Visiting Dublin: A Brief Guide

The one place in the world where the Three Great Falsehoods remain strongly alive is Ireland and, especially the capital city, Dublin. These Three Great Falsehoods are this really is my last beer for today. The check is in the mail. OK, we’ll meet at half past eight. With intended irony, the Irish use these three comments to let you know they’re quite fond of alcohol occasionally, they can tell high tales with the best and they have little regard for punctuality.

If you are aware of the above, you’ll have no problem finding your way around Dublin. Dublin is a city best learned by walking, during which time you’ll no doubt explore one or two of the thousand-plus pubs where the three Great Falsehoods reign supreme. Dublin’s pubs are known for long, earnest discussions on the wonders of the world and the wonders of God.

Between pubs, you will find an amazing array of museums, churches, galleries, cathedrals and theaters. Rapid development in the 1990’s caused Dublin to awake from a sleepy city to one of the world’s loveliest metropolitan tourist destinations.

Dublin contains some of the sharpest, eye-pleasing photographs I’ve seen; Claudia and Ingo Latotzki show you pictures of Dublin that reveal its innermost soul; photos of ancient buildings, beautiful sculptures and modern scenes and people pull you into the town and tease you into being there. The text even advises you of the best time of day to be in a specific spot, the best time of year to visit and even lets you know when the last guest usually leaves a bar.

Local customs are exposed, such as ordering up two or three drinks at one time at “closing time” when no more alcohol is allowed sold. There is no law, however, prohibiting one from ordering up a few and slowly sipping while pursuing the three Great Falsehoods. Doors must be locked at the legal closing time and no one can come in. If you are already in, however, there is no law dictating how long you may stay.

There are many English-speaking writers from Ireland and they are appropriately remembered. There is a life-like sculpture of Poet Patrick Kavanagh, sitting on a bench and peering out across the water, just as he did in real life. From a distance, he appears to be truly still alive, although he died in 1967. With each photo in Dublin, there is an extremely informative mini-history. Under Kavanagh’s photo the text reveals that he once smeared his boots with cow-dung before entering Dublin so all would know he was a son of the soil.

The text goes on to tell us that Kavanagh once described, in one of his books, the act of masturbation. His publisher decided to delete it from the text. He acquiesced but when the book was out, he went into the bookstores and personally hand-wrote the missing passage, astounding and pleasing bookstore owners and buyers. A critic once called Kavanagh a second rate poet to which he replied that of course he was – all poets were second rate after Homer.

The Dublin Museum contains, along with a Kavanagh exhibit, exhibits of many other famous Irish writers. Ulysses, by Irishman James Joyce, is one of the best-known and loved novels in the world. In part of the novel, the hero Leopold Bloom wanders through Dublin on June 16, 1904. A small cult of Joyce worshippers regularly meet at Dun Laoghaire, a seaside location where they meet at one of Joyce’s hangouts, The Joyce Towers. Here, with tattered first and later editions of Ulysses, they read aloud and recite passages and go from pub to pub, much as Joyce did. It is, indeed, an enjoyable event!

Buildings by well-known architects are all over Dublin. Trinity College is here, designed by architects Keane and Sanderson, in the mid-1750’s. Various styles of architecture abound: neo-classical, Venetian, Queen Anne, Victorian façades, Romanesque façades and supporting photographs indicate a place of great beauty and strength in its buildings. There is a chronology giving Dublin’s progress into the cultural city it is today; a couple of maps showing points of interest and, always, references to the Three Great Falsehoods.

The Aromatic Pandemonium in Chandni Chowk

I still remember the first time I arrived in Chandni Chowk. It was a hot day and the reason to get to that part of Delhi was to see the Jama Masjid and the Red Fort. That day was engraved on my eyes of the image those streets of Delhi offered me a real human tide. It was my first trip to Delhi, a place I had dreamed of for years and that every day I thought it was big.


It was hot, and it smelled bad. People watched me whatever I did. The streets were dirty. My dream was becoming a nightmare and from the staircase of the mosque, I made the wrong decision (I would be aware years later of the error) of ignoring that area of Old Delhi and going directly to see the Fort of the city.


Fortunately for me, I was able to return. In this visit to the capital of India, I had aimed as fundamental to travel Chandni Chowk and the streets that surround the main avenue of Old Delhi. Our entry to Delhi was through the new New Delhi International Airport. From the window of the plane, we could see a kind of dust in suspension and that would accompany us throughout our trip.


Delhi airport is now new, clean and modern. It even has seats where people wait lying down to wait for their flights. The backpacks arrive safe and sound. We tried to take money out of the ATMs in the terminal but they do not work. When leaving we do not see any sign with our name but to the second one, we found it. It turns out to be a very serious man who tells us that we have to wait because another couple comes with us.


While we wait we try our luck with the ATMs outside: 3 ATMs of 3 are "Out of order"! When leaving, it is cloudy but we face a sticky heat that is very usual as of today. The serious man drives us on his taxi to the hotel. The car has fringes around the interior and an altar on the dashboard.


We arrived at the hotel, located in an alley in the Chandi Chowk neighborhood. They charge us 800 extra for being early risers and arrive hours before check-in. It's those little spikes that will only strain us the first day. It was best to lie down now and start to get to know this fascinating and mysterious place from next day.



The next day, after a succulent breakfast at the hotel (included in the price as in the vast majority of hotels in India), we headed to the ATM. After two other banks that did not work, we managed to take out our money from one, despite having its doors half closed with a chain.


We go to the Red Fort. In many tourist places in India, the first thing that can draw our attention is that the queues to enter are separated by sex. In the vast majority of the time, the tail of men is much larger than that of women. Also, the great amount of security we see in these monuments is striking. This security is not limited to having a simple security at the door, but to several policemen or soldiers with rifles and protected by sandbags.


Well, with respect to the Red Fort, it is a construction to reflect the Mughal power and that interestingly, it only had one emperor, Aurangzeb. We see the Lahore Gate named after it because it is oriented to that city, now in Pakistan. We decided not to enter as the guides say it is very poorly maintained. At the door, we take some photos while we are harassed by sellers and guides.


We jump across the street, running so as not to be run over, and look for the Digambara Jain temple. The man at the entrance tells us that we cannot leave our shoes on the street and tells us where we should leave them in the alley next to us. We leave our sandals with a nice gentleman and we get back, wetting our feet.


We climbed some stairs, also wet. Here inside we breathe tranquility, some devotees sing, others strike the bell. There is a smell of burning incense. We are the only tourists and we do not want to take out the camera, which has already attracted attention.


As we leave the temple, we wander through the Chandni Chowk market, which literally means "place of moonlight" and owes its name to the fact that, in the time of Shah Jahan, a canal ran through the center and the moon was reflected in the water at night. There we find stalls of all kinds, among them, watch repair centers, wedding invitation card stores, flip-flop repair shops.


We also find a street solely dedicated to books, an area full of saree shops, or the most famous district: Khari Baoli, a market for nuts and spices. We take our first photos of the people. It turns out that they love them, some pose and everything. We continued the walk and each time the streets were narrower, they opened doors of old houses with beautiful facades hidden behind posters with signs and wires of light.


I was not going to be overwhelmed by the people neither by the smells or the heat. I had traveled, matured and I learned a lot in these years. I was more determined than on that first trip. There are Sikhs on their way to Gurudwara Shish Ganj. That was a hotbed of people, but in spite of everything, it seemed like a place even more attractive.


We arrived at the Jama Masjid mosque, the largest in India, with a capacity for 25,000 people. We put the flip-flops in the backpack and the man at the entrance wants to charge us more. He says that we have two cameras. We only take one. We enjoy relaxing on your patio. When we left, we looked for a food stand. We eat some samosas in the street, accompanied by sweet lassi.



We decided to take the subway to get to Akshardham. After the long day, we return to the hotel, have a shower and then go out for dinner. After finding a decent restaurant, we decided on rice, lamb meat, naan and some round things with tomato. We do not know what they are called, but they sting a bit. We get back to the hotel and fall asleep at 8:30 p.m.

Tourist SIM card in Thailand

Thailand boasts of verdant and thick forests, and white beaches lapped by a beautiful sea of ​Phuket and Koh Samui. It has a rich exotic wildlife hub, beautiful Buddhist temples, archaeological sites, and a varied and delicious cuisine.

Here are the main ingredients that distinguish Thailand. It is a marvelous land inhabited by friendly and hospitable people. Thailand is the perfect place for a unique holiday. Cut according to your needs, it is always varied and able to enrich the eyes, the heart, and the spirit.

A country of oriental charm, which is now an increasingly popular tourist destination, Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. Perhaps because it is so beautiful that you just have to look around to find peace and serenity. There is the warmth of its people, who are always welcoming and smiling. Thailand is a country so devoted to tourism and so full of accommodation for every need that it is not hard to please everyone.

The area to the north is rich in forests and vegetation. The one in the middle has verdant plains with the succession of cultivated fields and the capital Bangkok. The northeast has imposing mountains. On the south is the peninsula, rich in wonderful beaches, animals, and pristine vegetation. The island of Phuket which for many is a pure beauty with breathtaking sceneries.

Who knows how many times did you leave for a vacation in a foreign country and find yourself spending a lot of money even though you were careful to call only for a few minutes? This is the drama of each trip. It is the classic factor that is never put into account when calculating the budget.

There are those who pass the weeks before departure to unravel the maze of telephone plans to consume as little as possible. There are those who end up running out of credit after a few calls. And then there are those travelers who solve the problem off the cell phone but not their own.

It’s a great excuse to disappear for a period and recover from the stress of the constant ringing that beset us every day. But who can explain it to parents and partners? A little trick to make a vacation much easier in Bangkok and Thailand is to buy a local phone sim to avoid the expensive international roaming.

Lately, many services give directly the sim to foreigners who land at Thailand in their hotels or preferred destinations. It helps save your holiday time and avoid very long and crowded queue in the telecom counter at the airport after a long flight. The size of the SIM card can also be selected according to the device. Also getting the SIM card in town is proved to be not as easy as you think.

It’s better to sort this out even before you leave home as you can get your phone number before you travel. You can then share the new number with your friends and family members. There are many Thai companies based in Bangkok with the aim to enhance the experience of mobile access for foreign tourists, students and business travelers who visit Thailand. They help reduce complexity, in the acquisition and activation of prepaid mobile phone plans.

The sim is also suitable for surfing the web if you own a smartphone. You can surf the Internet at attractive tariff packages offered by the companies. The sim is immediately activated to send and receive text messages. You can make international calls and others can call directly to your local number in Thailand. With this card, you can go around Thailand talking, writing text messages and even browsing at very favorable rates.

With the unlocked GSM mobile, you can make calls and send text messages during your stay up to the credit limit in each package. There are unlimited internet based calls and text like skype call, line call or WhatsApp at no extra charge.

To meet those who want to keep in touch with the rest of the world and relatives at home without spending all the money, a new prepaid sim card service is one travel tool that is really useful that you can use for your trip around Thailand.

Thailand offers excellent value for money. You will have unparalleled hospitality where the people are very kind. There are bars and clubs for the enjoyment of tourists and the sea which will leave you speechless. If you need a bit of joy and a dream holiday in a paradise on earth, then Thailand is waiting for you.

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur in New York

The alarm goes off and I wake up with some concern because the weather forecasts for today, made during the last days are not flattering. During the breakfast, in the news they confirm the fact that today it is not going to rain enough in New York, fact that finally we check ourselves when we go out to the street.

To make it even worse, the umbrella that we had brought had been lost somewhere. It is not a good start. We had planned a visit to Brooklyn, specifically to Williamsburg which is the area where it is filled with Jewish Orthodox and then finish in Coney Island, but it seems that it will not be possible. At the reception of the hotel we asked the receptionist for advice about the possible purchase of an umbrella and recommended a supermarket located on the 3rd with 44th Street.

Indeed we found what we are looking for and we headed towards Grand Central Terminal perfectly equipped, reaching our destination few minutes later. We make a new tour of the market of the station. Finally we decided to go to the Herald Square area to do some errands and some more for us.

Armed with patience, we moved on foot along 32nd Street towards 5th Avenue when I was struck by a small comic book store. I decide to stop and take a look, since little else can be done with this time. The shop, very narrow is quite similar to what we could find in these parts. They have old editions and I decide to buy an old book. Unfortunately I start loading the backpack too soon.

We continue until the 5th avenue and we move to the corner with the 34, moment in which another member of our group decides to change the umbrella, for another bigger one. On the way we passed the Central Synagogue. The Rosh Hashana is celebrated today. Rosh Hashanah is one of the most important because it begins the Jewish new year. We spend some time in the synagogue.

The main part of the observance of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar. The exclamation of the shofar is also a call for remorse! Rosh Hashana serves as the first of the ten days culminating in Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. We hear 100 shades of music in the course of the Rosh Hashanah service.

They give us to eat a piece of apple dipped in honey to express our desire for a sweet year and taste a few more special foods. All have a special meaning and symbolize sweetness, blessings and abundance. And as on every Jewish holiday, women also light the candles on each New Years Eve and say the appropriate prayer.

The wait is enlivened by the excellent view of the Empire State Building and the passage of traffic in the rain. The truth is that the rain does not feel bad in this city, resulting in a very poetic landscape.

We continue and stop at American Eagle Outfitters, on 34th Street, and we continue to the GAP that is on the corner of Broadway. There we decided to move again until Century 21. We move by subway directly from the subway station of the 34th Street and Herald Square to the station of Cortland Street, very close to our destination.

Unfortunately the Century 21 is closed, with a sign on the door that that today it is closed on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. This I did not anticipate.

So, what can we do now? Well we take a walk around the South Street Seaport that is nearby. The now old port of the city is quite deserted, due to the weather. If it were not for that, the view it offers of the Brooklyn Bridge would be really impressive. It is currently a commercial and leisure area with a maritime museum that includes a couple of boats that can be visited.

It seems that all this land has been won to the sea, or rather in this case, to the East River.

There is a mark on the ground of the original waterfront on Water Street. Right on this street is the Titanic Memorial, a lighthouse arranged in honor of the victims of the fatal shipwreck. And after going around all morning from here to there, and with great appetite, we go around to find a place to eat. Finally we stay in a salad room full of vegetables, cereals and meat, whose name I am unable to remember.

Upon leaving, a great surprise awaits us, as it has stopped raining and the thick layer of clouds reveals the sky at some point. With great happiness we advance towards the City Hall Park, to be able to cross again the Brooklyn Bridge. We arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge, again, and we crossed it again, turning out to be as wonderful as the first one.

The sky is clearing by leaps and bounds, and the atmosphere is clear, without fog, so the view is excellent. As always, the skyline is amazing.

Upon arriving in Brooklyn, we visit the Brooklyn Heights area by day, accessing Middagh Street. Strolling we access the impressive view offered by Columbia Height, parallel to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, but on a higher plane. We keep wandering and we go down Willow Street to the south. The atmosphere is relaxed and relaxed, so nice that I would stay and live here without thinking.

We arrive at Pierrepont Street and at the corner with Henry Street there is a great brick mansion, the Herman Behr Mansion, with curious dragons eroded on the stone balustrade of the entrance. We went down to Montague Street and there we stopped for a snack at Le Pain Quotidien, a chain present in different places.

Here we had a delicious cappuccino and shared portions of the famous New York Cheesecake. It was very tasty and the place is fantastic but the bill is a steal. Shortly after 5:00 pm and as the sun is shining and the beautiful afternoon we decided to go to Coney Island for the sunset.

We went up Henry Street to Clarke Street station. There we take the subway, red line and we change at Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center. Here we take the line to Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue, taking about 45 minutes.

The Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station presents a beautiful retro look. Elevated on the street on metallic piles, it forms wonderful arcades on Stillwell Avenue. In front of it is a famous graffiti of twin Brazilian brothers known precisely as Os Gemeos.

We move down Stillwell Avenue to the south. We arrive at the famous Nathan's, the most famous hot dog place in the world, which every July 4 organizes a contest to see who is able to eat more. On the side of the block, a huge electronic sign shows the countdown to the next contest, as well as the male and female records.

And so we come to the promenade and beach of Coney Island, famous for being the summer area of ​​the rich New Yorkers. The walk is beautiful, especially with this magnificent sunset light. The last scene of the cult movie The Warriors, shot in this place, comes to mind.

Unfortunately the park is closed, even though the calendar saw it as a day of normal operation, probably due to the rain. So all the lights, color, music and hullabaloo are not present, but it is still a beautiful place. It's worth every minute that has involved the displacement.

It has darkened enough and the only light present is the one coming from the neighbor baseball stadium of the Cyclones. We are surprised by the lighting of the Parachute Jump, which changes the lighting every so often. One last walk along the pier and we decided to return to Manhattan, having a tour of approximately one hour.

We took metro line and since this is our last night in the city we decided to go back to Lincoln Center to see it at night. We alighted at Columbus Circle and proceeded down Broadway to the north by turning 63 west to arrive. Wonderfully lit the whole set is more impressive at night.

It is Saturday night and there is operatic performance. So they have opened the curtains on the first floor allowing us to see two huge canvases that we could not see a week ago. In the entrance hall there are monitors that allow us to follow the representation. We were interested in seeing a performance here but it has been impossible to plan for lack of time.

After a while, we leave and go back down Broadway stopping at a Duane Reade to get a sandwich and eat it on the way. The metro line in combination with the shuttle leaves us at Grand Central Terminal very fast, and in the blink of an eye we arrived very tired at the hotel.

After freshening up a bit we decided that since we are leaving tomorrow, today we are going to give everything. We go to the Lower East Side to locate the Arlene's Grocery, a place famous for its small concert hall. There we had a beer and we saw a concert by a strange group, who played quite well, with a strange and caring soloist. At the end, now yes, tired, we go back to the hotel to spend our last night. Tomorrow everything will be over.

yom kippur rosh hashanah images wallpaper

Day 2

The plan for this day was to make the excursion of contrasts. In it we would visit three districts a little further away from Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. The route lasted about 4 hours, and could end either on the Brooklyn Bridge or in Chinatown. We chose the latter, to take advantage and see that area, along with Little Italy and Soho, since we wanted to cross the bridge at dusk.

We got up early, and walking we went to the meeting point with the contrasts, as I have indicated. Saturday is the best day, especially to visit the Jewish quarter, because it is when there is more movement, as it is a holiday for them and they do not work. There was almost nobody on the street (and I say almost, because there is practically impossible that there is nobody at some point)!

Specifically, we met a small group of people at the door of the hotel, but we could not do the tour in van as we would have liked, since they brought a small bus. The guide was a pleasant Uruguayan, who explained many interesting things about the places we were going through.

First we went to the Bronx, to the Yankee Stadium but before, we stopped at a famous graffiti nearby. It is dedicated to great baseball figures like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Thurman Munson. After passing under the subway tracks, which in that area are high and certainly are in a bad state, we could already see the stadium at the end. It is home to the New York Yankees and has a capacity for some 50,000 spectators.

Just in front of it, what appear to be training camps, are probably the grounds where the old stadium was located. We went back to the bus, from which we could see the building of the courts of the Bronx as well as the old palace of justice of the county of the Bronx. At the moment it is in a state of enough abandonment.

Our next stop was at a famous police station, the 42nd district, better known as Fort Apache because of the Paul Newman movie of the same name. One of the promotional slogans was in New York there is a neighborhood where even the policemen are afraid.

There, parked, we could see up close, the typical police cars that appear in all American movies. After the photos, we headed to our next stop, the well-known Bronx graffiti. Most of them are dedicated to members of gangs disappeared in fights with rival gangs or shot by the police. We got off the bus to see the graffiti "I love Bronx" on Simpson Street and Westchester Avenue. In each letter that forms the name of this neighborhood, scenes are drawn with typical images of it.

Then they took us to see another graffiti, the one they call TIO SAM. This mural, made by 14 graffiti artists, is a criticism of politicians and wars involving the United States, for economic interests. It includes figures such as Saddam Hussein, Ronald Reagan, Osama Bin Laden, Condoleezza Rice, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Rumsfeld and Putin. The mural is presided over by Uncle Sam, who is a figure that in the US represents as the Public Treasury, and which is also used for the recruitment of soldiers.

But most disturbing, is that at the top, we can see traces of bullets left by a band that fired at him. Already in passing and from the windows of the bus, we also saw the Jonathan. In the mural he is represented with his play and Scooby doo.

And with this we finalize our visit to this dreaded neighborhood. The Bronx, in addition to graffiti, is the birthplace of rap and hip hop. Great artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Allen Woody, Lauren Bacall, Stanley Kubrick or Cuba Gooding Jr. have been born in it. Then we go to Queens, to the residential area of ​​Malba. It is an area with large and exclusive mansions, luxury cars, and well-tended gardens.

We saw houses under construction, and they explained that they do not use brick there. The basic elements of construction are wood and plasterboard and then they are covered with ornamental stone outside! Although we could not see much more, in this neighborhood we can also visit the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, a park of 5 square kilometers.

Here the universal exhibition of 1964 was held and the symbol of this Exhibition, the Unisphere is preserved. There is a 42-meter-high steel globe, famous for appearing in the movie Men in Black. The Arthur Ashe Stadium is also there, where the US open tennis is held. There are also several museums such as the contemporary art center.

In this district are also the two airports of New York, JFK and LaGuardia. As a curiosity, it was also the epicenter of jazz in the 40s and there is the house of Louis Armstrong. After passing through Malba, I stop to recover strength, and we did it in the Latin Quarter. We go to a cafeteria on Roosevelt Avenue but the place was very full. We prefer to get away a little and look for a quieter place to have a drink.

While we were walking, we could observe the train tracks that ran parallel in height to the main street. At the end we stopped at a Mexican bar, where we could have a generous portion of nachos with some soft drinks, which we needed, because it was quite hot. Back on the bus, we could see through the windows the new calvary cemetery, numerous rows of white tombs, with the big Manhattan skyscrapers in the background.

We head to another of the emblematic neighborhoods of New York in Brooklyn to Williamsburg. In this neighborhood live 75,000 Jews of the so-called ultra-Orthodox, of the Chassidic branch. This community is composed mostly of descendants of Hungarian Jews and Romanians survivors of the holocaust. Our visit was on Saturday, coinciding with his holy day, the Shabbat, in which work is forbidden. In the neighborhood there is silence, costumes and black hats, religiosity, but there is a lot of people (especially men) who enter or come out of the synagogues.

When we got there,what most attracts my attention is their appearance. Men always have their heads covered (either by a wide-brimmed hat, or another covered with fox fur, which only the married ones wear, and which I think they will only wear for the holidays).

They sport a beard and two ringlets on both sides of the head. One of the things that the guide pointed out to us, is that many of them wear glasses. It is, because they only get mixed up marrying each other, and they inherit a genetic defect of vision. Their costumes are like the last century, apart from the hat, long frock coats and black pants.

They must keep their head covered, with a hat or turban, although most of them wear wigs. They should not show their hair to anyone other than their husband, since they consider it very sensual. Some women of the Hungarian Jainistic fraction scrape the hair when they get married. So they must wear a wig to have a normal appearance and not stand out, always covering them as much as possible, and wearing stockings even in summer.

On Saturday not only cannot work, but practically any activity is prohibited. One cannot press the button of any electrical device (including lifts or light switches). The windows or balconies of the houses are protected by grills and signs are in Hebrew, even on school buses.

When we finished the ride and at the agreed time, we got on the bus, and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge we went down in Chinatown to follow our afternoon route through that area.When I prepared the trip, I made some maps divided by zones with the most important points to visit in each one.

After the tour, I had to visit the area of ​​Chinatown. This one has grown a lot in recent years, so it has swallowed a large part of Little Italy. The neighborhood is full of restaurants, and shops of all kinds, some of imitations of large brands, not entirely legal. Its main shopping street is Canal Street.

The coach left us at Confucius Plaza, where we can see a brown brick complex, built in 1976. It was the first important public housing project built for Chinese Americans and immigrants.
With its 44 stories high, it is the tallest building in the neighborhood.

We headed for Bloody Angle, located on Doyers Street, an old road with a 90-degree curve. It owes its name to Henrik Doyer, an 18th-century Dutch immigrant who ran a distillery there. This poetic name is due to the fact that in the depression era, in this place there were numerous shootings among Chinese mafias, with a high number of victims. Nowadays it is a commercial street, full of shops and hairdressers.

We arrived at Columbus Park. In the nineteenth century this area was one of the most dangerous in New York. Then this neighborhood was called Five Points, which comes from the intersection of 5 streets that joined in this park. Currently it is a haven, where the members of this large community meet, to spend their leisure time, either singing or playing Mahjong or playing cards.

What is surprising is that they go completely to their own, and ignore the tourist as if he were a ghost. Although they see you are taking pictures, they do not look at you. They speak their own language and it seems as if they live in China itself. It is a neighborhood true to its roots and culture.

And no longer in Chinatown, but very close, there is a place that I was eager to visit, it is the Eldridge Street Synagogue. It was built in 1887, and it was the first synagogue erected by Jews in the USA. The Ark is traditionally built on the wall which faces Jerusalem.

Little Italy is practically a street, and the strong point of this neighborhood are the restaurants. Although Italian restaurants are all over New York, here they have authentic character. That's why we decided to make a stop here for lunch, and we did it the first pizzeria in the city, with more than a century of history.

The restaurant was quite full and they put us on an upper floor that did not have as much charm as the living room below with its brick walls. The important thing is that the pizza was very good and was huge. Once on a full stomach, we followed our little routine, heading for Broome Street to Soho.

This neighborhood was forged during the 60s, when the buildings dedicated to industrial use were being left empty and were occupied by artists. Nowadays it has become a shopping place with exclusive stores. But beyond its commercial facade, this is a historic neighborhood. It is known as the district of wrought iron, for the material with which many of the buildings that are still preserved are built.

One of the first buildings we saw was the Roosevelt Building, at Broadway Street in Art Nouveau style. Its architect was Richard Morris Hunt, who was also responsible for the design of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In the building lived the uncle grandfather of President Roosevelt. After his death the family donated it to the hospital of the same name, which to earn income, turned it into a commercial building.

The building has 5 floors. The floor is austere, and from it there are two large columns that divide the facade into three sections. Each has three large windows, separated in turn by thin columns, except in the attic that there are 9 windows smaller. In the upper arch we can see delicate ornamental iron filigrees.

One of the buildings that personally seemed to me more beautiful, is not exactly the best known. The Silk Exchange Building designed by John T. Williams and erected in 1896, with its 12 floors. It is one of the tallest buildings in Soho. For a time, this building was the center of the silk trade and headquarters of the merchants association of this product. Its three last floors are richly decorated with motifs of leaves, scrolls and shells.

Another of the well-known buildings of Soho, is the Haughwout building built in 1857 by the architect John Gaynor. Another of its characteristics is that he was the pioneer in installing the first passenger elevator in the world, with a hydraulic system designed by Otis. It was powered by a steam engine that was in the basement.

We decided to go down Greene Street, since we had read that it was one of the most representative buildings of this style, as well as numerous art galleries and it did not disappoint us. More representative buildings would be, the Little Singer Building built in 1904 by Ernest Flagg. The construction, has twelve floors and the architect used red brick, steel, reddish terracotta and glass to frame the elegant facade.

The balconies have delicate wrought iron grills of sophisticated design and vary from one floor to another. It was designed as a showroom for the company Singer, hence its name. The Gunther Building was designed by Thomas Griffith and was completed in 1871. In addition to the common cast iron in the area, it is distinguished from its neighbors by its white facade, its decoration with columns Corinthians, and its corner of curved glass. Its name owes it to an important 19th century furrier who stored textiles and furs there.

After this pleasant walk, we still had day to take advantage, and we decided to visit Ground Zero, and the 9/11 Memorial. We went to the subway stop of canal street. There we had the first contact with the suburban New York, which is old and dirty, but it is effective. We got off at the World Trade Center subway station, which leaves us right next to the memorial. We passed the garden of St Paul's Chapel and went to the entrance at the corner of Albany Street and Greenwich Street.

As the area was still under construction (the Freedom tower was not yet finished and the museum still had enough), we entered through a corridor still limited by metal fences and scaffolding on one side. On the other is the FDNY Memorial Wall, a large mural of bronze erected in memory of the 342 firefighters who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

This mural is placed on the facade of Fire Station No. 10, the closest to the World Trade Center complex. At the end of the corridor, we reach the security arch. We have to leave bags and backpacks to be scanned and pass through the arch, just like at the airport. Then, we go directly to the memorial park and there is silence.

It's amazing like in the heart of Manhattan, which must be one of the noisiest places in the world. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a haven of peace, an oasis between the hustle and bustle of the big city. Respect is maximum, as well as security. Without looking too closely, we can see numerous surveillance cameras, as well as police attentive to any suspicious little movement or that they consider irreverent.

Among all the trees in the park, which are white oaks of California, one stands out especially, not only for not being of this species. It is a pear tree. This tree was found very damaged among the rubble after the attack. It was transplanted in a park until it recovered and it was returned to its original location in the WTC, becoming a symbol of survival and hope for New Yorkers.

We passed in front of what would be the future museum and sticking our noses to the glass, we could glimpse the two rusty steel tridents that were part of the structure of the facade of the Tower North, and that will be part of the exhibition. Surrounding the second pool we reached the base of Tower 1, known as Freedom, Tower, which was practically finished at that time. This tower has become the tallest building in the United States.

The building also has its symbolism, since its height in feet is 1776, the year of American independence, and the roof is located at 417 mtrs, just the height of the old twin towers. Anyway, apart from the buildings of the World Trade Center, there are many others around that are worthy of being admired. The architectural singularity of each of them is slightly eclipsed by the whole. The look goes from one to another, almost unable to set a specific goal between so much beautiful image.

After enjoying a little peace of the park sitting on a bench, we prepared to leave. The memorial was already closing, the afternoon was falling and we were already quite tired from an intense day. But before going to rest we still saw some interesting things in the vicinity, such as the Red Cube sculpture by the artist Isamu Noguchi. The steel painted bright red, contrasts with the dark backgrounds of the surrounding buildings.

A few steps away we find Zuccotti Park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park. Here is another red sculpture with French name, Joie de Vivre, by sculptor Mark di Suvero, with 70m of height. Just behind is a remarkable building, the Equitable Building. When it was completed in 1915, it was the largest office building in the world. It can be said that it was the precursor of the great skyscrapers. It has 38 floors and is shaped like an H.

We saw that the square had stone tables and stools and it occurred to us that we could have dinner right there. So we bought food in a place next to the Burger King, who sold pizza and other food to take away. There we sat quietly to eat, and then almost dragging back again took the subway and head to the hotel. We went with the feeling that the day had spread a lot and we had earned a well deserved rest.

Travel Diary of The Traditions of Mysore Dasara

Mysore is famous for its festivities. Some of the most important take place during the Mysore Dasara, the state festival of Karnataka. This festival lasts ten days. During the festivity, the city dresses in its best clothes, the palaces are illuminated, and the elephants are painted and decorated for the colorful and showy procession.

We start the day with a delicious breakfast and go out to wait for our guide to go up with him to Chamundi hill. Here is the most important temple of the city whose entrance dominates an imposing gopuram. As soon as we reached the top we were aware that it was not a normal day. Hundreds of people came and went with their offerings in their hands.

There were flea markets to find all kinds of items. The atmosphere was really festive, and it was Dasara's big day. People did not work and apparently, the best way to start the day was to go up to the temple. For us, it was a job because there were really so many people queuing to access the interior of the place that we had to forget the idea of going there and move on to something else.

We returned to the car a little disappointed and went down to another important point on the mountain. We visit the great statue of Nandi, the bull vehicle of Shiva. There we went down and again we found ourselves surrounded by people with their offerings taking pictures and enjoying the festival.

Travel Diary of The Traditions of Mysore Dasara

Our guide noticed my disappointed face and told me that he was going to take us to what was the palace of one of the maharanis of the city and that it was now a very nice hotel. He also told us that he had been called because of the theme of the Dasara parade and the tickets. He told us that the city would be cut off to traffic soon because the parade would leave the palace. So we could not visit it that day but then toured much of Mysore.

The option was to look for a place on the street and wait for hours until everything arrived where we were or buy those tickets that gave us the right to enter the palace gardens for 500 rupees each. We did not know if it would be expensive or not, but we had few options of things to do in the city except to go to the happy procession that upset all our plans, so at least try to see it as best as possible. We told our guide to buy the tickets.

Meanwhile, we had arrived at the grand palace of the maharani whose dome reminded us first of Notre Dame and then of the El Capitolio of Havana. We went to the bit decadent hotel. The next thing was to collect tickets for the parade and get to the palace. The streets were beginning to be cut and the traffic was tremendous.

We passed the entrances next to infinity of people. We were in the gardens, but we had no idea of what to do or where to go, so we followed the people in the direction of the majestic palace that was in front of us.

Following all those people we passed by the place where they were painted and decorated elephants and we came to a few steps full of people that as of today we still do not know how to access them. There were people everywhere without any kind of order. We tried to find a space where we could be moderately comfortable, but the sun burned and we did not want to be in a place without shade. First, we were near the main gate of the palace of Mysore and there we saw soldiers on horseback and on foot who came to parade.

The public was quite out of control and the organizers soon realized that it was going bad. People skipped fences and climbed into forbidden places. Every time we thought we'd better change our location to a somewhat quieter place. We went to one of the doors of the palace wall and looked for a shadow in which to place ourselves until something started to happen there.

It did not take long to start the party and I ended up sitting on the floor between women and children who immediately made room for me to take a picture. They did not hesitate to move and settle in another way to give me some space. And so I began to see my first Dasara parade in Mysore.

Before us elephants, soldiers, dancers, and jugglers were passing. Each group was preceded by a float and represented an Indian state. The truth is that I did not know almost anything, but everything seemed so colorful and original that I enjoyed it as if I understood what was happening in front of me. But there came a moment when the position began to be really annoying, as cramped as my legs were.

And then I saw that on the top of one of the doors of the palace wall there were a lot of TV cameras and accredited photographers who had climbed there by a flimsy bamboo ladder. I approached a policeman who was there and asked if we could go up. He, in turn, asked me to go up carefully and to stay there without bothering much.

From above I saw all the floats pass by. I saw women dancing in brightly colored costumes and I saw the elephant come out carrying on its head the image of a god. I think someone told me it was Shiva, but it could be Vishnu. I also saw the expectation that was on the street and how people had looked for the most peculiar ways of seeing the parade without missing anything.

I was up there for a long time, so much that when I went down my head hurt from the sun and one of my arms had burned. Certainly, some things have a price. But it is paid with pleasure although I would have preferred that everything would have been faster since it made me a little heavy so much float, so much musician and so much dance.

Travel Diary of The Traditions of Mysore Dasara

I went down from my privileged position totally exhausted, heated and thirsty. We waited for the tumult to pass and we left the palace to some place where we could have a cold beer. We soon found a hotel with a cafeteria where the air conditioning and a rich beer were enough to make us feel in heaven. We commented everything we had seen.

After recovering from the heat we went out into the street when it was already late afternoon and we walked to another of the most famous places in Mysore. The Devaraja market is a bazaar where modern India mixes in all the shops of the exterior with the most traditional India in the interior courtyard posts.

When we arrived it was almost night, but in spite of that a good number of shops were open and they were selling flowers, handicrafts, and essences. We passed enveloped by the sweet aroma of the flowers and promised to return the next day to see the place in the light of day.

We continue walking to the hotel with little desire to go out to dinner. We took advantage of the fact that the hotel restaurant was open with a rather curious buffet and after a shower, we stayed there for dinner. The truth is that the previous day was much better and also cheaper but you know, sometimes laziness can cost us a few rupees and more is done with pleasure.

We still had to go up to the room and close our bags because the next day we were leaving Mysore.

Footsteps through Clouds of Shimla

The breathtaking views capture me as the car begins its descent in altitude from Manali on the way to Shimla, through the slopes of the Himalayas that finally stand before my eyes, with an excellent visibility thanks to the nice clear day. Shimla, the famous capital of the summer holidays of the British elite and an assiduous Bollywood location is so beloved that it risks dying from an excess of passion.


Although the car drives downhill from where we start, the track does not appear to go down, except amidst small and picturesque valleys. The landscapes changes often as the barren hills soon get replaced by more robust green trees lined up on the sides of the winding hill tracks carved into the rock along the river Beas. This is an incredible road and just a spectacle of nature.

Gradually we enter Shimla, which elevates its gods above everything as the Monkey God, Hanuman stands out from the greenery around Jakhoo hill. We weave through the British buildings, bazaars, temples and its greenery with mists suspended in the gorges.

I spend two nights here at Club Mahindra Kandaghat resort in Shoghi that guaranteed me a perfect vacation. The saying that the first impression is what counts for this resort is absolutely true. We found ourselves in front of a grand entrance beyond which we could see a garden of flowers and plants that we immediately liked. The green and the secular surroundings that offer pleasant views here is what stood out instantly.


The Club Mahindra resorts offer unique and interesting experiences and are particularly suitable for families because there is no dearth of activities here for children to the elders, where you’ll lose track of time as it flies sooner than you expect. This is a place ideal for families, where not only children have fun, but has entertainment services available to enjoy together with the family, to live those special moments with loved ones.

And taking into account that during the holidays the pleasure activities is a major desire, this fact is not to be underestimated.


The resort is only a few km away from the Shimla city center, the Mall and other nearby attractions like the viceregal lodge, Gaiety theatre, and the Christchurch, where the movie 3 idiots was filmed. Closely located is also Kufri, with spectacular landscapes especially with the snowfall during winter.


The resort is sprawling, and in the suites, there is also a corner with a coffee table, refrigerator, and microwave oven. The fridge is not filled with pre-supplied bottles but it is for those who want to keep something, where you can safely keep milk for your children or other essential items for elders, with all the facilities necessary to make your vacation even more enjoyable.


As I said, the Club Mahindra resorts are ideal for families and children as you never feel away from being at home. I stayed with my family for three nights and had a great time for the way we found ourselves at ease in every step.

Here are several ideal solutions for every type of guest, from the choice of different room styles, from contemporary to slightly traditional with a little retro flair, to those garden shades ideal for families to have the evening out in complete privacy. The atmosphere of the resort is relaxed, where you can go for nice and long leisurely walks and come back to dine in the casual restaurants.


As we head for breakfast, we find that the choice in the restaurant is really varied. It ranges from Indian to continental dishes. The list is long including cereals, spreads, and fruit juices. You can choose from different kinds of soups, cakes to other savory food like idli sambar, chole bhature, for those who prefer a more substantial breakfast, but how can you resist when everything is so inviting, with something for everyone?


And with the same choice, I take pleasure in the croissants, colorful donuts, and hot coffee, as also I have the orange juice from the machines that dispense an assortment of fruit juices, and milkshakes in addition to savory chicken and egg preparations. The staffs here are very kind and very attentive to the tastes of guests and ready to provide from a range of menu available according to tastes.

For lunch, I head towards one of the two restaurants at the resort, with highlights include the local Himachali menu, where the delicious Siddu, which tasted similar to a momo, a soup called Kheru, a fennel infused stew called Madra, Sepu Badi and the succulent Pahadi Mass, a lamb stew conquer me.


As children enjoy their favorite desserts, dads can happily take advantage of the beer that they can take in the minibar.

Adventure & Fun Activities

There are a number of wonderful family-friendly pastimes also in the resort that makes a stay here more exciting with specialized instructors ready to guide in each step, as we engage ourselves in the popular activities like rock climbing, strolling through the Zipline, which at first definitely gives the shivers. With the support of the instructor, I wheeze past with the gorge deep down and surrounding verdant landscapes.


Attempting to hit the bulls’ eye in archery is definitely not a cakewalk, as my arrows fly everywhere other than the target. Gradually, with a bit of support from the archery instructor, I reach somewhere close but still, the bulls’ eye eludes me. And yes walking through the Burma bridge may look simple from afar, but once you are there on the middle of nowhere, picking up some tricks on the move definitely helps to complete the long scary walk on the ropes as that feeling like you're falling fills your mind every moment.


For the entertainment of children, there are several entertainers in the playroom offering games, dancing activities and pool tables. There are numerous services designed and dedicated to families. For parents, there are seats available, as they take delight in having some fun time, while watching their kids smile their heart away, or they can learn the long dreamt salsa moves from a specialized expert.


The place instantly attracted me with its mix of traditional and modern architecture and is also ideal for the organization of events, thanks to a meeting room as well as currency exchange services and a Kindle reading kiosk for book lovers.

The sacred and the profane are mixed, where you sometimes have a feeling of being in a huge amphitheater where you are surrounded by numerable gardens, fountains, paintings and decorations. Unlike many other places, the site is true to reality.


The romantic music surrounds me during the rich buffet meal during the evening as newlyweds express their love for each other, which will soon be forgotten by the river notes that I find on the next day, together with the enveloping fog in the green mountains and the beginning of what will be the way to home.

Other Activities near Shimla

If you want to spend Christmas in Shimla, the ski slopes located in Kufri are popular, although serious skiers often prefer the ski slopes which are located in Narkanda, which are less crowded and offer some unexplored slopes.

Paragliding is another sport that is very popular among families visiting the city and is usually held during the summer months.

There is also an ice rink carnival which is held by the Ice Skating Club in January and is another great attraction in the city especially for children.

Hiking is another wonderful sport that you can take part here and authorities provide adventurous family members with guides and trekking equipment. The hiking trails located here will take you through some of the most beautiful places in the region and there are also a number of restrooms that have been set so that hikers can take a little rest on the trek.

There is a zoo in Kufri which offers you the chance to see some great wildlife of the region, such as the Himalayan Snow Leopard and the musk deer, including a number of other animal species, which will be loved by children.

The elder family members missing their regular dose of Golf can play golf in Naldehra Golf Course, which was designed by Lord Curzon and is an important tourist site in the city.


In the monotonous gray of the sky parade before our eyes the historic British buildings, with a decadent expression of long gone colonialism, today abandoned to the elements or the philanthropic desire of some wealthy, who recalls the old splendor. The city has set itself the goal to readjust the ancient to the modern requirements with a nice way to preserve the architectural heritage of the past.

Nostalgia, then, is the dominant feeling here. Of course, if you talk with the elderly they perceive a certain discomfort for the style of some modern buildings. However, all of them are convinced that the legacy of the past cannot be preserved without modern empathy.

To understand this, after all, just look at one of the many faux-Tudor cottages scattered around the city. Some of them have been converted into boutique hotels, while others have become guesthouse or private residences. Often, again, they became ruins overgrown with bushes of roses and honeysuckle. All, however, are wonderful photographic subjects.

We find on the way the magnificence of the green surrounding the lavish Viceregal Lodge, the former residence of the British viceroys and now the headquarters of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies that can be visited inside with a guide.


The place is almost overwhelming as the height of the stately old trees reaches and exceeds the British building and is austere inside and outside, surrounded by an impalpable mist that makes the visit worth in a surreal environment similar to that of a stray Harry Potter.

The mist pursue my body until the night, where the shadows contrast the muffled light that stands out in the blackest darkness, letting my eyes wander on contrasting lines near the Mall Road Kali Bari Mandir Temple, similar to a Bengali hut, while a shaft of sunlight illuminates the dome and its inner sanctuary, rejoicing at the sound of the bell.


In Mall, also stands the Christ Church, the second oldest North Indian church built between 1846 and 1857 in which is still held the Sunday mass. For the locals, the most popular temple is the small Shiv Mandir just below the Ridge. The Gaiety Theatre, the heart of the social life at the time of the Raj, includes a rich cultural life, including workshops and dedicated productions.


When I think about Shimla, I immediately think about the hills, holidays and fun.

Kullu and Manali: Journey through Valley of Gods

It is from the day when we left the much coveted Manali, that whoever we meet we talk about Manali as if it should be the most spectacular stage of the entire trip to Himachal Pradesh. Located around 250 km from Shimla, 310 km from Chandigarh and 285 km from Kalka Railway Station, and only a 45-minute drive from Kullu, Manali is one of the best places in India where you can rest and unwind after a tiring day of the journey.


With the warm atmosphere, a visit to Manali is suitable for all ages, where families will find spaces, activities and entertainment and youngsters will be spoiled for choice among the multitude of adventure activities that can be practiced amidst the natural wonders of the nearby valleys.

Through the first part of the mountains, we have the impression of stepping into it and to become a part of some way of the same mountain. The track gradually bends as we feel the smell of the air, the glistening dew in the trees, the wind in my hair and that elusive sense of freedom with almost the entire stretch of the road running across the river Beas amidst breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the forests of oak and cedar trees that surround my vacation.

Here you can taste the real Indian culture, to appreciate the traditions and customs of the place, as we see men with flocks of cattle coming down from the high reaches after the short summer to spend the long upcoming winter in their cozy homes in the lower reaches, as the upper reaches get covered by snow night after night. Here you can relax and enjoy things that now we no longer find ordinarily and so I take the opportunity to explore the as yet unknown.

Read about my

Leh Ladakh Bike Trip From Manali


There is even a feeling that it has a soul and that this soul wants to communicate silently with us as we get amazed and fascinated by the multitude of stimuli and sensations as our car drive for hours and hours, without having the hurry to have food on the way. As we get near Manali we decide to make a stop and feed ourselves with a chapati and malai kofta with the mind intent to leave as early as immediately.

Kidnapped in this atmosphere of relaxation and meditation, in which we have been swallowed up, we spend two days in the surroundings of the Club Mahindra White Meadows resort, in a spacious well-appointed room, fitted with wooden floors and warm lighting. In Manali, there is also Club Mahindra Snowpeaks resort, of the same chain and both present all same the comforts, and more.



Nestled away from the hustle of the city, the resort is located in the lap of nature. The main street of Mall is just a few kilometers away, where there are hundreds of shops and the city proper ends to give way to villages, jungles, and mountains, which all have a story of its own.



The resort is modern, but with a touch of nostalgic and elegant atmosphere revisited. From the bed to the dining rooms, the resort is enriched by the many details that recall the contemporary style. Everything is very nice and clean and we really get the impression of being in a modern nineteenth-century palace in Manali. The cushions, decorated armchairs, and warm lighting underlined the attention to detail.

The rooms were very spacious and tidy and included in the room were facilities for making tea or coffee. In addition, there is a multi-channel flat-screen TV and also the option of connecting rooms.


The breakfast buffet was very rich and varied. As soon as we enter the eating area, we immediately feel the fragrance of baked pastries and you can sample the typical English as well as Indian dishes from pancakes, dosas to the puri and chole bhatura. Desserts range from muffins and teacakes during breakfast to Gulab Jamuns and more delicious Indian mithais during lunch, which was a delight for the palate and would be difficult to keep away your children from them with so many colorful desserts. For the lunch and dinner, there is a choice between an assortment of local cuisine as well as other continental dishes.

We could choose between hot and cold dishes and a rich selection of fruits and cereals. If you are vegetarian, you need not worry, as you will find a good selection of vegetarian stuff too. As soon as we arrive, a waiter is also immediately ready to assist us as we proceed to taste the various dishes from different cuisines.

For the evening dinner, you can also choose to dine in the open air cubicles intended for individual families to treat themselves in the privacy of a quiet retreat to enjoy the typical Himachali or other cuisines. As for ourselves, we simply cannot forget the local trout fish grilled to perfection by the chef. The size was enough for us to keep aside the other assortments of the Himachali thali specially prepared for the night.


Spa and Fun Room

Those staying at the resort can make use of Svastha Spa. There is a sauna, bath area, a fitness room and a relaxation room, and lovers of relaxation will feel pampered in the wellness area. For younger children, there is a colorful play area where they can play in peace and security, with a range of available games and play stuff.

Evening in Manali

With so much of activities available in the resort itself, for the entire family, you will be left wondering, whether to visit the Mall for some evening shopping or to participate around in the different fun activities from live singing, a multitude of games, dance areas with a wide range of entertainment options.

While the elderly can enjoy a few brain games and their favorite drinks children can have their night out just dancing to the tunes of melodies playing through. Surely one evening won’t be enough to take part in the activities available here.


Club Mahindra White Meadows resort is a place where while sipping cups of hot coffee in its fabulous cafes, or its Indian and continental dishes and between a chai and an amiable chat with strangers, you can forget all the problems of the world, amidst the soothing spa treatments, enlivened by the singing of birds or an evening out in the cosy minibar.

The resort is ideal for families with children with a true escape far from reality to breathe deeply the clean air of the mountain amidst peaceful mountain scenery, while children have fun in the numerous empty spaces. Parents can just relax and here is not just the joy of being together, but also there is the opportunity to enjoy private moments.

Points of Interest near Manali

The resort is located close to the many tourist attractions nearby, where you can experience the place rich in history in a very typical way and then you will have the opportunity to discover a lot.


The most popular attraction here among Indian families especially among the elders is definitely the Hadimba Devi Temple, which was built in the 16th century in the style of a pagoda. The temple stands in the center of great giant cedar trees, which are perhaps there for some thousands of years.

Here, everything is striking as large mossy rocks that emerge between trees add to the solemnity of the place. The temple boasts of delicately carved sculptures in rough but elegant style. The heart of the sanctuary is a small cave, which is actually a crevice in a rock and obviously much older than the building that houses it.

After a brief tour of the Mall, we realized that in addition to the beauty of the place and its charm, Manali is also able to offer far more daring adventures beyond spiritual pursuits especially for the children and among the younger family members and, in fact, the nearby Solang Valley offers countless opportunities for recreation and relaxation, from relaxing walks to more challenging treks, rock climbing, hiking, balloon rides, paragliding, rafting, skiing and zorbing, an absurd activity of rolling in a closed sphere.


We find a large number of paragliders soar over the spectacular scenery of the Solang valley and enjoy the panoramic views of this natural paradise which is an adventure in complete safety, as it is accompanied by experienced instructors. In winter you can also experience the thrill of alpine skiing.

We take the ropeway to enjoy a scenic sky view of the place. The alpine scenery here offers itself in its magnificence as a spectacle and environmental heritage, history, and culture with a common identity.

Solid and located in the Pir Panjal and approximately 50 km from Manali, the Rohtang Pass lies at an altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and offers a sumptuous view of Manali and the surrounding valley. Many tourists make a day trip from Manali to Rohtang La for the first taste of snow and stopping at a dhaba to warm up with chai.


Another place to dedicate a few hours is Vashisht, a sort of hippie village about two kilometers north of Manali. Here families can bathe in the hot springs and visit the numerous temples, while the foreign tourists mainly come here for the ease of finding charas. You have to climb to the top of old Manali to enjoy real old villages with wooden houses covered with slate. A temple dedicated to Manu, the first man according to Hindu legend, stands in this place.

Manali to Kullu

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas in India? If so, Manali may be the right place for you. This popular destination of Himachal is perfect for those who want to celebrate Christmas in the midst of real snow. Partly snowy during the Christmas season in Manali, it gives the tourist the opportunity to enjoy skiing and making snowman snowball or simply tossing snow on each other. You may also like to live in one of the log cabins that will definitely enhance the mood of Christmas.

You cannot leave Manali without going into Kullu, which is just and another unique experience in a true natural retreat with a variety of choices available both for the elderly and the young from temples to art galleries and castles, it is a perfect place for families to spend an entire day in the midst of legends and the creepy stories that surround this place.

We gradually move to our next stop Naggar, located in the Himalayan foothills in Kullu valley, which is often pompously called as the Valley of the Gods, but the old name, Kulant Peetha meant end of the habitable world and here we discover charming places suspended in time, surrounded by an intact and pristine landscape.


Naggar boasts of the Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery and the Naggar castle. Nearby is also located the Chaturbhuj Vishnu Temple, where Vishnu is similar to an alien body with gold and silver eyes and the Tripura Sundari Temple, built in the style of a tiered pagoda, like the Hadimba temple in Manali. There are rare Ganesha representations in some of these temples.

In Naggar, there are a lot of so-called Italian Restaurants, for some reason, which wistfully looks at the surrounding empty landscape. Today thanks to the Naggar castle and Roerich's estate, maintained by the Indian authorities as a museum, there is a good influx of Russian tourists and other travelers.

In the 16th century, Naggar became the capital of the Kullu valley, and here Raja Sidh Singh built a princely castle in the middle of the village on a steep cliff at an altitude of 1900 meters in the classic Himachali Pahari style, and the walls are built of large stones that support the massive larch and cedar beams, that have survived until now, and reminiscent of the past glory of the place.

In the courtyard of the castle, beautiful carvings adorn the facade of the Jagtipath Temple, which fiercely protects a piece of stone. Legend has it that Naggar was supposed to be the seat of the divine gods, and the stone was turned from Mount Deo Tibba (Hill of the Gods) and is said to have been brought by bees as per popular belief. Every day, the caretaker of the castle sprinkles yellow flowers on the sacred stone.


Locals also claim that a high white figure sometimes comes to haunt on moonlit nights near the castle and the surrounding area and help in fulfilling their desires.

Just 20 minutes walk from the castle is the museum of Nicholas Roerich, who died here in Naggar in 1947. The old house exhibits a small collection of original paintings of the eccentric Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, and the things used by him can only be seen through a window. The style of Roerich ranks between surrealism and the Russian iconographic paintings, but being a versatile person, is also remembered for his poetic works, prose, and theater.

Another important thing is that the painter was profuse in efforts for ratification of a pact to safeguard the monuments and culture from the ravages of war, with the Roerich Pact has been signed by over 60 countries.

The place is surrounded by the woods and orchards and is ideal to quietly relax and wander and the stone slabs with reliefs, which were collected by Roerich and was quite interesting to me.

Finally, as we depart from Kullu towards Shimla, I think that I cannot easily forget this place, which is a charming place, forgotten by time, and which at the same time is able to provide the comforts of modern life, and is a rare and valuable combination.

Everything in Kullu and Manali is less expensive, combined with a style of slightly Spartan life with people staying in small separate communities all over surrounded by apple orchards, who emphasizes the uniqueness of the landscape, the beauty of the mountains, forests, and rivers.

Kullu and Manali is the place to be carried by a magic and refined atmosphere, including spectacular landscapes and peaks of mountains that turn pink at sunset, and is a hospitable valley that offers multiple opportunities for recreation and relaxation, adventure, culture, art, and legends.


And as our journey continues, I have no idea what is waiting for me, and in the meantime the sun comes out, which I cannot let get away, and before I know it, I’m already running towards the first of the seven steps between me and my appointment with a certain monkey god in Shimla.

In the footsteps of the Vikings in Newfoundland

Yes, before the British and the French, it was the Vikings first who arrived on North American lands, 500 years before Christopher Columbus! And this discovery only dates back to the 1960s, when a Norwegian couple unearthed the remains of a camp in northwestern Newfoundland, now known as L'Anse-aux-Meadows. Is it not incredible to imagine these Vikings coming from Scandinavia to venture further than Iceland and Greenland to this mysterious region that Erik Le Rouge's son, Leif Eriksson, named Vinland?


In late September, I was able to explore this part of Newfoundland for four days to discover the Viking Trail. It is the most important tourist route that extends from the Gros Morne National Park to the Anse-aux-Meadows. There is 450 km of varied landscapes along the ocean and the Long Range Mountains.


The access point to the western region of Newfoundland is the Deer Lake Airport, which has some funny ways of translating the baggage. Luggage Claim becomes the baggage claim. Well, it still highlights the effort. We will not spend the night in Deer Lake, but 30 minutes drive from the airport, in Corner Brook. It is the 2nd largest city after St John's, located at the mouth of the Humber River, famous for salmon fishermen.


It is also home to a paper mill, the largest employer in the region. After a night in the cozy inn and a nice breakfast, we headed down the Humber River to Gros Morne National Park, with the famous mist of Newfoundland covering the summits. Fortunately, it will not last. The sun is already pointing the tip of its nose to allow us to discover the breathtaking panorama of a part of the Gros Morne National Park.


It is a hilly landscape covered with boreal forest with the Tablelands on the bottom this strange ocher plateau. We go to the visitor center to understand the different parts of the park. We can really spend several days there for the diversity of its landscapes and its immense surface. It is not for nothing that it is classified World Heritage by UNESCO for its exceptional beauty and its geological wealth. It is a result of the collision of the continents.


En route to Norris Point at Bonne Bay Marine Station, a research center operated by the University of Newfoundland, we learn more about lobster. We even see the rare blue lobster, which owes its color to a genetic deficiency. It is from the same marina that the tours depart to admire Bonne Bay, the stretch of sea between the Tablelands and the Long Range Mountains.


After lunch in Norris Point, at a lovely café with great sandwiches and soups, we take Route 430 back to the center of the park. We reach the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, built in 1808 to provide maritime traffic safety. We learn about the difficult life of cod fishermen. Moreover, France held fishing rights on this coast throughout the 19th century.


All colonization was forbidden, but fishermen nevertheless came to settle there. They join the Micmacs, Native American people who were already there. A series of trails will take you to lookouts to admire the view of the ocean. But for us, it's already time to leave for a cruise on the Western Brook Pond, further north of the park. It is a must to do in the area!


To reach the wharf from where the boat leaves, we have to walk along a 3km wood path (about 40 min). The landscape is just incredible. We cross sections of funny stunted trees, called Tuckamore, then the bog with a backdrop of 650m high cliffs. The light changes, it's fabulous! We board the boat for a two-hour excursion inside the fjord. This valley carved by glaciers is spectacular.


Vikings Gros Morne Park Newfoundland images


It looks like the fjords of New Zealand, but purists say it's not a fjord. Because it's cut off from the sea by the peat bog and the seawater has been replaced by freshwater. Its water is one of the purest in the world. The cliffs are home to high waterfalls and funny rock formations like the tin man of the Wizard of Oz! You can take a guided hike. The shuttle will take you to the end of the fjord and the hiker can go to the summit and take the iconic photo of the fjord.


We take the path in the opposite direction by exclaiming again before so much beauty. We spend the night in Rocky Harbor for some and Norris Point for others. Western Brook Pond is located halfway between Rocky Harbor and Cow Head, but the Rocky Harbor area offers more accommodations. The Inn at Norris Point enjoys the best location, as the sunset and the sunrise over the bay are sumptuous.


A fishing boat comes back. It's so picturesque. Tonight, we participate in a group dinner. It is a great way to experience the best of local cuisine, with the delicate entry of fresh salmon crumbled on potato bed, the main dish of cod fillet in the delicious sauce and the decadent cheesecake. We end the evening at the hotel pub to attend the group show that features local and catchy music and humor.


The next day, we take the road of Vikings along the coast to join the Anse-aux-Meadows located 370 km north of the peninsula. Along the way, we stop at Arches Provincial Park where tides and erosion have dug holes in the rocks to form natural arches. The road is long but is beautiful. The lonely landscapes are bordered by the ocean and dotted with fishing huts and lobster traps.


We pass in front of Ste Barbe, a place of the departure of the ferry to reach Labrador that we see. Its ribs are only 17 km away. I highly recommend going for a night or two to visit Red Bay in Labrador, another UNESCO heritage site that tells the story of a whaling station. It's only a one hour drive from the ferry's arrival.


After a good seafood chowder at St Lunaire Griquet, we finally arrive at L'Anse-aux-Meadows, by the sea. Here the remains of a 1,000-year-old Viking encampment have been discovered. It would be the first European baby on the soil of North America. The reconstructed buildings are half-timbered huts covered with clods a bit like Hobbit houses.


The costumed characters remind us that we are in the Vikings and tell us anecdotes of their lives with passion. From May to early August, icebergs drift along the coast. We stop quickly at Norstead Village next door. There is a replica of Viking merchant harbor with more costumed interpreters telling legends and demonstrations of ax throwing among others. It is a complimentary visit to the historic site of Anse-aux-Meadows.


On the road to St Anthony, 40 minutes from the site, we make a stop at the shop that makes products based on the famous wild berries of Newfoundland bearing funny names like bakeapple, partridgeberry, and crowberry. We also meet the dogs of the owners who are none other than Newfoundlanders!


The next day, we wake up at St Anthony, a charming fishing port. It is the adopted city of Sir Grenfell, a missionary, and doctor who did everything possible to care for isolated and poor families at the end of the 19th century and built the first hospital of the region. We visit his restored house, from where a pleasant trail with a belvedere where he liked to have tea and admire the view of the bay of St. Anthony.


The Waterfront Interpretive Center traces its history. From here you can watch whales and icebergs in season. St Anthony is the capital of the iceberg. The season is the longest to watch these giant pieces of ice. This really makes you want to come back. A tapestry representative from the French Shore comes to present this 67m long work, in the tradition of the Bayeux Tapestry, which illustrates lobster fishing scenes in the 1880s.


It may not seem very interesting but think again, because the place itself is worth seeing. We did not have time to travel to Conche because this village is located at the end of the road 434 after 30 km of track. If you want to discover the French heritage and feel at the end of the world, you can visit this picturesque village of the French Shore.


In this stretch of coastline, the French fishermen come mainly from Brittany and Normandy. They came fishing for cod between 1713 when the French gave Acadia and Newfoundland to the English (but they will keep the right to fish). In 1904, the French exchanged their fishing rights with the British against land in Africa.


We take the road of the Vikings in the opposite direction to join the southern part of Gros Morne Park. Halfway we make a quick stop at Port-au-Choix, which comes from the deformed Basque name portuchua, a fishing port that is home to lobsters. Port-aux-Choix is also a historic site of Parks Canada, a site of the occupation of the first peoples who inhabited the region, before the Europeans. The interpretive center traces 6000 years of Aboriginal history. The landscape is strange, rocky beaches swept by the maritime winds.


We arrive at the end of the afternoon at Woody Point, located on the other side of Norris Point and Bonne Bay. The road that runs along the arm of the sea offers spectacular scenery, especially at sunset. Taste of Gros Morne will host another progressive dinner in this part of Gros Morne Park. Woody Point is home to a few restaurants, craft shops and bars with live music in the summer season.


We order cheese and cold cuts at the restaurant with a beautiful view of the bay. There is the main course with beef tenderloin and scallops. In a warm room where we sit on wooden barrels and then order the dessert. A traditional music concert awaits us and the famous Screech ceremony. You cannot leave Newfoundland without having your Screech certificate!


First, we have to wear a yellow fisherman's hat. The master of ceremonies must kiss us a cod on the mouth. Then we repeat the formula in English and we have to drink a glass of Screech, alcohol based on rum. But before that, we also had the spoon of cod liver oil.


On the last day in Gros Morne Park, we tread the earthly mantle! Woody Point is the access point to the Tablelands. You can also get to Woody Point more quickly by taking a Norris Point ferry. It is 10 minutes away instead of 1 hour. You can then take a taxi to the Park Discovery Center. The Tablelands core is one of the few places where the Earth's mantle is exposed.


These ocher rocks were pushed to the surface half a billion years ago during a collision of the continents. Very few plants grow on these orange mountains, except for the emblem plant of Newfoundland. It is the pitcher plant, a red-wine carnivorous plant that traps insects. A guide from Parks Canada teaches us about geology. This rock is actually dark green in the center of the earth, and the ocher color comes from exposure to the air.


It is almost unreal to say that you are walking on the earthly mantle. It's almost like being in the Utah desert with the sun shining in the sky. A strange feeling is invading us. It is less than 1 hour from Deer Lake Airport. It's already time to leave this truly unique region which was beyond my expectations.


Gros Morne National Park and the shoreline of western Newfoundland offer many surprises with such contrasting landscapes. There are impressive fjords, strange rock formations, beautiful bays, deserted beaches at the end of the world, cabins Quaint fishermen, fresh air, and icebergs. It is also a land steeped in history, from Vikings to natives to French fishermen. These remote and wild lands are truly a paradise for photographers, hikers and geologists.

Friendship Day Weekends and Memories

Thinking about friendship day and the friends that I cherish always seems ideal. We always would have difficulty coming to agreement on the program because everyone has a different idea. While Abhi wants a romantic evening in a tavern, Rohan wants to explore the streets of the places that we go and Ruhi wants to just have dinner in the room, while watching TV, I always found myself at the crossroads as it was impossible for me to choose.

I would spend my days in between the three of them and every day it would just begin over and over again. There would be times when we would spend weekends at each others place and I would console Rohan thinking about his ex, while Ruhi feel jealous as she sees her boyfriend talking with other girls. And as I would pass the evenings consoling them, Abhi would throw tantrums for refusing to go to the disco.

A house with four people inevitably gets dirty quickly and in the kitchen piled up the dirty dishes. When we lived together we set the rules. Everyone did a little as they liked and sometimes Ruhi would not be eager to clean the house. We would fight and ultimately she would take the broom with a grudge.

Yes, there were times when the three of us would spend our days in quiet hills, idyllic meadows, wild jungles and sunny beaches, and then a weekend just partying around for whole nights. Those times have really been like a dream. When Abhi would invite the whole group to go somewhere for two weeks, we would accept even without thinking twice and would discover the name of the place only after landing there.

Sometimes we would throng the valleys of Ladakh as we find our stay rooms located in the middle of nowhere and on times, we visited beaches of Goa where on arrival we would find the fridge is full. We would start roaming around on old bikes, as we head to the bars under the palm trees.

Friendship wallpapers images quotes girls mobile

Falling in Love on Vacation

We cannot blame anything, as we have the impression of losing ourselves in time with mornings at the beaches of Goa, afternoons in the pool and the nights in the disco as our program was perfect. Everything was going on wonderfully until Ruhi falls for a guy. When she asks us to leave the room for the night, no problem, we get to the disco to have fun. It goes well until the next day, when the guy, Vinny, spends the whole day with us.

Ruhi was happy, but not us, as the intruder messes up our plans. After the third dinner with him, we explain to Ruhi that Vinny cannot impose his presence on us. Ruhi retaliates and to choose between us and him, she goes off and we do not see her for six months. Eventually, yes, Ruhi gets deluded with Vinny soon and when she came back to us we welcomed her with open arms.

The Rules of Co-existence

Once we planned well ahead for a trip to the desert of Jaisalmer after waiting eagerly for months and once there we dance, have fun, laugh and in short recover all the moments that we could not share in the year because of work and days with too many commitments.

On another course, we started right away, and when it turns out that none of the four has any specific plans for the location, we decided to spend the week together in our rooms lazing around. The disagreements, however, begin already during the trip in the car, when Abhi and Ruhi want to impose their playlist with the rap against melodic pop, and it's hard to find an agreement.

After two days I realized that we are too different. Abhi comes back from the discos at 4 am, Rohan gets up too early to go running, Ruhi protests because no wants to join her in the shopping, and I find myself exploring the surroundings alone. In short, the eagerness to travel is the only thing we have in common and the friendship has withstood lots of challenges.

On the first day, Ruhi proposes a camel ride. After, walking across the dunes for the next two days, on the third day, we wanted to just stay a bit on our own, so we decline the invitation for a visit to a night attraction, which Ruhi wanted to see eagerly. The next day, however, when Ruhi starts arguing, we explain that sometimes we like to be alone. She seemed to understand, and for the rest of the stay, we hardly speak with each other.

Money Matters

After an evening to comb through the offers on the internet, Abhi, Ruhi and I opt for a stay in Manali. We find an affordable package, but we have to pay in a single payment, and then one of us has to pay money in advance. Being one with the account, I pulled out my credit card. Both instantly promise that they will refund the money as soon as possible, and I have no doubt, although they do not specify by when they will return the money.

In the following days, I check my bank statement to see if there are credits. On the eve of departure, Ruhi called me to say that she would pay on return, while Abhi has to get money from his grandmother and then I resign myself, and once on the plane, it's all forgotten.

While in Manali Abhi insists on going out for dinner on the first night, while Ruhi wanted to go out for some wild shopping. While I had advanced the money for the trip for all three, I cannot afford a bad mistake. In the second night, Abhi proposes again to dine out and I just explode.

They reproach me for not having said anything. Say what? I found it absurd that they spent them in front of me without even thinking to reimburse me. We avoid each other all day long, and even when they apologize and invite me to a drink, some irritation persists. From the next day, things start getting better.

At times we would decide on trekking with big backpacks and hiking shoes on our feet as we would find places approved unanimously. Certainly reconciling competing needs required concessions on the part of everyone, but at least we knew where we are going to meet.

The friendship has withstood the test of time. We are friends forever, and with some bits of adjustment, we put things right.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The Smile of being Healthy

The pursuit of happiness is the theme of existence and more than ever in difficult times there are questions about what is the recipe, the place, the way of life that can help to be happy. Here are my keys which has opened the doors of the temple of a better life.