Tag Archives: Asia

The “Frontier School of Character”: Travels along the Pamir Highway Part IV.

To Khorog. “Recent years have struck a final crippling blow to the roadlessness of Kirgiziia […]. Instead of isolated districts there is now one connected and unified economic whole.” M.M. Slavinskii, 1935 A minute man waited for us in the … Continue reading

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The “Frontier School of Character”: Travels along the Pamir Highway Part III

Murghab. “’Tis said to be the highest place in the world” Marco Polo Looking back, the handful of hours we spent on the road between Karakul and the Tajik town of Murghab were my favourite of the entire journey. It … Continue reading

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A samosa wrapper.

There are street food sellers on Nuwara Eliya’s main street. If one is to walk outside the market, where the porticoed sidewalk shrinks to the width of a catflap, he’d see how a food cart has been parked in the … Continue reading

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Rummaging through Sir David’s bin: Outtakes from “Planet Earth II”.

In the year of our Lord 2016, BBC’s Natural History Unit decided to embark on a mammoth project, filming what would’ve become the four, splendid episodes of “Planet Earth II”. Under the watchful eye of Sir David Attenborough crews were dispatched to … Continue reading

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After the daytrippers have gone.

It never ceases to amaze me how much a place can change depending on the weather. Take, for instance, Nuwara Eliya: I arrive under a glorious sunshine and an air so gleaming with light that you’d be excused for trying … Continue reading

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Where kites fly above the fort.

I often think that I’d have been a Portuguese explorer. This isn’t because of an unquenchable thirst for boot, a penchant for ending up chewed by unfriendly natives, or an interest in being consumed by hideous tropical diseases; rather, it’s … Continue reading

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Sri Lankan trains.

To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers – In fact, to see life  Agatha Christie There’s something special about the very act of boarding a train. For starters, it’s a lot … Continue reading

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A tent, a poplar tree and the Dubai of the steppe.

An ever-helpful airshow runs on a loop on my seat’s in-flight entertainment system as we fly high above the steppe towards Astana. A tiny Air Astana airplane flies above a map of the world painted in greens, blues and tans, … Continue reading

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A snowfall that would’ve made Bruegel proud.

It was snowing when I arrived, and it hadn’t finished yet when I left. Everything between the flights from and to Kiev – with their cargo of harmonica-playing, duty-free-vodka-guzzling men – happened under a soft blanket of falling snow. Of … Continue reading

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Weren’t all they supposed to be madmen?

Lunatics. Zealots. Religious fanatics. These were a few of the attributes that friends and acquaintances slapped on the people of Iran whenever the topic came up. Unrequested opinions were offered, together with garbled memories of articles penned down by the … Continue reading

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