modern architecture, art and design around the world
Colours of Cinque Terre
Love will Terre you apart.
Yes, it's full of tourists during the daytime in the summer. But Cinque Terre, five cliffside villages on the coast of Liguria, Italy, must surely be one of the unofficial wonders of the world.
Find a place to stay overnight here and enjoy the tranquility in the morning and evening when the hordes have vanished.
Sip your morning coffee by the harbour in Vernazza.
Take a walk with a late-night ice cream after dark.
The pastel colours, palms and clear blue seas are a piece of paradise.
America on the road - California and Nevada road trip
Beijing Olympic Park
I showed the driver the map from my book, but that didn't help. Then I showed him a photograph of the bright blue neon cube from the same book, and mimed a breast-stroke movement with my arms. That didn't work either. Eventually, we managed to explain that we wanted to go the Olympic Park, specifically the Aquatic Park.
Scene of the 2008 Olympics, Beijing's legacy is pretty spectacular, thanks to its two futuristic moments to sport; the National Aquatics Centre - also known as 'Water Cube' - and the Birds Nest Stadium.
A night-time visit was on the cards thanks to a busy daytime schedule on our trip. Thankfully this was a good shout, as the two arenas were pretty amazing fully-lit - though you'll have to excuse the photography on this one.
The best part was that an enormous show was taking place in the Birds Nest stadium, unbeknown to us. For about a tenner each, we witnessed by most overblown show of lights, music and performers. It was 5 years after the Olympics and the show was a celebration of the events of 2008, from what we could make out.
In 1928, Germany built a swimming pool in Lichtenberg, East Berlin, for its athletes to train in ahead of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Next to it is the BVG Stadion, a football pitch with one small stand which is also now abandoned.
The facilities were later used by both foreign and German athletes ahead of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The site is now abandoned but easily accessible, especially in comparison to some other sites in Berlin.
Check out Abandoned Berlin for the best guides to exploring Berlin's deserted sites.
Street art in Brooklyn
Helen and I bit the Big Apple last summer. It was the first time I'd been since I was 12 and though I do remember a bit, it did also feel like the first time I'd visited.
When we weren't busy finding vegan doughnut shops, we'd be patrolling the streets in search of street art.
From Greenpoint down to XX there are thousands of works of art in this part of New York. We even luckily arrived during Open Studios so we had a chance to check out some artists at work.