Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, India

The coastal city of Mahabalipuram, 60km (40 miles) south of Chennai, is a popular spot with backpackers and culture lovers touring southern India. Locals know this place as Mamallapuram and it’s a place that I’ve grown fond of, visiting several times in recent years.

Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam

It’s a breezy, overcast day in Amsterdam. I’ve just walked through a tunnel beneath the railway platforms of Centraal Station and I’m standing by the waterfront. My goal - the sleek, angular, Eye building - lies over the choppy river Ij.

Lahemaa National Park in Estonia

“I have had several unforgettable moments. In 1976 an elk jumped onto the car and smashed the window and door. Nothing happened to the animal, but car was not very nice looking afterwards. Happily nothing happened to us but we were shocked,” says Anne Kurepalu, my guide in Estonia's Lahemaa National Park.

Aquiles da Mota Lima Museum of Matches

Many attractions and museums claim to have no match; not this one though. Tomar’s Museu dos Fosforos Aquiles da Mota Lima (‘The Aquiles da Mota Lima Museum of Matches’) is home to Europe’s biggest collection of matchboxes, many of which still hold their original contents.

Decoding the symbolism of Orthodox icons

In the Greek town of Ouranopolis I’m drawn to the window of an attractive, smartly designed shop selling soaps, natural products and religious icons. Even to my unschooled eye these icons look to be of far better quality than those that I saw minutes ago, on sale near the jetty.

Portugal’s Monument to the Discoveries

The Monument to the Discoveries is today as just as much a part of the Belem landscape as the nearby Hieronymites Monastery (the ‘Mosteiro dos Jerónimos’ as it is known in Portuguese), the ornate Manueline structure which is today classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.