Biggest adventure yet

It’s been awfully quiet over here in the blog.  In fact, it’s been pretty quiet in general in NWTP’s little corner of the world wide web.  Apart from the lack of blog updates, my daily posts in Instagram have gone down to weekly and to even less frequent.  I hope you’ll forgive me—no, I have …

Istanbul Top Pick: The Basilica Cistern

Of the many, many places to see in Istanbul, The Basilica Cistern (or Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish) is my favourite.  It’s the largest of the several hundred ancient sub-terranean cisterns in Istanbul, and I absolutely love how it’s so different from all other top attractions in Istanbul. Unlike the grand mosques with minarets that soar …

5 Things to See & Do in Istanbul

I confess: We did not have a long list of reasons to visit Istanbul. As an architecture aficionado, sure, I’ve long wanted to see Hagia Sophia and its legendary dome. But apart from this, the real reason we booked our first trip to Istanbul in 2012 is—get ready—sheer convenience.  It was Easter weekend and we anticipated …

Melrose House Hotel in Pamukkale

As a town known for day trips, Pamukkale does not have a big range of hotel options for those who choose to spend a night or two. My (rigorous) research led me to Melrose House Hotel—a boutique, family-run hotel located but a 10-minute walk from the travertines. Melrose House Hotel has a score of 8.4 …

Swimming in the Antique Pools of Hierapolis

Apart from the legendary travertines and terraced pools, tourists flock to Pamukkale also to see the ancient city of Hierapolis.  Built in the early 2nd century BC, Hierapolis’ ruins sit in the hills of Pamukkale—scattered across a grassy field at the end of the 1km climb up the white, terraced travertines. Visitors will need to …

Walking on cotton in Pamukkale

Pamukkale had been in my bucket list for many years.  It’s taken us a while to visit because unlike other Turkish destinations in our list (i.e. Istanbul, Cappadocia), planning a trip to Pamukkale had been a bit more on the challenging side.  Its location, for example, is not as convenient as Istanbul which gets direct …

Jodhpur Diary: Postcards from Mehrangarh Fort

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Europe anymore”—this was pretty much what I told myself as we made our way up to Mehrangarh Fort. Our auto driver mentioned that he’s taking us to a beautiful palace yet what I saw was this bare, almost austere structure looming as we approached. No quintessential medieval spires …

Jodhpur Diary: 6 Things to See & Do

Jodhpur was the first stop in our whirlwind trip to India. Although we spent over three weeks in the country, we really only had a few days to travel around as the rest of our time was demanded by spent with loving family. I confess that I took a back seat in the planning and …

Indian Saree: Inspired By + Inspired Buy

A suitcase of sarees—that’s the heaviest piece of luggage I had to check in at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. It weighed 23kg—not an ounce less than my allowance. There was a tight knot in my stomach as the Swiss Air agent put the baggage tags on my black, banged-up Samsonite. I watched it sluggishly …

Trastevere Treasures: What to see & do

In my books, Trastevere irrefutably has better places to eat than Central Rome.  But when it comes to attractions, it’s a slightly different story.  The tourist route is a must-do for first time visitors and the night version—even more.  But in truth, the Vatican is not the only attraction across the Tiber; in Trastevere lies real …

Trastevere Treasures: Where to stay & eat

To the locals living in Rome, Trastevere is nothing short of a treasure. Away from the usual tourist route, this neighbourhood is free of the animated (read: frantic) crowds that make central Rome quite hectic at times. Crossing the river and walking to Trastevere—which literally translates to “beyond the Tiber”—one will notice and feel the …

A Photographer’s Guide to Rome at Night

Without a shadow of a doubt, Rome is a beautiful city. With the perfect combination of elaborate monuments and ancient ruins, it’s one of the most photogenic places in the world. But when the sun goes down and the city is illuminated by a soft yellow light, it turns into something almost divine. Capturing Rome …