The House in the Wild – or a retreat with a difference

The coach climbs through thick forests towards Mont Tremblant. I glimpse stretches of water through the trees, surrounded by houses with gardens that go down to the water’s edge. Perfect for a summer vacation - a barbecue of elk, a moonlit dip. Ski slopes slice through the firs reminding  me how snow and ice will … Continue reading The House in the Wild – or a retreat with a difference

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So boring, so backward – a child migrant’s view of her adopted country

I sat beside her on the train, noticed her hands shaking like a sycamore leaf. Outstretched, sturdy but still shaking, clasping her paper cup of Starbucks coffee. The train was shaking too. A great, grey rattlesnake clanking its way through the Canadian countryside. “Does the landscape get more interesting?” I asked. “No,” she asserted. “It … Continue reading So boring, so backward – a child migrant’s view of her adopted country

A boarding pass to a new life at Bremerhaven Emigration Centre

I stroll along the quayside at Bremerhaven from where 7 million people left for the New World between 1830 and 1974. I am heading for the German Emigration Centre that  won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2007. I enter a spacious modern building, framed in lattice wood. The receptionist hands me a … Continue reading A boarding pass to a new life at Bremerhaven Emigration Centre

Church bells yes but not the Muslim call to prayer

I walk past a bland housing estate and through a tidy shopping mall. There are no Turkish kebab shops or Indian curry houses; no Vietnamese mail parlours or black hair dressers. Why would an Immigration Museum be housed in this unremarkable part of Denmark? The town of Farum, a 30-minute train ride from Copenhagen, is … Continue reading Church bells yes but not the Muslim call to prayer