David Vincent


David Vincent

I am from Sydney, Australia. Despite working in IT, my main interest when travelling is history - particularly military history. As such, I tend to visit a lot of castles.

Comments on my blog are welcome. However, any that include external links or urls will be deleted as spam.

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago January 15th 2019

A busy 2018 is done and it’s time for the holiday I began booking before I left on the last one. When my father mentioned the only place overseas he is interested in visiting was Antarctica, I began investigating how to make it happen. As it turns out, to get there you pretty much have to go to South America. So back to Chile I go! This time, with dad. Leaving on Monday morning, the flight to Santiago went very smoothly and actually felt quicker than last time. I’m not sure if the Dreamliner is faster, or if it was just my imagination. It was definitely worth paying extra to get a seat with more legroom though, and I actually got a pretty decent sleep for a change. I did think the food portions were a ... read more
New and Old

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Griffith October 1st 2018

My brother-in-law messaged me, asking if I would be interested in going to Barellan in late-September. “Where is that?” was my first question. My second was “Why?”. He sent me a link to the website for the Barellan Working Clydesdale festival and I thought it looked interesting but wasn’t sure if it was worth taking time off work for. Fast-forward to a month ago and my father asked me if I was driving to Barellan on the Saturday of the October long-weekend. He was unable to travel with the rest of the family on the Friday and was hoping to score a lift with me on the Saturday. Oh, I think to myself, it’s the October long weekend! That changes things. No time off required, and dad needed a lift. I was in. Barellan is in ... read more
Me, at the summit of Mt Brogden
A noisy camel
Bullock team pulling a hay cart

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Lyon November 12th 2017

As I mentioned at the end of the last blog, Lyon is essentially the end of my visit to France (and Germany). After visiting so many great places and seeing so many stunning things, it was always going to be hard to get motivated here. 4 weeks is usually about my limit, and I like to go away for a bit longer than that so I’m keen to go home when the time comes. On Saturday morning, after having breakfast at the hotel, I returned to my room and went back to bed. I did eventually get up, but there were only a couple of things I really wanted to see in Lyon so I decided to put them off to Sunday. Instead, I headed out with my camera and just went for a walk. It ... read more
The Roman theatre
Bridge over the Rhone
Bridge over the Rhone

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur November 10th 2017

Thursday marked the four-week mark of my holiday and my second day staying in Nimes. I wasn’t planning to spend the day in Nimes though, but to travel to some nearby Roman sites. The first item on the itinerary was to head over to the town of Arles. Avoiding the motorway, the drive took about 45 minutes so I arrived at midday. The scenery on the drive was not as spectacular as earlier in the trip, but it was alright. Driving into town I could see that it was much smaller than Nimes, but the trees lining the road had lost most of their leaves, but the leaves not yet fallen added a nice autumn colour. My first stop was the tourist information centre where the helpful lady helped me plan my afternoon. I was only ... read more
The Roman Theatre in Orange
The Amphitheatre in Arles
Place de la Republique

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Nîmes November 8th 2017

With my stay in Bordeaux over, it was time for another long drive on Tuesday. The drive to Nimes was longer than it needed to be because I took a lengthy detour north from Toulouse. When I visited France back in 2005, I read about a new bridge that had opened a few months earlier, the Viaduc de Millau. It is the tallest bridge in the world and I had wanted to see it, but it was well out of my way on that trip. With my Bordeaux diversion on this trip, it became feasible. After leaving the motorway north of Toulouse, the going slowed down and I didn’t reach the bridge until 4pm. The bridge is part of another motorway and I hoped there would be somewhere I could stop to take a photo or ... read more
Viaduc de Millau
The Viaduc de Millau casts a long shadow

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux November 6th 2017

It’s been a few days since the last blog entry, but that was because I figured I should just do one entry about my time in Bordeaux. Unlike my time in Alsace and Burgundy, my visit to Bordeaux has been about one thing, and one thing only: wine. So I left Beaune on Thursday morning. I had toyed with the idea of visiting Perigueux along the way, but as it turned out, I would have reached there about 4:30pm and that was a bit late to see much. The drive across to Bordeaux was over 6 hours, so I wasn’t going to be feeling like doing much anyway. The drive was pretty good though. There wasn’t much traffic, and even though I was on highways and motorways the whole time, the scenery ranged from nice to ... read more
Enjoying the wines of Chateau Lynch-Bages and Ormes de Pez
Cite du Vin
Vineyards of St. Emillion

Europe » France » Burgundy » Autun November 1st 2017

After a long drive to Guedelon on Monday, I was feeling like having a couple of easier days to finish my stay in Beaune. I only had one “must do” thing left, and that was to visit nearby Autun, so I chose to do that on Tuesday. After the Roman conquest, the capital of the Aedui moved from Bibracte to Autun (known as Augustodunum) because it was a better site for a Roman provincial capital. I don’t think it was that the Romans don’t like hills (Rome was founded on seven hills), so I assume it was related to water, which is even more reluctant to go uphill than the laziest Roman. While Autun has some Roman ruins, I figured it wouldn’t take a huge amount of time so I didn’t rush there early, having a ... read more
Temple of Janus
A street in Autun
Cathedral in Autun

Europe » France » Burgundy October 30th 2017

One of the things I find endlessly fascinating about history is learning how things were done in the past, without the benefits of modern civilisation. No long distant communications, no electricity, no computers, relatively simple (or even flat-out wrong) science. It’s hard to visit a medieval castle and not wonder how you would go about building such an impressive construction without any of these things. On Monday, I set out to find out how. Well, not really. I’ve read books and seen documentaries about this kind of thing. But quite a few documentaries I have enjoyed watching feature the castle of Guedelon in France, and it was somewhere I had been keen to visit for quite a while. Guedelon castle is a long-running project to build a medieval castle using only medieval techniques. This means no ... read more
Rope-makers' workshop
Making rope
Blacksmith at work

Europe » France » Burgundy October 29th 2017

Earlier in the week, during my tour of Cote de Nuit, I asked my tour guide, Alexis, about what days are good to do the various things I had planned. One of her recommendations was to visit Dijon on Saturday because the markets are on and all the shops are open. So I took her advice and pencilled in Dijon for Saturday, even though neither markets nor shops held much interest for me. When it came to Saturday, I struggled to get motivated. Not only was the prospect of markets not working for me, with the wifi not working in my hotel room I had started watching the television and the only two English tv channels are BBC One and Two. Even though the tv shows weren’t particularly interesting, it was mesmerising and I chilled out ... read more
Triumphal arch
Raining in the forest

Europe » France » Burgundy October 27th 2017

It was back on the history trail on Friday as I headed to the new (since I last visited France) museum at Alise-Saint-Reine, north of Beaune. I was really looking forward to visiting the museum which covers the battle of Alesia, the last major battle in Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. I have read much about the battle, so I didn’t expect to learn much from the museum, but I wanted to see the place I had read so much about. I left Beaune after breakfast, and the drive took about an hour and a half as I still have the gps set to avoid tolls. I am really liking the drives I take off the motorways and the drive to Alise-Saint-Reine was no exception. The weather wasn’t the best, with some light rain along the ... read more
Alesia MuseoParc
Entrance to the exhibit
Roman legionaries

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