In this issue, where we’re supposed to take you on Great Journeys, I’ve managed, by a strange twist of fate, to write three of the four stories. In the interests of your own sanity, you might want to skip to the one on Uttarakhand, which, thankfully, was not left to me to destroy, and is the sort of gentle, refreshing mountain haven you might want to escape to right now.
However, if you have the fortitude to get past my writing, you’ll find that the places I’ve visited are quite incredible. New England in autumn is something I’ve always wanted to see, and it didn’t disappoint a bit: it’s full of the fall colours, glorious food and bossy ghosts I’d always imagined – and completely beautiful. Switzerland’s Grand Tour routes take you to the many smaller, less touristy bits of this country, and I stumbled upon two chunks of wildly-differing character, but equal beauty: from shaded groves to hair-raising roads, these places show you a very different side of this country. And France! You often forget just how beautiful it is, and how much wine-drenched cosiness there is to be found. We’ve chalked out two great itineraries for people who want to take it slow.
And, in other news, what a topsy-turvy month it’s been. We had Paris, but then we had the people of France opening their hearts instead of closing them. We had Chennai, but then we had people coming together in the most incredible way to save its citizens. We had Iraqis standing up for Paris, Parisians standing up for Chennai, people everywhere reminding us that lives in Beirut and Baghdad were just as precious. We had Donald Trump, but we also had an eagle try to kill him. It’s a mad old world, but you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, no?