Category Archives: Travel

That Mysterious Little Door

I was walking on the side- walk briskly and excitedly. A wee bit anxious too, because I really, really did not want to miss this event and was really looking forward to it. As such what options I had now with me where limited. So I did not really want to loose what little available option I had. In spite of walking fast I was annoyingly trailing behind my family members as they all ran towards the the Royal York Crescent in the the fascinating city of Bristol. So it came really as a surprise to find that at one particular point my feet began to drag and started to become a little heavy. No, it was not fatigue, as we had driven down the road all over the Blackboy Hill, down to the Whiteladies road and finally parked the car in a residential area where we had found the parking with a bit of difficulty as it was jam packed almost every where. So there was no fatigue, yet my feet dragged as if they were pulled by some magnetic force.

rob-cousins-royal-york-crescent-bristol-england-united-kingdom
Royal York Crescent, Bristol England

Finally I paused, not by choice but almost forced to pause; and found myself standing in front of a small knob-less mahogany wooden door. It stood isolated and embedded in a slate colored stone wall. The door was small and old but exuded a lot of personality. It had a strange magnetic power and was inviting. Hesitatingly I took in the cow webs settled along the hinges and the missing doorknob. Apparently the door had not been opened for years, and I’m a curious cat. I put one foot forward and there was a rustle and a crackling sound as I stepped on the rubble of dry rust leaves and twigs embracing the entrance. I shivered with the sudden sound but notwithstanding edged closer. And then there was a heavy hand on my shoulder! Thud! With a strong jerk I shrugged my shoulders impulsively and almost screamed before looking into the amused and rather puzzled face of my husband. ” What do you think you’re doing? Trying to enter that door without permission would be called trespassing, don’t you know that? You should in fact be extra careful, considering that you are a tourist here”

I was still trying to regain my senses, when he slowly led me away from that door.”Darling if you walk at this speed you are sure going to miss that Balloon Festival you have have been looking forward to all this time. As such we are already late”. (continued)

balloon
Famous Balloon Festival, Bristol
img_5608
Balloon festival, Bristol as seen from Royal Crescent

 

“Hmm”, I murmured weakly and followed him meekly. Should I, should I not, my mind debated with my heart. One last glance, just once I thought and turned my head to look back at the door one last time and gauge what treasures (or horrors) it held. But I saw nothing, as we had left it far behind. For an instant I felt like going back to check on that door, but then I had second thoughts. I definitely was a tourist there and ought to behave properly.

The mystery haunts me even today, long after I have returned from my trip. Maybe I lost my chance of an entry into Alice’s Wonderland or a garden of enchantment or contrarily was saved from the mistake of opening a Pandora’s box (door in this case). The mystery  continues…in my mind…

Have you ever felt anything similar. What do you think was behind that door?

image
Mystery Door

 

 

Image Credits: Cover image (Mystery Door)- Clicked by author (Ritu Nanda)
Royal York Crescent image – Google images
Balloon festival – http://www.bristol.ac.uk/city/festivals.html
Balloons in flight – Clicked by author (Ritu Nanda)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel:Overwhelmed by Old World Beauty in Bath,England.

If you are drawn towards Gothic ( English) revival architecture, head straight towards Bath in England (UK). Most of the medieval buildings here are built using honey coloured bath stone and carved and chiseled to perfection. The city of Bath is renowned for the Roman baths, Fashion museum and Jane Austin house among other attractions. No wonder its a UNESCO world heritage site and a major travel and tourist destination.

The perpendicular Gothic architecture of the Bath Abbey leaves one truly spellbound in wonder as one stares at the ornate and complex carvings painstakingly done on the walls of the church. The picture below shows the lively atmosphere outside the Bath Abbey. Interestingly, the chaos of the tourists adds value to the symmetrical lines of the beautiful monument. The joie de vivre of the people is palpable. As a matter of sheer coincidence, there is order again in the chaos with many of the tourists in the frame wearing turquoise blue and various other shades of blue. The bright pink flowers and the bicycle boards in the foreground give the necessary pop of colour to the picture, so that I fell in love with my own creation, err.. click almost instantly!

img_3687
Bath Abbey, City of Bath, England, UK

 

The cover picture shows the famed Roman baths which are a great example of Victorian style architecture. Again the human element makes the place look chaotic, yet even more beautiful as it makes the place alive; as is rightly said by Constantin Brancusi- “Architecture is inhabited sculpture”. Do you agree?

A Walk Through Minet Country Park, London

Down with the common flu today, I was feeling a bit under the weather and so missed my customary walk to the nearby park in my home town Chandigarh. It was then that the idea struck me to go back down memory lane and revisit The Minet Country Park in the London Borough of Hillingdon (virtually), which I frequented last summers and really loved!

img_5570
Entrance to Minet country Park, London

As the name suggests its a country park, kept as close to its natural state as possible, albeit well maintained. There are wide open areas of grassland with rabbits sprinting in and out of the hedges and the area is alive with cheeky chipmunks’ chirp calls.

img_5572
Family of ducks at Minet Country Park, London

The meadow is scattered with an array of vibrant candy coloured wild flowers which are very inviting. As soon as my husband and I entered the garden we were greeted by a family of ducks swimming in the waterway. We followed the walking track and waved at some little kids enjoying themselves in the play area and smiled at the mommies who had brought their babies out for a stroll in the pram. From the distance we could also see a Gurudwara at the boundary of the park which we visited later. img_5566

Minet Country Park, London

img_5525
Array of flowers at Minet Country Park , London

The Minet Park is spread over 36 hectacre and was awarded the Green Flag for the first time in the year 2009. Our walks to this garden were truly refreshing and energizing and we hope to visit it again in the near future. img_5573

Minet Country Park, London

img_5569
Play area at Minet country park, London

 

img_5568Minet Country Park, London

img_5574
Master of all I survey at Minet country park, London
img_5575
Ivy covered

All these pictures were clicked with an iPhone and believe me they are so beautiful that no filter was needed to improve them. I hope you enjoyed reading this post:)

Awestruck at Natural history Museum,London

A permanent on the list of ’10 Best tourist attractions in London’ is The Natural History Museum, London. With its main entrance at Cromwell road, it is home to the tallest and biggest and rarest animals (or their replicas) in the world. When you reach the Blue Zone- Look up and see  blue whale model, seemingly swimming with the other cetacean skeletons and replicas suspended from the ceiling.

One may also gape in wonder at the sight of the slice of a giant Sequoia tree pitched on the wall. So, when one talks about big and huge, along with natural lines, be it in terms of the streamlined curves of the blue whale and other cetacean skeletons, mammoth elephants, or the shear beauty and architecture of the building itself housing all these treasures;one cannot think of a better place. Looking at the fine details engraved along arches and pillars on the entrance of the building is sure to leave one awestruck and speechless. But do you know the best part? There is no admission fee 🙂

This post is inspired by Day 7 (Big and Point of view) and Day 8 (Natural world and leading lines) of Photo101 Blogging U.

All pictures have been clicked by Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda and may not be used without permission.

IMG_1149
Entrance to Natural History Museum, London
IMG_1305
Blue whale replica and other cetacean skeletons suspended from ceiling.

IMG_1297Blue whale replica and other cetacean skeletons suspended from ceiling.

IMG_1291
mammoth elephant

Nature Connect (Gloucester Harbor,Massachusetts)

Can there be anything more rejuvenating than connecting with nature? Especially during travel. Yes, especially during travel- far away from the city, far from the madding crowd, just to connect with nature. Steal a few beautiful moments to be with nature and then capture them with your lens so that they remain with you forever. Its one of my secrets to remain happy!

Today, I wish to share a photo gallery from our travels to the Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts in USA. We had the good fortune and opportunity to drive along the prestigious area along the harbor, close to Gloucester’s Good Harbor beach. Though human habitation is pretty evident, the wide open spaces, lush grass, azure blue skies and clear sparkling waters of the Atlantic ocean provide an immediate connect with nature. Unspoiled and pure. A must visit place for the nature enthusiast! Let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

P.S: No filter, no edit – just auto correct used on a couple of them.
Photo credit: Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda

The Mighty Trummelbach falls, Switzerland

There are certain things which I always find quite imposing, towering and magnificent at the same time. These are so impactful in terms of their effect that they have the power to make one feel like a dot, a mere dot; minuscule in comparison. This is good for inflated egos at times because it puts you in your place. This the kind of feeling I get whenever I visit the mountains. Besides enjoying their majestic presence and enjoying the cool weather, when you look closely at their rugged raw strength, you realize how fragile you are. Add to that the roar of water from a gurgling waterfall and this is what you get- The mighty Trummelbach falls in Switzerland!

Located in the Lauterbrunnen valley, they are Europe’s largest subterranean water falls and are one of 72 waterfalls.The Trümmelbach Falls are the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. They alone carry the meltwater of the glaciers from the Jungfrau down to the valley – up to 20,000 liters of water per second. The water carries with it over 20,000 tons of boulders and scree per year and causes the entire mountain to shudder and make a thundering noise.

OMG! So much water and so much force ! It has to be seen to be believed. It is one amazing experience of my Switzerland holiday that I treasure and is a joy to relive. Mind you, although a huge lift carries you up to the falls there are a number of broad, sometimes slippery and watery steps to climb to get good views. It is also a bit dark as you are actually tunneling through the falls. The Trummelbach falls are hidden in the ‘Black Monk’ mountains and are often called the ‘Cork screw’ falls due to the spiral nature of flow of the water. I hope you enjoy my pictures in this post.

Trummelbach Corkscrew falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Corkscrew falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Falls, Switzerland
Good luck charm! Spectrum at Trummelbach falls, Switzerland.
Good luck charm!
Spectrum at Trummelbach falls, Switzerland.

Eyeful

Obviously, you get no marks for recognizing the place in the cover picture of this post! But can you guess from where it was clicked? The sunlight bathes the Big Ben in beautiful shades of a pinkish hue , while the rest of the buildings seem swathed in shades of blue. The scene is quite an eyeful!

And what about the picture featured below? It’s a bird’s eye-view of the the beautiful landscaping of South Bank, London. Both these pictures were clicked from within the capsule of the London Eye, a major tourist attraction. Since they were clicked through the glass, it perhaps explains the very interesting play of light on the heritage buildings. I hope you enjoy viewing these pictures as much as we enjoyed clicking them 🙂

IMG_0476

Photo challenges are real fun! This post is inspired by the wordpress photo challenge Eye Spy by @Michelle W.

Pictures by: Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda