Tag Archives: Travel

Gargoyles

History is my hobby. And art and architecture is it’s most telling representation. I find modern buildings staid, lacking in variety– they are utilitarian, of course, but singularly boring. Some do make it out of the mould, but those are few and far between. Hence, whenever I travel I seek out old buildings. They are so much more attractive and compelling and come in so many styles– each narrating the story of the place and the era when they were built. And they seem so solid and permanent. So, when I heard about the Notre Dame fire, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the live images on the news. That building besides being n invaluable example of gothic art, is a prominent part of history. It has witnessed the French Revolution and survived it and who is not aquainted with the famous Hugo classic ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ or it’s English translation ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

At first, there was fear the entire structure would be destroyed. Fortunately, that didn’t occur but I understand most of the roof and the spire are gone. Now, I can say how lucky I was to have visited the place a few years ago and trudged up the narrow spiral staircase to get up close to the cathedral’s famous gargoyles which happened to be the favorite part of my visit. For those who aren’t aware, gargoyles are grotesque creatures that act as spouts to direct water away from the building. Apparently they are also supposed to ward off the evil eye. But were they able to protect themselves — I hope so…  Below I share some precious snaps from my visit :–

Roam to your Heart’s Content- Street Joy (Spain)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Along ancient streets

and by-lanes

alien sounds ebb and flow

With familiar inflections

passions don’t simmer

they explode

Stirring smiles

on drab countenances

The air vibrates with soul

 

Inspired by the ancient streets of Cordoba, Toledo, Seville, Granada, in Spain. Walk on!  More poems in my soon to be released book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’.

Musafir #Arches National Park

 

Delicate Arch

God is a sculptor and Arches National Park is his workshop.

Head to Moab,Utah to see one of the most unusual landscapes in the world; a unique collection of more than 2000 natural sandstone arches. Prepare to be stunned!

Landscape arch

Watch your step! (Way to Delicate arch)

Window rock

The Sun adds its own show

Petroglyphs carved by native tribes

English as She is Spoke

 

No one can forget this iconic scene from the movie Namak Halal. English is definitely a very funny language.  Check some examples below. Can you suggest some more?

Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.

Swiss restaurant menu: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for. 

Bangkok dry cleaners: Drop your trousers here for best results.

Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.

Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their skin.

Detour sign in Kyushu, Japan: Stop. Drive sideways.

Copenhagen airline office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

Thailand notice for donkey rides: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

Athens hotel: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 am daily.

Rome Doctor’s office: Specialist in women and other diseases.

Majorcan shop entrance: English well talking.

Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summer suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

Buddhist temple, Bangkok: it is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

 

Musafir #Descanso Gardens

 

Musafir (the heart is a traveler) recommends– Descanso Gardens 🙂

DG is a 150 acre botanical garden located in La Canada Flintridge. It’s an ocean of peace in the concrete jungle called LA. Do check it out to reconnect with yourself once done with the maddening sensory overkill of Hollywood. Besides the usual trappings it has two unusual vertical gardens or green walls (a technique to grow plants on a vertical panel using hydroponics) that force us to think about nature and perhaps ourselves in a different way.

The Hilltown of Coonoor, one of India’s Hidden Gems

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Niligiri express1

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Whenever I travel back to my homeland, I prepare for a culture shock. The crowds, the noise, the pollution have all increased several fold as the country races forward at breakneck speed to catch up with the rest of the world. But I’ve come here to relive some beautiful memories, to catch up from where I left off–I’ve come to reconnect with the past. How do I do that and where?

There are some places left in the country where it seems that life still goes on as it did a few decades ago, where people are laid back, where nature is not at war with mankind–

COONOOR– is one such place. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills, about 56 kms from the Coimbatore Airport, in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is part way from its more well known cousin Ooty which I will advice you to avoid if you can.

Known for its tea plantations, Coonoor is a lovely, rustic little town, which with its abundance of greenery and quaint architecture, is a throw back to India as it used to be. The temperate climate and serene environment helps the restless soul to relax and take a few breaths of peace.

There are several wonderful places to stay in this place. I recommend the Gateway Hotel on Church Road, — a historic hotel which is a wonderful blend of colonial charm and modern amenities and yes, the food is great! 🙂

When you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Nilgiris meter gauge train, as well as a personalized tour of the tea estates.