On our descent into Aleppo airport, the Syrian landscape was a mosaic of sparkling green mosque lights. Ibrahim, a proud Syrian Kurd and my companion on the journey from London via Beirut, was looking forward to a long-overdue reunion with his family and his fiancée. It had been six years since he had been home, and he had invited me to visit his village and offered me a bed in the family flat in Aleppo. This was the first taste of the typical hospitality and kindness I experienced whilst travelling around Syria in October 2007. Before the start of the uprising in March 2011, on the surface at least, Syria was a peaceful country and tourism was slowly growing. Fast forward to 2019, and although visitors are slowly returning, most of these are from neighbouring Arab countries. Visiting Syria as a solo traveller was an extraordinary experience. The country was…


Do you have one week in Provence but no car? Fear not. It is easy to explore Provence by rail.

To help you plan a perfect train itinerary, and to inspire you to put together your own tour of the South of France, here are some tips on how to do it, based on a 7-day trip that I did as a solo traveller.


Cruising the Baltic Sea to St Petersburg on Celebrity Silhouette is a premium traditional cruising experience. The destination-rich itinerary features ports of call representing a rich spectrum of cultures, history and traditions.

But how should you plan a Baltic capitals cruise? And what can you expect from a cruise to St Petersburg on Celebrity Silhouette?

To help you plan your own Baltic Sea cruise, here are some general tips and a comprehensive review of my experience on Celebrity Silhouette in May 2019