Sunday, October 9, 2016

An Autumn Wonder : Schwarzwald (Black Forest)

Let the adventure begin. Stunning, unique wonders of nature scattered across triangle delimited by the lively university city of Frieburg ; Triberg, cuckoo clock capital in the north; and the charming river-valley city of St Blasien in the southeast.

The varied views of boundless expanses evoke a sense of freedom that photos and words are unable to reproduce.

The Schwarzwald (Black Forest) gets its name from its dark, slightly sinister canopy of evergreens: this is where Hansel and Gretel encountered the wicked witch

I didn’t manage to see all of it since the scenery is simply too impressive to be rushed through. 

If you’re looking to be amazed by your surroundings, and also interested in seeing something that not all tourists know about, head on to the forest and camp there for a night.

and it certainly might cross your mind that this is a place that you will never want to leave.

The summer crowds have thinned by then, and the spectacle of fall color that began in late September is still in full swing. As the red leaves and the rusts and yellows of maple turn the park into a cornucopia of color. Autumn leaves start falling like rain.

In fall there's only one word needed to describe the landscape - yellow. Bright golden aspens contrast starkly with evergreens, causing many to flock to the area in September, earlier than usual due to high elevations.

Oh look what I spotted, Birds frolicking against the beautiful fall backdrop.

And this one was chirping cheerfully and setting up postcard goals.

When the larch trees’ needles turn amber, you know that fall is almost through and to quote the Starks of Winterfell " Winter Is Coming." !!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Portuguese Corridor !!

Only reason we chose to visit Lisbon and stay at nearby Beach town was our temptation and urge to get some sunshine in March, but believe me we got plenty of add-ons.

Relaxing beaches, ancient castles and delicious wines, are just a few of the added delights of this trip to Portugal.

The capital of Portugal offers visitors a good combination of cultural landmarks steeped in history blended with contemporary landscapes and open spaces

These narrow streets are where you’ll find the beating heart of the city.  

The city juggles the relaxed feel of southern Europe with a weightier history and heritage, but it also has a youthful energy that seems to stem from the light.

The Bairro Alto area has the best nightlife because the streets in this quarter buzz from early afternoon to early morning.

If you visit Lisbon’s largest fresh food market – Mercado da Ribeira – you’ll discover there’s much more to the city’s cuisine than tinned sardines and custard tarts.

The best thing to do in Lisbon is to sit at the waterfront of Praça do Comercio,  enjoy the sun and watch the boats go by.

Estoril - Cascias

Once a residence to royal family of King Luis in 18th century , these town are now colorful, refined and home to luxurious villas and golf courses .

The town has a famous casino, named as the largest in Europe.

You can step directly onto a beach, the seafood tastes ocean fresh and the sun shines for 300 days of the year. 


Today it attracts visitors from all over the world and should be ticked off your Lisbon to-do list.

It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is known to be Romanticist place holding 9 castle.

Pena National Palace that stands on the top of a hill , is a flamboyant complex that was commissioned by an artistic king who wished the building to represent that of an opera.

Each section of the exterior is individually styled with vivid colors and fine stone carvings.

Cafe de Paris is the iconic restaurant set in tourist location since 1920s.
Michelin guide has nominated this cafe , so you can imagine the star credentials it has got.

Sit back, order a glass of Porto wine and enjoy the dinner at Cascias harbor. If you want to go out later, visit one of the many bars or show up at casino Estoril before you head back to the hotel. Who knows you could win your next trip to Portugal !!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bohemian Tale : Praha

Long on history and even longer on charm, it’s easy and perhaps even recommended to get lost in Prague

Meander through its cobble stoned streets and allow yourself to be surprised when you come upon one of the courtyards that suddenly appears, seemingly out of thin air. Follow the melody of classic music

Nearly undamaged during World War II, Prague managed to retain the bulk of its historic architecture in true form and it has been a charming city of cobbled lanes, bridges, towers, cathedrals and countless church spires for more than ten centuries.

The Old Town Square, with its ancient buildings and magnificent churches, marks a beautiful and historical sight in Prague. I love the feeling of simply standing in the middle of square, basking in the warm sunbeams, taking in the sights and sounds, admiring the charming architecture, and basically just breathing the joy of life.

The Astronomical clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still functioning. Every hourly, a clockwork mechanism show takes place, which has become a major tourist attraction in Prague. Named "The Walk of the Apostles", during the procession, a small window opens, the Apostles march out and notably the Skeleton of death tolls the bell.

If Charles Bridge is glorious by day, it is even more striking by night when the bright lights illuminate the dark skies above. I guess I somehow preferred the serenity, nice breeze and simply the feeling of being around people in love.

And this would be the my favorite part of the city. John Lennon wall painted by locals.
After his murder on 8 December 1980 John Lennon became a pacifist hero for many young Czechs. An image of Lennon was painted on a wall in a secluded square opposite the French Embassy (there is a niche on the wall that looks like a tombstone), along with political graffiti and Beatles lyrics. Even after the authorities would try to whitewash the wall, the rebels would just come back and paint messages of peace and love at night. Still today, the wall is constantly changing with people adding new things to it every day.

Resuming the walk to the magnificent structures , here is the Tanzendes Haus named Dancing house . It looks like a guy giving his girlfriend a squeeze. Frank Gehry, who co-designed it with Vlado Milunić, dubbed it his "Fred and Ginger" building, after the dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Viewed from the right angle, the building could whisk off its corner and dance up the Vltava River. 

There was still a lot to explore and taste and drink. Concluding the visit,  you should try it if you want something where there is peace and history and never dull nightlife.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Venetian Lagoon Gem

Last year, I hot-footed my way to the place I would like to live in after I retire. Well, frankly speaking,  A place where I would like to spend A lifetime.
I liked many islands I visited in recent 5 years but but the most colorful was definitely Burano island, in Venice, Italy.

While staying in Venice, there is a lot to see other than just famous St.Mark's Square.
The islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello are destinations in their own right. Murano is where all the Venetian glass is made, Burano is the home of Venetian lace, and Torcello is the now-mostly-uninhabited home of the original Venice.

I'd heard it was quaint and isolated, with no cars allowed on the island, but I had no idea how colorful and rich with character this floating town would be!

Burano is a photo-lover’s paradise.
Ever seen those photos of Venice that show brightly-painted buildings and flowerpots.Those aren’t from the main island of Venice, but Burano
Families used to paint their homes in bright colors to designate where their family’s quarters ended and a neighbor’s began, as well as to make their homes more visible from the sea. The tradition has stuck.

Today, Burano is a rainbow of fun, bright colors—and the perfect place for that great Venice photo-up.

From a distance the buildings look like storybook sets; up close their weathered paint texture and age-old street names result in a juxtaposition to the abundance of cheerful color.

Lace making on Burano island
Burano has been occupied from the 6th century, but it only became important in the 16th century, when women on the island began making lace with needles and it became popular among the European elite. It’s a fine art form and takes an incredible amount of patience and time to create. So as you can imagine, it’s a luxury few can afford. Most of the lace that’s for sale in souvenir shops is affordable, so it’s not created by hand.

If you ever find yourself planning a trip to Venice, make sure to spend at least half a day on the whimsical fisherman's island of Burano. It's a true Italian gem!