My first assignment for a few months — long story.
But it was a good one: a trip to the Occitanie region of France for the opening of the new Museum of Roman Civilisation.
It was a Roman-heritage-themed trip, visiting the Pont gu Gard, the Unesco-listed aqueduct, and the city of Nimes — one of my favourite cities in the south of France.
The new museum is opposite the Roman Amphitheatre [pictured above], home to one of the largest bullfighting festivals outside of Spain.
Here’s a sneak preview of one of the stories that came out of my trip:
It brings together the city’s huge collection of Roman antiquities with its four sections tracing the development of Nimes from the Iron Age, through the halcyon days of the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages, and concludes by considering the legacy of the Roman era today.
Read more with my Ultimate Guide to Nimes in Independent Travel and look out for my Nimes feature in the August issue of France Magazine.
My Manchester story is in the current (May) issue of Discover Britain magazine.
It’s a city-focus piece, based around the angle of industrial heritage, looking at Manchester as the modern-industrial city.
Here’s an extract:
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) makes its home in the area today and presents a comprehensive introduction to the city’s evolution.
Built on the site of the original Liverpool Road train station, the oldest surviving railway station in the world, MOSI also celebrates the spirit of innovation that appears indelibly printed into Manchester’s DNA.
Standing in the Revolution Gallery, encircled by examples of Manchester firsts, the scale of achievements becomes truly apparent: a 1775 prototype water frame machine for manufacturing textiles, a replica of the Baby computer and a display about the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the world’s first steam-powered railway and the first to carry both passengers and goods.
Adam Daber, MOSI’s Curator of Industry, says: “Manchester was different in that, by attracting free thinkers to the region to make their mark, there was no limit to progress. I think that philosophy still holds true today.”
I’ve been to Dijon and Burgundy several times over the last few years to follow the story of the urban renaissance.
This story, taken from the Independent, details the final visit last autumn. There’s another story to come for the Sunday Telegraph this spring with a modern art angle. The first trip with my dad (pictured above) was about wine tasting.
Here’s an extract:
Place Darcy has been symbolic of Dijon of late: a work in progress. But, as part of “Le Grand Dijon”, the master plan to revitalise the city by its ambitious mayor, François Rebsamen, Dijon’s sleek new trams are now gliding across the historic city centre.
“Dijon has really come alive with revived public spaces and new pedestrianised streets,” says tour guide Sherry Thevenot of Bourgogne Authentique. “It still has the classical sites, but a new sense of vibrancy pervades.”