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  • magnets, gifts, mementos, from the corner table, fromthecornertable, traveltuckintalk
    Travel

    The Magnet Stories #Azerbaijan

    A few years ago, the trend of refrigerator magnets trickled into our home when a ‘Statue of Liberty’ magnet found space on the fridge surface. Over the years, several magnets from India and abroad have jostled for space on the grey surface. From the front of the fridge, magnets made their way to the visible side and then gradually on the steel wardrobes in our rooms. I’d always wondered about the why of gifting someone a fridge accessory – answers ranged from “it’s the cheapest gift” to “its accessible” or “it shows they thought about us”, depending on the individual. But somewhere it played at the back of my mind…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, durga puja, bonedi bari puja, rani rashmoni
    Travel

    The Aristocratic Splendour of Durga Puja

    I know, I know… It’s been over a week since we bid an emotional adieu to Goddess Durga and almost everyone is in Diwali prep mode. Some of your houses and lives must resemble chaos now – pushing the painting/remodelling job in the house, the annual home cleaning session in progress, shopping and planning the Diwali mithai, etc. etc. I’m doing all that and some more whilst savouring the lingering effects of a festival spent well. This feeling will likely last till I am sprawled on the floor trying to get that rangoli (floor art) right. It’s going to be all about the Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) sparkles then! The Pujo this season was…

  • Travel

    Delving into the Depths of Cheddar Gorge

    No one is born a solo traveller. Somewhere along the path of life, you determine the need or desire to travel alone and then forge ahead. At least, that’s the way I look at it. I’ve been a latecomer to the world of solo travel. Till about five years ago, my solo travel time was limited to trips to-&-from home/boarding to the airport and a flight. Or the bus trip. Or the train journey. I’d never picked up my bag, packed in the essentials and ventured out alone. Until the time when I went to the elder sister’s in Bristol, United Kingdom, and dipped my toe – so to speak…

  • Travel

    Lacock: Of Pride and Pottermania

    I’m a Potterhead like that, you know. I was part of a generation that was swept in the Potter wave back in 1997. The first of J.K. Rowling’s magical series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came my way only in 2000 but by then, I had heard rumblings of this new world of magic within the pages of a book. The passage of time may have dimmed the magic – I may not remember the spells as Hermione did – but my love for all things Potter remains. Why else would I spend precious time queuing up outside the Elephant Room in Edinburgh (read all about it in Culinary…

  • Travel

    How My Parents Spent 72 Hours in Scotland #Chapter2

    It’s a common enough complaint of a child of any age that his/her parent nags and tends to hover. I shared the same sentiments. But all of that came to a screeching halt – albeit temporarily – when it came to the trip with my parents to Scotland. Because with startling clarity, I realised I’d been hovering. I’d been overly worried. I’d been obscenely protective. And I stand by all of those sentiments. I didn’t want the parents to fall ill on foreign shores! This was rather evident by the number of times I asked my parents “are you okay” when we were heading back to Edinburgh after a day…

  • Travel

    How My Parents Spent 72 Hours in Scotland #Chapter 1

    When I boarded the airplane to Bristol at the Edinburgh Airport in September 2017, I’d been thinking about the perfect week spent in Scotland, hoping I could visit the country again. Who knew I would be on Scottish soil before hitting the year-long mark! “We must visit Scotland. I want to show your mother around Edinburgh and Glasgow,” my father had said, as we settled in for the long flight to Heathrow, London. This was June 2018 and our destination was my elder sister’s home in Bristol for a much needed family vacation. My father had visited parts of United Kingdom way back in the 1980s. So there was quite…

  • 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…