Mother Of All Roadtrips – VII: Qissa Khwani, Old Quarter Peshawar

If you should think the city of Peshawar is just another edge-of-the-mountain town, dust-blown, tattered and gusty with bluster and intrigue, consider this: the very heart of the old quarter is called ‘Qissa Khwani’, the Storytellers’ Bazaar.  Not the bazaar of carpets or of silks, not of walnuts, spices or dried fruit, not of camels, … More Mother Of All Roadtrips – VII: Qissa Khwani, Old Quarter Peshawar

Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – V: Darshan in the Indus Valley

Northeast of the power-stepping guards at the Wagah crossing (see previous post, MOAR IV) there is a telling scene about what borders born of duress can inflict on a populace.  Punjab is the cradle of Sikh faith, home to the great majority of its faithful who now live in India. On a clear day, from … More Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – V: Darshan in the Indus Valley

MOAR IV: Someone’s Walking – Er, Strutting – on My Grave

It’s ticklish business navigating a cemetery.  There’s that saying, “Someone’s walking on my grave,” prompted by some chill running up the spine.  Travel thoughtfully, not least the great river valleys of the world, and you find stories of near cosmic scale lying at your feet, stories that send a shiver through the soul. A traverse … More MOAR IV: Someone’s Walking – Er, Strutting – on My Grave

Mother Of All Roadtrips – MOAR (III): A Long and Winding Descent

The Woodstock School campus, midst wooded foothills, has commanding views of some of India’s most sacred geography.  (When Pearl Buck visited she referred breathlessly to the school setting as ‘vertical real estate.’) To the south and east winds the course of the Ganga (Ganges) whose sprawling valley is the axis of Indian civilization.  To the … More Mother Of All Roadtrips – MOAR (III): A Long and Winding Descent

Helsingborg Hostel: Baltic Straits, Wedding Straits

In the city of Helsingborg, a ferry ride across from Helsingor (or, ‘Elsinore’, if you’re drafting a tragedy called ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’), there was once a youth hostel on the northern edge of town midst wooded grounds.  It sat on a rise looking down on the city, on the straits to the Baltic Sea, … More Helsingborg Hostel: Baltic Straits, Wedding Straits

A City Called ‘Fair Winds’: What the Streets Are Saying

If, having been whisked to a secret southern metropolis and you were there set free on the streets, you’d be forgiven for believing you’d found yourself in Brussels, Vienna or Berlin.  In truth you would be in the Paris of Latin America, Buenos Aires, whose name translates as ‘Fair Winds’.  Famous for bumpy politics, for … More A City Called ‘Fair Winds’: What the Streets Are Saying

Weirdness in the Death Zone: A Tale of the Odd-Number Sardine

They’re up there still.  Hundreds of tents pitched in the rubble field at base camp on Everest.  Climbers – some, at best bricoleurs – and their Sherpa guides wait for that window of clear days before the monsoon that offers some chance of summiting the mother of all mountains, Chomolungma, 29,035’ of rock, icefall, crevasses, … More Weirdness in the Death Zone: A Tale of the Odd-Number Sardine