Wild swimming in Puglia’s hidden coves

Crunk! Like distant cannon fire, the thunder bounces long and menacing around the rocky rounded inlets due south of where we stand. The sky is split in two as starkly as a half moon cookie, and Porto Selvaggio sits on the dividing line. Just as we settle ourselves on an outcrop to the north of the bay where the sky is still pale, lightning slices through the sky above the squat, square Torre Santa Maria dell’Alto. There is nothing for it, we must turn on our heels and retrace our steps to the car with everyone else on the beach.…

View Post

Swimming with wild dolphins

The year was 1996 and Wannabe was overtaking the Macarena as the school disco hit du jour. I had recently mastered long division and was obsessed with the film Flipper starring a young Elijah Wood. All I wanted to do in life was swim with dolphins, and sure, that film might be responsible for planting the idea in my eight-year-old head, but it’s something I’ve dreamed about ever since. Well, I have some news. It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I finally made that dream come true. I was pretty open minded about how I would spend my time…

View Post

City of spas: The thermal baths of Budapest

I’ve already admitted to being fairly lazy when it came to exploring Budapest’s nightlife, but what of its culture? The city is an ideal location for a museum marathon, if that’s the kind of break you’re after, but to really understand Budapest’s culture you can quite happily eschew the lot — providing you’re willing to strip off. With thermal springs bubbling under the city, public bathing is very much in the water here, so to speak. It’s medicinal too… or at least so they say. To me all this ‘taking the waters’ business stinks of Georgian quackery. I can’t prove…

View Post