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Category: History & Travel

Vienna

Exciting Discoveries: The Rich History Of Vienna

By Nasser Tufail Enduring splendor of Vienna I am back in one of my favorite cities, Vienna, and am fortunate to have a very dear friend from my IBM ‘Charm… Read more Exciting Discoveries: The Rich History Of Vienna

Alexander Malcolm Jacob

A stunning diamond called Jacob & the Nizam of Hyderabad

Unable to redeem his past glory and a place of honor in the history books of the Raj, Jacob would die a poor, broken man, a tragic figure who would spend his last sad years in obscurity in a modest room. His entire net worth at the time of his death was a paltry Rupees 382!!

The “Jersey Devil” Whisperer

The Jersey Devil Whisperer entertained US Secretaries of State, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, President of the US, John Quincy Adams and other politicians.

first defeat

The City That Gave an Empire its First Defeat

For it was right here in Bailen on 19th of July, 1808 that the heretofore invincible almighty military leader who had by then conquered much of Europe and was crowned “Emperor” of France just 4 years earlier, would face his first ever open field defeat of his illustrious career.

King Solomon's Wealth

Legendary Mines of Rio Tinto and King Solomon’s Wealth

King Solomon had a penchant for opulent temples/palaces, obsessively embellished with gold and silver… and a fine collection of 700 wives and 300 concubines!

the man who flew the devil

The Man Who Flew the Devil –and the Emerald-Eyed Empress

For here lie the mortal remains of the man who once flew the devil in the back seat and famously said: “the fate of the world was in my hands.”

Death in the Afternoon

Death in the Afternoon: In the Footsteps of Hemingway

By Nasser Tufail The day arrives and we both show up early at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, eager, but anxious, about our personal experience of Death in the… Read more Death in the Afternoon: In the Footsteps of Hemingway

Hemingway's fascination for bullfighting

Hemingway’s Obsolete Machismo: For Whom The Bulls Still Toil!

The Sun Also Rises, a story was inspired by Hemingway’s first bullfight experience. His graphic description of the running of the bulls at Pamplona’s Fiesta de San Fermín certainly helped popularize a local event into the world’s most recognized ‘bovine madness party’ which attracts over a million visitors every year. 

AK-47s

Spies, Hunters, & AK-47s: Reflections on the Trans-Siberian Express

“Lake Baikal near Irkutsk … holds one fifth of the total fresh water in the world and its length at 636 KM is more than the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco!
…the Mirny diamond mine in the Sakha region of Eastern Siberia. This is one of the deepest open pit diamond mines in the world where temperatures can go down to a piercing ‐57 °C.”

political turmoil

Political Turmoil: Sobering thoughts on a Trans-Siberian Rail Passage

The bodies of the Romanov family were then taken to the Koptyaki forest where they were stripped and mutilated before dumping them in an unused mine shaft.

The Journey - Reflections on a Trans-Siberian Rail Passage

The Journey – Reflections on a Trans-Siberian Rail Passage

It is near dusk and soon it will get dark. My train will not arrive till 9:30 pm and stop in Perm for about 20 minutes. “Listen, Olga, as much as I’d love your company until it’s time for me to leave, I am also conscious of your precious time, and if you can’t stay for an early dinner, perhaps we could have a quick coffee and call it a day?” She considers briefly, and then demurely suggests, “Or early dinner, and THEN coffee” with a grin.

Macaque Memory

Before our story begins, our mother is five, and to protect her from the blitz in London, she is sent to her grandparents in Wales. Around the same time, in Morocco, Fatima Mernissi is born in her family harem, surrounded by women, her mother, her grandmother, and her aunts. From them, she learns to treasure education and decisiveness while retaining a sense of humor.

People-Watching

The Art of Empathetic People-Watching

I encourage you to people-watch more consciously, and hopefully by doing so you can begin to see as I have that we are in this world together, and are simply different expressions of one human race, on this planet we call Earth. People aren’t people without other people. We are all one.

The Shrine Chaser: Finding my way to Avila, Spain

I do, eventually, reach Avila, but not in the death grip of a Simurgh’s claws. The high-speed train, AVE, of Spain is a lot more comfortable and it has a well-stocked café-bar to boot. If this had been an option available to Sinbad, I’m sure he would have done the same.

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