Death of a Parisian tradition?

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The bouquinistes have been a staple of Parisian culture for centuries, known as a go-to-source for out-of-print or rare reading material – but their livelihood is being threatened.

An office with a view (Credit: Credit: Nick Kozak)

An office with a view

One of Paris’ most iconic sights are the famous bouquinistes: the booksellers who sell their wares day in and day out along the river Seine. With the trade dating back to the 1400s, the bouquinistes have been known for centuries as a go-to source for out-of-print or rare reading material, with both locals and travellers flocking here to find titles such as La Vagabonde, by the racy and controversial author Colette, or the first edition of the French comic book L’espiègle Lili, which dates from the early 1900s and was never reissued.

Growing from around 20 sellers at the turn of t...

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Utopian days in a murder capital

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Crime may plague other parts of Honduras, but on Utila, a Caribbean island with a population of just 3,500, the biggest problems are invasive lionfish – and getting a restaurant table.

I felt like I had been shocked; a surge of electric pain seared my thighs. Distracted by a pair of blue-and-white dappled eagle rays, I hadn’t noticed the tumbleweed-sized fire coral I was now practically straddling. Meanwhile, without slowing, the snout-nosed rays glided into the shadows of the Meso American Barrier Reef.

I was skin-diving in Utila, a Caribbean island located about 29km north of Honduras’ mainland port town of La Ceiba...

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An island paradise you haven’t seen

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A trip to this long-lost Eden – known for its tropical forests, azure seas, creative cuisine and quirky city – will show you a whole new side of Cuba.

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The trip that transformed me: The student at sea

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Rebecca Isaak attended the same study-abroad program as her mother – but her experiences were uniquely her own.

In January 2014, 21-year-old Canadian Rebecca Isaak boarded a ship in San Diego, California, eager to start what would be a five-month journey around the world. She was embarking on a Semester at Sea – a program where university students live and learn while stopping in ports across the globe – just like her mom did in 1981. And in many ways, she set sail expecting to have a very similar experience.

The author's mother on a Semester at Sea trip (Credit: Credit: Rebecca Isaak)

The author’s mother on a Semester at Sea trip (Credit: Rebecca Isaak)

“I wanted to hug the same statue she did in China, get a little too tipsy in Japan, make the same lasting friendships,” Isaak said.

But as she voyaged across the sea, she realized that her journey w...

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A painting that predates modern man

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Walk – and crawl – through El Castillo cave to see the 40,000-year-old painting that has scientists questioning the origins of human creativity.

I gasped at my first glimpse of a cave painting: a crude red outline of a deer with one wild circle for an eye. Its iron pigments blazed under the lamplight. The illusion of a breastbone emerged, ingeniously, out of a hump in the limestone wall. After a while, a cave becomes a long black tunnel of sensory deprivation; the sight of this tender image jolted my breath back to life.

“Can you tell you’re in a sacred place?” asked Marcos Garcia Diez, the archaeologist who had agreed to show me some of the most breathtaking rock art ever created...

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A trip back in time to old Dubai

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Supercars may be Dubai’s current transport of choice – but a spice-scented dhow trip will take you worlds away from the modern Emirate’s shiny skyscrapers

It was early evening in Dubai and the sky was streaked rose and peach as the sun dipped towards the horizon. At the edge of the salt-water creek that splits the city in two, the water glowed with reflected light, and the scent of cinnamon, cloves and frankincense drifted across from the spice souk.

I was in Bur Dubai, the emirate’s original trading hub and its commercial heart until little more than 100 years ago. Today, it may not have the flash of new Dubai further inland, but it remains a busy site of Middle Eastern trade, packed with vibrant souks and bustling jetties.

Bur Dubai, the emirate’s original trading hub (Credit: Credit: Joseph Mortimer)

Bur Dubai, the emirate’s original trading hub (Credit...

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An Australian outback road trip

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Driving along the Stuart Highway, which cuts through the heart of Australia, is a journey through bleak and rugged landscapes punctuated by fuel stops that masquerade as towns.

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Alice’s Australian wonderland

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About 25km west of Uluru is another sacred site that rises even higher – but fewer people know about.

When you’re somewhere as remote as Australia’s outback, “over there” can mean a three-day drive to the state border. But when you’re standing in front of the region’s now famous spiritual icon, Uluru, “over there” could easily refer to the silhouette of remarkable proportions just 25km to the west.

Bigger, wider and taller than Uluru, Kata Tjuta is a spectacular collection of 36 enormous rocks. It’s also, arguably, one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, barely talked about among most Australians, let alone the world. Even today, pre-planned itineraries to Uluru rarely take in this magnificent sight.

The 36 granite and basalt conglomerate domes of Kata Tjuta (Credit: Credit: Torseten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)

The 36 granite and basalt conglomerate domes of Kata Tjuta (Credi...

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The demise of a ‘mini-Amazon’?

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The controversial Nicaragua canal, dubbed the largest engineering project in history, is forcing a small, sleepy community into the spotlight.

A sleepy, isolated island community in Nicaragua, nestled at the foot of one of Central America’s most active volcanoes, faces an uncertain future. But the danger doesn’t come from the perpetual risk of geological disaster. The threat is manmade.

A view of the volcano Conception (Credit: Credit: Sarah Shearman)

A view of the volcano Conception. (Credit: Sarah Shearman)

Over the past decade, tourism to Isla Ometepe has grown as word of its Eden-like natural beauty has spread...

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Military secrets in north Scotland

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In the Scottish islands of Orkney, the waters of Scapa Flow hide more than 150 wrecks – from German World War I battleships to a Spitfire. The eerie world is one divers can explore.

As we sat on board a retrofitted fishing boat drifting where the North Sea meets the Atlantic, each member of our group ran through a pre-dive checklist. Yes, my dry suit and vest inflated. The 12kg of weights on my hips to keep me submerged were unmistakably present. I sucked on my regulators. My air worked fine.

Readying for the dive (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

We readied for our dive aboard a retrofitted fishing boat, floating where the North Sea meets the Atlantic (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

But even as we went through the kind of safety procedure that can stave off – or at least mitigate – underwater disaster, my mind was already deep below the surf...

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