Posts tagged ‘Travel’

March 19, 2011

Paris, je t’aime

I ❤ visiting Paris. Never worked there and not sure if I would like to that since work life could be difficult. I visited many many times thanks to living/life in luxembourg, paris was just 2hrs train/car ride. its lovely place to visit, so much to do and any number of days are never quite enough.

Bridges lined up with lamps, wicker-chair-lined cafe terraces, tree shaded boulevards, charm the city while the grand public monuments add grandeur to remind you that this is one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Every part of city has story and boutiques, street artists, music are fabulous. specially la Basilique steps are performing stage for very many street musicians and very good way to spend lazy weekend evenings with sunsetting in the background, wonderful diverse globally music, friends by the side.. discovering new meaning for wonderful life..

why suddenly this..! just happen to interactive with someone from paris & spoke to friends in paris triggering my cherishing memories of paris visits.

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March 13, 2011

Out of nowhere…

one fine day just recently, out of nowhere I got this facebook message from a stranger..

I lived in barcelona once, I love the city. I have a great romance to have such lifestyle to travel around make silly message, videos,..one day.. some day..

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September 7, 2010

Soooo much has happened..

Yes Iam still alive and so is this blog. so much has happened since I was here last.
In chronologically order..: after my wonderfully georgia trip
Roamed in Rome.. (title thanks to suggestion from an sweet-soul).., I had spent one summer month in rome, very very hot, half naked rome and too many tourists. but still very nice. I manage to meetup with some wonderful, interesting folks. out n about with my new found buddies, testing all possible italian foods, drinks, talking about all shift under the sun.. and all in the name of “the family”(bank’s team)). ya, that has become the stand line.. “all for the family”. unplanned visit to Vatican, I had audience with pop. while it was nice to say that but it wasn’t good facebook status message. I had to clarify that it wasn’t very “personal”..;) [/no offense pls..]

faced with yet another relocation in life.. but before, last week in luxembourg, the place has grown on me.. (no i didnt cry))i did felt nostalgic when i was packing my bags. kissing good bye(for now) to friends. for many reason- this past 2yrs has been interesting and luxembourg did played its part…for all the contact & friends i made & for all the new experiences..
took a brief break in london. wow, not many place is so wonderful as london under the sun. I dont know for some reason, London always feel like second home. I was relocating to far east and far away from europe which was my home for past 5yrs.. so it was good bye for now trip to all friends in london.. and to london itself.
couple of weeks break at home.. visited home sweet home..it was very short but memorable for few reasons…
— wonderful date with two & half women. universe played one wonderful trick to get me in contact with these cheerful souls. I met and continued the conversation as if I knew them for ages.. actually, I do know them for age may be not in conversation way. homemade wine..my receipe & their hardwork..yumme..isn’t that lovely gift.

— then another date with another sweet well-wisher..
— warming for my investments..
— adding kgs (like I always do when i go home…;/ and now my BMI moved to overweight category..;(
yada yada yada….

relocation from one tiny country to another.. Landed in Singapore: oh boy.. what a change.. things couldn’t be any different… for indians singapore should feel like home but I had culture shock.. took sometime to get used to things here.. finding house: singapore is very organized and easy to get settled but i have to say of all the places I moved to, it was here I find it difficult to fix an apartment. may be Iam biased or may be its still fresh in my memory but It wasn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. finally, I did manage to find wonderful apartment at river side.
and with some already known names, faces finding my feet in new place was made easier… and one recent weekend- frnd living in melborne transited via singapore..stayed in Marina Sands Bay. wow.. awesome place to stay.. very nice poool.. on 57th floor.. 500$/night is worth it and it was very pleasant to catchup with my mate..

otherwise, manage to hook up with some lovely friends(of friends).. that kept some weekends busy in exploring the places (bars/pubs/clubs/restaurants,/..).. and stumble upon nice hippie crowd(from CSurf) and standup open mike event 1st wed. of every month..by comedy club asia. very nice gig. (if you in singapore, would strongly recommend that). got connected to natural loving walking/hiking group & photowalks group. hope to go whenever timepermits.
and with effect to build healthy lifestyle, embarked on some interesting experiences. cycling my new found love.. singapore has wonderful long bike tracks along the coast. it was very activity to bike for couple of hours.. 25km..hope to do that regularly. dragon boat riding: another new found love. joined a team and practice every weekend..hoping to participant in River Regatta competition in Oct. ya hoping..

past couple of months had been exciting, many first/new things, ‘if only’ /interesting moments.. (like the past 30yrs..;)

May 31, 2010

Wondering around – in Georgia

I had 3weeks of excitement traveling around Georgia. I had no idea & expectation about Tbilisi and its surrounding. All I knew was the recent war between Georgia and Russia. I landed there to find country very similar to India. no traffic rules, pot holes, nice people, religions, great food…my god, food is awesome & cheap (do try Georgian cuisine).

My friend decided to join me for 5day long weekend. Tbilisi is relatively small city so we would walk most to places and taxi was cheap anyways. During week days, dinner was at nice Georgian restaurants recommended by lonely planet. Till Friday evening 9pm we had no fixed plans for the weekend. All came together in last minute. Found one nice english speaking guide to drive us around. We went on roadtrip to the country side of Georgian. Sighnagi beautiful hill-town, Telavi wine region, vardzia caves close to Turkey & Armenia border, Caucasus Mountains valley, which I should say is stunningly beautiful. Georgian wine is nice. Interesting very old churches, cave mountains,… many things to see and do. Unfortunate we couldn’t do adventure sports, since May is still too early we were told. Georgian is orthodox country and one of the first countries to become Christian. ofcourse during USSR days, religion was practiced in secret. Second language is used to be Russian but these day many young people are learning English as second language. I never had any language problem.

Some interesting highlights:
• Indian movies are big in Georgian. Most people mention the (old) hindi movie names and actor/actress names. one TV channel (India Tv)show Indian movies & drama 24×7 with Russian voice over. (and taxi drivers all they want to talk about is how good hindi movies are and how good looking georgian girls are,)
• People are very very friendly, everywhere I go.. in underground train, street corner while walking, etc… some people walk up and ask where I am from, talk about india, movies, etc.. offer to help, offer for drinks,.. not just once but this happened many times during my stay. Meet two guys who offer me to take me around places and took me drinks and meet nice wonderful & her cousins for drinks,.. had fun time with those folks.
• Many Indian students are studying medicine in Tbilisi. I meet one such student, a boy(Mr.D) from my hometown. He is been there for almost 4years and had interesting stories about life in Tbilisi, others students & their background, their hopes & straggles. Hearing those stories only make me to appreciate my life even more. D was explain how he miss home sometime but he doesn’t think he ever go back to india and live there because he is gay (and actually he can’t even live in Georgia forever). He is lovely kind soul, interesting fellow, took me around places and to nice Georgian restaurant will live Georgian music & dance. He was sharing his experience of travelling to Iran and talking about people in Iran so kind and generous. So many offered him place to stay, food… for free. Thanks to couchsurfing.org , which is how he pinged me too.
• Took intercity bus ride to Gori, joseph stalin hometown. Bus ride in itself is an experience. And I noticed Stalin still have some sympathizers. And his old house, his train coach, is part of museum where I could sit in the his chair & his bed… and take picture. Ofcourse it was not allowed but I charmed tour guide lady to take my pictures. she said, since I came all the way from India and she never had Indian tourists there before, She will allow me to take picture sitting in stalin chair..:) I noticed for stalin’s 70th birthday, gift was sent from India. it’s a writing on rice. Its no surprise museum was bad maintained (by Georgian govt.) and you can’t fail to notice many young couples sitting in many corners of the museum complex and on the step of stalin’s old house and making out.
• I hitch-hiked. Yap I did.;D) exciting fun. Should I say anymore..;) I thought only mini-skirts blondes will get rides. But thank god I was wrong. Some kind souls gave me the left. I had no plans or destination; I went in the direction I got ride. And landed in beautiful little historical town Gardabani.

And Unfortunate I would not go to Azerbaijan, Armenia, so near yet so far. If I had to find a word to describe my trip…its Excitement.

May 18, 2010

Wondering around – part 1

As mentioned (land of music) I did the trip to Austria. Onward Night Train journey introduced me to follow traveler. Yet another random meetup, an interesting travel companion & I decided to explore the place together.

Unplanned day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. City is pleasant surprise with very interesting sculptures at almost every corner of old town. Walked around on grey day but unfortunately couldn’t catch ferry back to Vienna. while train journey is quicker but i thought ferry ride could have been more interesting.

Vienna – everywhere its all about Mozart. OK I get it Mozart… is important man for western classical music but Vienna is certainly more than Mozart. I was very curious to find about Sigmund Freud and It wasn’t very easy to find any trace. And ofcourse, many locals talked about another popular Austrian-american – Arnold Schwarzenegger. 🙂 And thing which I don’t know before – Graffiti started in vienna. Street art were found in many place and my favorites are at kirchengasse, donaukanal, nashmarkt, burggasse, beritegasse,..

Next stop Salzburg- woke up late, walked up to festung fortress- nice view of the city. Came down, had nice food, relaxing in local café reading a book. ‘Hello mr’ a voice from behind. Old man asked if am I a tourists! that was the start of interesting hour long conversation about the city, history, india,.. he offered to play chess on the giant chess board painted onto the ground in old town. I won..oh ya I did.;) afternoon, sound music tour.. that’s a must in Salzburg. Another interesting fact which I didn’t know before- sound of music movie is not popular in Austria..;) they have their own (original story) german version of trapp family.

Salzburg Street music

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And OK, Yes I am Indian but cricket does not excite me anymore. but I have to say this IPL T20 season somehow got me. I couldn’t help but to watch last two matches played by my hometown team and cheer for their victory in finals.
now, I heard Indian cricket team went out of world champions with very very poor performance. message to Indian cricket fan: GET OVER IT.

April 10, 2010

Let’s start talking

Growing up I was introvert, shy boy. While I was comfortable starting conversation with some people from common forum (school, university, work place…) but I didn’t feel comfortable among strangers and self-confidence wasn’t my USP. Like most Indians, we don’t always talk to strangers especially to opposite gender. We just look at them from distance and keep wondering should we talk or not.

Somewhere along my journey that got changed slowly. I always had great interest in travelling and I did travel all my life… family summer trip to various parts of India very couple of years from Kashmir to Andaman Islands and I started travelling very early in my career as well but before 6 or 7yrs ago I was relatively new to backpacking experience. I used to share my place-to-visit list, plan trips and would request friends to come along.

Once Me & friend of mine made trip to Romania. This was before Romania was part EU/schengen. He planned the trip and I tagged along. We flew into Bucharest and took train to Brasov. One impressive charming young girl and another gloriously beautiful young girl was sitting opposite to us. And If it’s like in the movies then boy would start talking to the girl and sooner or later song/dance would happen. But we were just two Indian boys still not sure how to start the conversation. 10mins into the journey, the girls started talking to each other in Romanian and we boy was still busy looking at them and imagine song/dance in our heads. 20mins into the journey, one girl saw my friend reading a newspaper. she asked if she would take look. Ofcourse he wasn’t going to deny it. within like 2/3mins later, she returned the paper back. Curious us asked why! and started talking to the gals. Turns out the girls weren’t travelling together. They were strangers to each others. This girl couldn’t even read English well. She asked for the newspaper just to start the conversations with us. so the Charming girl was a teacher(girl sitting left in the photo above) traveling back home and beautiful girl was model(girl sitting right) in Paris. Yes 🙂 30mins into the conversation, she started showing her portfolio book with all these great photos of her. The girls told us- what to do, where to go, what not to do, etc… by the end of the train ride, we exchanged our contact details. My friend & I kept wondering, admiring how impressive these girls started the conversation with strangers/boys and how we boys suck at it. After wonderful day trip around Brasov, we reached our hostel and noticed we share the hostel room with two young girls from Scotland doing backpacking trip. We are quick earners now we knew how to start a conversations. So started talking- our travel plans, their travel plans, good pubs nearby, etc… And that’s how I started my conversations with strangers.

This experience wasn’t about boys talking to gals. But It was about young Indian boy feeling comfortable with myself to make connects with any strangers regardless of nationality, gender… and making life experience more adventures, interesting & diverse. Since then I was never dependent of any of my friends to travel along because I realized world of full of yet-to-be-friends.

We appreciate our families & buddies for adding colors to our life but we tend to over look those souls who visit us just for brief period- during a trip, in a pub, in hotel/hostels, ticket queues, follow traveler. My life is full of those interesting people, fabulous moments and I am a better person because of them, you, all of you. I will not say thank you since there is no need for thanks & sorry among friends. right!?;)

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