Posts tagged “History

A Roman in Vienna

Posted on August 7, 2012

Vienna . . . personally, I didn’t like the Austrian capital when I visited in the spring of 2010 and I usually fall in love with everywhere I travel. It was too perfect with its oversized baroque buildings and wide boulevards celebrating a vanished empire that never really accomplished much.   One has to wonder really about the size issue in Vienna — even the statues of Archduke Charles, the Duke of Teschen, in Heldenplatz and Empress Marie-Theresa in her namesake square near the city’s Museum Quarter are gigantic. Bigger than most statues of important persons in other, more impressive European cities. Now granted, the archduke was considered a great general and a thorn in Napoleon’s side and the empress is one of the…

War Memorials in the Solomon Islands

Posted on May 16, 2012

Along the waterfront in Honiara, a street vendor named Samuel smiles wide showing off his betel-stained teeth as he holds up a half metre-long shell casing for inspection by a tourist. Laid out at his feet among the giant clam shells and pieces of broken coral are tattered remnants of a war fought more than 60 years ago. There’s smaller bullet casings, green glass Coke bottles manufactured in the U.S. of A, tangled pieces of rusted kit, and a battered canteen. A piece of history from the Second World War can be yours for only a few American dollars. Buying it and leaving the Solomon Islands, however, is illegal under the Protection of Wrecks and War Relics Act of 1980. It’s also illegal to…