Tropical Islands Resort, Germany

An hour away from Berlin by train sits an enormous hanger, the biggest free-standing hall in the world. It is located in the middle of a former Soviet airfield, and was initially built as a base for a new generation of airships. These airships were never built. The dome is now a fun palace calledContinue reading “Tropical Islands Resort, Germany”

A cat cafe in Tokyo, October 2013

About a year ago, I went to a cat cafe in Tokyo. It was basically just a middle aged woman’s apartment, full of cats. We took the lift up to her floor. The doors opened directly into her hallway. She welcomed us and gestured to take off our shoes. She wouldn’t sell us any drinks,Continue reading “A cat cafe in Tokyo, October 2013”

The DDR museum, Berlin

The dinosaurs were so brilliant. I can’t imagine why they ever bothered to die off in such large numbers. – (Not) The Natural History Museum, London On Tuesday I visited a sarcastic museum. It was the DDR museum in Berlin. To explain: most museums I’ve visited in the past have had almost painfully uncontroversial narrativesContinue reading “The DDR museum, Berlin”

The Rail & Sail from Harwich

On Halloween I took a spooky trip on the rail and sail to Berlin. Well, to hook of holland. Then to Amsterdam. Then Berlin. It’s a long journey, but if you’ve got the time, and object to short haul flying for various understandable reasons, it’s well worth it. We set off from Liverpool Street station,Continue reading “The Rail & Sail from Harwich”

On the morning Thameslink to St Pancras

Excuse me, can you keep your child under control? He’s pulling at my hair A woman attempting to do her eye make-up while peering into a Moomin branded mirror admonishes the mother behind her. Said harshly at first, but request ended with an apologetic laugh, because there’s only so rude you can be on aContinue reading “On the morning Thameslink to St Pancras”

Blackfriars station

Blackfriars station at night seems over-large. Nearby attractions are sparse. There’s the Blackfriar pub, a curious wedge-shaped Art Nouveau building saved after a campaign by Sir John Betjamin. There’s the automatic flowers machine in the concourse of the station itself, where guilty city workers in need of an evening gesture can drop twenty five quidContinue reading “Blackfriars station”

Balfron Tower, Poplar

The National Trust are running tours of a Brutalist masterpiece in east London. The stock warnings on their website as you book – picnic hampers are usually allowed, but check before your visit – reveal that this isn’t your typical NT territory. We are advised to meet outside a cafe in Poplar called Starlight. UnexpectedlyContinue reading “Balfron Tower, Poplar”

“But I shouldn’t call them that. They’re Bengalis.” The 133 bus to Streatham, midnight on Sunday

She was sat on the top deck of the bus. The tinny dance music poured out of her phone. It wasn’t quite loud enough to be antisocial by local standards, but the inhabitants of the top deck had been in England long enough to be socialised into ignoring her anyway. Dressed in a tracksuit andContinue reading ““But I shouldn’t call them that. They’re Bengalis.” The 133 bus to Streatham, midnight on Sunday”