Town Cemetery in Sümeg, Hungary

To fully appreciate the roll-call of greats buried in the town cemetery in Sümeg, you need to know the history of the place and its players. Names like Kisfaludy (Sándor and his nephew Móric, the poet and the soldier), Darnay (archaeologist), Eitner (MP), and Ramasetter (Vince, who introduced the world to wines from the Balaton) are spoken with reverence. But I was more taken with the statuary. Read more

Szent Mihály Domb, Vonyarcvashegy, Hungary

Climbing the hill to the church of Szent Mihály (St Michael) in Vonyarcvashegy, it was hard to believe that 136-metre-tall dolomite was once an island. I read that but I’m not how true it is. Read more

Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland

The last people I expected to find in Arbour Hill were Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, and Sean McDermott. I would have bet money that they were all safely ensconced in Glasnevin. But I’d have been wrong.

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Villánykövesd cemetery in the Villány wine region of Hungary

In southeastern Hungary, near the Croatian border, we stopped at Villánykövesd, one of the five villages that comprise the Villány wine region that stretches 25km to include the twelve settlements of Siklós. Hard as it is to imagine in a village with two streets, we got lost and ended up driving (very slowly) on tractor paths looking down on the village and where we should have been.

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John the Valiant

Three hundred and seventy verses with 1480 lines make for one hell of a long poem. But I read them all, cover to cover, the first time I picked up a copy of Petőfi Sándor’s book János Vitéz (John the Valiant). I did the same the second time, and the third time, and the fourth time. What’s more, remembering back to 2007, I think everyone on my Christmas list got a copy of John Ridland’s 1999 translation. Read more

Chiesa di Santa Chiara, Enna, Sicily

Chiesa di Santa Chiara is more than a church, it’s an indoor cemetery. Until 1767, it was home to the Jesuit fathers but later, after the Jesuits had been expelled from Sicily for the peace, security, and happiness of the beloved peoples, [apparently the Jesuits were getting a little too political and not staying with the confines of religon], it was given to the Poor Clares. Read more

Cimitero Comunale, Scicli, Sicily

Heading out of Scicli, our visit over, we turned back on ourselves as I carefully navigated a hairpin bend on a steep hill. There, over in the distance, MI spotted a cemetery. And what a cemetery. It seemed to go on forever. I had to go back. Read more

Jewish Cemetery, Nagykanizsa, Hungary

I finally got in to see the Jewish Cemetery in Nagykanizsa. We’d tried a few times but it was closed. This time, the chap was driving away as we pulled up but he very kindly went back to get the key and let us in. I plan on seeing him again. Read more

Noble graveyard in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle

Walking the grounds of Kilkenny Castle, we happened upon a family graveyard, home to the various Earls of Ormonde. The Butlers of Ormonde owned Kilkenny Castle for nearly six centuries. They had quite the run, from 1391 to 1967.

Bulter family cemetery in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle

High cross in Bulter family cemetery in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle

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Pokopališče Piran, Slovenia

Perched high on a high above the medieval town of Piran, billed as the pearl of the Slovenian Meditteranean, sits the last resting place of those who’ve called the town home – the pokopališče. Read more