When in Rome…

Cuckoo News tells brief tales of a few travelers, in their own words.

Koli Mitra, our Global Editor, in the Colosseum, Rome.

“When in Rome, I spent only about two days exploring all the wonderful medieval and Renaissance stuff and allocated the rest of my stay (the bulk of my stay) to the Ancient ruins. I combed through archeological sites, basically wishing I could move into the Forum or pitch a tent on the edge of Palatine Hill, overlooking that spine-tingling view of a tiny, ancient, cobblestone alley, with narrow, multi-unit buildings — probably workshops or homes — all around it: the site of ordinary lives, every bit as grand as any public structure in this iconic city. But… I almost missed my “inside the Colosseum” experience! I was so detailed and nerdy about taking in each site that I pretty much ran out of time for this most obvious one. That morning we were heading out to Tuscany. I told myself that the Colosseum was too touristy anyway and MAYBE it was enough that I took some great photos of the exterior. But a voice inside kept nagging… really? I’m in Rome and NOT going into the Colosseum? (True confession: I’m NOT too cool to be ‘touristy’) … So I grabbed a croissant from the hotel breakfast bar and made a dash for it, fitting exactly one hour into my tight, last-morning-in Rome itinerary. And boy, am I glad I did. Yes, it was supremely touristy… and also supremely history-feeling-inducing… and joyous.”

Where Brave Soldiers Dare…

Sujan Dutta, senior journalist and seasoned reporter with a penchant for the designation, “a very special correspondent”, at the Tsomoriri Lake in Eastern Ladakh. “An Indian Army formation is headquartered in its banks,” says Dutta. He adds, “Eastern Ladakh’s disputed border is often marked by transgressions of the frontier by troops of neighboring nations.”

What in the World…

Kumar Tiku, author and self-proclaimed “maverick humanitarian”, in Amman, at the 6000-seat epic Roman Theater. “The theater was probably built in the 2nd century AD during the reign of Antoninus Pius (AD 138–61),” observes Tiku. 

Hark…Who Goes There?

Anuradha Sengupta (sitting on floor) at Kabul Airport. The writer and editor whose portfolio includes reportage from Kuwait after the Gulf War and a citizens’ media project in Afghanistan, recalls the moment: “Waiting for a special UNHAS flight. Our team was unable to get a seat in either of the two Afghan carriers – Kam Air and Ariana Airlines – so we checked into a UN plane. Both military and civilian aircraft share the same airspace so the airports and planes have a mix of Afghans, expats, aid workers, NGOs, CSOs, media people, and beefed up military people. It serves as one of the largest military bases, too. There are around 60 daily civilian flights out of Kabul compared to about 160 or 170 military flights.”

Categories: Travel

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