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The magic of Zanzibar’s Stone Town

Zanzibar is one of those really wonderful names, isn’t it? Like Samarkand. Or Esfahan. Or Babylon. Every syllable promises adventure. Earlier this year, I took the ferry from Dar es Salaam across to Zanzibar, meaning to a have look around and perhaps stay the night. One week later, I found myself still on the island. […]

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World at a Glance: The fountains of Bern

Bern is one of Europe’s more unassuming capital cities. Like Canberra is overshadowed by Sydney and Melbourne, all the attention here goes to big sisters Zurich and Geneva. In fact, if asked What is the capital of Switzerland? in a pub quiz, I’ll bet many would shout out one of the two. Despite numerous visits […]

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Colours of Rajasthan, Diwali and hill forts

Wandering around Jaipur during Diwali, my friend and I came across a colony where the celebrations were in full swing. We, though complete strangers, were invited in to join.

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World at a Glance: Great Zimbabwe

I had 4-5 hours to kill in Masvingo once, waiting for the last bus to Harare. Must have been 16 years ago. So I did what I often do when I’m short on time: I asked a taxi driver if there was anything interesting to see. A slightly dubious practice, I know, and certainly one […]

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Geghard Monastery: carved from the mountain

Remember I wrote about the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral with the spectacular view of Mount Ararat? And a bit later, the monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin? Armenia’s third world heritage site is Geghard Monastery with its scenic surrounding canyon, the Upper Azat Valley. As you may have noticed, all three of Armenia’s sites are churches, […]

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World at a Glance: Humayun’s Tomb

Like the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s tomb is a property worthy of special protection. And like the Taj Mahal, it’s a grave. And just as Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his late, much-loved wife, this tomb was built by Humayun’s widow, Biga Begum, in memory of her late (and equally-loved, one must assume) […]

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8 Instagrams from Arctic Sweden

A visit in Arctic Sweden will likely begin in Luleå, one the biggest cities in the region. Luleå isn’t uninteresting in itself, with more than 100 cafes and restaurants, a pretty cityscape and some unusual street art. A final greeting from Sweden this time, cool street art in Luleå. A photo posted by Sophie's World […]

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