• Scottish Highlands, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #2

    In times of the pandemic, the Scottish Highlands have been in the limelight for… well, locals testing positive. And a while ago, there were news reports about an increasingly large number of people opting to live closer to Edinburgh rather than commute daily from far-flung corners of the Highlands. A rather obvious decision, isn’t it? And back in the day (circa 2017), there had been discussions about real estate prices in the Isle of Skye skyrocketing, hotels/homestays claiming six-month long waiting periods and even some mumblings about a tourist tax. Whatever the case may be, nothing and no one can deny the charm of the ruggedly handsome Scottish Highland. As…

  • Neist Point, fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #1

    It had been a cold winter in Ahmedabad, the winter of 2018, the minimum temperature hovering between 10°C-16°C. Huddled at my desk, feet tucked in thick socks, I shivered and bemoaned the ruthless cold over a telephone conversation with my best friend. Imagine my indignation when she burst into laughter rather than express sympathy over my frozen toes! “Rapti, if you are shivering in this excuse for a winter, how on earth did you survive the Scottish Highlands,” she questioned. Good point. But you see, at the Isle of Skye in Scotland, while my teeth chattered in the bone-chilling cold, my face was frozen into a big grin and my…

  • Buchanan Street in Glasgow, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Grit+Glamour+Culture = Glasgow

    On March 6, 1989, a 44 year old and his colleagues boarded a British Railway train at the Edinburgh Waverley railway station. The group of six men – all town planners from developing cities of India – was headed to Glasgow as part of a government initiative facilitating knowledge exchange. Among them was my father who returned thrilled with the exposure to planning and technological advancement he saw in Glasgow. But it was the efforts to preserve the industrial heritage of Glasgow whilst creating sync with the cultural fabric that impressed my father the most. “Observe the buildings as you walk through the city. The urban landscape would have changed…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter2

    Around the time I had been reading about Scotland, especially Edinburgh, I remember stumbling upon the statement “But Edinburgh is a mad god’s dream.” Now I don’t know about mad gods and goddesses but I do know that it is a city of Good Samaritans. Do you remember where we left off in the last post? That bit about me having a near meltdown in the gift store of the Edinburgh Castle? (Read Crushing on Edinburgh Chapter 1) Well, while I do remember that nerve-racking anxiety, I also have a clear memory of a gentleman walking up to me. It seems he saw the visibly distressed me and want to…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter1

    I confess. I have a crush on Edinburgh. I have been in love with Amsterdam from when I first set foot on that gorgeous slice of heaven on earth. But now Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets, mix of old-new structures and a skyline that gives off a broody Gothic vibe on a cloudy day, has found its way into my heart. Having experienced the colourful energy that takes over the city towards the end of the Edinburgh Festival, I want to return to Scotland’s capital – once to devote time (and money!) to the cluster of festivals that light up the ‘Festival City’ and again to walk through the city…

  • #fromthecornertable #scotland
    Travel

    Scotland: Why, When, How

    Looking back, the year 2017 was like the craziest roller coaster ride in an amusement park leaving me, the rider, nervous, exhilarated and other things unfamiliar. But the Gods of Travel were undoubtedly kind to me. How else does one get lucky enough to have checked two places from their travel wish list in a year! Yes! Yours truly went on a three-day trip to Athens (with the elder sister and her husband) and a week-long solo trip to Scotland; the first in May and the second in August. Athens was a special treat because of the… hold on. I’ll come to that later. How about I regale you (I…

  • Travel

    Tips for Eating Alone while Travelling Solo

    You’d wonder why there needs to be yet another article on a topic that’s been done to death. I object to your ‘wondering’. There can never be enough aids to help someone get through the relatively stressful act of eating alone in a restaurant. It’s been a few years of solo travelling for me, enough not to have second thoughts when it’s about gearing up for the day with a hefty breakfast or giving the legs rest during lunchtime, ALONE. But when it comes to dinner, I still get sweaty palms and my anxiety does a rather enthusiastic tango. All of which lands me in the closest Subway or McDonald’s outlet…

  • Travel Tips, from the corner table #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Travel Checklist – Print, Pin, Plan

    Packing terrifies me. Meet me a week before I am to travel and you will think I am a toddler on a sugar high, the anticipation of travelling and excitement of exploring a new (or been there) place evident on my face. But two days before D-day, a manic look starts creeping into my eyes. Courtesy the re-realisation that I need to pack I need to pack light I could forget important documents I need to take money, insurance, etc I hate packing My idea of packing has always been to create a huge pile of ‘things to carry’ in one corner of my bed. That pile invariably covers the…

  • 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…