WelcomeTo my psycho-geographical investigation into places small: ditches, hedge-rows, bus-stops, waiting rooms, offices; and places large: cities, mountains, oceans. This is a personal collection of stories and reflections centred around place. Less travel blog – more memory archive. Each article is accompanied by a map and a visit time. Click on ‘where’ to browse by country.
Underneath the Pljesivica MountainsDeep beneath the hills of Plješivica, the Yugoslavian military dug like Tolkien’s dwarfs. They hollowed out the great mountain, creating mess-halls and assembly stations, aeroplane hangars and radar rooms, creating safety where none felt attainable. Željava airbase – codename ‘Objekat 505’, stretches over 3.5 kilometres underground, and it is into this dark place that I ventured.
We passed under the cliff which stood flat above us like some enormous forehead. Observed, the deep cracks that ran along its surface like the wrinkles on a perturbed mind. I wondered whether they’d crack and collapse onto our very heads as we passed beneath their scorn.
The Dales were, for the first hour, swathes of green velvet, scrubby moorland peaks and granite mountain tops. It wasn’t quite the blistering wilds made famous by the Bronte sisters. Instead, it was tempered by a kind of human tenderness which transmuted the land from desolate to verdant. Before our eyes flashed farmsteads, drystone walls and chocolate box cottages; all lying in wait for the artist’s brush.