Trip to Raj Ghat in New Delhi

We planned first to visit the Jama Masjid, but in front of the first traffic jams, we decided to change direction and visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. We leave Old Delhi for New Delhi. As usual in my travels I sit towards a window, from where I can see the road and the landscape, so I could take the pictures.

On the other hand, the sky is not blue. We pass the India Gate. In bright weather and 40 degree sunshine, we have a beautiful view of the India Gate. After a short drive around 9:34 clock we reach the Rajghat Memorial. Our bus stops right in front of a green park in the middle of New Delhi. Only a few visitors are at the entrance of the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

We arrive at the entrance to the memorial. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna. We arrive in a large park, full of tourists. Next door is a museum dedicated to Mahatma.

After his death, Gandhi was cremated and his ashes scattered in the sacred Ganges. Here in the park where his mortal remains were burned in 1948, a memorial was erected. We hand in our shoes at the entrance and walk into the inner courtyard.

Mahatma Gandhi rajghat wallpaper

There a simple, black marble slab, on which an eternal flame burns. With subtle music, surrounded by green grass and magnolia trees, many tourists devoutly commemorate. An inscription on the flower-decked platform recalls Gandhi's last words "hey ram".

We met a lot of people around with men and women who asked us to take photos on their smartphone, with the husband, without the husband, or friend.

It is a magical place filled with peace of laughter. We come across the joys of girls and boys who visit the memorial. In this pleasant place with big lawn, there is a calmness mixed with pleasure.

For a few minutes we enjoy the tranquility and let the reverent atmosphere affect us. Our group is already far away and we have to go back to the entrance, where our driver is waiting in the cool car.

We continue to the Qutub minar located in the Qutb complex in Delhi.

Travel through Los Angeles to see Hollywood and Grammys

I was in Miami when a friend of mine wrote to alert me of the annual Grammy awards. And as soon as I read it, without even knowing if I could attend, I ran to a computer to reserve my place. With the fortune of already being in the US on those days, I was able to confirm my attendance to get to Los Angeles. We got up without hurry and called a taxi to get us to the airport.

Day 1: Finally we are going to Los Angeles

We checked our bags and went to have breakfast quietly, bought some food and drink to go. Finally, with more than an hour late, we embarked on the flight that would take us to Los Angeles. After five hours of travel, lunch, snack, dinner, trying to see films each one worse than the previous one, and chatting with the neighbors, we finally landed at 18.30 at the LAX Airport.

From the air I started to get excited with the views. I could not believe it, I had been waiting for more than a year and finally we were in Los Angeles! Five days before the ceremony there was already the Grammys atmosphere at the Los Angeles airport. When there are events of this caliber like Emmys, Oscars, SAGs, Grammys all week there are private parties and concerts.

It took us about an hour to pass the check and collect our bags and we went straight to get one of the shuttel that has a frequency of about fifteen minutes. Shortly after we were in the rental office ready to pick up our car. The issue of picking up the rental car was something that worried me a little. I had read lots of comments that referred to the somewhat aggressive sales techniques that the commercials seemed to have quite frequently.

As we already expected, the sales person informed us that the car we had booked was not available. He accompanied us to the parking lot to show us all the vehicles we could choose from with our reservation but none of them convinced us. So we decided to return to the office to give us a budget to reserve a car of a higher category. But we did not give up, we told him it was a very special trip for us, and finally we got him to lower the price and hire the car with the lowest mileage among all the convertible that were currently in the parking lot.

About 20 minutes later we arrived at our hotel in Santa Monica. We had three nights booked. The first impression of the hotel was very good. We found a spacious room with a small kitchen, located on the ground floor and with entrance from a private patio.

Between the arrival delay time of the flight, the time we lost in changing the car reservation, the time it took to get to Santa Monica from the airport and the check-in at the hotel we were quite late. When we prepared the trip we thought about dedicating this evening to walk around Santa Monica Pier but we almost did not have time. So we decided to go out and buy some food to take to the room in a hot dog stand side of the hotel and rest after the trip. In a few hours we would finally be walking the streets of Los Angeles!

Day 2: Hollywood, Venice and Santa Monica

We got up at 7 in the morning as new. We had some intrigue to know how we would be affected by the jet lag. But the truth is that we slept all night without any problems and we get up full of energy. We had breakfast in the hotel in a small breakfast room with only four tables. We never had to wait more than five minutes, apart from the fact that it was also possible to pick up breakfast to take it to the room.

At 8 o'clock in the morning, we were on our way to our first visit of the day. We were going to see the Hollywood sign! According to the GPS we had about 35 minutes to get there, but the road became eternal. We found works on the highway and we were diverted by another road. This coupled with the traffic at that time of the morning forced us to spend more than an hour and a half of travel. We did not start the day very well.

The address we put on the GPS was Canyon Lake Drive. We take the photos right from the park, with the sign in the background. From what I have read, if you continue up the road there are more viewpoints, but we were satisfied with the views we had from there, which really are very good. With the time we had already lost we could not take much longer in the area.

The next visit of the day was, of course, the Walk of Fame, and the old Kodak Theater (now Dolby Theater). In fifteen minutes we arrived at the Hollywood & Highland Center, a shopping center where we parked the car. It has a direct exit to the Dolby Theater.

We spent more than an hour practically walking the entire Walk of Fame, down Hollywood Boulevard all the way to the junction with Vine Street. Here I insisted on finding Audrey Hepburn. We spent a lot of time looking for stars on the floor. As we did not want to waste a lot of time we bought some food and had lunch while looking for more stars. I had a list of some and it saved us a lot of time not having to go looking for them specifically.

To finish in the area we still needed to see another of the icon of Hollywood, the Chinese Theater.

I liked Hollywood a lot. I had read such bad comments about how dirty and decadent the area was and maybe that's why I was so pleasantly surprised. We returned to the parking lot of the mall and went to Carroll Avenue. The street is full of beautiful houses, with well-kept gardens. We did not stay long and went to our next stop, Olvera Street, or what is the same, the historic town of Los Angeles.

Olvera Street is a pretty picturesque neighborhood that stretches along a street where a Mexican market is there. If you have time you can visit the oldest house in Los Angeles (Avila Adobe). We did not go. If you like Mexican food this is a good place to eat in some of the many restaurants along this street or to shop in the different shops and market stalls that are there. In fact, we regret having gone and not having been able to take more time in Santa Monica, that we liked!

But before finishing the day in Santa Monica we still had to pay a visit. We were going to see Venice and its channels. We parked on the street without any problems and took a walk through the channels while it was late afternoon. When we finally arrived in Santa Monica it was already night. The fact that it was shortly after six in the afternoon did not help us much to take advantage of the days.

Santa Monica was for me had the best of Los Angeles. What we had left of the afternoon we decided to walk along the pier and see the amusement park and all the references to Route 66 in the area. And to end the day we go for dinner and drinks! The restaurant is great. We enjoyed what was left at night and took some souvenirs.

When we were leaving for the hotel we were clear that we would have to go back to the beach. We had not been able to see the booths of the guards, nor the beach in daylight. The next day we would have to get up earlier than expected.

Grammys travel los angeles museum miami

Day 3: Universal Studios, Warner and Lakers

When we prepared the trip we had the doubt of which park to visit, Universal or the Warner. We have always loved the Friends series. I do not remember the times I will have seen each of the seasons and yet I never get tired. But on the other hand, I had read so much about the Universal Studio tour that I did not want to miss it either.

I have to admit that we do not especially like amusement parks and we had no special interest in spending a full day at Universal Studios as most people do. So we finally decided to visit the two, and spend the time we were at Universal mainly at the Studio tour.

But before we went to Universal we still had something to do. We go back to Santa Monica to see what we had left pending the night before. We parked again in the Pier parking lot but this time for free. I think they did not charge us anything because it was too early.

We took a walk on the beach, and took a few pictures in the light of day. The truth is that for a moment we wanted to stay there the rest of the day lying in the sun, but we still had a lot to do. When we finished seeing Santa Monica (for the second time) we went to Universal. We did not have very clear timetables of the Studio tour because they seem to vary according to the time of year.

When we arrive we are given information with the schedules of all the passes of the Studio Tour and the rest of the shows. Even though we had the idea of ​going on the tour at 10:30 am, when we arrived we realized that there were none. So we took advantage of the free time and walk around the park and take pictures with all the characters we found. We would also have liked to see the Waterworld show, but the first session was just after the Studio tour so we also missed it.

We loved the Studio tour, and only for this is worth visiting Universal. Although we do not like the attractions as we sure enjoy spending a morning in the park. The tour lasts one hour and 45 minutes and is like a movie. The best place to sit is the left side of the train that is from where we have the best views and we can take the best pictures.

We loved seeing the sets and sets of series like "Desperate Housewives", the simulations and special effects, as well as the surprises that we find along the way like seeing a flood in real time or feeling an earthquake while we are in a metro station.

When we left we were left with the desire to go to see the Waterworld show but as I said the schedules did not coincide. So we decided to go to eat at the restaurant set in the Flintstones where we ate some hamburgers and a salad to recover strength for what we had during the day.

Shortly after two o'clock we went to the Warner studios, which is quite close to Universal. Before starting the visit, they give us a video that lasts about twenty minutes about the history. The video is in English. In the screening room we were about 15 people but our surprise came when we picked up the guides to start the tour. We were going to have a completely customized tour for us two alone. Our guide, asked us at all times what we were most interested in visiting to spend as much time as possible.

The visit was great, but the best thing was to be at the Central Perk for more than half an hour and to be able to take a thousand photos in each of the corners of the set. They allow us to be there as long as we were, so we left very happy there. We managed to find ourselves a place and eat some pretty good pizzas at a reasonable price, including drinks.

We continue walking among skyscrapers until our next stop at the Microsoft Theater. It is located in the square of the same name, where the Grammy awards of music are given. And around it has some slabs with the names of the winners of each year in the different prizes, best song, best album etc. Once inside, they gave us the bad news that we could not record or photograph being backstage.

But in the lobby, I could record the guide telling us how the delivery ceremony is basically a long 3.5-hour concert with 30 performances and a parade of artists. It is worth noting that he was not any guide, but was one of the producers of the show.

We spent almost an hour touring backstage and the most interesting thing was to see dozens of platforms with all the instruments of each band or singer that were going to be presented. They told us that the staging of each artist is mounted on 10-20 platforms (with wheels) that they then take and take off the stage in record time.

It was a perfect day and we still had the best. We see a game of Lakers vs Clippers at the Staples Center! In the vicinity of Staples there are lots of parking and we had no problem leaving the car. We had to enter the stadium with the Reflex if we wanted to take pictures. The compact camera was already out of battery because in the morning in Universal we decided to use that because I knew there was a risk of it getting wet.

So when we got into the access control of the Staples and after a quarter of an hour waiting, the security told us they will not allow us to go with that type of cameras to the stadium and that we had to leave it if we wanted to access it. We decided to try again in another access control and this time we found a friendlier watchman who let us pass without problems.

I really would never have imagined that I could have such a good time in an NBA game. The atmosphere in the stadium is a show in itself, with the music, the cameras, and the people. We had a great time even though the Lakers lost. It was one of the best moments of the trip and one of the most remembered since we returned!

But we still had things to see in Los Angeles. We could not leave the city without visiting one of its best known neighborhoods: Beverly Hills. I dine tonight at a typical American restaurant in which at night the dinners are accompanied by a country show. When we arrived I realized that the place was just as I had imagined it. People dined at their tables while a group of cowboys played country music on the stage at the back of the venue.

For dinner, we had two options as the main course, salmon or chicken. At my table, we preferred the salmon and we also liked the garnishes of broccolini and mini-potatoes. And we ended up with the southern strawberry cake. The dessert was not very important, as after enjoying the whole afternoon, we did not care much.

I loved the place! After dinner we went back to the hotel. The town looked beautiful but it was very cold (and it was very windy). Tomorrow we have an appointment with the Route 66, on the way to the Grand Canyon.

Winter Holidays in Ski Slopes of Davos in Switzerland

Have you ever heard of Davos? Do you know where this mountain town is? It is perhaps the highest in the Alps at 1560m. Every year there is the World Economic Forum, and all the important people of the world (or almost) find themselves there. It is the largest mountain resort in the Alps, a very cosmopolitan resort.

After having discovered it last May during conferences, we wanted to see the station under its winter face. It must be said that I had already come a few years ago skiing when I was in Erasmus in Germany, but the weather did not let me see the mountains ..

Reaching Davos, from Locarno is a bit of an expedition in Switzerland in grandiose landscapes. With my Swiss Travel Pass in the pocket I head to take the train to Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino. This will be the only big waiting period. I have half an hour to enjoy a cappuccino on the terrace cafe of the station, to wait for the postal bus to Chur, which is the capital of Graubunden.

These yellow buses will become a usual vision during my stay here. They crisscross all over Switzerland! Comfortable, equipped with wi-fi, it is a rather cheap way to move around the country. As we get closer, the landscape becomes more and more alpine. The stone houses of Ticino give way to the chalets. The peaks are charged with snow. The mountain pastures shout their greenery and it is only the beginning of the trip

At Thusis, I embark on a train to Fillisur. It's not the Swiss Federal Railways but the Rhaetian Railway. Here I do not set foot anywhere, but on the Albula line, a UNECSO World Heritage Site just like Bernina, the other main Grisons line. A special train with panoramic windows, the Glacier Express, passes but for the common traveler, a regular train go on the same route.

And what to say? The landscape is enchanting! I feel like I'm in a photo book! The images of my first memories of crossing Switzerland, when I was six years old, broke from my memory, to be superimposed with the new memories. The highlight of the show is the passage over the Landwasser viaduct, a huge viaduct that spans the Landwasser and emblem of the Rhatische Bahn.

Leaving a tunnel, we suddenly find ourselves 65 meters high, on a viaduct that forms a graceful curve, which allows us to photograph part of the train, back or forward, while we cross it. At the end of the viaduct, we arrive directly at Filisur and its pretty little chalet-style place. This is where I will take the train to Davos where I'll be alone in my car!

And the first train I meet does not have a mandatory stop! Stops are on demand, as in a bus. It's just huge! For half an hour, we will continue to climb, because Davos is the highest city in Europe. Along the way, the landscape only smiles under the sun. I have only one desire, to go out and frolic! I wait for the next train when I'm done having fun at Davos Station.

I am at last at Davos Dorf. It took another bus to get there. Davos Platz and Davos-Dorf are not on the same line. I'm a few minutes early and the train from Chur will arrive.

Davos, the city of the international forum is the place where meets the gratin of the political and economic worlds. During a good week where one wonders how many things are said and decided in the alpine air. And yet, there is a way to stay while keeping a reasonable budget. So we head to the hostel! The hostel is a little out of the way and we have to climb a little to reach it.

Furnished with a wooden bed, the surprise is a large balcony overlooking the valley where the village is. It's a huge plus! But we have no time to waste. After leaving our stuff and have a little refreshed, we are on the way, on foot, for the Adventure Park Davos Farich.

Hidden in a small wood not far from Lake Davos is the perfect place to have fun with family. In any case, I saw no children. We are hungry and we go to eat fries and sausages. The Ticinese gastronomy with the sweet Italian accents seems far away! But the fries sprinkled with paprika are good and I never spit on a good sausage, especially when my teeth were the wooden floor of the snack. I have a beer!

The stomachs finally filled, I prefer to stay in the woods and I head for the Zipline. I had already done in South Africa. Here, there is a whole journey to be made and it is only me who must be in charge of my safety. On the training area, we are therefore explained safety rules, how to use hooks, interpret signs, arrange the pulley when we arrive at the zip line.

The whole thing is to acquire automatism. Once we do the maneuvers with the instructors, we start them alone, on the ground, under the eye of the instructor, before finally getting on the starting platform. There, we have the choice between several courses, from the easiest to the most difficult. I decided to start obviously with the easiest, to see if I could possibly continue if I feel it.

I hang on and off we go for a good half-hour. While I imagined that it would go by itself, before letting me slide, I am caught in a completely unexpected fear. I look down, I hesitate. I'm not dizzy but my body tells me that something is not normal. It tells me that I will have to hang on to the rope with all my strength when I have to let myself slip.

Suddenly, I get angry with myself. Since when did I become a fearful? I'm not going to stay there all day, especially since a kid of just twelve years old seems to be impatient behind me! So I start, but soon, I find myself having to put all my strength to pull me to my point of arrival. But what a ball! Finally, I will limit myself to the easy course.

davos switzerland travel guide hotels ski

Day 2

We loved the breakfast with a delicious assortment of tea, breads of all cereals as we like and special mention at the typical bircher muesli (I'm crazy and I'll go to Switzerland just for that) with fresh berries. After a solid breakfast, we pack our lunch to take away, and in a small procession, we take the bus before reaching the Rinerhorn cable car station.

Once up there, the view is breathtaking against a background of pure blue sky. We see snow-capped mountains, dark green fir trees and soft green alpine meadows, dotted with white, yellow, pink, fuschia, mauve and blue. We see the colors of thousands of mountain flowers like daisy, buttercups, forget-me-nots, gentians or alpine roses. It's beautiful. I want to frolic, to roll in the flowers, and sing loudly!

The trail goes around the mountain before going down to the valley. In the hours that follow, it will be a succession of breathtaking landscapes. We walk between meadow and small pine woods, with occasional small streams to cross. During the walk, I try to go far from my fellow hikers to enjoy all this magic. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure.

The walk ends at the entrance to the village of Sertig, where we eat our toast in the shadow of a small church surrounded by flowers, close to the road and a bus stop that will take us back to town. It's off again for a cable car ride! We are dropped off at the station that takes visitors and guests to the Hotel Schatzalp.

This hotel opened in 1900 as a former sanatorium is even higher than the hostel and can be visited as a real museum. To return to it, it is a little to plunge in a world made of well-off clientele, with the good air of the Alps. Apart from a more contemporary furniture, it is certain that we recognize the restaurant.

The evening menu is already arranged on the table. The big tables covered with white are already ready and all that is needed is lighting the candles! Outside on the other hand, the terrace is smiling and invites us to enjoy a cocktail, lying on a deck chair, with perhaps cuddles from one of the cats in the area.

After delicious rosti of grilled potato and fried egg and a hot punch with fresh orange and ginger, we feel we are hungry to attack the descent. We take the path of the village, via the hiking trail. Davos has its little lake. I wonder if there is a city in Switzerland that does not have its own! It is there, sparkling under the sun. Walking around is obviously nice but why not fall back into childhood and pedal? And hop! We embark in the small yellow boats.

If You Think it's Cold, Travel to Oymyakon

It is 12 o'clock and we are long overdue as we continue our travel to Oymyakon, the village of Siberia closest at the North Pole and known for being the coldest in the world. Our 4x4 has had failures and we have delayed repair. We should already have arrived but at this time of the night, we are still 230 km from our final stage. Before us, the Kyubeme river cuts the road and one of our drivers and guides, waders to search on foot, the best route to cross.

It's amazing to see the strength and dedication of him and his companion, who accompany us on this journey. They constantly drive and repair the van that takes us today to Oymyakon, the coldest place in the world. Here we only pray for a good bed and a hot meal, when the temperature as today is below zero degrees. Finally, we crossed the river masterfully. Although we halt a couple of times in between the torrent, the van starts smoothly and goes without question.

Once on the other side, we started the first 190 kilometers of the old Kolyma Highway, or Road of Bones, a route with a terrible story. It was built with the sweat of slave prisoners of the Russian gulag, and beneath it lie the bones of those who were dying in the harsh conditions of forced labor and winters in the Russian Far East. Testimony of this tragic story is the small set of barracks we found just across the river, where once prisoners slept.

We must continue unabated because our destiny is still far away. We spent almost five hours of bumpy mountains on this track, continuing our journey without stopping, sleeping and sitting with our knees folded, with heating at full speed and the latest Russian pop and dance hits blaring at full volume. We crossed some other vehicle in this remote area. One of them tells us that it has seen a bear. We simply see their huge footprints in the snow after a while.

We arrived at 5 in the morning to Tomtor, where we take the detour to Oymyakon. We refuel at the gas station in the town and start the last 30 kilometers to our destination. It took two hours to travel just 30 kilometers. Needless to say, the state of the road was quite complicated with huge potholes, holes filled with water and ice, detours through the taiga but we finally arrived.

Oymyakon images pictures

It was 7 in the morning and the sun is beginning to bathe the landscape. We arrive at the guest house, in the only village that welcomes the few tourists who come here. The lights are on and the hot food is about to be served. We take our shoes off in the changing room, a kind of room as an air chamber that insulates the house from the cold outside.

We opened the second door, which gives access to housing, and a couple in their sixties welcomes us warmly. The food is ready on the table with delicious meat soup and a little-boiled duck to nibble. There are also traditional pasta and fish oil. The omnipresent "chai" or tea, leads to goodbyes to sleep. Tomorrow (today) will be another day. We need to sleep, or that it is a few hours.

The alarm goes off at noon but exhaustion is such that we finally woke up around 2. The kitchen table is always ready for breakfast with royal delicious dishes. We take out our camera to visit the town. Our driver and guide is performing maintenance on the car. They assemble and disassemble parts, revise, adjust, and everything always with a smile on their face. The road is demanding, and very hard, and the vehicle suffers a lot.

Oymyakon is a quiet village of 900 inhabitants located in the Republic of Sakha in Yakutia in Russia. You could say that it is an isolated town if it were not for the road of about eight hours that brought us here. It is eight hours from the Kyubeme river, plus a couple or three hours to the next town. It takes two days of travel from Yakutsk, the capital of the Republic of Sakha. Its inhabitants are self-sufficient here in many ways. They keep horses to move as also vans, sidecar motorcycles, and vehicles. They have fishing boats (in summer) in the river to cross the villages. In winter, ice hole and fish live under it.

We reached the monument commemorating the record temperature of Oymyakon. On January 26, 1926, it reached -71.2 degrees. It was the lowest temperature ever recorded in a populated nation (except the bases in Antarctica). That is why this is known locally as "The Pole of Cold". Every year sub-zero temperatures are for more than nine months here. In January or February, it gets down to -40 degrees. In July it reaches again to 30 degrees in the positive. The huge contrasts make the locality adapt to the extreme weather.

There is no plumbing, as everything is frozen. The toilets of the house are outside, and yes, one must leave the comfortably heated 20 degrees inside the house to go outside and perform their needs. The thermal power station of the town help maintains a constant temperature inside the houses. If lower temperatures are reached within -50 degrees, the schools remain closed. Because yes, here life goes on as usual pace, and as we said children each day walk for more than seven kilometers to go to school in hot weather, cold, extreme cold, rain or snow. Every day.

Oymyakon images pictures

By mid-afternoon, we get back home to savor the snacks as a meal prepared for us. Hot soup again, this time accompanied with fried fish and traditional pastries. With good full belly, we go to the Russian sauna, the banya, where we throw our badly sweated bodies for half an hour in buckets of ice water. We are left totally refreshed. It's amazing how well we feel with these contrasts. We did not even touch the two buckets of hot water, located above the stove that warms the banya.

This time it is our Russian comrades who laugh at this fact. How can we have spent forty liters of ice water and not a single liter of hot water? At night, it's time to enjoy the tranquility of Oymyakon. Here the silence is overwhelming, and the quiet life. We have endless conversations in the kitchen. We take our little souvenir and we go to sleep, because tomorrow our route continues. We must take back the way to the main road, recrossing the Kyubeme river, and face the M56 to Magadan, our final destination on this trip.

Adventure in Snow Dunes in the Sahara Desert

We decided to spend Christmas in the Sahara desert, in search of the warmth of the sunny morning of the Tafilalt. We knew that, in the night, the temperatures would be even lower but by the time the sun fell, we would be covered, warm and almost in bed. What we could not imagine is that we would find snow upon arrival.

When the guide arrived, we got into the car, and we left for the Sahara desert. After so many hours of travel to get to Zagora the day before, today was short and more enjoyable. We made a stop at a mud workshop where they explained the process of making the typical dishes they use in Marrakesh. Even I had the opportunity to make one.

After explaining how to dry them in an oven at high temperatures, the last thing was the return to the store. We followed the route and soon we realized that the landscape was beginning to change. We were entering the Sahara desert and signs announce at every step to ask to be respectful with the place, people and the water, that is so scarce in those places.

Once in a hundred years, nature works the miracle, and a thin layer of snow spreads in the white palm trees and dunes. The driver, is quite upset and I do not know why. I get up on my seat and I can see that there is no way to go. The road disappeared, being covered by a mantle of several centimeters of snow. There is a long line of cars and buses stopped in front and behind us.

After making a stop to buy bottles of water, in a few minutes we arrived at the place where the camels came from. And in this way, in an ephemeral way with the snow on the sand, we arrived during Christmas in the Sahara Desert, after crossing a snowy and beautiful landscape, as they had never before told us to imagine. Halfway down the road, between sleep, light dreams and little rest, I notice that the car has stopped. We only take the essentials to spend that night and the rest we kept in the minivan. We took the backpack, put the handkerchiefs and rode on the camels with no seats on top of the animal! There are a couple of blankets on the spine. The experience, apart from being painful was fantastic.

At our feet, the landscape was changing and the green of the palm trees began to run out and get increasingly brown until all we saw was sand and dunes. The trip was very entertaining, although I did not know how to get on with the jumping of the camel. We laughed a lot and more when someone got off the rope and strayed from the road.

It took an hour until we reached the camp. My mouth was getting drier and I was not carrying any bottle of water. I felt in my own flesh how bad it is to be thirsty in the desert. The first thing I did at the bottom was to drink a liter of water and then I, like children, went running to explore the camp and see our haima.

There were a few stores and we went straight to an almost mindless one. The interior of this one only had two mattresses on the floor and blankets. The excitement of knowing that we were going to sleep one night in the Sahara desert meant that we did not find anything wrong with it.

We left our backpacks and went out to run around the dunes as just behind our tent there was a huge one that jutted out over all the others. So we started to run and make an effort because of the incline that was. Taking out the feet that sank in the sand we reached the top. What a fantastic view up there!

Everything around us, from where we were to the horizon was desert. Euphoric and making gestures of victory I shouted to take a picture of me, another together, until it began to turn dark and we ran back. In the middle of the camp they spread a huge carpet where we gathered for tea and nuts while the guides lit a fire and prepared dinner for us.

I could see in the smiles of the people the enthusiasm for having arrived. So the gathering lasted until the couscous was ready and continued during the evening in the light of the moon and a small lamp that we lit. Just after the watermelon dessert finished the show, the guides came out with percussion instruments and gestured us to sit around the bonfire to enjoy the show.

They started with popular songs, whose lyrics only they understood. Then they even wanted us to get up and dance, and despite the embarrassment I was getting, I ended up moving my legs to the rhythms. That night ended in the best way with music, dancing and with mattresses in the open sleeping under the stars.

Snow in Sahara desert

Day 2

I felt the soft breeze on my back bristling the skin and I felt the need to cover myself with a sheet. I opened my eyes and saw the moon. Then I remembered that I was still sleeping under the starry blanket that covered the Sahara that night. As comfortable as I was and afraid to break that tranquility I did not dare to get up and get close to the haima.

So I took the handkerchief that was still rolled on my feet. I unfolded it and covered my whole body. I closed my eyes and then I stopped listening to any noise other than my breathing and kept on sleeping. I was the first to get up and the one in charge of awakening the rest of the group. I went around the entire camp and although we had all decided to sleep in the open, I approached each couple saying good morning.

Stretching at a snail's pace, some even resisted moving from the mattress and leaving the bed that had provided them with such a magical night. So they stayed in bed until I insisted that we go for breakfast. The walks to the makeshift bathroom followed each other. We crossed each other and with our eyes still half closed, we greeted each other.

Finally we all met in the haima dining room where breakfast was prepared. We ate in a hurry because we were already late and according to plan we would have to reach the arrival point of the camels before the sun came out as the road would become unbearable. We gave the breakfast remains to the Berber cats that inhabited the camp. We picked up our backpacks and went to the camels.

This time the road was more painful than pleasant. With the laces already well established in our legs, the jumps that the animal gave up and down the dunes were throbbing pain. I try to change position every few meters. In spite of everything, the tour became shorter. Before leaving in the minivan again, we said goodbye to the Berbers and gave them a tip in gratitude for the good night they had us pass and the exquisite food they had served us.

Now we had to travel the hundreds of kilometers we had made to return to Marrakech. So we settled ourselves in the best possible way in the van and left there. Now the atmosphere inside the minivan was different, tired. With some confidence already, each one was looking for the most comfortable position to make the road hours more bearable.

Finally we arrived at Ourzazate, but this time we ate at a different restaurant. We went upstairs where there was a terrace, believing that there might be a little wind there to alleviate the suffocation during the meal, but it was in vain. At that point the temperature was the same as in the lower part. So although there was one, I did not dare to eat cus-cus with such heat.

During the meal we talked about who wanted to visit the museum and as no one wanted at the end we were all together to visit the old town. The center of this one was little more than narrow and dark alleys in whose corners there was always some shopkeeper trying to sell something. The guide was explaining curiosities about the people and their way of life, leaving me thoughtful.

The owner of a riad, opened the doors of her hostel so that we could see the typical decoration in that area. The rooms has a lot of decoration and color but without being overloaded. The patio is full of plants and illuminated, with the cozy dining room and the huge terrace. It was the most beautiful riad in which I would not have cared to stay for a few days if it was well priced.

The brief visit to Ourzazate ended. That was the last stop with a proper name. The next ones were just to stretch the legs. So in a few hours we arrived in Marrakech. Our guide left us in the Djemaa el-Fna square. We said goodbye to him and he left.

We stayed in the riad in Marrakech. We kept their backpacks and took a good shower. Once we were all dressed up we met in the patio. While we decided where to have dinner that night we taste the hookah. The manager promised to buy tobacco and charcoal and promised us that when we got back we would have the hookah ready on the terrace.

When we had just taken the tea to which we were invited, we went out to find a place to dine for the last time. We finish again in one of the restaurants in the square where we had been, but this time on the terrace where the views were insurmountable and now with more company. With that panoramic background that enlivened the evening, we dined tajin for the last time. We remembered moments of the tour. We chatted long and hard.

The colophon was on the terrace of the riad where the owners had prepared the hookah with fruit snuff and left it at one of the tables that were near the sofas where we settled. And that was the outdoor scene where between weep and puff we said goodbye to Marrakech and Morocco.

Traveling Miami, Los Angeles and Coachella

It is always a dream to travel to California. For my trip to Coachella, I have decided to make this post in which I will show you my trip in full. Coachella means boho style, crazy people, top musicians, pool parties and lots of fun. My first Coachella festival definitely blew me away.

It all started last year when I joked a bit about buying tickets for Coachella. Only a few weeks later I was sitting in front of my computer and an hour later I was proud owner of Coachella tickets and a campsite. For the longest time we did not worry, because it was still so far away. Now it is only 1 week and we are planning more and more details of our trip.

Day 1

From New York we take the flight to my first stop at Miami. As our flight to LA was in the evening I took the opportunity to enjoy the beach, walk around the city and go shopping! Ocean Drive is one of the most popular and lively areas of Miami, an ideal place to dine and have a drink. But, above all, I had time to relax at the wonderful hotel in Miami. My favorite place to stay every time I travel there.

What I like most are the wide terraces of their rooms overlooking the beach, where I always enjoy a little bit of relaxation and good reading. In Miami I also love going to eat Mexican food. They have the best margaritas and ceviche. After the day enjoying Miami, I jumped into Los Angeles in the evening.

We built our journey around Coachella. So we rented a house and a car. Since we were all a bit jet-lagged, it made sense to spend a day in LA to get in the rhythm. We did our shopping. We packed the car and at 8 pm we started. We then went on a 5 hour drive crossing Indio to Coachella, which is about 2 hours in the direction of the desert.

Day 2

Around 1:00 am we finally arrived in Coachella Valley. After a short walk around town we quickly realized that the tent was rather good, but we definitely are not well equipped. We then quickly set up the tent and then went to bed.

In the morning we quickly realized that the tent and the air mattresses are not enough. The sun was so strong from 7:00 that we woke up and almost died from heat. We went to the festival area around noon, but we did not have much luck with the cooling down. So we went back to the campground after a walk over the grounds. There, our tent neighbors gave us shelter in their shade until we all went back to the festival together.

The search for a parking place lasted at least 45 minutes on site. The way to the terrain is already an experience in itself. Masses of happy and festive people accompany us along the approximately 1 km long path. When I saw the legendary Ferris wheel soaring into the sky, my anticipation was at its peak and a big grin spread across my face. The most difficult decision at the festival is then: Which artists do I want to see? Because with 7 stages you inevitably always miss 6 concerts.

Regular festival goers stroll alongside colorful birds or A-class celebrities and fans celebrate. Everyone is welcome here and everyone feels comfortable.

At first we simply listened to artists and DJs randomly and had dinner. The acts began, which we really wanted to see. We started the musical evening. After a short walk, we briefly listened where we ended the evening then. The stage shows and light shows were really good and cool. The atmosphere was also really cool and the great thing was that there was so much time between the acts on the individual stages that the people left and we got a good seat 10 minutes before the start of the show and even during the shows there was hardly any scrum or jibe.

We are then back to the tent at 2 o'clock in the tent.

Traveling Miami, Los Angeles and Coachella

Day 3

Again we were awakened by 7:00 am from the sun and were able to escape this only for the next 4 hours. I completely overslept this time and our neighbors thought I had a fierce hangover. After the extra nap and something to eat I felt better and so we made our way to the festival at noon to load our cell phones and external chargers.

The day started well as the Coachella Pool Party on noon was another highlight. The drinks were cold, the weather was hot and there was DJ music. In a private atmosphere there were interesting conversations, and promising contacts. There was even time to soak up the sun, before we made ourselves on the way to the festival site.

Colorful flower walls, food and beverage stalls, a R&B DJ and a pink roller skating rink provided an overwhelming private area with the right mood. Only those who own one of the coveted ribbons can celebrate the dangerous-looking security and celebrate in an exclusive circle. But then we take a fresh sip of ice cold coconut water at the pool for a hour or two to relax and unwind from the busy night.

By the way, the most followed trend in the Coachella Festival is bandana covering the nose and mouth. Everything has its explanation and, in this case, the dust of the desert forced everyone to follow fashion.

We sat there especially in the shade, because we took a towel to sit on it. Since our program started later, we have used the meantime to take some photos.

After a concert and another photo session, we first bought something for dinner and then it was already time for nother show. But after only a few songs in the middle of the crowd, I decided to sit behind the crowd. I sat back down and the others disappeared into the crowd after some time. We went back to the tent and at 2:00 in bed. Our neighbors had tried to persuade us to a party, but the bed was tempting.

Day 4

The sun did not spare us today and we woke up at 7:00. Since all our cell phones were pretty dead, we spent the time sleeping in the rest of the shade. When the shadow was gone, we took turns to the showers and I tell you these showers were a dream. There were also hot water showers. One had asked me if they can use my mobile charger meanwhile, but since this was almost empty I denied. It did not prevent them from using it and making it completely empty.

When we got ready we went to the festival area one last time. After a good lunch we went first to the typical Coachella Ferris wheel, which was also air conditioned. After a walk and a photo session we went to the first concert. We started the day on the big stage. The evening will be followed by a visit to another. We had to get out. So I fell asleep around 23:00 but was woken up by our neighbors at 2:00 because they were trying to find out if we were already sleeping.

Day 5

At 4:00 our alarm sounded, because we had to go to the airport in Phoenix. We left 30 minutes later than planned. We arrived in Phoenix at 9:00, spent the whole day cleaning up and planning.

After the Coachella all options were open and so we decided to go to Las Vegas and spend a few nights there.