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Adventure


Exploring the unexplored

Recents Posts :

Alwar

In the early 19th century, the Maharaja of Alwar, a princely state south of Delhi, was a tall and remarkably handsome man. He was also a rather scandalous character surrounded by a number of strange rumours. The British had little to do with him until he committed what they saw as an unforgivable crime. The…

The Sergeant cursed and Nostradamus’s tomb

A few years ago, the mayor of Salon-en-Provence in southern France decided to move an ancient cemetary in order to enable a motorway to be built. A specialist company was entrusted with moving the graves, one by one, to the new location. Finally, just one was left. It belonged to the famous physician and seer,…

Zucco or the Mafia’s Wine

A distant uncle, Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, inherited a fine estate about 50 kilometres from Palermo from his mother, The Queen of the french,Maria Amalia of the two Sicilers.  The property was called Zucco, and included vineyard which produced a highly-reputed sweet wine. In my youth, I sampled several bottles of it, all etched…

On Dracula’s Footsteps V

In 1459, during the course of a devastating raid in Transylvania, Vlad attacked Brasov. He burned the poor suburbs, in particular the church of Saint Bartholomew, today full of factories. He bombarded the ramparts, particularly the stronghold of weavers. On Quinta Hill, in full view of the besieged, he impaled dozens of prisoners. One of…

On Dracula’s Footsteps IV

Tuesday, 21 June The ancient city of Brasov is now besieged by hideous factories and modern quarters. We stared down upon it with horror from a high vantage point, a sharp contrast to the overflowing beauty and charm of the old city. The neighborhood around the famous Black Church is extraordinary. Vaguely Austrian despite having…

On Dracula’s Footsteps III

Monday, 20 June We left for Sibiu. Fivos chose a country road that passed through Agnita. It was an unimaginable splendor, valleys and fields, lush forests, magnificent trees, distant horizons, and old villages, untouched since the 19th century. Keeps and donjons of fortified evangelical churches, with their imposing ramparts, defended by secular oaks. Birds sang…

On Dracula’s Footsteps II

The countryside we drove through was less sumptuous. Fields with gentle valleys as far as the eye can see, with few scattered villages and even fewer inhabitants in the opulent landscape. We arrived at Sighisoara, a lovely little 19th century city built around a plateau upon which rises the old city fortress. The Park Royal…

Lady Freemason

At the end of the 18th century, the daughter of Lord Doneraile was only an adolescent, but she was intelligent, independent, cultivated and full of character. She loved nothing more than passing the time in the library, huddled beside a window with the curtains closed, lost in a good book, usually History, sometimes poetry. It…

On Dracula’s Footsteps

Sunday, June 19 I left for Romania with Tigran and Darius. My friend Fivos accompanied us. A Greek, he speaks Romanian. I had never been to this country before, and I decided to discover it with my eldest grandsons. We flew Aegean Airlines; the flight was comfortable. The airport in Bucharest is clean enough, very…

The Gaffe of the Old Princess

In the blue room of the Royal Palace in Brussels, reserved for members of the four princely families of Belgium: Croy, Merode, Ligne, and Arenberg, all the talk was about the Spanish flu. Early in the 20th century, the epidemic was ravaging Europe and horrifying the people, nobody knew how to deal with it. The…