Sights & smells

Pamukkale: Toothpaste foaming from the mouth of Mother Earth

Pamukkale: Toothpaste foaming from the mouth of Mother Earth

Pamukkale (pronounced “par-moo-car-lay”) is a UNESCO world heritage site in south west Turkey. The name translates as “cotton castle”, but whoever came up with this can’t have been looking very closely: Pamukkale is not a castle and, what appears from a distance to be cotton, is actually a hard mineral deposit. Not that that’s a criticism – as mineral deposits go, it’s a particularly impressive one.

5 very strange hotels from around the world

5 very strange hotels from around the world

To many people, a hotel is just a necessity – somewhere to sleep and to store the suitcase while they’re out exploring. As long as the room has a bed, preferably a bathroom and ideally a well-stocked minibar, it doesn’t need much else. Sometimes, however, due to its location, structure or history, the hotel itself can become part of the holiday.

6 ginormous geoglyphs from around the world

6 ginormous geoglyphs from around the world

In the 21st century, we’re surrounded by giant images – you can’t walk down the street without a 30-foot Jonathan Ross trying to sell you a TV subscription. In the past, however, people weren’t so lucky and had to create their own pictures from their environment.

Things found in caves

Things found in caves

Caves are often thought of as little more than empty holes in the ground, but this is only half right; they’re holes with things in them. Far from being just a hollow space, caves are full of curiosities – unusual rock formations, prehistoric artwork and, frequently, hard-hatted men who need rescuing.

4 bridges that go nowhere

4 bridges that go nowhere

Bridges connects things. It’s the most important thing about them. Literal bridges connect one piece of land to another. Metaphorical bridges connect one person (or thought, or idea, or thing) to another. If a bridge doesn’t link something (or someone) to something (or someone) else, can it really be called a bridge? If it can’t, what’s it called? And if it can, what effect would this have on the word’s use as a metaphor? Would we have to start using “tunnel” instead?

The Trulli of Alberobello

The Trulli of Alberobello

When I first saw the Italian town of Alberobello, I was convinced I was actually looking at the setting for a children’s TV programme. I imagined it to be inhabited by little white, fluffy things with adorably cute but artistically very simple faces (much like Moomins or something). But Alberobello is a real place, inhabited by real people (or so the internet would have me believe…)

Palais Idéal: The palace that was built by a postman

Palais Idéal: The palace that was built by a postman

Where I live, the only things left behind by the local postmen are letters for the person who used to live in my flat and the odd discarded rubber band. But in Hauterives, France, the local postman left a little more than that… Ferdinand Cheval left an entire palace, made from stones he’d picked up on his daily mail round!