Into the Desert

I grew up with snowy winters, wet springs, humid summers, and crisp autumns, and until very recently had only spent two weeks of my life in any climate much different than that of New England. Nova Scotia and Scotland, I would say, do not have any weather which might be challenging to a New Englander, … Continue reading Into the Desert


The regional trains to Sighișoara are older models; wear on each surface fighting hard to preempt undoing by any future restoration efforts. Entire families fill each cabin, making the journey north from Brașov to the villages dotted along the train’s route. The cabins occupy most of the carriage’s already-narrow width, with only a single corridor along one side, barely wide enough to walk along without coming into contact with windows, doors, walls, or other passengers. My ticket had no seat marked on it, so I wandered down to one of the few openable windows and prepared myself for a few hours of standing. Continue reading “Trainsylvania”

Into the Transylvanian Hills

I departed Bucharest as early as possible aboard the northbound interregional train to Brașov. Groups of teenagers filled sections of facing seats; older couples looked out the window while their young children slept, slumped sideways into their parents’ laps; someone brought a portable speaker on board which was playing electronic hip-hop music with English vulgarities scattered … Continue reading Into the Transylvanian Hills

Ambianța Bucureștiului

I arrived in Bucharest this afternoon knowing only the number of a bus route to the center of town, the time of my return flight later in the week, and two phrases in Romanian. I had picked up “mulțumesc” and “nu vorbesc românește” just in case. Whenever I travel, locals often ask me for directions, so I like to have a polite (and clear) way to indicate that I can’t provide them with much information of use. I’m still not sure why that happens so often. Continue reading “Ambianța Bucureștiului”

A Wee Stroll About the Grounds

The Argyll forest’s spidery green footprint fills the glens of Cairndow and Dunoon, the ridges of bens and munros bare and heathery above the sudden treeline. Just a mile southeast of the villages Glenbranter and Invernoaden, the long and narrow Loch Eck fills one such glen. At the Loch’s southern point, it drains into the River Eachaig, which meanders further on, past the small pale cabins of a holiday park, and right on by a huge brick manor and an array of broad, flat fields. This manor and its fields, and the endlessly sprawling grounds beyond, are Benmore. Continue reading “A Wee Stroll About the Grounds”