On a minus two degrees winter's night in Kashmir, while I was shivering in
my over-priced, ramshackled hostel with nothing but an electric blanket to keep
me warm, someone asked if I would continue to backpack after the entire
experience. I stuck to my guns and declared that backpacking was not only fine,
Stories of dirty, uncomfortable hostels and cheating scams are common among
backpackers, but travelling is an art of discovery, and I don't get a sense of
satisfaction if places are "shown" to me. I enjoy pouring over maps, hopping on
and off public buses and trains, and even getting lost. I feel a personal sense
of achievement when I tell off a cheating taxi driver, or refuse the advances
of a persistent tout.
I'd never imagined I would appreciate a guided tour but after a backbreaking
14-hour-long flight, being shuttled in the comfort of a 44-seater Volvo Coach
to a four-star hotel with warm fluffy blankets and a 32-inch flatscreen
television can do wonders for anyone. My opinion was about to be changed
>> Read the rest of the story here or
click on to see the rest of Phebe's trip.
Whipped out the trusty suitcase for my week's tour of Netherlands.
Three-bladed wind turbines graze the skyline of the flat plains along the
The Netherlands is made up mostly of reclaimed land, and it is common to see
canals and lakes line the perimeters of fields and plains.
The sight of canals along the edge of fields is common to the Netherlands, a
country built mostly on reclaimed land. The water, when still, forms a
symmetrical image with the sky.
Cows grazing next to a canal.
The canals and humpbacked bridges of Giethoorn.
The thatched roof houses of Giethoorn.
A traditional home-cooked Dutch meal comprising herring, Dutch meatballs, and