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We are an online specialist map retailer based in the United Kingdom, supplying maps, travel guides & nautical charts worldwide.

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Borobudur Photo Essay, or Some Things are Worth Waking Up Early For

Planet Bell

Buddhas of Borobudur

As we were leaving the Borobudur Temple, we saw a lady crawl up on a buddha statue that was 1000-years-old, give or take a century. She then proceeded to take a selfie.

“We have to get out of here,” my wife said.

As we walked past a raging river or tourists and noisy Javanese school children, I began to sweat profusely in the sweltering heat. It was 7am.

Reader, you may be thinking that we had a terrible experience at Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple which is located in central Java. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were smart. We woke up at 3am, which at the time was very painful, and we paid extra money to be allowed in at sunrise. That too, stung a little. But getting to enjoy the temple at sunrise with a small group of likeminded tourists was well worth the…

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Lessons from a Weekend in Florence


Florence is one of those destinations that people just gush about. And boy do I feel like gushing after spending a weekend there. Italy was certainly all I had ever hoped it to be; everyone I met was friendly, the food was amazing and the architecture was stunning. The city itself was also surprisingly modern, with a range of new buzzing cafes and bars for the young population.


All great travel destinations teach you something. Florence taught me, first of all, that I love Florence and cannot wait to come back. A weekend is just enough for a taster, but there is so much more to Florence than three days can teach you. So I have made an attempt to summarise the things I learnt from Florence on my brief stay there – a list I hope to add to more in the coming years after investing more time in Florence…

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Shibam – The original high-rise city

Stephen Liddell

Even going into London as frequently as I do it is hard to keep track of all the new skyscrapers going up with their weird names.  The Gherkin, Shard, Walkie-Talkie or as it used to be called The Death Star due to its propensity of reflecting sun into some sort of laser, melting parked cars and singeing people’s heads.  There is also the Can of Ham, the Cheesegrater, The Helta Skelter.  Most people think of New York or Chicago when they imagine original high-rise cities but in fact there is a city that invented skyscrapers centuries if not millennia earlier, the city of Shibam in Yemen.

Shibam Shibam

Most people equate Yemen with terrorism but it’s not entirely fair and certainly going back into historic times, the area along nearby Oman were centres of civilisation and are still very unique in comparison to neighbouring and slightly monotonous Saudi Arabia.

Shim in Yemen, photo by Jialiang Gao Shim in…

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Toronto’s Winter Holiday Spirit

Toronto preparing for Christmas

Steps To Follow

Toronto is definitely a city for the fast-paced. The extroverted side of me has considered living in Toronto, but being an extroverted introvert, I have mixed feelings of the idea. The introvert side of me would have no choice but to be around people, communicate with others and wait in lines upon lines anywhere I go. Perhaps Toronto would be good for me, a lesson in putting myself out in the open and seeing where life will take me. Could moving to such a multicultural city cure my persistent throb of wanderlust?— a disease that thus far has no cure, just treatment to reduce symptoms momentarily: travel— afterall, learning about new cultures through lived experiences is all a part of the need for wanderlust, right?

A short visit every couple months does me just fine for now. I was long overdue for a visit and this week worked out perfectly.

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Santa on Speed Dial

Team Adventurers

T’was a month before Christmas and all through our home
came the whining and arguing of both of my spawn.

They fought over books. They fought over toys.
I could not hear myself think over their noise noise noise noise!

The blowing cold wind had kept us inside
until finally I held up my cell phone and cried,

“You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why.
I have Santa’s phone number on speed dial.”

They both went as silent as a holy night.
Until one of them whispered, ‘do you think she’s alright?’

I stood with my phone in my outstretched palm
Their worried eyes stared at me; could I really go on?

But today I was feeling so smart and so slick,
That I thought up a lie and I thought it up quick.

“Yes, of course I have Santa’s phone…

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