Guest Post : Return of the Traveller

If you haven’t read the first 2 parts; you can read them here and here.

I had precisely 2 months left to return to the motherland. Also, 2 days left for Oktober fest .What does one do? Yeah! Exactly my point! 🙂

Munich – I survived the Oktober fest  and lived to tell the tales of 1 liter beer mugs , roasted chicken plates, hurried waiters , dancing on tables, lines for entry in tents and empty pockets in the end .This one just got checked off from the bucket list.

Fussen – Neuschwanstein castle –  It is called fairy tale castle for a reason. Once I went there, I just nodded in affirmation . It is  awe inspiring, surrounded by a forest, waterfall and crystal clear blue lake. Heaven must look something like this.


Heidelberg –  Philosophenweg translated unto philosophers’ walk . It is a steep hike of about 1 Km up the
mountain besides a flowing river and famous castle. It really tests your stamina .With the beer belly it was all the more tough. But I managed to conquer it and got the best landscape shots which I think I can sell for wallpapers. Yup…they are that good!

Black Forest–  I went to place which is famous for making cuckoo clocks – Neustadt Titisee.The clocks’ prices start from 50 € and go up to as expensive as 1000$ . One of the craziest thing I did was to rent a cycle and drove into the black forest even as there was a mild drizzle. And I think this is the best way to discover nature if you are not time bound. I drove about 20 km inside out and had their famous alcoholic black forest pastry to end the day.

Barcelona – Hands down this beats all the beaches and sea food one can see or have in a lifetime. My
wonderful moments were the dip in the Mediterranean sea, and watching Barcelona soccer match which was completely coincidental.One of the local markets had huge crabs,lobster,sea urchins,eels, jumbo prawns and whatever lies beneath the sea! Terrifying experience to see but a wonderful one to eat them 😉

Istanbul – It is  true that it is a melting pot of cultures . With sea, sand, majestic mosques, rich history and
bright markets covered with spices, earthen lamps, jewelry and baklavas (a Turkish sweet) this has to be a  special mention and a befitting end to my Euro trip.My favourite moments are actually more than one – a walk down the spice market , Topkapi palace tour , Hagia Sophia  and Medussa head . The food was very spicy like in India . Their local food is a must try. I had kokorech (pronounced as cockroach), which is nothing but a simple grilled meat sandwich. I also tried their Menemen (omlette cooked in onion gravy with breads).
TIP-exchange currency at spice market with best value and no commission.

Belgrade –  This was a stop over while returning to Germany from Istanbul. 10 hours was a decent time and so I visited the lesser known tourist destinations. It is one of the few countries which have their prime attractions open 24 hours and  have free entry. The first stop was Belgrade Fort . This is a huge fort with exhibitions and tanks, anti –aircraft guns, torpedos kept for display from WW-1 times. Plus it hosts a man made Jurassic park theme restaurant and kids play area. It boasts of a bohemian street – Skarlidkja . It has some overpriced restaurants but food generally tastes good even though different.

And with this, my seemingly never ending journey came to an end, and now seems like a beautiful dream.
8 countries – a total of 22 cities – pretty much sum up my Euro travel tales .Some good memories to live with – until we make the next one! 🙂

Thank you reading the posts . Signing off with lines from Robert frost – Miles to go before I sleep …..

Guest post : Fellowship of travelling!

I have missing in action for almost a month now. And I am not liking it AT ALL! There have been so many things to tell, half of my Euro tales still untold, and the exciting travel back home. But the office has been super hectic post vacation and combined with the festivals, it has left with no time to write.

 

So, the other day, I jokingly told the husband to ghost write my blog for me since I don’t have the time to do it these days. Also, considering that he, being the travel junkie that he is, has been on a Euro trip for almost 7 months now, he has SO much to tell. And so he agreed to do a guest post for my blog. This is the first post of a three part series of the husband’s Europe travel experience. He is as excited about seeing this in words as much as he’s been on the trips 🙂
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I love the Quote from the movie “ UP(2009) ” which goes #Let the wilderness be explored , and I got a fair chance to apply this quote on my first onsite assignment . Modesty be damned,  I made sure no weekends got wasted in the comfy service apartment.

We all know how onsite assignments come our way. It is combination of being at right place at the right time and most importantly saying the right thing ! And voila, my company decided to send me to Germany , Dusseldorf in the month of April for strictly 30 days.

I landed in Dusseldorf on Saturday and so obviously, Sunday was wisely used 😉 The nearest happening city is Koln(Cologne)- city from where EAU DE COLOGNE originated. I can go writing about my crazy experiences but I will keep it short to 1 special thing I liked about each of the destinations and may be about their food and beer.

Koln is all about Churches – they are magnificent and I have a lasting impression of all the churches I visited.It is also famous for Kolsch beer. I could tell it was different from the ones I had before . It had to be good. After all its coming from Germany, the land of beer! 😛

 

Koln’s oldest church….still under construction. Irony?

Amsterdam <Holland>– Heineken brewery experience – Being a beer fan I could relate to Darwin’s theory of origin. Food is about big French fries called Pommes Frites . In the chilly summer it was a perfect snack. I’d prefer to write about the (in)famous Amsterdam nightlife in an anonymous blog 😀

The Heinken brewery in Amsterdam!
Brussels <Belgium> Autoworld – Most comprehensive and live models of cars from 1800 . I could relate to most of models as I have played them in NFS and midtown madness video games. “When in Belgium, do the chocolate”, and so that’s the first thing I had when I landed there – Chocolate waffle beside Mannekan Piss. That boy was pissing and I was gorging hot Belgium chocolate 😉
With THE cars!
 
Hamburg<Germany> – 1 hour ferry ride by Hamburg docking station. Amazing view of gigantic ships,city and sunset on far side of the river. 
 
 
Dusseldorf <Germany>– Visiting the Alstadt old town and Uerige brewery which over 150 years old .And ordering food by the Rhine river marks the day complete. Been staying in this city for 6 months now, and there is nothing much to do except have beer with locals and admire Germany’s weather and their perfection of trains, metro and clean roads. 
 
Snack served with the local beer- a piece of meat, loaf of bread, onion rings and spicy mustard sauce!
And that’s how a month got over – sweating it out in office 5 days and wandering endlessly on weekends. I returned to India with chocolates for colleagues and stories for family. My assignment got extended for next 3 months and I flew back to Germany again in May .This time determined to explore more than the natives have done. 

To be continued …..

Love and marriage!

Quote: “Match for 6”-31 yrs(luks 29), H’som PB Kh Boy,xtrmly well stld in M.Navy. Lkng 4 B’Ful Shrt Educated, frm High Status,Cltd Fly. Pls cntct with fl lnght foto only.” Unquote.

Greek? No, that, in fact, is English. This is a recent ad published in a matrimonial column. Decoded it says that a six foot tall, 31 year old Punjabi (Khatri) man, who is extremely well settled in the Merchant Navy is looking for a beautiful, short, educated girl, who belongs to a cultured family with a high status. Interested candidates are to contact him with a full length photo only.

Note how he is looking for a “short” girl.

Love and marriage – how well do they go together? Do they at all? Do you think someone like this man, who is looking for a short girl to marry has love on his mind as furthermost in a marriage? Doubtful.

Consider this song….Love and marriage by Frank Sinatra. He sings about how love and marriage – they go together like a horse and carriage. And according to him, you can’t have one without the other. Sinatra is outdated, as are his views –in present day society. We are all about “instant make-out, instant break ups” as quoted by Anushka Sharma’s character in Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

I am the brunt of many a caustic remark when I sit down on a Sunday to peruse the matrimonials. No I am not looking for an H’some Boy who is “extremely well settled” with a large income. I read them because of the sheer incredulity that overwhelms me when I come across ads that I have quoted above. I have even come across ads that ask for women who are educated up to the 12th standard only. They do get specific don’t they?

Relationships are a farce now. Everyone wants tailor made people for a specific purpose. No one is willing to compromise and adjust to another person. Thus the instant breakups happening all over town.

People are evidently getting married for the wrong reasons – if they insist they want a person who is less educated than them then something is horrifyingly wrong about the mindset of today’s youth.

I do believe that the days of yore had more integrity, yet I am equally sure that the seeds of the present situation of society were sowed then. Was there more love? Maybe. Those were the days of arranged marriages that worked out because they were arranged for one specific purpose. A girl/guy was needed in order to produce an heir, obviously male, to carry on the family name/tradition.

After this necessary duty had been fulfilled, the couples carried on with their lives, with a feeling of affection for each other. They might have even fallen in love sometimes. At least they were honest about the reasons behind marriage. Love might have been secondary, but when it did bless the couple, it stayed.

But now all that has changed. The horse has struggled out of its shackles and taken off for the horizon, leaving the carriage to teeter into a ditch. Relationships have become as disposable as contact lenses. They even have the same shelf life – for most people, yes, not all. Now it seems that marriage has been reduced to corny sms lingo ads in papers, and bimonthly relationships based on desires.

But we don’t want that to happen. Unfortunately, no one seems to be listening. All you hear these days are feminist rants about how men are not required and men wishing for multiple partners. Again, the disclaimer – mostly.

Have you heard the songs that abound these days? “Main zandu balm hui, darling tere liye?” “Wanna be my chammak challo?” Excuse me? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the yardstick for romance then. You go up to a girl and ask her to be your village belle. Or ladies, proclaim yourself as pain relief ointment. Songs these days make absolutely no sense, and very few romantic songs are actually full of romantic sentiment. We have to listen to most songs carefully and thrice over, to try and make head or tail of what they mean. So notions of romance are evidently very different – and indicative of prevalent mindset.

Very few people listen to Elvis anymore.

But to return to the quoted ad and what it represents. Can u even read it at first go? People don’t even bother to write entire sentences to spell out what they are looking for in a girl. Even people who are dating send expressions of love via texts – “I lv u.” Or simply, “M.U.” What is “M.U”? Miss you, of course. I miss you but I cannot be bothered to type out eight letters.

So my advice is – society has changed. Make sure you have the right guy in hand before you get married. And don’t marry until you are sure you absolutely want to. In fact don’t get into a serious relationship until you are, well, serious, about the person. Find yourself a man who sends you full sentences when he is texting his feelings. For if the guy can’t take responsibility of a sentence, how will he take the responsibility of a wife?

Guest article from www.glad2bawoman.com. Glad2bawoman is an online media company for women with a growing community of more than 70,000 members. All about women and for women, it encompasses a variety of topics including empowerment, relationships and health.