A FRESH START
Harper's Bazaar India|January - February 2020
A FRESH START
A solo traveller’s guide to finding joy in the quaint bylanes of Baku, Azerbaijan.
Radhika Bhalla

I SPENT A GOOD PART OF MY YOUNG ADULT LIFE watching reruns of the 1955 classic Sabrina— Audrey Hepburn is packed off to Paris to discover herself, a passion for cooking, and a newfound joy for life. Something about her transformation fascinated me, the strength with which she returns and, of course, the glamourous French fashion.

It came as a surprise, then, though it shouldn’t have, that during a moment of general overwhelm my editor insisted I visit Baku in Azerbaijan. This coastal city by the Caspian Sea is also known as ‘Paris of the East’, and the sobriquet is welldeserved, for it’s a charming destination for the solo female traveller. I arrived on a crisp autumn afternoon, and didn’t waste a minute.

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January - February 2020