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Women on the Road Blog

Solo travel tips for women like you - the first Tuesday of every month >>

(and to say thank you I'll send you the 'list of 9' indispensable items I NEVER travel without!)

People and Places

Destinations that mean something to me, with a look at people who have made them special.

The Geneva Flower Clock and Other Snapworthy Sights

Geneva lakeside

We have a history, Geneva and I. As a child I visited often, courtesy of my father’s obscure international job. In time I returned for a year to study law. As I stepped off the night train from Paris my first encounter would be with just that - the law. Exhausted, I lugged my two suitcases across a deserted [...]

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When Art Takes Over: The Case of Nantes, France

Great elephant machine in Nantes, on the Machines de l'Ile

What do you do when people consider your city dull, boring and grey - and won't visit? You try something different because you know, deep inside, that your home (in this case Nantes, France) is anything but non-descript. You just have to bring out its beauty. Nantes did this with a single word: art. "We decided to develop [...]

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Visiting Oakland: Does It Get a Second Chance?

Street mural in Oakland

Sitting across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, Oakland is a bit of an unruly kid brother, smaller, rebellious and trying hard to be noticed. When questioned, friends arch their eyebrows in wonder: Why Oakland? Well, take a look at the Fox Theater and tell me. Wouldn't you make the trip just for this magnificent building? [...]

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The Surprising Sights of San Francisco

Casa de las Mujeres San Francisco

If I were looking for naked men, Latino street art and hippies within minutes of one another, I'd head to San Francisco. I don't surprise easily so, San Francisco, well done! From the slightly perplexing to the jaw-dropping jolt, here are a few of the surprising sights of San Francisco that caught my eye during two visits in July and [...]

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Djemaa El Fna, Marrakech: A Sensual Attack

Vulture feeding on Djemaa el Fna

My first evening was the worst. Like a slap in the face, leaving me bruised and winded, not knowing where to look. The central square of Marrakech, Djemaa El Fna, shocked me physically, its enormity making me feel as though I had dived into a whirlpool, pulled apart and assaulted from all sides by motion and smell, by bright, [...]

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The Ardeche, France: 7 Things That Surprised Me

Ardeche chestnuts

On 24 June 2014 the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc cavern was inscribed on Unesco’s coveted World Heritage list, which had this to say about the complex: "They are of exceptional aesthetic quality, demonstrate a range of techniques, including the skillful use of colour, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement." The Ardeche, France: best known for its [...]

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Meet Mr Mohammed from Mhamid, Morocco

Mohammed from Mhamid Morocco

The dust sprinkling the streets of M'hamid Elghizlan, as Mhamid is formally called, comes from the desert's edge a few minutes away, where the Saharan wind and sand eat into what was once a thriving crossroads along the salt caravan routes to Timbuktu. Against a red brick wall, a former shop door opening is partially [...]

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Desert: A Sahara Night

Stars and camels in the Sahara

The stars hang like an unfinished choreography, dancers suspended in mid-air. The North Star sits straight above - or is it Venus? It would land on my forehead if it fell. The space between each speck of light is deep navy, the kind of blue that exists only when light is absent and here, in the [...]

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Fast Forward in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun

BBQ skewers in Moulay Idriss

It's a café like any other, its round aluminium tables ringed by wicker chairs, a café in the French style, of which there are thousands. Except that it isn't in France but in the Moroccan holy city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, which until a few years ago was so holy no infidel could even spend [...]

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The Scents of the Fez Medina

Olives and chillies in Fez

How can you even begin to understand the Fez medina, a walled city that has 9000 streets, 10,000 shops, a million people and is nearly a millennium old? Confusion sets in with an early-morning walk through the twisted streets of Fes el Bali, the largest of the city's two medinas. The sweetness of sandalwood and cinnamon [...]

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The Rungus Gongs of Sabah: Keeping a Tradition Alive

Rungus gong

When Rohanah Kudat got married more than a dozen years ago, the last thing she expected was to become a custodian of an ancient craft. Her husband, a gong-maker, taught her the skills and today, Rohanah is one of ten women who make their living hammering zinc sheets into round, vibrant shapes 11 hours a [...]

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Porto Antico, Genoa – Revisited

Marina at Porto Antico, Genoa

My two earliest memories of Genoa's port area - the Porto Antico - involve sailors, and an amazing green sauce poured over pasta. Decades later this maritime city still bursts with sailors, and the aroma of pesto pulls you into the many tiny eateries dotting the docks. In the Genoa seaside of my childhood, come [...]

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