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LIVIN G A D RE AM IN FIJI WO RLD CU P FE VER IN EN G L AND

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may2019 VOL. 7 ISSUE 11

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THE ITINERARY PRESENT ISSUES

Savour Swiss culture and social commentary at Basel’s sassy carnival 14 AMAZING GRACE IN

24 72 HOURS IN TAHOE AND RENO Go alpine with best of the ski region’s slopes, spas and restaurants 28 ON A SPRING BREAK IN VIETNAM

AN ANCIENT LAND

Maigang, a small village in Tibet, is a place of beauty and resilience

Some avoid the country during New Year, but one writer discovered in Tet the culture at its fervent best

20 DIFFERENT STROKES IN DOHA In Qatar’s capital, edgy art spaces jostle for attention with opulent experiences

33 BREWING THE PERFECT BLEND At Siliguri’s Gomden’s Tea Bar & Retail, a writer indulges in her love for tea

40 SLOW LIFE FORESHORE Birdwatching by infinity pools, in-villa meals, Konkan catch, and minibars stacked with single malts—Sindhudurg’s Coco Shambhala is luxe rusticity 44 WILD, WILD BANDIPUR At The Serai Bandipur, safaris and nature walks apart, elegant peacocks keep you company and flowerpeckers compose the jungle’s score

STEVEN-BARANEK/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

10 MARCHING PAST TO

THE ADDRESS


Regulars 8 Editorial | 112 Travel Quiz 70

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THE DESTINATION 48 JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME Every story begins with a quest. Let curiosity be your guide with these 21 adventurous ways to see the world 60 TREASURE ISLAND Jurassic jungles, underground cooking and sunrises that torch the ocean— Taveuni is home to tricks of time 70 SHE SELLS SEASHELLS AND PLENTY MORE

In Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm, bucket list goals are actualised in the lap of lavishness 76 THE BIG FAT ENGLISH INNINGS The Cricket World Cup promises electrifying sporting action and travel escapades across England and Wales— including a 72-hour dose of art, culture, history, and music in London 86 GLAMOUR AND GILT The old-world charm of The Ritz London still endures in the 21st century

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92 SEYCHELLES SOUL CURRY Seychelles’s three most popular islands offer natural, cultural and gastronomic bounty that warms the stomach and the soul M AY 2 0 1 9 • ` 1 5 0 • VO L . 7 I S S U E 1 1 • N AT G E O T R AV E L L E R . I N

SUN AN D SEYCH ELLES

LIVIN G A D RE AM IN FIJI WO RLD CU P FE VER IN EN G L AND

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L I S T

J O U R N E Y S

ON THE COVER Many a times, travellers with bold feet must negotiate a shy wallet in their quest to see the world’s weird and wonderful. While the glory of trekking the Grand Canyon or rewards of snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef have been rehashed often, the lure of standing next to your bucket list destination--in person--continues to enchant. In this photograph by Ramzi Hachicho, the timeless wonder of Egyptian pyramids and sphinxes reminds one to dream up big travel goals. And stick to them.

100 IN THE HOME OF THE BAKARWALS

The nomadic tribe calls the far reaches of breathtaking Kashmiri valleys home. A photographer returns with snapshots of an arduous life 106 AMBLING THROUGH EUROPE A cross-border jaunt across Eastern Europe leads a couple to realms of natural beauty and human connection

CAHIR DAVITT/AGEFOTOSTOCK/DINODIA PHOTO LIBRARY (PEOPLE) RAMZIHACHICHO/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES (COVER)

THE JOURNEY


EDITORIAL LAKSHMI SANKARAN

REDEFINING #GOALS

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earliest bucket list ideas were fictional too. As a kid, Tintin’s life of adventurous sleuthing across the globe seemed precious enough to envy. Adolescence was often spent in the thrall of Ray Bradbury’s stories from Mars. Adulthood, however, came with approachable aspirations and a Martian colony escapade was relegated to the fantastic realm. As time passes, bucket lists acquire a sort of silliness, like love letters from our past do, and many of us are content to keep them locked away, deep in our heart’s vaults. This month’s edition will hopefully dust the cobwebs off your bucket lists. If you have been lucky enough to tick off your dream destinations, then it may throw up new suggestions to start working towards. Either way, our compilation of 21 Journeys of a Lifetime does not take the word “lifetime” lightly. Sports fans can look forward to our guide to exploring England and Wales at the height of this year’s Cricket World Cup. Our treasure-island narrative from Fiji brims with enchantment, while more sophisticated types can dine off our drool-worthy dispatch from Dubai’s most extravagant hotel. As for my bucket list, I hope to enjoy the earthly delights of a winter in Saint Petersburg someday. Until Elon Musk fixes the Mars problem, of course.

MANON VAN GOETHEM/SHUTTERSTOCK

IF YOU DON’T GET LAUGHED OUT OF THE ROOM FOR YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG

nce-in-a-lifetime is an overused expression in travel. Like everything else, the phrase has succumbed to a culture of instant hype. When every mountain hike, underwater dive or local meal is described with the glowing praise that should be meant for only the rarest of occurrences, it is difficult to tell a wonderful experience from a bucket list one. A bucket list just doesn’t translate with the same impact it was originally intended for. Why not reclaim the bucket list from this ordinariness? Travel goals, or at least the ones we file away under impossible, are defined by their incredulity. I would even go so far to suggest that if you don’t get laughed out of the room for your travel bucket list, you are doing something wrong. If it’s birthed in your imagination, why the restraint? A bucket list must elicit deep, almostdefeatist sighs or faraway looks. The appropriate response to photos of Arctic glaciers or Patagonian hikes is a sharp catch in your breath. It’s a recognition that as out of reach as a place seems, nothing can stop you from dreaming about getting there. It is poor little Charlie Bucket yearning that one day a strange man would welcome him into his outlandish chocolate factory. I empathise with Charlie because my

OUR MISSION National Geographic Traveller India is about immersive travel and authentic storytelling, inspiring readers to create their own journeys and return with amazing stories. Our distinctive yellow rectangle is a window into a world of unparalleled discovery.

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​Write to me at natgeoeditor@ack-media.com or Editor, National Geographic Traveller India, 7th Floor, AFL House, Lok Bharti Complex, Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri East, Mumbai- 400059.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA | MAY 2019


THE ITINERARY SWITZERLAND

The extravagant parade is integral to the Carnival of Basel; Not affiliated to any religion, the festival is a medium for social and political commentary (inset).

SAVOUR SWISS CULTURE AND SOCIAL COMMENTARY AT BASEL’S SASSY CARNIVAL BY PRATHAP NAIR

O

n a sunny, late winter afternoon, there is palpable excitement at Barfüsserplatz, Basel’s centuries-old market square. Chock-a-block with old-school cafés and watched over by a medieval monasteryturned museum, the vibe is contagious. What’s underway is Cortège, an extravagant parade part of Switzerland’s much-awaited, 72-hour-long Basler Fasnacht, or the Carnival of Basel. Hundreds of revellers, including children in eye-popping costumes are marching in orderly parcels, their pink lips bracketed by brightly painted cat whiskers. Moving in neat blocks, some teams, or cliques as the Swiss call them, are raising piccolos to

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their mouths with practiced synchrony to pipe tunes. Elsewhere, fifers are rhythmically drumming instruments festooned to their torsos. What stands out most is the sheer volume of confetti in the air… overflowing out of plastic bags, escaping between high-spirited high-fives, piled on handmade carts. I somehow manage to jostle for some standing room by the kerbside. As if on cue, the weather turns stormy, causing the whooshing winds to suspend fistfuls of star-shaped confetti up in a whirlpool. Red, blue, golden, they settle on my face like stardust, endowing me with a dramatically ceremonial welcome to Fasnacht. I am only but glad.

My friend and host Christian Roth tells me the first day is typically much more intense. Festivities kick-start at sharp four in the morning with Morgestraich, an event characterised by backlit lanterns and a resounding drum roll. But that’s not it. Residents turn off all lights and veiled revellers claim the streets—from garish clown faces to masks featuring Pinnochio-noses and Jim Carrey-jawlines, everything goes. Having missed the predawn ritual, I imagine Basel’s alleyways illuminated in the lulling glow of a thousand lanterns; some the size of lampposts, others resting atop zealous marchers’ heads like jewel-studded crowns. Back in Barfüsserplatz, celebrations crescendo when a few brass bands in outlandish pagan costumes start to play Guggenmusik, loud music characterised by folk and children’s songs and even pop numbers, in the

FRANK BIENEWALD/IMAGEBROKER/DINODIA PHOTO LIBRARY (CARNIVAL), ANDREAS MANN/SHUTTERSTOCK (LANTERN)

MARCHING PAST TO PRESENT ISSUES


THE ITINERARY CHINA

AMAZING GRACE IN AN ANCIENT LAND MAIGANG, A SMALL VILLAGE IN TIBET, IS A PLACE OF CAPTIVATING BEAUTY AND RESILIENT WOMEN TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS BY MADHURI CHOWDHURY

Lhamo Drolma’s expert momomaking skills couldn’t be topped by her visiting guests.

W

hen we arrive at Lhamo Drolma’s home in the high reaches of Amdo in eastern Tibet, she is making momos. The family room is cosy with wood-panelled walls and a central stove that instantly thaws our stiff hands. We’ve driven past monks on motorbikes, across dirt paths, surrounded by jagged mountains and fields of barley, to reach this place, a 1,400-year-old Maigang village where farming life has remained unchanged for centuries. We wash up and join our host on the 14

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA | MAY 2019

wooden floor, copying her fingers as they expertly wrap sheets of flattened dough around a mixture of spiced greens. Our group of seven women, all of them different ages and nationalities, has travelled together through Tibet for a week at this point, with all logistics arranged by a local Tibetan company. We’re as different as it’s possible to be, with a shared desire to learn about Tibet through the eyes of the country’s women. We take seats around the stove, soaking in its warmth, and I sit next to our translator Tsewang Droma, a

young Tibetan who grew up in a family of nomadic herders. Born to forwardthinking parents who sent her to school and encouraged her education, she decided to go to college in Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province, where she now works as an indigenous language specialist. There are over 200 different Tibetan dialects, and most Tibetans who speak different languages speak Chinese to each other. This, along with the fact that the Chinese government makes everyone study Chinese as a priority, puts many Tibetan languages


The Nguyen Hue Flower Street Festival in Ho Chi Minh City is an annual Tet affair. The promenade is decorated with floral displays, lights, and installations that proclaim the Chinese New Year.

ON A SPRING BREAK IN VIETNAM

I

t felt like a scene out of Disney’s Tangled. I was floating in a boat on the Thu Bon river. Around me, people set off lanterns into the water. Nestled on the banks of the river, Hoi An’s yellow-painted buildings were cast in a warm glow. I had landed in Vietnam quite spontaneously—as much as being an Indian passport holder lets me be spontaneous. Sitting in a hostel room in Krabi and booking my tickets less than a week ago, I had been unaware that I would arrive in Vietnam right in the middle of Tet, a celebration of the coming of spring, held every February. When I had realised the timing, it was too late—my money was invested. Conventional wisdom discourages travel to the country during the Tet;

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large parts of cities—especially the tourist spots—shut down as families gather to celebrate the festival. The places that do remain open, apply a “Tet tax” on food and transportation, sometimes as high as 25 per cent. This means spontaneity can cost one dear. But now, as I was being rowed down the river, my worries drifted away like flotsam. I could not ignore how alive the place was: hundreds of people were

Not unlike bringing home a tree for Christmas, citrus trees are brought home for Tet, or the Lunar New Year

on the streets, walking under the light of a thousand lanterns. Every month Hoi An celebrates its Lantern Festival on the day of the full moon. Earlier my partner and I had spent our day walking down narrow streets that cut through the Ancient Town, Hoi An’s main historical area comprising homes, temples, and stores. Throngs of people moved in and out of cafes and stores. But as the sun sets, the colourful lanterns that we had seen earlier in the day dangling over streets, all lit up. In Hoi An, one is as likely to spot a tourist on a bike as a local, dressed in a traditional ao dai and a conical hat. The Ancient Town is dotted with old homes, chapels, and temples, some dating back to the 16th century. Hoi An’s houses are

JETHUYNH/MOMENT/GETTY IMAGES

SOME AVOID THE COUNTRY DURING TET OR NEW YEAR, BUT ONE WRITER FOUND IT WAS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE CULTURE AT ITS FERVENT BEST BY SUKANYA CHARUCHANDRA


THE ADDRESS

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The private verandahs of each room offer front-row seats to frolicking peacocks and grazing sambar deer.

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Bandipur KARNATAKA

Wild, Wild

At The Serai Bandipur, safaris and nature walks

apart, elegant peacocks keep you company and dainty flowerpeckers compose the jungle’s score

By Pooja Naik

J

PHOTO COURTESY: THE SERAI BANDIPUR

ust by sinking my feet into freshly rained-on grass in the middle of a jungle, as opposed to battling to breathe, inside a clammy Mumbai metro compartment, my evening has turned extraordinary. When I find out that a guided nature walk through Bandipur is up next, my energy levels spike as if I've downed several Red Bulls. I am standing on the pruned lawns of The Serai Bandipur in Karnataka; a forest lodge sprawled over 36 acres in the Western Ghats and the gorgeous Nilgiris. 36 acres! How big is that big? The size of a football field? A mall? Perhaps, two? Distant calls from a troupe of pale-billed flowerpeckers flitting somewhere outside the property’s fenced gates interrupt my thoughts. Just then, naturalist Sudesan Kuttappan chimes in with a warm, high-pitched “Hello. Good evening ji.”

The staff affectionately calls him Mowgli, a nickname that has stayed even after Kuttappan’s long locks haven’t. “Ever wondered what a cobra bite looks like?” he quizzes me, rolling up his khaki sleeves to reveal an inch-long scar. I acknowledge his been-there-done-that persona with an awkward smile. Soon we leave the lodge to explore 18 acres of attached forest land. Barely five minutes pass when we come across pugmarks and poop, still stinking and moist. “First rule of the jungle? You hear any noise, you run,” Kuttappan says in jest, sensing my nervous excitement at the prospect of sighting an elephant. Given that my alertness level is 10/10, my ears shoot up at the faint sound of rustling leaves. “There it is!” Kuttappan yells, motioning towards a canopy of

With vistas of the Nilgiris, The Serai Bandipur brings nature to the doorstep. Chance upon elephants (right) whilst strolling through the property's 18-acre nature trail, and catch a glimpse of the elusive tiger and Indian gaur (left) during a safari at Bandipur National Park. MAY 2019 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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THE DESTINATION

JOURNEYS OF A

LIFETIME Every great story begins with a quest. Let curiosity be your guide with these 21 adventurous ways to see the world

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WORLD

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A voyage to Antarctica tops many travellers’ bucket lists. “This is the wildest, most dramatic place on Earth,” says Lindblad Expeditions’ CEO, Sven-Olof Lindblad.

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THE DESTINATION

The Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad snakes through northern Mexico’s Copper Canyon.

REPORTED BY JENNIFER BARGER

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and icebergs on Nat Geo Expeditions’ Journey to Antarctica. natgeoexpeditions. com/explore

RIDE THROUGH A GRAND CANYON COPPER CANYON, MEXICO From the dazzling Sea of Cortez in the Pacific to the lofty Sierra Madre, the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad (El Chepe for short) crosses 39 bridges and passes through 88 tunnels, surrounded by vertical rocks and copper-coloured walls. The railroad was built to ferry gold prospectors into the ore-rich Sierra Madre and took more than a century to complete. Nowadays the attraction is the route itself, through the largely unspoiled expanses of the mighty Copper Canyon. Hot Tip In Chihuahua, visit

the National Museum of the Revolution in the former home of movement leader Pancho Villa.

SNORKEL THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AUSTRALIA Despite coral bleaching caused by climate change, the Great Barrier Reef remains one of the globe’s natural wonders and an underwater paradise. Comprising nearly 3,000 separate reefs and more than 900 tropical islands, it stretches farther than the distance between Boston and Miami. Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaks, or glass-bottom boats get you up close to more than 600 species of coral, vibrant clown fish, and timid reef sharks. Hot Tip Several outfitters provide pickup at 4 a.m. to view sunrise over the reef and

BLAINE HARRINGTON III PREVIOUS SPREAD: MIKHAIL VOROBYEV

21 WAYS TO SEE THE WORLD

WALK WITH PENGUINS ANTARCTICA At the bottom of the world, Antarctica provides a stark but stunning backdrop for encounters with up to seven different breeds of penguins, including black-capped chinstraps and long-tailed gentoos. The best time to visit is mid-January, when adult penguins care for their fat, fluffy chicks in nests made of pebbles. Although you should stay at a safe distance from the penguins, many birds seem unfazed by company and waddle up close. The Antarctic Peninsula, the huge spit of land jutting north from the rest of the continent toward South America, is the focus of most cruises. Hot Tip Learn how to photograph penguins


DMITRY MOISEENKO/WWW.AIRPANO.COM

WORLD

Like the spine of a dragon, the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall stretches 10.5 hilly kilometres in China’s Hebei Province. Watchtowers punctuate its length.

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THE DESTINATION

Jurassic jungles, underground cooking and sunrises that torch the ocean—Taveuni is home to

TREASURE ISLAND BY SOHINI DAS GUPTA 60

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tricks of time


FIJI

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In Fiji, coconut is the tree of life and all parts of the tree and fruit— shell, leaves, meat, milk, husk, water, and oil—are honoured in daily use.

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THE DESTINATION

CHAPTER �

Broken Clocks and Other Magic Things looks like an infinite tree tunnel. These fields of pineapple, combed school-ready by the ocean breeze, are real. The crimson ginger blossoms, and the prayer circle of periwinkles by the lagoon too, exist. “They filmed Return of the Blue Lagoon here,” remarks Duncan. I am not surprised. Much of Taveuni wears the look of a trickster that’s managed to shortchange time. Look in the path of pawpaw and wild mango trees gnawing out of hills, and you know how. Time, for its part, has pulled a number on the island. As we roll past backpackers’ shacks scattered with divers, Duncan mentions that the 180° meridian and the International Dateline cut through Taveuni smack dab. Which means technically, Taveuni is suspended between today (west) and yesterday (east). The islanders follow uniform time, but you can make your way to a hilly ledge in Waiyevo—Taveuni’s administrative centre—and stand between two no-frills plaques marking this rare limbo on land. There’s a lot to soak up, and two days to my name. For now, I am content to lock eyes with the island sun that’s marinating my brown skin browner by the minute.

Wood-and-straw huts (left) shaped like cabins are locally called bure; The writer clambered over mossy boulders, tailing guide Paul (right) to reach the Wainibau falls. Facing page: Sunrises here are like live theatre, lashes of pink hammering the sky; A plaque (inset) marks the International Dateline splitting Taveuni between today and yesterday.

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MICHAEL NOLAN/ROBERTHARDING/DINODIA PHOTO LIBRARY (HUT), SOHINI DAS GUPTA (MAN) PREVIOUS SPREAD: DON MAMMOSER/SHUTTERSTOCK

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hen it happens, I am riding shotgun with the long blue kaftan of the Pacific rippling in the rear-view. To my left, I have the hills of Taveuni island, a knocked-over chessboard of taro trees, plantains, and hotpink hibiscus the size of beagle ears. I am tracing the Lavena Coastal Walk—a five-kilometre trail that winds past beaches and villages, all the way up to the island’s rainforests. It is reflexive, the stray tear down the cheek. Embarrassing too, because Duncan Osborne, my drive-around mate for the day, catches me flick it away. “I’m not sad. Just very, very happy,” I mumble. “I get it. You feel lucky to see beauty,” he nods. I know it’s a matter of seconds before his mouth curls into the fluorescent Fijian smile one can expect anywhere in the archipelago of 330 islands. It’s been half a day since I’ve set foot on this South Pacific speck. 16.8414° S, 179.9813° W, as the map tells me. The fact that the volcanic ‘garden’ island is documented in coordinates is important. It tells me that the sights and sounds that brought out weepy existential girl are not part of an enchanted sleep. I am moving around a landmass that


PHOTO COURTESY: TAVEUNI ISLAND RESORT & SPA (BEACH), DON MAMMOSER/SHUTTERSTOCK (SIGN)

FIJI

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Bowled over

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U.K.

THE ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP IN

The Oval and Lord's are cricket's premier venues, having hosted some historic World Cup matches in the past.

ENGLAND AND WALES PROMISES NOT ONLY ELECTRIFYING SPORTING ACTION BUT ALSO TRAVEL ESCAPADES FOR THE AGES

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BY AANCHAL ANAND

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THE DESTINATION

etween May 30 and July 14, stadiums across England and Wales will crackle with the anticipation and excitement of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. Right from Lord's in London to Old Trafford in Manchester, and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, the grounds will host cricketers battling it out for the glinting golden globe. What better way to feel the fever than to cheer for the Men in Blue at a stadium roaring with fans? There’s also no better time to witness the layers of centuries that have shaped London, its architecture and eyepopping museums; than to see it with its game face on. Once you’ve had your fill of the capital, look beyond—the view from Birmingham’s canalside cafés is one to remember; floating in a hot-air balloon above a gorge in Bristol is a high not many cities afford. So pack your bags for the greatest show on Earth, and make room for travel around England and Wales when they're shining the brightest.

Indian fans are expected to bring the party to the stadiums across host cities.

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TELEPHOTO IMAGES/ALAMY/INDIAPICTURE PREVIOUS SPREAD: CAL SPORT MEDIA/ALAMY/INDIAPICTURE

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DATE

TEAM

VENUE & TIME (IST)

30 MAY

ENGLAND

vs

SOUTH AFRICA

31 MAY

WEST INDIES

vs

PAKISTAN

TRENT BRIDGE, NOTTINGHAM (15:00)

1 JUNE

NEW ZEALAND

vs

SRI LANKA

CARDIFF WALES STADIUM, CARDIFF (15:00)

1 JUNE

AFGHANISTAN

vs

AUSTRALIA

BRISTOL COUNTY GROUND, BRISTOL (18:00)

02 JUNE

SOUTH AFRICA

vs

BANGLADESH

THE OVAL, LONDON (15:00)

THE OVAL, LONDON (15:00)

03 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

PAKISTAN

TRENT BRIDGE, NOTTINGHAM (15:00)

04 JUNE

AFGHANISTAN

vs

SRI LANKA

CARDIFF WALES STADIUM, CARDIFF (15:00)

05 JUNE

SOUTH AFRICA

vs

INDIA

HAMPSHIRE BOWL, SOUTHAMPTON (15:00)

05 JUNE

BANGLADESH

vs

NEW ZEALAND

06 JUNE

AUSTRALIA

vs

WEST INDIES

THE OVAL, LONDON (18:00) TRENT BRIDGE, NOTTINGHAM (15:00)

07 JUNE

PAKISTAN

vs

SRI LANKA

08 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

BANGLADESH

CARDIFF WALES STADIUM, CARDIFF (15:00)

08 JUNE

AFGHANISTAN

vs

NEW ZEALAND

COUNTY GROUND TAUNTON, TAUNTON (18:00)

09 JUNE

INDIA

vs

AUSTRALIA

10 JUNE

SOUTH AFRICA

vs

WEST INDIES

BRISTOL COUNTY GROUND, BRISTOL (15:00)

THE OVAL, LONDON (15:00) HAMPSHIRE BOWL, SOUTHAMPTON (15:00)

11 JUNE

BANGLADESH

vs

SRI LANKA

BRISTOL COUNTY GROUND, BRISTOL (15:00)

12 JUNE

AUSTRALIA

vs

PAKISTAN

COUNTY GROUND TAUNTON, TAUNTON (15:00)

13 JUNE

INDIA

vs

NEW ZEALAND

14 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

WEST INDIES

15 JUNE

SRI LANKA

vs

AUSTRALIA

TRENT BRIDGE, NOTTINGHAM (15:00) HAMPSHIRE BOWL, SOUTHAMPTON (15:00) THE OVAL, LONDON (15:00)

15 JUNE

SOUTH AFRICA

vs

AFGHANISTAN

16 JUNE

INDIA

vs

PAKISTAN

17 JUNE

WEST INDIES

vs

BANGLADESH

COUNTY GROUND TAUNTON, TAUNTON (15:00)

18 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

AFGHANISTAN

OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (15:00)

19 JUNE

NEW ZEALAND

vs

SOUTH AFRICA

EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM (15:00)

20 JUNE

AUSTRALIA

vs

BANGLADESH

TRENT BRIDGE, NOTTINGHAM (15:00)

21 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

SRI LANKA

22 JUNE

INDIA

vs

AFGHANISTAN

HAMPSHIRE BOWL, SOUTHAMPTON (15:00)

22 JUNE

WEST INDIES

vs

NEW ZEALAND

OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (18:00)

23 JUNE

PAKISTAN

vs

SOUTH AFRICA

LORD'S, LONDON (15:00)

24 JUNE

BANGLADESH

vs

AFGHANISTAN

HAMPSHIRE BOWL, SOUTHAMPTON (15:00)

25JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

AUSTRALIA

26 JUNE

NEW ZEALAND

vs

PAKISTAN

27 JUNE

WEST INDIES

vs

INDIA

28 JUNE

SRI LANKA

vs

SOUTH AFRICA

THE RIVERSIDE DURHAM, CHESTER-LE-STREET (15:00)

29 JUNE

PAKISTAN

vs

AFGHANISTAN

HEADINGLEY, LEEDS (15:00)

29 JUNE

NEW ZEALAND

vs

AUSTRALIA

30 JUNE

ENGLAND

vs

INDIA

01 JULY

SRI LANKA

vs

WEST INDIES

02 JULY

BANGLADESH

vs

INDIA

03 JULY

ENGLAND

vs

NEW ZEALAND

04 JULY

AFGHANISTAN

vs

WEST INDIES

CARDIFF WALES STADIUM, CARDIFF (18:00) OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (15:00)

HEADINGLEY, LEEDS (15:00)

LORD'S, LONDON (15:00) EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM (15:00) OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (15:00)

LORD'S, LONDON (18:00) EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM (15:00) THE RIVERSIDE DURHAM, CHESTER-LE-STREET (15:00) EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM (15:00) THE RIVERSIDE DURHAM, CHESTER-LE-STREET (15:00) HEADINGLEY, LEEDS (15:00)

05 JULY

PAKISTAN

vs

BANGLADESH

06 JULY

SRI LANKA

vs

INDIA

06 JULY

AUSTRALIA

vs

SOUTH AFRICA

OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (18:00)

09 JULY

SEMIFINAL (1ST)

vs

SEMIFINAL (4TH)

OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER (15:00)

11 JULY

SEMIFINAL (2ND)

vs

SEMIFINAL (3RD)

EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM (15:00)

LORD'S, LONDON (15:00) HEADINGLEY, LEEDS (15:00)

14 july Final Lords, london 15:00

Cricket world cup 2019 Schedule

U.K.

MAY 2019 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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THE JOURNEY

A cross-border jaunt across Eastern Europe leads a couple to realms of natural beauty and human connection

Ambling

EuROPE By Paloma Dutta 106

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Council Square is the historical heart of the Romanian city of Brasov. It is surrounded by beautiful Gothic, baroque and Renaissance buildings, and belies little of its dark past in the Middle Ages as a place of public trials and executions.

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In the THE JOURNEY

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA | MAY 2019

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spring of 2015, just before the European refugee crisis had forced Europe, and the world, to look inwards and take positions in the tussle of humanity versus governance, my partner and I were floating through Eastern Europe, lightheaded from the might of the Schengen visa, even enjoying hospitality from unexpected quarters. In Romania, we decided to explore the country by day and travel by train at night to save on accommodation while exposing ourselves to the continuity of journey. Starting off at Brasov—nestled amidst the Carpathian Mountains, and the closest town to the spinetingling Bran Castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula—we had travelled through dark and snowy Transylvania, heads full of stories of the Wallachian prince, Vlad the Impaler, and colours from the brightly painted frescos of the late 15thcentury Moldavian monasteries in Suceava County. By the time we reached Bucharest, we had been without a proper bed or a bath for a few days. Even though the last leg was in an affordable wood-panelled, first-class coupe, it must have shown. At one point, tired from walking around the capital city we found a convenient place by the road opposite the National Museum of Romanian History to rest awhile. As I was taking out an apple from my cloth bag I noticed a woman observing us from some distance. Soon she asked, “Where are you from?” and continued as if having missed our response, “Can I buy you some food?” It took us only a second to realise she had mistaken us for homeless people, from another country. We refused the free meal but noted her kindness. A backpacking trip on a shoestring budget and a fluid itinerary often throw up some unconventional routes and means of travel. We had been on the road for a couple of weeks around Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and, of course, Romania, and weary of cramped spaces in buses and trains, we decided to stretch our legs and walk to Bulgaria. We reached Giurgiu Nord, the railhead on the Romanian side, late afternoon, from where we would start the 13-kilometre walk to the bordering Bulgarian town of Ruse, also called Little Vienna for its stately 19th- and 20th-century neobaroque and neo-rococo architecture. We stepped out of Giurgiu station to siesta silence on a tiny stretch of pitched road with grass on both sides, which led to the highway from where we were to pick our way to the border. With a middleof-nowhere familiarity that confuses a travel-addled brain, we walked towards the gate of the Romanian immigration office and in the absence of a pedestrian queue lined up with


EUROPE

AUGUSTIN LAZAROIU/SHUTTERSTOCK (BUILDING), ROBERTO SORIN/SHUTTERSTOCK (MAN), DANNY IACOB/SHUTTERSTOCK (SNOW) PREVIOUS SPREAD: POSNOV/MOMENT/GETTY IMAGES

3

The albanian

immigration officers were so chatty, they

forgot to stamp our passports and we

had to alight the bus again to remind them

trucks, buses and other vehicles to get our exit stamp. The most romantic stretch of the walk was on the three-kilometrelong Friendship Bridge over the Danube. Built in 1954, it was the only bridge connecting Romania and Bulgaria at that time. The romance was heightened by the presence of the sprawling river with bristly green banks, diesel fumes from passing traffic and, most importantly, the absence of any other pedestrians. Around the middle of the bridge, we paused to stare at the brightly painted blue-and-yellow sign announcing we were entering Bulgaria. We walked on. *** erendipitously stumbling into Albania, a country which did not figure in our itinerary at all, was the biggest adventure on this month-long trip. To cut a long story short, we were terribly sleep deprived when we landed in the historical city of Thessaloniki in Greece on a bright spring morning, having spent the previous two nights at the Athens airport. The one day in between was spent exploring the many wonders of the Cradle of Western Civilisation, including the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion for a glorious sunset in the Aegean Sea. By the time the airport shuttle dropped us at the inter-city bus station, it was clear that we were in no state to explore Thessaloniki, Greece’s

S

1 The majestic neoclassical Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall in the centre of Bucharest and a symbolic edifice of the country’s rich classical music tradition. 2 Ruse, the northern city of Bulgaria, situated on the banks of River Danube, is a melting pot hosting multiple cultural events such as the Ruse Carnival and the March Music Days. 3 Located in the Carpathian Mountains around Brasov, Poiana Brasov is a popular ski resort which is frequented by skiers from all over Europe thanks to its affordability. MAY 2019 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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Profile for National Geographic Traveller India

National Geographic Traveller India May 2019  

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