Shinkyo Bridge: Nikko, Japan

One of the top three bridges in Japan, Shinkyo is located in Nikko. Nikko is an out of the way type of place, very small and (one gets the feeling) seasonal. It’s about 3 hours from Tokyo by train. Deceptively, the bridge is located against a main road and traffic around the area is quite…

Morbidly Curious: The Paris Catacombs

I’ve got nothing against the bucket list concept. In fact, I’ve had about 85 versions of my own going for the last 15 years. It’s good to have goals. As I move through and cross items off though, I can honestly say that it’s not always a good experience… Certainly, it never turns out the…

Disappointment

Disappointment is such a harsh word I’ve always thought. When you’re experiencing it, it feels like a weight or a burden. Something that sits in the pit of your stomach or hangs around your neck like a constant reminder of missed opportunities or mis-judged impressions. Whether you’re disappointed in yourself or in someone else –…

Change in Tune

This is not the first time I have undergone a change of heart about the nature and purpose of this blog. A little while ago I attempted a re-launch, which was short lived and a bit disappointing (to me). The short story about why this failed is also simple one – time management. It’s been…

Food: Glorious Southern Food

How can one visit the Deep South and not talk about food? Well, they can’t really. So here we go, the obligatory food post, in which we celebrate everything that is right with the world of Southern cuisine… (goats cheese, chicken, bacon, some kind of hash brown thing and fried green tomato. I’m not ashamed…

The Old Ursuline Convent: Most Haunted Place in the French Quarter?

Surrounded by a high fence and security cameras, the Old Ursuline Convent casts an ominous shadow over the French Quarter. Steeped in mystery, the Convent is linked to some of the most well-known ghost and vampire stories in New Orleans and, staring up at the locked attic windows, it isn’t difficult to see why… Catholicism is…

This Guy…

Travel (when you’re a young historian) isn’t always about seeing historical sites and learning the history of historical buildings and the ghosts that live in them. Sometimes it’s not even about history, its about the present. On my most recent trip to New Orleans, I was out on a late afternoon walk in Jackson Square,…

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

(Located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip) Where would New Orleans be without the legend of the Pirate Lafitte? Well, they would probably be still pretty well off, because they are not wanting for interesting historical characters, but still, he does bring a certain something to the already rich history of the city….

They Call Him Touchdown Jesus

St Anthony’s Garden sits behind the St Louis Cathedral and, although it is fenced off today, was once a popular duelling ground for the French, Spanish and America inhabitants of the city. Duelling in New Orleans was a custom introduced from Europe and, in the early days at least, did not often result in the…

Cafe Du Monde – Romance and Beignets

It’s oft been said that no trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Café Du Monde. Funnily enough, I’d visited the city a few times without stopping there, but rather than it being due to ignorance, my reason for giving it a miss had always been the crowds. Despite being open 24…