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  • Travel

    A Painting called Shaki

    If Baku is the potpourri of the old and new and Gabala is that beauty spot hidden in the mountains of Azerbaijan, Shaki is an old painting come alive. Cobbled streets, old buildings with exposed bricks, quaint coffee shops and tiny chai khanas, Shaki has held on to the old world charm that pulsed through Azerbaijan. The final destination of our two-day tour into the interiors of the land of flames – or should I say heights – of Azerbaijan, Shaki has a history of settlements almost 2,700 years old. Historians and the guide at the local museum say the first mention of this town has been found in literature…

  • Gabala, a beauty spot on the hills, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable, #gabala, #qabala, #azerbaijan
    Travel

    Gabala, a Beauty Spot on the Hills

    For most tourists, Gabala or Qabala is a preferred winter destination considering the plethora of winter sports that can be enjoyed on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. In fact, Mount Bazarduzu, the highest peak in the Republic of Azerbaijan is located in this region. But summer in Gabala isn’t too bad, I say! This tiny city was the first stop on our two-day ‘explore the country’ endeavour. We decided to spend a night at Gabala before heading to Shaki and then returning to Baku. Gabala is a roughly 3-hour drive from Baku but when you travelling through a picturesque landscape with a trio of women who kicked off the…

  • Travel

    Rock Etchings & Mud Volcanoes of Gobustan

    If you thought Baku is the beginning and end of Azerbaijan, and that I was done talking about my weeklong trip, you were soooooo wrong! Seven days is long enough time to tuck several experiences under your belt. And if those days are spent in a country like Azerbaijan, it is sufficient time to explore more than just the capital city. The first two days I spent in Baku made me realise that the city is the perfect canvas to showcase the wealth of a growing economy. With its sky-touching towers, modern buildings that share boundaries with structures from bygone eras, the city has a rather glitzy vibe. The vibe…

  • Travel

    Baku, a potpourri of influences #Chapter 2

    Holy smokes! A year ago at this time, I was walking through the lanes of Athens, debating over souvlaki and gyros while ticking places off my ‘must visit’ list. With my favourite travel partners – the elder sister and brother-in-law – I was busy getting a Greek suntan. Fast forward to the summer of 2018 and I am sharing tales from my trip to the lesser-known but utterly beautiful Azerbaijan. In the week gone by, I’ve used up (hopefully!) some of your precious time to sing praises about Azerbaijan – I’ve waxed eloquent about the marvels of the Old City in Baku (read Baku, a potpourri of influences #Chapter I) and been a…

  • Travel

    Baku, a potpourri of influences #Chapter I

    Hey there. I’m back! Hope you haven’t forgotten me! After all, it’s been a few days since I last posted ‘From The Corner Table’. I know pulling a Houdini is breaking one among the few rules of blogging and I’ve already been at the receiving end of the “you have to be regular” lecture from my parents. My sincere apologies to all of you for the vanishing act. I had my reasons – some good, some bad. But the best of them is that I was travelling! This time it was a week in Azerbaijan. Oh yes! The summer of 2018 is well on the way to strengthening a top position on my personal…

  • Rolling Hills, Munnar, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Tales from Munnar #2

    Brutal honesty will more often than not set you on a path that is opposing to one taken by others. On this road, you will battle anonymous adversaries, and trolls that will fight you until their last breath, ready to martyr themselves for a notion they think to be right. It could be for a subject as complex as the ‘functionality of the Prime Minister of India’ or as whimsical as ‘Should I enrol in magic school at 30.’ Heavy thoughts for a Monday morning, right? Thoughts like these have been flitting around my little brain for a few days now, especially after a conversation with a senior citizen that…

  • Munnar, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Tales from Munnar #1

    As a child growing up on classical English literature, I was fascinated by terms like chimneys, fireplaces, scones, etc, and phrases like ‘lush greenery’, ‘rolling hills’, ‘winding roads’, ‘sparkling water’ and ‘gushing streams’. All of these seemed fantastical until, in a clichéd but true manner, travelling broadened my horizon and gave meaning to these fantastical terms. However, it was only last year when I had travelled to the Scottish Highlands (read Winding through the Isle of Skye) that I truly understood where those descriptive terms for nature may have come from. As I shared photographs of my trip on social media and with family, there ensued a discussion about similar places in India. It…

  • Travel

    Touching the Tip, Kanyakumari

    Ever get that feeling of wanting to kick yourself because you’ve been lazy and missed doing something important, like clicking the picture of a place that you really liked? And realising the goof-up only when you are digging through files for a photograph to show off or post on social media! It tends to happen to me a lot. Mostly because I invariably lose myself in the surroundings, get busy absorbing everything and forget that I have a phone camera and a digital camera that should be put to good use. The most recent, in this case, being the missing photo of the Kanyakumari railway station – the last station in the…

  • Summer Holiday, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Off on a Summer Holiday…

    “We’re all going on a summer holiday No more working for a week or two. Fun and laughter on our summer holiday, No more worries for me or you, For a week or two….” This delightful number sung by Cliff Richard, written by Brian Bennett / Bruce Welch, from the 1948 movie Summer Holiday, is the perfect description of my life at this moment. For as you read this post, I am walking in the lush landscape of Munnar after having traipsed through the lanes of Fort Kochi and will probably head to Thiruvananthapuram or Kanyakumari as the week comes to an end.