Tag: winter holidays

Winter light festivals? I think it’s time to pull the plug.

My final feature of the year was an opinion piece following a recent visit to Durham.

Here’s a sample of the story:

The light-festival idea is nothing new, of course.

Lyon first came up with the bright idea in 1999 and the Fete des Lumieres has become a major visitor attraction (it runs December 8-11 this year).

Blackpool illuminations, too, have a long history of providing ‘electric sunshine’, brightening up Lancastrian nights since 1879.

But I’ve had enough of light-festival overkill. Turn off, tune out, just drop it, folks.

Read the whole feature via Telegrpah Travel, It’s time to pull the plug on overrated winter light festivals.

Story of the day: Riding the Jungfrau Express


Given the snow today, I thought this one matched the mood.

It’s a story from the Telegraph about a winter-wonderland trip to Switzerland with my dad.

It appeared as a preview for the 150th anniversary of the Jungfrau Express, one of Europe’s great rail journeys.

Here’s an extract:

Italian miners first blasted through the mountain to Jungfraujoch on February 21, 1912, to complete the construction of the railway tunnel. They’d been trying since 1896.

The railway brought a new breed of genteel visitor to the Jungfrau region and, today, carries around 700,000 passengers per year.

Just getting to the train is quite a journey in itself. We changed trains first at Kleine Scheidegg, where ski runs whoosh beside the track in a blur of goggles and baby grows, and cable cars trundle overhead.

From here to Europe’s highest railway station at Jungfraujoch, located at an air-thinning altitude of 3,454m, the feat-of-engineering railway climbs cautiously through a tunnel at a steep gradient of one in four.

The story isn’t online via the publisher but I reproduced it on my old blog.

Read the full story, Riding the Memory Train.

And post your comments below.