Beyond Words

By Nandini Chakraborty

Stories from travel. There is nothing that teaches us more than human interaction, culture, and history. Travel breaks misconceptions, challenges assumptions and teaches us the true worth of this world of ours.

Stories from travel. There is nothing that teaches us more than human interaction, culture, and history. Travel breaks misconceptions, challenges assumptions and teaches us the true worth of this world of ours.

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Beyond Words - Issue #34

‘No one visits my home, because I am at the end of the 1st lane!’ the young man exclaimed with exasperation and a hint of cajoling. He was a neatly dressed young man, in a cotton shirt and trousers, a neatly trimmed moustache and a persistent but gentle air a…


Beyond Words - Issue #33 Mexico City

SaturdayUK to Mexico City, check in, dinner and turn in.We flew British Airways from Heathrow, taking advantage of a direct flight to Mexico City. A 12-hour direct flight. The effects of COVID are still evident. A flight from the next gate was delayed because…


Beyond Words - Issue #32 What travel has taught me about religion.

In 2018 I did my first female solo trip, to Israel. Booked on a day drip to Bethlehem, my first surprise was to realise that we were crossing a border with barbed wire and lots of freedom to Palestine graffiti and a checkpoint. Israeli passport holders are us…


Beyond Words - Issue #31 Pink footed geese spectacle, Snettisham, UK

Plodding along a narrow muddy track in the dark before dawn, path lit by a small torch and breath freezing in the cold- does not seem to be the ideal way of starting a Sunday morning. Yet here we were, walking along in a single file, hurried on by the bird cr…


Beyond Words - Issue #30 A taste of Transylvania: March 2022

Bit of background. When we told friends that we were going to Cluj Napoca, most of them said ‘Where???’. Less than two months ago, I admit, we had not heard about Cluj Napoca, or in endearing short just Cluj. So, what brought the city to our radar?We have bee…


Beyond Words - Issue #29- Sri Lanka, one week, February 2017

This was another big family trip- husband, 15 year old daughter and me- from Leicester; joined by parents (grandparents) from both sides flying in from Kolkata. Seven strong and ranging from 76 to 15 and three generations, months of emails, phone calls and in…


Beyond Words - Issue #28 The village of singing artisans, where talent speaks more than gender

Music that breaks barriers‘Who goes to the Jomuna River in this dusky twilight?Which dark face has enchanted Radha’s heart?The maidens go to draw the waters of the Jomuna.’Swarna Chitrokaar is in her fifties. Her soft, brightly coloured cotton sari is draped …


Beyond Words - Issue #27 Helsinki and Tallinn, a trip diary

23rd October 2021Flew with Finnair. Landed at Helsinki around 12 40. Immigration checks were painless. By an hour we were out of the airport and on the train towards Helsinki central station. From there we got the tram number 4 to Katajonaka. Eurohostel was j…


Beyond Words - Issue #26 The Pilgrim's beach

On the eastern coast of India, in the state of Orissa lies the city of Puri. Travellers, mostly pilgrims, take a twenty minute ride from the railway station in rickshaws and autos to reach 'Swargadwar'- the doorway to Heaven, a stretch of coarse sandy beach b…


Beyond Words - Issue #25 Across a river: a view of one country from another

‘You will see, there is a party on the other side,’ huffed Essam, our Jordanian guide as we reached Bethany, the baptism point. We took the dry dusty labyrinth of roads that meandered through trees and bushes, leading up to what was left of the Jordan River. …


Beyond Words - Issue #24 48 hours in Riga

I am just grateful that I am sitting here, with memories to pen. Last week this time, I was still very realistically thinking, at any moment things might change to make a weekend city trip in Europe impossible.It was after a refreshing and hassle-free trip to…


Beyond Words - Issue #23 Part 4 of 4- the last lap, Lake Titicaca and the Uros islands

Lake Titicaca-innocence preserved'Titi' is a large cat, puma you can say, 'caca' is grey. Titicaca was named after the large grey cats that inhabited its shores many years ago," claimed our guide Caesar. The world's highest navigable lake stretched to the hor…


Beyond Words - Issue #22 Peru part 3-Machu Picchu and the Classic Inca Trail

The classic 4-day Inca trailFor the rest of my life I will probably never look at a stairs the same way. The Incas must have absolutely loved them and nothing demonstrates this better than the 4 day classic Inca trail. We had done a lot of discussing and deli…


Beyond Words - Issue #21 Peru part 2- Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Pisac marketThe first drive into Sacred Valley after landing in Cusco, is a time to get caught up in a web of magic. This was the land of the powerful and enigmatic Incas. Mystical ruins remained to be explored, mountains called out in their rugged beauty, th…


Beyond Words - Issue #20. Peru. Part 1 of 4, the Rainforest, Tambopata

It was the first day of our holiday. Peru lay below us, an undiscovered vista. As the flight swerved south from Lima, we were greeted by views of steep, sharp edged, snow-capped mountains with inky blue lakes on their laps vying with the clouds which cast sha…


Beyond Words - Issue #19

1. Camping out in the White Desert, Egypt.With its white chalky formations, the White desert can seem like another world, a sci-fi movie, another planet or just a dream. It was our home one full moon night. We peeked out of our tent to watch the moon sparkle …


Beyond Words - Issue #18 Havana in one and a half days

‘Are you coming back home?’ enquired the friendly American lady beside me on the plane as we touched down to José Martí International Airport in Havana. She had a prominent plastic badge which proclaimed her part of a large group of tourists. Unfortunately, I…


Beyond Words - Issue #17 15 best travel moments

These are the 15 best travel moments I can think of in my lifetime. Not in any particular order, that would be too difficult to rank. Also included are those moments which at the time were not exactly travel or tourism but what I would now include as some of …


Beyond Words - Issue #16 The forgotten village- Terracotta temples of Maluti

It was the quintessential village scene in late afternoon. Somewhere in the border of West Bengal and Bihar in India, the peaceful silence denoted siesta time. We asked directions to famed terracotta temples, that we had travelled far to see, from a man washi…


Beyond Words - Issue #15 A sunrise to myself

The world around me was eerily silent. I was sitting atop a rugged red rock, surrounded by strangely shaped mountains which could be mistaken to be abandoned castles towering in a majesty which was graceful and imposing at the same time. A line of sad looking…