Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
travel (52)

Saturday, and it's REI run time. Yeah, boeeyyy . . . Picked up: Microfiber Pack Towel: 25"x54" - but folds up to the size of a small paperback and weighs in at 8oz. Ultra-absorbant, and mega-fast drying....   (read more)

I just finished reading an entirely decent book on architecture. Frankly, I had begun to feel a little ridiculous travelling all the way around the world to see these great buildings, and then standing there pointing and muttering, "Look - I think it's Revival something or other . . ."...   (read more)

Oh, Yeah, and What Exactly Am I Doing Anyway? (aka THE SCOOP): I'm closing out my apartment, putting all my stuff in storage, bidding the Bay Area adieu, and flying Back East...   (read more)

Michael, Welcome to the world of the properly-shorn, ya hippie bitch! "Razor's Edge" is *obviously* a reference to your deeply-seated homoerotic bald-head attraction. :)...   (read more)

Michael, After some serious consideration, I don't think I could pass up the opportunity both to tour Africa and to have a real adventure with a true friend....   (read more)

Dateline: Spartanburg-ish, South Carolina, "Quality Hotel" [sic] FACTOID: The state of North Carolina built its Vietnam War Veterans Memorial as part of one of its Interstate Highway 85 South rest stops....   (read more)

Sara landed in Quito three nights ago. All four of us, my three adult sisters and I, seemingly following some genetically hard-wired agitation timer, have simultaneously thrown ourselves into massive transition. ...   (read more)

The bad news was that I was flying NorthWorst and my first flight (out of Atlanta) was late getting in, late getting out - and when it finally took wing, after sitting on the tarmac for haunted ages, it had become mathematically impossible for me to make my connection in Detroit. (Which connection would be the overnight flight to Amsterdam - where I was being met by two very important (to me) people in public places at very specific times.)...   (read more)

Special Dispatch Commemoration: On this day five years ago I set foot off my homeland - landing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - for the first time ever. Was November 1, 1997 the best night of my life?...   (read more)

Betwixt the Delta and Chobe, we paused for a brief respite at something called Planet Baobob - a camp site situated amidst 3,500-year old baobob trees....   (read more)

What can be said of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? How about, "Get the *&%$ back right now, you massed, marauding swarms of human stinging flies!" for starters? ...   (read more)

If Africa is the continent the world left behind, but can't stop thinking about, then Zanzibar is the Arab world's Africa. Across oceans of time (as well as the Indian Ocean), the Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phonecians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch, and English have all dropped in here....   (read more)

I emerge from my "life enjoyment break" in African Gelato Heaven into the lightest, gentlest sprinkle, which has floated in on the offshore breeze. Looping hotelward, but wide, I find myself in the proper, local (non-tourist) market - filled with stalls, vendors, shops, honking vehicles, and thousands of faces (all of which but mine are non-white)....   (read more)

Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater, that's what reason we have for leaving. In Tanzania, the town of Arusha is the gateway to these places, and that's where we're heading today. But first a few last orders of business in town....   (read more)

The hop from Amboseli to Nairobi was painless, and our quick drive-by of downtown Nairobi tended to underscore why we weren't being dropped off in the city proper. Lamentably, these days, Nairobi is literally one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden cities on the planet. ...   (read more)

Long story short: I'm in Spain, but totally fine. I'm actually not anywhere near Madrid (though, since I neglected to send out my itinerary before I left, no one knows this), but rather in Barcelona. Heck, I didn't even know the extent of the carnage until 10 minutes ago when I stepped into this net cafe and got the NY Times....   (read more)

Madrid is draped with flags - Spanish flags, with big black ribbons over their hearts. The workaday flags are all at half-mast, including in the 17-century Plaza Mayor, all be-frescoed and sad. And at the art nouveau building that fronts the Grand Via, there is a 4-story black ribbon....   (read more)

The opening poem (one of my all-time faves) couldn't be more apt. It went through my head so many times as Josh and I traveled through Spain. The third verse haunted me as we climbed up into the sky, amid the awesome construction of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia....   (read more)

Fuchs Dispatch: now with Skeet Shooting! That is to say, I did the first part of the Morocco trip in the company of another snap-happy digital photographer - namely, one Josh Schroeder (nee Skeet). The main result for the dispatch is that you get a lot more pictures of me, which of course is great news if, like me, you really like looking at pictures of me....   (read more)

The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the world's second largest mosque - or religious monument of any kind - outside of the one in Mecca. Its minaret, at 210 meters, is the tallest in the world and is visible for miles - not least when it shines lasers toward Mecca at night....   (read more)

"You can't blame people for deciding not to live here, but you do have wonder about people who have never at least wanted to live here. Here you will have the worst and best days of your life, and your response to both will be the same: Only in New York."...   (read more)

Morning in Robin Hood's Bay. I stretched, yawned, and looked out the window beside my bed. Then I yawned and stretched again....   (read more)

"But who is it that lingers there on the strand in the half-light, by the darkening sea that seems to arch its back like a beast as the night fast advances from the fogged horizon?"...   (read more)

And so Alex had to be in Paris for a week, and happily managed to carve out another week on the backside for us to kick around somewhere. I talked him into Belgium....   (read more)

And so I had this other idea. (Yeah, I know.) But the Coast to Coast walk had been, everyone involved had to admit, except maybe you, pretty completely spectacular. And the UK has got something like a dozen national trails. And the first one hadn't killed anyone. Quite....   (read more)

Well, you guessed it - it was another totally glorious morning on the hill overlooking the bay, and we were up at half-7. I showered while Tim packed up (sniff); and we both headed down the hill for a farewell breakfast at the cafe....   (read more)

"Bon voyage, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys." - Homer Simpson ... I'm going to hell for opening with that quotation. The French, even (in particular) the Parisians, have hardly ever been anything but nice to me. But, hey - who can resist?...   (read more)

Morning took us by the street Anna always stayed on as a girl. And then, naturellement, for coffee, on the Boulevard Saint Germain....   (read more)

So, Danielle, in her inimitable way, suggested "you should take off your sunglasses for at least one damn photo." I've scoured the entire set - and this is it. A tiny, silly photo taken in a mirror at the back of a restaurant. That's the one photo of me from the entire trip not wearing sunglasses. Oops....   (read more)

I really love the sound of the London rain. On a Sunday morning, warm in bed, after just coming back from a trip, it's pretty much the greatest....   (read more)

So once again I wasn't doing all that much and also good old Master Tim Corrigan was once again both free and keen - so off we went for a third long-distance walk along one of Britain's National Trails....   (read more)

Morning, tea in our room, and Tim happily moblogging from his bed. Me: This feels like redemption. I can't tell you how much time on how many trips I've kept people hanging about while I typed, or edited images, or battled net-cafes....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

I was just outside - and I did not see speck one of volcanic ash. Nonetheless, UK airspace is closed....   (read more)

Well, you finally get around to booking a big holiday - and on the exact same day here comes the worst disruption of commercial air travel since WWII....   (read more)

And so Alex rang up and said, Dude - I'm going to be in Munich for a few days if you want to cruise over, and I thought, Hey - Random jaunts to the Continent are precisely what Americans living on this side of the Atlantic are supposed to do...   (read more)

So Tag Zwei opened with the traditional free hotel buffet breakfast....   (read more)

Sunday morning and Alex came in all geared up for business battle, and the three of us lay around chatting happily (me in a towel), and then we hit the road...   (read more)

I'm sitting in the back of a parked Discover Adventures mini-bus. My head is lolling. My back hurts whichever way I array it; but I haven't the energy to keep wriggling around. I'm covered in salt. Plus dust....   (read more)

It's 6AM and I'm woken by my phone alarm - direct from a vivid dream where I'm manning a WWI machine gun emplacement. I don't think that can be a good omen for the day....   (read more)

So having topped up water and touched in with the team at the first checkpoint, I've once again taken off at speed to try and catch up the leaders....   (read more)

Finally, Tim and I pick ourselves up, gear up, and head out. Me: Well . . . it's not going to suck itself. Tim: I've been waiting for that. Me: I've been letting the tension build....   (read more)

Right, so at the 17-mile checkpoint, major themes were shade, and foot maintenance. We both topped up with water - going dry out here could be a serious problem...   (read more)

So when we last left our heroes, they were hiding out from the marauding solar death ray beneath the canopy of the 20-mile checkpoint, lapping up Lucozade and choking on trail mix, reaching down deep for the necessary sack to tackle the final 6.2 miles....   (read more)

1) You could get separated from your partner at f*&^ing passport control, because one of you holds a U.S. passport and one doesn't, and because there's no queue for "mixed couples"....   (read more)

11) You could for instance pick up a bad head cold in NYC, probably while shouldering your way through herds of insalubrious New Yorkers, which will later find its full flowering in DC. (Ah-CHOO!! Crap!!)...   (read more)

Okay, this is pretty damned cringe-making, but here are a huge number of photos of me....   (read more)

She said she had just gotten back from this cracking place in Italy called Cinque Terre (literally: "Five Lands"). She said it was five little rustic villages all stuck on the face of the mountainous Mediterranean coastline, and you could hike from one to the other, and it was just a totally lovely place....   (read more)

Attended a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society - which counted amongst its members Darwin, Shackleton, Livingstone and Stanley both, and Hilary... and that sponsored Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton's expeditions to darkest Africa!...   (read more)

Awoke to the sound of the surf crashing gently on the cliffs below. Sleeping and waking to this was, frankly, beyond price. We listened to the church bells while we had our coffee on the balcony....   (read more)

Our third day in Cinque Terra dawned with us lounging long in bed, gazing out the thrown-open patio doors, listening to the gulls wheeling and calling over the harbour....   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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