• Africa,  Travel

    Chaotic Cairo – Top Things to do in the Egyptian Capital

    The Umm ad-Dunya, the Mother of the World. Cairo. The title may seem like a misnomer in the 21st century but you really have to visit the Egyptian capital to see for yourself. Tension and chaos, world famous pyramids and protest squares, centuries-old mummies and vestiges of an old spice trade route all exist together in a beautiful mess in this enchanting North African city. And though Cairo is the present capital of Egypt, it wasn’t always so. While the pyramids of Giza were being constructed it was Memphis that was the capital of this ancient land. Cairo was formally found around AD 969 by the Fatimid dynasty during their…

  • Notes

    On Departure

    I will look at everything and everyone as if for the first time, especially the small things that I have grown used to, quite forgetting the magic surrounding them. – Paulo Coelho   It’s dark – 4.27 am to be precise. I can hear the clouds rumble, a soft pitter-patter of the rain fall outside my window. A peacock calls, happy to be alive in this north Indian monsoon. Outside on the road, a few trucks drive by, the sound of wheels ‘whooshing’ through the rain-washed asphalt. I am in bed, eyes shut, wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and denial, harsh reality poking me in the ribs: in just…

  • Africa,  Travel

    Top Five Things to do in Egypt’s Aswan

    The Nile was all silver, lazily shimmering in the summer sun. Around it the land was bare, golden sands and rocks stretching as far as the eyes could see. This was once the end of the world. Aswan. Aswan was once the southern frontier of the empire, considered the end of civilisation by the  Egyptians. Also known by its ancient name Swenet, literally translating into ‘trade’, Aswan used to be an important marketplace where goods from the Sahara and its edges were bartered including slaves. It was also a base for military campaigns against Nubia. Rich granite found here in abundance was mined and shipped off to different parts of…