BBC Travel

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How Hiroshima rose from the ashes

A remarkable series of events is ensuring that Hiroshima will go down in history for far more inspirational reasons than the A-bomb.<p>On a torrid August day in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, lotus flowers were blooming in the pond surrounding the Peace Bell. A party of elementary school children in …

Japan

The Polish phrase that will help you through tough times

In Poland, the concept of 'Jakoś to będzie' is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid.<p>Words like 'hygge' (Danish), 'gezelligheid' (Dutch) and 'lagom' (Swedish) have become very popular in recent years. But fans of …

Europe

Lithuania’s miraculous hill of 100,000 crosses

The Hill of Crosses is steeped in legends of ghosts, miracles and heroic acts of defiance.<p>Around 11km outside the city of Siauliai in northern Lithuania, an old, earthen mound hunches under the weight of thousands of crosses. As the wind blows across the fields of rural Siauliai County, ornate …

Soviet Union

Why Romanians are obsessed with garlic

While many people eschew garlic in their food for fear of smelling of it, Romanians have a cult-like appreciation for the plant.<p>Transylvania’s winding, misty roads, castles and medieval fortresses set the stage for some of Europe’s darkest legends, the most famous of which is Count Dracula.<p>Despite …

Garlic

The people descended from Spartans

Long isolated from the rest of Greece, the Mani peninsula is home to a clannish community that claims warrior heritage.<p>The Mani peninsula’s jagged, rocky cliffs jut from the Peloponnese at the southernmost tip of mainland Greece, forcing the landscape to heave and billow like ocean waves. From the …

Ancient History

In search of Russia's lost gold

One hundred years ago, the Bolsheviks captured the entirety of Tsar Nicholas II’s family gold reserve – or so they thought.<p>It was our third night on the Trans-Siberian Express in mid-July, and we had grown accustomed to the heat. The prehistoric cars contained neither air conditioning nor showers. …

Siberia

The cheeky gnomes taking over Wrocław

Cute as they may be, each statue is a nod to the Orange Alternative, an anti-Soviet resistance movement that helped bring down Poland’s oppressive communist regime in the 1980s.<p>Wrocław is Poland at its most charming and, for many, its least pronounceable (it’s ‘vrohtz-wahv’). Situated sublimely on …

Art

Why Norway is teaching travellers to travel

Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most famous geological sites – and one of its most controversial.<p>We reached Trolltunga after seven hours, 13.5km and 1,000m of elevation gain. The fog rolled in as a line of 35 people waited to take their picture on the iconic cliff. Translating to ‘Troll’s Tongue’, …

European Travel

The tiny island the British traded for Manhattan

Banda Run is a place where history meets legend, where traditional ships still sail past live volcanoes to a forgotten island that once changed the world.<p>We sailed out of the Arafura Sea, through the Timor Sea and into the Savu Sea. Soon we'd be in the Flores Sea and then the Banda Sea – home of …

Canoeing

The Indian dish you can’t find in India

The coastal city of Durban in South Africa is home to one of the largest Indian communities outside India. It’s also home to the unique curry called bunny chow.<p><i>Join over three million BBC Travel fans by liking us on</i> <i>Facebook</i><i>, or follow us on</i> <i>Twitter</i> <i>and</i> <i>Instagram</i><i>.</i><p><i>If you liked this story,</i> <b>sign up for the</b> …

South Africa

Why Italy is racing to save the game of bocce

In the bars of small-town Italy, ageing bocce players are keeping the country's local dialects alive.<p>“Piia na cadreia e setat su a vardà.” Battista Valenti greeted me, but I didn’t understand a word he was saying. His Italian was harsher than what I’m used to; he stretched his syllables, which …

Language

Turkey’s ‘voluptuous’ breakfast for one

Olives, chiles, cheese, rose petal jam… a full Turkish breakfast is decadent, to say the least. And Rick Stein discovers where you can eat it all day long.<p><i>Get the latest from BBC World News: international news, features and analysis from around the globe.</i><p><i>Join over three million BBC Travel fans by</i> …

Breakfast

Why Armenians love strangers

Armenians, like their Caucasus neighbours, have long been renowned for generosity to outsiders – a result of the country’s historical location on the Silk Road.<p>I never meant to spend the night in Dilijan. I’d been making my way through northern Armenia towards the capital city of Yerevan, having …

Silk Road

The town that gave Russia its name

While residents of Moscow and St Petersburg argue whether it was the Soviets or the tsars who defined Russian culture, Novgorodians insist it was the Vikings.<p>One hundred years ago, revolution flung Russia from the imperialist era into the communist era – from centuries of tsars to red Soviet stars. …

Russia

How Italians influenced a South American dialect

Influenced by foreign language and cheeky wordplay, Buenos Aires’ lunfardo slang is representative of the city’s diverse population and playful demeanour.<p>“Argentinian Spanish is sort of hard to understand,” said my sister as she plugged in a fan. It was hot and still in Buenos Aires and we were …

Argentina

Portugal’s mansion of intriguing guests

Here, small groups of strangers who otherwise would never have met, much less shared stories, come together.<p>When I heard the knock on my bedroom door, I was in my 50-shades-of-purple room at Casa Grande in Burgau, Portugal – a quirky bed-and-breakfast run by the quirkier matriarch, Sally Vincent, …

European Travel

The Japanese dinner delicacy that could kill you

The town of Shimonoseki has embraced fugu, one of East Asia’s most notorious fishes – even though one wrong bite could kill you instantly.<p><i>BBC's Travel Show</i> <i>brings you the latest insider travel news, a wealth of destinations, amazing experiences and features and practical hints, tips and advice for</i> …

Japan

The lost jewels of Bad King John

Rising tides swept away King John’s baggage carts – and treasure – in 1216. Now, a local man has become obsessed with a quest to find the hoard, using some unconventional methods.<p>Under the Crosskeys Bridge in Lincolnshire, England, farmland stretches flat and green and the River Nene lies brown and …

Archaeology

The town that sold mountains to the world

St Moritz, the showiest of Switzerland’s Alpine resorts, is no ordinary ski town – it’s responsible for winter tourism as we know it today.<p>There’s a story that makes it abundantly clear how a small band of English holidaymakers changed Switzerland forever. It involves a bet between hotelier …

Skiing

The colourful tradition saving Bangkok’s street vendors

When the Thai government threatened to ban street stalls, vendors in Bangkok’s Ari neighbourhood came together around an ancient practice of colour coordination.<p>When Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away in October 2016, his subjects were plunged into mourning, wearing black for months out …

India

The abandoned Greek island shrouded in mystery

For decades after it was abandoned, not much was known about the Greek island of Spinalonga or its days as a leper colony – but all that is changing.<p>I caught my first glimpse of Spinalonga four years ago from a steep hilltop overlooking the sleepy village of Plaka in north-eastern Crete. The …

History

A Georgian welcome on the frontline of war

Nestled between endless Georgian fields and the unrecognised break-away region of South Ossetia, the city of Gori has it tough, but there are glimmers of hope among the hostility.<p>On the final day of my two-week visit to the Republic of Georgia, the air was clean and the heat was prickly. Davit …

Dining Rooms

The surprising side to Las Vegas that few know

Despite its glitzy casinos and tens of millions of tourists, Las Vegas has just 600,000 residents and a small-town side that only locals know.<p>With its glitzy casinos, never-ending nightlife and tens of millions of tourists, Las Vegas looms large in the international imagination. But with just …

Las Vegas

Why Colombians are trying to save this idyllic island

Providencia’s isolation has long been chalked up to its relative inaccessibility compared to the surrounding islands – but all that may soon change.<p><i>BBC's Travel Show</i> <i>brings you the latest insider travel news, a wealth of destinations, amazing experiences and features and practical hints, tips and</i> …

Travel

The man who built a Chinese utopia

For 20 years, Song Peilun has been quietly building his own stone castle in a secluded valley outside Guiyang, China. Today, it spans 50 acres – but is only halfway finished.<p><i>Join over three million BBC Travel fans by liking us on</i> <i>Facebook</i><i>, or follow us on</i> <i>Twitter</i> <i>and</i> <i>Instagram</i><i>.</i><p><i>If you liked this story,</i></b> …

China

How Italian women used words to fight the Nazis

When the sun set over Turin, Italy, the city’s clandestine network of printing presses roared to life with a group of female partisans at the controls.<p>I chained up my rusty red bicycle and stepped into the courtyard of the former Conceria Fiori tannery, where the chairs and tables of a beer garden, …

Italy

The remote ranch at the bottom of the world

Estancia Harberton in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego offers travellers a striking insight into life at the end of the world.<p>Ushuaia, the southernmost city on Earth, is filled with signs proclaiming ‘El fin del mundo’ (The end of the world). The slogan adorns hotels, restaurants and shops, a local …

Argentina

The last surviving sea silk seamstress

Byssus, or sea silk, is one of the most coveted materials in the world – but after more than 1,000 years in the same matrilineal family tree, this ancient thread may soon unravel.<p>Each spring, under the cover of darkness and guarded by members of the Italian Coast Guard, 62-year-old Chiara Vigo …

Time I

The New England fish dish that saved a nation

Shad bakes are a dance of heat and timing that have been going on for generations up and down the East Coast of the United States for more than 100 years.<p>Joseph Shea presides over a culinary jigsaw puzzle. He and his apprentices squat around a hexagonal fire, shifting slabs of wood with fish nailed …

New England

These Scottish islands may hold the secret to happiness

Scotland's Outer Hebrides can be rainy, remote and cold – yet their inhabitants rank as the happiest people in the UK. What is their secret?<p>It was nearing midnight and the sky still remained light. The only hint of sunset visible from the kitchen window was a pink smudge above the Minch, the …

Scotland