digging a hole
hoping to hide
from the rest of the world
I feel you little boy…
digging a hole
hoping to hide
from the rest of the world
I feel you little boy…
Autumn is my favourite season and I love everything about it. The colour, how can anyone not like the colour? Beautiful yellows, burnt oranges and dark reds make it the most charming, happy time of the year. The weather, not too hot not too cold, just the way I like it. Yes it will get colder towards the end but we are not talking about that. 🙂
Last autumn we decided to go to Mornington Peninsula. A beautiful region in Victoria, short drive from Melbourne or a lovely ferry ride from Geelong. It’s the wine country or so I like to think. Gorgeous beaches overlooking Port Philip Bay, acres and acres of wineries and good food AND the hot springs! Yup that’s where we headed on a slightly chilled autumn morning. Steaming hot natural springs, you can just immerse yourself in the water and fall asleep.
Next day on our way home we decided to stop at The Enchanted Maze Garden and enchanted we were. It turned out to be the most beautiful, breathtaking place I have been to and with my love for autumn I didn’t want to leave. It felt like we just walked in to a fairy tale, massive orange coloured tree line with orange and red leaves EVERYWHERE like a carpet, black wrought iron tables and chairs covered with colourful leaves, a massive green maze with a Japanese water feature, random sculptures and little games, a charming cafe with homemade fudge (YUM) and sweets and shelves and shelves of candy in jars, colourful lollies and kids running everywhere. It was just amazing.
Here are a few photos to make you jealous (if you too like autumn) 🙂 and in a few weeks it will be autumn again and hopefully will be as beautiful as the last.
p.s – I am sorry I haven’t been able to read your posts lately as I have moved houses and still without internet. At my friends place it took me more than 3 hours to get this post up as it is sloooooow.
This is a sad day. After so many posts I have come to the end of my amazing Italian journey and Venice is the last stop.
From Florence we took a train to Venice. Venice! I am finally going to see Venice. Excitement was building up, hopes high, eager to explore; we finally got to the ethereal ‘city of water’. I was instantly disappointed! Why? How? I actually don’t know. It just didn’t feel welcoming enough. So I took a deep breath and watched hundreds of people move around me, busier and faster than anywhere else in Italy, water buses taking in as many tourists as they can, people getting lost with their luggage and decided it’s time to move on.
The best way to travel in Venice is by water taxies, which make sense since the whole city is on water and you would think it’s cheap. No, it was expensive! We are just a couple of graduates on a budget, so what did we do? We decided to ‘hike’! I say hike because we literally walked from one end of the island to the other and crossed so many bridges, climbed so many steps up and so many steps down with our back packs, at the end of it we felt like we have climbed a decent size mountain.
Yes we were tired but we saw Venice in a total different way. The tiny alley ways that takes the whole of Italy to another level is still prominent in Venice maybe more so than anywhere else. It’s pretty much like walking through a maze. You don’t know where you are going but every corner, every turn there is something wonderful.
It was more ‘touristy’ and expensive than anywhere else I have been to and that put me off a bit but the more you go inside the island away from those crowded areas, Venice had a nice charm, nice homely feeling about it that one can’t but feel good about.
I should have done this long time ago but somehow I didn’t. I have only started this blog few months ago and still trying to figure my way in to the world of blogging. But I tell you it has been an awesome ride so far. I have been loving every day of it and that is thanks to YOU, who took the time to come and have a look at what I have to show and what I have to say. So thank you.
Also there were some amazing people who thought my little blog was good enough to be nominated for few awards. This is the thing; I am not so big on awards. But I think I owe it to everybody to say thank you to those who nominated me and to tell how amazing their blogs are and to tell you go have a look. 🙂 So thank you;
Sreejit Poole – ofmindormatter.com – Dedicated to Life, Death and the Pursuit of Humanity
Arindam Saha – whenintrovertspeaks.wordpress.com – Random thoughts from a Physicist about everything but physics
Paul – notesfromcamelidcountry.net/ – A travel blog from Bolivia and beyond
Clearly I am breaking all the rules of these awards (oops!) but the most important thing for me is to say thank you to all you wonderful people out there who have become my ‘friends without faces’ 🙂
This is another one of my favourite places and i still can’t believe I was there. The architecture mind-blowing, the weather wonderful, the place mesmerizing and the experience unforgettable. I don’t think any more words are necessary to describe how amazing Pisa was/is. So here are some photos, hope you will enjoy them as much as I did. 🙂
“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning” – J. B. Priestly
So another New Year is here and everyone seems excited about it and their New Year’s resolutions. I never was excited about the New Year or never really made resolutions. For me New Year is just another day. But to keep myself and everyone else positive I thought I’ll put a few words out there………
Turns out I don’t have any words of wisdom, so here are my ramblings while gulping down meloncello straight from the bottle. 🙂 (I am not drunk, it’s just so hot out here)
Ok so I love my life… sometimes…. but then again that’s how everyone rolls isn’t it? 🙂
I have so many things in queue and they are very fair and small goals just to get my life back on track. I am not lost or anything, I know what I want and what I want to be doing, I just don’t know how to get there. And I have had enough of running up and down and not get where I want to exactly. So I am hoping to change a few things this time around.
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland
I need someone to tell me how to get things done. Don’t we all you say? Everybody’s lives would have been so much better and so much easier if there was a little gene in bottle or an angel on your shoulder, but the problem is there are no such things. It’s you and only you can figure your way in and out of things you want.
“No one saves us but our selves, no one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path” – Lord Buddha
“In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
So for a little inspiration, a little guidance I turned to Google. (C’mon it’s what we all do, isn’t it?) 🙂 I rammed through pages of inspirational quotes by people wiser than I am and it helped. It really did. Not just reading through but actually believing in them. So I wanted to share some that inspired me and I hope I remember these through the coming year of ups and downs. Like they say;
”It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up that matters.”– Vince Lombardi
On a different matter I now understand why they say ‘youth is wasted on the young’ so true. I am still young (considerably) 😉 and still I feel like by the time we finish school, go through university, get a job and earn something to be able to live independently you have spent the best times of your lives and don’t even know it. Oh well that should be another post all together. However, this is what I live by now. I always keep reminding myself this and is my golden rule at the moment.
“If you want to do something, you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse” – Anonymous
So this is my plan number one for the foreseeable future.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius 🙂
This new year I hope all of you will have enough motivation and guidance to carry out the things you need to do, I hope along the way you get inspired because life without inspiration is no fun life, I hope all of you get at least a bit spoilt by someone who loves you, I hope everyone will have a job regardless of you like it or not, I hope this year you will remember to smile and I hope you all will have a good 2013. 🙂
”Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.” – Roy Goodman
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light ” – Aristotle Onassis
I found my favourite city in the WORLD! Ok so I haven’t seen most of the cities in the world so let me be fair to all other cities that are frowning at me, Florence is my favourite city SO FAR. I fell in love and I still can recall the feeling when I woke up in the hotel room and looked out on to the beautifully calm streets, when I walked the narrow streets filled with gorgeous people, taking in the fresh morning air after climbing hundreds of steps to get to Piazzale michelangelo, the smell of coffee when I passed a tiny cafe or the taste of freshly baked pastries on the side of the road. If that is not love, I don’t know what is. 🙂
I think that is enough explaining, here are some photos. Hope you see what I saw….
Ponte Veccio (old bridge)
Piazzale Michelangelo – you will never forget the view you get of all of Florence from this place and you would not want to leave. The bus drive back down from top of piazzale michelangelo was one of the most scenic and best drives I have ever had in my life. That’s when I knew I was in love. 😉 If you are in florence don’t forget to climb about 200 stept up to this place and then take a bus ride back down. Trust me you will LOVE it. Oh and do it in the morning too. 🙂
We are on our way covering southern Italy. After visiting Pompeii we are off to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The little car (there are ONLY little cars everywhere you look) was expertly manoeuvred through tiny streets, sometimes taking almost 360o turns, passing busy locals, wandering tourists and little shops of all things Italian.
A little after the sun has set, we arrived in the beautiful town of Amalfi where on one side the glowing blue Mediterranean Sea and on the other, steep mountains covered with Mediterranean style houses. A sight like no other.
The breathtaking views were only second to the experience of walking through the town of tiny cobble stone paths and alley ways peering in to little shops and admiring and tasting the local speciality, limoncello. It’s a liqueur made with lemons, as the area is a known cultivator of lemons, and there are cute little shops with bottles of all shapes and sizes. It was a typical Italian tourist town as it was filled even at night with people, chatting, sipping coffee and eating oversized pizzas. With much hesitation we drove out of Amalfi through Positano and few other breathtaking and daring coastal towns to Sorrento, our stop for the night.
Next day we drove around Sorrento absorbing the chilled morning air and amazing views all around us while heading towards Naples, the food capital of Italy. Naples was different. The city was literally made out of houses, horizontally and vertically. But it was impressive, regardless of what the Romans have to say about Naples. 😉
Our first stop was Piazza del Municipio, the massive building with high glass roof and delicate architectural details really fascinated me. Also it was a popular spot for newly wedded couple to take photos as we saw more than a few of white gown and tuxedos posing to photographers instructions. 🙂 Unfortunately I didn’t see the typical Naples way of drying clothes above the streets as it was a cloudy day but, the experience of walking on the main street with braches of streets with similar style multi-story apartments looking in to each other was nothing unusual.
Our final stop at Naples was San Gregorio Armeno. It’s supposed to be world famous (forgive me for not knowing) for cribs and other ornaments. Locals said during Christmas time it is impossible to walk in that area as everyone comes here to buy Christmas ornament. They weren’t exaggerating; there were shops after shops filled with different ornaments and bigger statues of pretty much everything. It was quite a colourful end to our southern Italy round up in two days. 🙂
I couldn’t wait to put this post up to show you guys simply because it is POMPEII. Yes yes I get this excited about Pompeii and you will see why. Pompeii is something I have had on the itinerary from the very beginning because it has always intrigued me.
According to history Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.
Weather forecast was not the best that day and the whole sky was cloudy and gloomy. Unlucky? Not so much because it provided the most dramatic backdrop for our journey through the ancient ruins of a city.
From the moment you enter into the historical site, it totally transforms in to a different world. Ruin after ruin after ruin of rubbles, bricks and roofless structures leaves you amazed at how it is still standing and make you feel nostalgic. It has the vibe of a sacred place and I felt like I need to keep my voice low and show some respect. When you walk through the once upon houses, basilicas and theatres and see plaster casts of people sleeping or sitting like they did moments before they were covered in steaming hot lava, it sends chills through your body. Absolute devastation.
I hope I did justice through the pictures, because it truly was an amazing experience.
I was staring at this massive body of blue-green water and I just couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. The water was so calm and crisp and glistening with the morning sun and the mountains rising above, surrounding it to provide that little extra care. I just can’t explain how I felt when I was there, breathing in the fresh morning air but I remember thinking ‘I couldn’t picture my life any better than standing here right now and if I die, I would be the happiest dead person.’ 🙂
Then….. I saw this.
Picturesque medieval towns nestled between green mountains. I felt like I was inside a story book, running through pages filled with beautifully coloured pictures. I was grinning from ear to ear while snapping this amazing scenery all around me.
Among the charming towns that arise around Lake Turano, there are two not to be missed. Castel di Tora and Colle di Tora.I am lost for words here, so just enjoy the photos and I hope you feel the joy I felt walking in this lovely italian country side.
If this is not the perfect picture postcard of Italian countryside, I don’t know what is. 🙂
Day two of living the dream in Rome. We started off at Piazza Del Popolo and from there you see few streets branching out and we started walking through Via Del Corso, THE shopping street. Yes there is a reason why I chose this street other than to satisfy the shopaholic in me. 🙂 It leads to the amazing Piazza Venezia. This however was not on my list of must see’s so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. Let’s just say I was really glad I went there.
Within Piazza Venezia is the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) The monument holds the ‘tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ (Ignoto Militi) and is a magnificent piece of architecture. The white marble details are unbelievable and the structure itself is evident enough to see the respect given to the tomb and the relevant exhibits inside.
It was a lucky day for us as we found out we can go to the roof top of the monument. And lucky we were. It had amazing views of the Foro Romano or Roman Forum leading all the way to the most awaited site in Rome for me, the Colosseum. It didn’t disappoint. It was everything I have seen in pictures and it was everything I have imagined it to be. I have finally seen the Colosseum and I was happy! Who can ask for more? I think I have seen everything I wanted, so we just sat on a ledge near the Colosseum and admired the beautiful architecture and people passing by and called it a day.
So now just from my truly amazing experience in Rome let me write a list of MUST see’s. These won’t take you more than two days if you have a tight schedule like I did and you can walk to most places if you stay in the city centre. If not take a bus or metro to one of the places and start walking from there. Won’t cost you much. 🙂 Also make sure you get a nice big map, won’t be a proper tourist without a map! 😉
Now here are some must do’s
The joy of losing weight by walking the streets of Rome started the very next day after a good night’s sleep. Where better to start than where we left off last night, St. Peter’s square. The calm, majestic place had transformed overnight in to a bustling piazza of locals and tourists, and combine that with the architecture and the craftsmanship and it becomes one of the most inspiring public spaces I have ever been to.
We queued up to enter the amazing St. Peter’s basilica and amazing it was!! The details took my breath away instantly. God is definitely in details. Colours, paintings, sculptures, high ceilings and the different architectural spaces all made for an amazing architectural and spiritual experience.
All the while admiring the interior I was thinking ‘I wish I had a fish-eye lens’ because I can just picture how amazing the interior photos would have looked. But I didn’t have that so I did what I could with what I had. 🙂
Then we walked on lovely but busy streets of cobble stones to Castel Sant’angelo, which was originally a mausoleum now turned into a museum. It is located beautifully along river Tevere and has views to St, Peter’s and the other part of the city centre.
Next move was to the beautiful Piazza Navona. It was in true Italian style a ‘piazza’ filled with tourists, local artists with some amazingly colourful artworks, street side pizzerias and restaurants with people sitting outside and sipping coffee. Total bliss!
In the centre stands Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi meaning the Fountain of four rivers and there is a story behind it that has something to do with the four largest rivers in Italy at that time, but forgive me I cannot remember! 🙂
Next place got me all excited. When I looked at the map and it was just walking distance from Piazza Navona I literally screamed with excitement. The Pantheon. The Pantheon & the Colosseum were the two main buildings I have known and studied for history since the first year of architecture school and to actually physically see one was beyond exciting. I had to stare at it for a few minutes to catch my breath before taking the camera out. It was different from what I have imagined. The building was in a tighter space and darker in colour therefore very different to the rest of the area. But it still looked like it can stand there another 100 years. The interior was again beautiful and made me miss not having a fish eye lens.
After that we went to Fonatana di Trevi, where the magic happens. Made a wish and tossed a coin in the fountain and did some people watching. Again the details of marble work and sculptures were immaculate.
Last stop for the day was Piazza di Spagna or Spanish steps. But unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any good photos worth sharing. It was crowded and I didn’t get that ‘wow’ feeling associated with pretty much anywhere in Rome and nor did the camera. But I did put one just to say I was there. 🙂
Who can complain? I enjoyed every bit of walking around the famous cobble stone streets with colourful little shops, gelatarias every 100 meters, seeing amazing architecture and mixing in with hundreds of different people.
I love you Rome! 🙂
p.s – I did do a little editing colour wise because these are the colours I associate with when I picture Rome in my head. 🙂 Hope you enjoy and don’t hesitate to leave feedback.
Sri Lanka is one of the oldest surviving Buddhist countries where 70% of its population are Buddhists. Kelaniya, a suburb about 10km away from Colombo is known for the buddhist temple built on the banks of kelani river and holds a significant place in the life of any Buddhist. It is believed that Buddha had visited Kelaniya and therefore it is said that all your sins will be washed away if you visit and worship the Kelaniya Temple at least once in your lifetime (of course it is just a saying but it just shows how much importance the temple holds).
For me Kelaniya resembles two things. My family, as I grew up in Kelaniya and the Kelaniya Temple. I am not a diehard Buddhist but still I grew up having a special place in my heart for the temple. I love visiting it every time I come down. To go there in the evening and sit in a corner away from the crowds, gazing at the massive ‘dagaba’ or just soaking up the atmosphere where everyone is quiet and dressed in white with colourful flowers in hand is an experience in itself.
It is not special only for religious purposes but because for me nothing can beat the amazing architecture, the calmness you feel when you enter the temple grounds, and the sound of the bo leaves when the wind blows or the colours… yellow & red hues from monks’ ‘sivuru’, green bo leaves, soft brown sand and white-clad worshipers.
Here are few photos to show you what I am talking about… 🙂
I love the intricate details in this place…. it is such good craftmanship that you only find in these ancient places.
Hope this post finds your interest and any comment or feedback is much appreciated! 🙂
ah! the heat!
It was good getting there in our air-conditioned vehicles but when you see the change of colour in trees, the palm trees on the side of the road and woven dried coconut leaf fences you know you are in the dry country. Kalpitiya situated in Puttalam district overlooking the Puttalam lagoon on one side and the Indian ocean on the other is a beautiful place except for the unbearable heat during day.
I guess that’s life….
I really feel for the people living here or anywhere in dry lands. They still have to go out do their jobs or things they do to make a living and here I didn’t want to get out of the shade of coconut & palm trees to do anything till the sun went down.
I met some interesting people there….
We visited a little village in Puttlam district known for a group of African descendents who are famous for their music and dancing. According to them the ancestors came to the country in the 1800’s and today there are 22 families in the village and more scattered around puttalam. They were nice enough to do a quick little performance for us saying if they had time to prepare they could have gotten their 12 people group together and dress accordingly. 🙂
And of course with the music and dancing the children came from neighbouring houses to see the performances and to see the strange people from Colombo. I tried to capture a few of those gorgeous little faces and I hope you will find these as interesting as I did…