Category: Western Europe

I take a shared taxi to Saint-Pierre, formerly the biggest and most important city on the island. In 1902, the people thought a valley would save them from the lava flows of the erupting Mount Pelée. They didn’t know the concept of a pyroclastic flow that would just traverse the valley. When the flow came, nearly 30.000 people died and the sole survivor (at least this is how the story goes) was the prisoner Ludger Sylbaris. He had to spend the night in an underground dungeon that proved to be the only secure place in town. […]

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I arrive on Montserrat with the small boat from Saint John’s in Antigua. It is dark when we arrive but my bed is ready, I had made a reservation. Montserrat is an internally self-governing British Overseas Territory and in this way a remnant of the British Empire. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state and appoints a Governor as her representative. Executive power though, rests with the Montserrat government. The links to Britain are more important if it comes to foreign relations and defence, or in case of Montserrat being struck by a natural disaster. […]

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My only visit to Ireland so far has been a short cycling trip starting in Rosslare Harbour (coming from Wales) in the Southeast to Dublin (leaving to the Isle of Man). Kilkenny was the only settlement of any note we visited besides Dublin. We were fully self-sufficient, equipped with a tent and cooking equipment so we rather stayed out in the nature. […]

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