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Recent Articles

Backpackers’ Guru of Interlaken

My Swiss sojourn would have been far from complete had I not met Erich Balmer, the backpackers’ guru of Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland. At 75, Erich exudes extraordinary energy and vitality. Every single movement speaks of his abiding zest for life and boundless enthusiasm. His ever smiling face and endearing mien was amazing. “Hey,

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My encounter with Vinci’s vineyard

As I stepped out of Hostel Meininger Lambrate Milano to savor the sublime experience of Leonardo’s vineyard, my schoolteacher’s history class on Leonardo da Vinci crossed my mind. I remembered the photograph of the Renaissance masterpiece, ‘The Last Supper’, which Leonardo had painted in 1496 on the north wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie basilica

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Hooked on to Haa valley

Final Part  As we left Chele La Pass (about 13,000 ft between the valley of Paro and Haa, it’s the highest motorable road pass in Bhutan) and drove downhill on our way to the Haa Valley (8760ft), we saw a number of magnificent yaks walking down the squeaky clean mountain road. The yaks’ leisurely and yet majestic movement

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Captivated by Chele La

Part 3 My eight-day sojourn at the stunning Royal Bhutan College (RTC) campus and the jaw-dropping experiences in the Land of the Thunder Dragon remain deeply etched in my memory.  Destination: Haa valley, via Chele La Pass (12,454 ft) The promise of a sacred tourism experience lured me to savor the bliss of solitude, the

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Bewitching Bhutan beckons you

Part 2 Dawn crept quietly over the sleeping Royal Thimphu College (RTC) campus. Only a cock was aware of it, and crowed. I got out of bed and tiptoed across to the window. I pulled the window curtains and could see the heavenly Himalayas unfolding its surreal splendor and magic. I said to myself: “Thank

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Grandeur of silence in breathtaking Bhutan

Part 1 Magic mountains, mind-blowing monasteries, captivating valleys, serene landscapes, and silent streams: Mother Nature has been so expansive to this tiny kingdom. Tucked away in the Himalayas between India and China and untouched by ‘romantic consumerism’ (to borrow eminent Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s words), Bhutan is home to quaint Buddhist temples and numerous

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