fell to the German Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) on October 6th, 1939. The invasion had started just over a month before on September 1st, 1939 and commenced the beginning of World War Two. The Soviet Union who had a pact with Nazi Germany also invaded Poland on September 17th, 1939 (this was part of a secret protocol…