Travel and History Galleries

These galleries present photos from travels on foot, by bike and as a ‘tourist’. An important feature of my journeys is the discovery of history, which is represented in many of the images.

The current galleries illustrate:

  1. By bike along the Western Front of WW1
  2. The Stevenson Trail (GR70) in the Cevennes, France
  3. A week on the shores of Lake Como
  4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  5. Cycling the Silk Roads of Cheshire

All photos © Nigel Bruce, except where indicated in the photo description.

More galleries and photos will be added soon!

By bike along the Western Front of WW1

This is part of my project on The Great War, a journey by bike – so far along the Western Front from the Belgian Coast to the Swiss border – and through history, learning about the causes of the war, the course of the conflict, and the consequences for Europe and the World. A book is in the making.

I am planning to explore the Italian Front next, by bike of course, and this will include the high altitude battlefileds in the Dolomites and then onto Kobarid in the Slovenia’s Julien Alps. This battlefield was formerly known as Caporetto, and it was the resulting Italian retreat that Ernest Hemingway described in ‘A Farewell to Arms’. The journey continues, for there is also the Eastern Front, and I would love to explore the history of the Great War in the Middle East and Palestine as this has had such important consequences for the region.

The Stevenson Trail: GR70

I walked the Stevenson Trail (GR70) over eight days in June 2017. It is named in honour of the journey made by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1878, and recorded in his book ‘Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes’. The route runs from Le Puy en Velay to Alès in the Gard, some 250 km, passing through beautiful and rugged mountain landscapes, and rich in history of the Huguenot rebellion of the early 18th Century.

A week on the shores of Lake Como

Images of a week spent exploring the area of Lake Como, the villas, the silk industry and wonderful cycling. Only 40 minutes by train from Milan, it is very easy to visit the cathedral and many other wonderful museums and sights in the ultimate city of fashion.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

I was fortunate to be able to spend a few days in Siem Reep, the town closest to the great temples of Angkor. It is famous, and popular, to be sure. I was struck by the huge extent of the ancient city, of which mainly only temples and large public structures remain. As with Petra, it left me pondering how such an advanced civililsation came to be abandoned.

Cycling the Silk Roads of Cheshire

East Cheshire was once a major centre for the manufacture of silk, and a number of thriving business are still produce high quality printed and woven silk and other textiles. In addition to the excellent Museum of Silk in Macclesfield, where a whole floor of original hand looms can be seen, there are many old mills, weavers’ cottages and other traces of this industrial heritage. My exploration of Cheshire’s silk history was by bike, with two fascinating but hilly loops, one heading up to Bollington and across to Rainow and Langley, the other starting at Congleton and heading into the peak district at Danebridge, then west to Gasworth. European influences, notably Italian and French technology, as well as fluctuations in trade during and after the Napoleonic Wars, had a marked impact on the fortunes of Cheshire’s silk industry.