Whether you consider it art work or vandalism, there is no denying that street art is hot right now. Last year, Sotheby’s held an auction of Banksy pieces, selling them for up to £500k – something made illegally, with an innate transience, created in a public space, sold for half a million. It’s unbelievable (and some think, unethical), but whatever your opinion, it’s a fact that street art has evolved into a specific aesthetic and art form with its own super stars, known outside of their own circle and scene.
I heard this the other day and I thought it was hilarious. I think the term exists in English, but I’ve never heard it used in everyday speech – usually it’s referred to in specific political discourse.
The English seaside gets a bad rep. And it’s true, you can’t guarantee the weather, but there’s something special about Cornwall that means that doesn’t really matter. It’s raining for a week? Grab your wellies or wetsuit and get stuck in anyway. Sun shining? Then the area really comes to life with surfers, kayaking, coastal walks and cream teas.
St Ives is a pretty seaside village on the northern coast towards the end of the peninsula. It’s one of the most popular holiday spots for a lot of Brits (and, weirdly, also a lot of Germans, Austrians and Swiss. Apparently a famous romance novelist sets a lot of stories here) but the atmosphere manages to remain laid-back, creative and authentically Cornish. Everyone from artists to surfers, gourmet travellers to action-adventurers rubs shoulders at ice cream parlours along the pretty harbour or in the water.
(Download the guide as a PDF here)
Sometimes people say something and I just don’t understand. I technically know what the words mean, but they don’t make any sense.
Salt water, sunshine and fresh seafood. White sand beneath your feet and blue water stretching beyond the horizon. Caribbean turquoise hues in the south of England; kayaking across the blue next to fishing boats, seals and surfers. A laid-back, slower way of living, local food found on the seashore, sweet, juicy lobster brought in that day. The English seaside gets a bad rep, but when it works, it really works.
How do you go hiking when you don’t really like hiking? I have become a little more outdoorsy since coming to Switzerland, but I’m not really a Gortex-clad, hiking-wunderkind just yet. (Or maybe not ever. Probably not ever). I’m still mostly bribed by cheese, and very definitely open to cheating.
Wasserfallen is perfect for hiking-lite because you get to go up in the cable car and come down on giant scooters. That’s right, scooters! For grown-ups!
I have been visiting / living in Basel for a while now, and although there is still a lot left undiscovered, I have definitely found a few favourite places. The list is far from exhaustive, but it’s tried and tested. So, without further ado, here are my ideas for what to see, eat and do in this border city…
(also available as a downloadable PDF here)
As the temperature gauge tickles the mid-thirties there’s only one thing to do in the city: ice cream. The summer has been hot and languid this year, heat bouncing off the buildings and stifling the breeze. Sure, there’s the Rhine to jump into and float along, but it’s not exactly an office-friendly quick fix to the sweltering conditions. So, ice cream.
I thought the mountains would be cold. That even in summer, the sun would shine across the snow drifts, and the people would be wearing puffy jackets and long trousers throughout the season. I was right – sort of. Yes, the actual tops of the mountains are a bit chill. But in the valleys the sun shines at full strength and outdoor activities are de rigeur.
Yesterday was a holiday. There were so many things we could do. We thought about going to Paris for the day, or maybe somewhere in Germany. Maybe stay closer to home and visit Schaffhausen, with its pretty old town and iconic Rhine Falls…
What we actually did, was go and watch a bunch of grown men hold onto one another’s shorts and try to flip each other like tortoises. Welcome to Schwingen, a national sport of Switzerland. I’m a bit unclear on the rules, but the idea seems to be to get your opponent on their back, with both shoulders on the floor, by twisting, pushing, wrestling, hugging or sitting on them. Each competitor wears a pair of breeches with a belt to help the other grip onto them and they employ all sorts of flips and trips to try to win.