Cycling towards Syria

Hello, my name’s David Charles.

I’m currently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, helping to produce Foiled, which I co-wrote with Beth Granville (@bettygranville). You can read more about the project on our company website,

I’m also halfway through a 2,500 mile bicycle trip across Europe, following the routes of migration back towards Syria. So far I’ve cycled through England, France, Belgium and Germany, talking to refugees and local residents about migration and the effect it has had on their lives.

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Read my past mail outs here.

Here is what else I’ve done, and what I’m doing right now. Or check my portfolio page for my journalist bylines and other media mentions around the web.

#34: Grandhotel Cosmopolis

Boutiques serve coffee and fine art, grafitti scratches the medieval walls and students sit cross-legged on the cobbled squares, drinking Radler and slurping ice creams. After another thunderstorm, we see a young man in a wet suit surfing the engorged canals. Augsburg is exactly the sort of place you'd expect to find the Grandhotel Cosmopolis, where guests arrive with or without asylum.

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#27: Refugees Like It’s 1699


Kleinvillars in the foresty backwaters of Baden-Wurtemberg is a town founded by refugees who fled persecution in their thousands, finding new homes across the world, in Britain, the Netherlands, America, and here in Germany.

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#25 Heidelberg Helps


Heidelberg feels less a town and more a university campus. Arriving from the industry laden north, we're suddenly in the land of bicycles, scrubbed smiles and yoga mats. Heidelberg has a population of 150,000, a third of which are students. In the summer, they're replaced man-for-man by tourists, gaggling in the cobbled streets, selfying under the Schloss and monkeying around with the Heidelberg baboon.

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TMI? Don’t Drown!

iso-beware-drowning-warning-symbol-is-2057Would you believe, this site is crammed with over 400 articles, spanning ten years and covering a dazzling array of topics? Well I can assure you it is! To save you drowning in the details, here are six of the best:

  1. Understanding the Calais Critical Mass (2015)
  2. An Anatomy of Rambling, or Why Walk? (2015)
  3. No Meat (2015)
  4. Hypnagogia: How to Dream like Thomas Edison (2010)
  5. Refugee Crisis: Which Side Are You On? (film, 2015)
  6. The Complete History of the Moon in Sixteen and a Half Verses (audio, 2014)

You can explore more of my best writing, audio and films, ranging over politics, psychology and fiction, from Scotland and Devon, to Palestine and Tunisia, on my Six of the Best page.

Staying in touch.

Twitter_logo_blueIf you want to stay in touch, please feel free to join my occasional mailing list, where I share new books, posts, ideas and expeditions like the Calais Critical Mass and Seacycles. You can also follow me on Twitter. I don’t use any other social media because it’s bad for my brain.

If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, leave a comment on the blog or drop me a line. I love hearing from people and always try to write back!