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French Cheeses

“How can you govern a country that has two hundred and forty six varieties of cheese?” – Charles de Gaulle   Along with wine, cheese is one of France’s best gastronomic delights. Whether at home in their local supermarket or when visiting France, people often don’t want to try most […]

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Regions of France

Provence

When you think of France, where are you thinking of? Paris? Calais? A childhood holiday in Brittany? Maybe the picture you conjure up is of the Eiffel tower, a Parisian café or a vineyard somewhere. The chances are, you are only thinking of one or two of the many diverse […]

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Food in Finland

Finland Food

Meat play a prominent role in Finnish cuisine, if anything more so than in other countries. This could be because historically fresh fruit and vegetables were only available for about three months of the year due to the cold climate and poor growing season. Pork and beef are the most […]

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Did you know that the only Finnish word that is commonly used in English is “sauna”? The Sauna is a big thing in Finland, in a country with a population of 5 million, there are estimated to be around 2-3 million sauna’s. That’s a sauna for every two people! A […]

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Schools in Finland – The Best in the World?

Finland shocked the world in 2000 when the international PISA survey (Programme for International Student Assessment), which measures the abilities of 15 year old students all around the world in key areas, found that students in Finland were the best in the world at reading, and in the top 5 […]

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Visit to Portugal

Portugal

It was pitch black out of the aeroplane window when gradually a pale white fog of light became visible. I didn’t have long to wonder what this strange illumination was before we broke through the glowing white clouds and night-time Lisbon lay glittering below us. I was not the only […]

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I Feel Like I Know France…

eiffel tower france

Of all foreign countries, I feel like France should be the one I know best. Apart from Ireland, it is my nearest neighbour, I have visited it far more than I have any other country, five times in total I think, and my first foreign trip was to France. Admittedly, […]

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Arguably, Denmark’s most outstanding feature is not anything about its history, a great landmark or famous person – it is the remarkable fact that Denmark is officially the happiest country in the world. As a point of comparison, the USA is 13th and the UK 23rd in the 2016 survey. […]

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Estonian Food & Drink

Curd Snacks

Estonian Food “Where there’s work, there’s bread” – Estonian Proverb Estonia may be the smallest country I’ve come to so far, in terms of population that is, but when it comes to its cuisine it has more than a few surprises. It may be because of its position, clinging to […]

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In this article I’m taking a look at Croatia, an increasingly popular holiday destination in the Balkans region of Eastern Europe. In the aftermath of the fall of Communism there were several years of strife and struggle for independence, but although some of the scars remain, Croatia has put that […]

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About The Site

This is site includes writing on various topics. Check out the books section for book related articles, author guides and book reviews. The Retro Files is a fun look at Games, Music, Films, TV & Books from yesteryear. I’m starting in 1970 and working my way forward year by year. The Fascinating World section collects together various writings about different countries and places across the world. Then there’s the Misc section, which has everything else!