Category: Europe

The Raj

The loss of India was in effect the end of the British Empire. And all it took to terminate three centuries of worldwide expansion by one of the greatest military and industrial powers in history was one very smart, determined, and, above all, patient old man in a homespun dhoti.

Armistice Day

I remember an evening sitting through one of those ghastly, self-righteous arguments about the Vietnam War that seemed to plague any attempt at serious conversation in the 1970s. The wild-eyed beard next to me showed no interest whatsoever and seemed to regard all the hot air as little […]

Tain-l’Hermitage

Thomas Jefferson might have had better weather in the 1780s when he came to the Hermitage Mountain here and declared this vista of the Rhône River valley the most beautiful in all of France. The trip from the Colonial Ambassador’s residence in Paris—564km by modern roads—would have taken […]

Glasgow

When you come to Glasgow, you might wonder at Saint Paul’s assertion that, “the wages of sin is death”—and not because of the famously gloomy weather or the dreary, coal-stained sandstone of the buildings. Nor because of the crime, violence, and drug addiction that have afflicted the less […]

Sleepers

We’ve now traveled by sleeper coach train through every major west European country except Spain (including our own version of the Orient Express), and it’s uncanny how the experience has reflected the culture of the train’s country of origin. The French coach was dignified and correct, if a bit […]

Saint Andrews

The sunrise is the same, and the bunkers on the 17thhole look as fearsome as ever, but otherwise, there isn’t much to recall from journeys with my mother to the Old Course in Saint Andrews.

Scotch

Before we settle down to a wee dram of Talisker 18-year, peat-smoked, oak-matured, distilled and unfiltered, single-malt Scotch whisky, here’s a handful of definitions…