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Women travel writers, even in the West with more mobility and liberal social ambiance, are fewer in number than men. In a list of “Essential Books for the Well-Read Explorer” prepared by Outside (www.outsideonline.com), out of the 25 writers only four are women. In India, the number is even fewer though a new generation of women travel bloggers is emerging. But travelogues by women are still quite rare. In such a milieu, Ranjita Biswas, journalist and author, homemaker and mother to boot, writes a riveting travelogue Notes from a Spanish Diary (Niyogi Books) on her experiences as a solo traveller across Spain. Full of anecdotes of people on the street and food influences, its history and culture, the book is a look at the Iberian country up close.

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On a spring Paris evening this year after exploring the city of love and romance for hours on foot, I had crashed in the "Heavenly" bed of a Junior Suite in this beautiful hotel in the French capital's first arrondissement, when my photographer friend accompanying me drew open the curtains of the tall windows.


Months before I actually stayed in The Peninsula Paris I was googling the hotel and visited its website to learn more about it. What fascinated me right then was a sweeping banner image of the hotel showcasing the imposing building's rooftop suites with balustraded balcony, sloping basalt grey roofs and green widow shades against an unostentatious cream heritage property.


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