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The mystery of Lot et Garonne

December 13th, 2017
The highest concentration of Bastide towns can be found in the French department Lot et Garonne in the region of Aquitaine in south west France. It is an area of undulating countryside which might be mistaken for parts of southern England except in France you have numerous vineyards, man made lakes and prune orchards. In the middle of this region is a little village St Maurice de Lestapel (population about 110 people). This is where I am staying whilst I explore the mystery of the Bastide towns. read more

Bergerac and the Dordogne

November 15th, 2017
It is September 2017 and it is supposed to be hot and dry but I am on a river trip on the Dordogne and it is pouring with rain. We are in the historical market town of Bergerac in the region of the Dordogne in France. Finally after about two hours the rain stops and we are able to explore the town in dry if not warm weather. It is in the middle of a thriving wine area and attracts visitors from all over the world. It is strange the town is called Bergerac and it is associated with the character Cyrano de Bergerac as it is rumoured he never lived there or visited the place. Perhaps it is what we call 'fake news today'. read more

Saint Petersburg & The Baltic

August 14th, 2017
I have never been on a cruise before but this is the opportunity to explore Copenhagen, Rostock and Warnemunde (Germany), Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm and St. Petersburg. All will be new places, except for Copenhagen which I have visited twice before. I am excited about visiting new countries such as Russia and Finland with very contrasting cultures but a surprising overlapping history. Will my prejudices about cruises be confirmed? Or will I be surprised by the hidden delights of this form of travel? read more

A Travel Blog of Portugal

November 29th, 2016
It's late September 2016 and I'm sitting in a restaurant in a side street off the Rua do Ouro, near Rossio Square in central Lisbon. Gill and I are eating our favourite Portuguese starter cod croquette. On the next table are a couple from Finland and next to them are two visitors from Germany. Lisbon has become, in terms of visitors, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe and our little group of people reflected this. Sixteen years earlier I had visited Lisbon to see my sister Cheryl and brother in law Mick who were living and working in Cascais, a coastal town, about twenty miles from Lisbon. At the time I thought Lisbon was interesting, with its buildings displaying attractive exterior wall tiles, but nothing special. Later I was to discover how wrong I was. read more

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About Me

coffee shop in Mostar

Paul Hacking previously Head of the Career Development Centre at Nottingham Trent University & chairman of the Fedora Careers & Employment Group (European HE guidance body).