Month: November 2015

First birthday outside India ( 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

I had actually planned this short South-East Europe trip to coincide with my first ever birthday outside my country – India. The last time a birthday cake was cut for me was four years back and I don’t care for my birthday anyway! This time also, no birthday cake was cut but however it was much special as I did not realize that I would be checking out 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that day technically (to account for IST and CET time difference!). On 9th July, I reached Country No. 8 (last country – Poland) of my trip. Kraków it is! There is some joie de vivre associated with this academic and artistic city which is an economic hub of Poland. Also former Pope John Paul II was a priest here before he became the Pope.Since Kraków was relatively undamaged in the Word War II, it retained its grand architecture almost intact and in its Old Town, it has the largest medieval market square in Europe,the Rynek Główny. My accommodation Cracow Hostel is located just at …

A Taste of Goa

In the month of April, 2014,  I visited Goa for the first time and that too primarily to attend the marriage of a friend. Before then, whenever I used to tell some friends that I had never been to Goa, they would give me a look as if I had committed a crime of not visiting Goa before! Goa is known primarily for it’s serene beaches and an active party life. Beyond that, there’s another part of Goa – the UNESCO World Heritage Site of  Churches and Convents of Goa, the greenery of the Western Ghats and a laid-back lifestyle. However, this post is focussed on a few Goan dishes that I had managed to sample during that visit. Goan cuisine is essentially an extension of the cuisine of the Konkan coast of India. Broadly speaking, the cuisine falls into two categories : Hindu cuisine and the Catholic cuisine. Since I had tried a fair bit of Konkan cuisine  before, this time I tried to sample a bit more of the Catholic cuisine . From the beginning of …

Whale-Watching off Sri Lanka’s southern coast!

“Sri Lanka’s tourist board boasts that only in this country can one see the world’s biggest land mammal, the elephant, and its largest marine mammal, the blue whale, in a single day!” – Philip Hoare – author of ‘Leviathan or The Whale’ (Fourth Estate), winner of the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction If you are based out of India, the cheapest  and most convenient way to catch sight of a whale (Blue Whale , Sperm Whale) is to hop off to the ‘tear-drop shaped’ island of Sri Lanka. I’ll tell you what – it will bring you tears of joy when you spot your first whale (ok a bit of Hyperbole here!) Tail of most probably the Blue Whale While discussing my Sri Lankan itinerary with couple of my friends, they suggested that if time permits, I should go whale-watching ( and with some luck may spot even the tail of a whale!). After debating on whether I should take : 1) a small whale watching vessel (operated by numerous tour operators off …

Nagaland (Land of Festivals : Day 0)

The state of Nagaland is just next door to my native state (Assam) – tucked away from ‘mainland’ Indian territory closer to the country of Myanmar) However it has been relatively unknown territory for me as I have only passed its commercial capital Dimapur couple of times before on the train from Guwahati to Jorhat (tea town of Assam and place of my maternal relatives). There has been a long ‘head-hunting’ tradition among the tribes of Nagaland but this practice has been banned for sometime. Also this state has a long history of a bitter ‘separatist’ movement  which of course has been witnessed in many other parts of India. However, I would prefer not to go ‘political’ here and would rather want to concentrate on one of the most photogenic tribal festivals ever in India (and maybe the world!) – The Hornbill festival and also on the beautiful hill city of Kohima. The Hornbill Festival has been organized in Kisama Heritage Village (some 10-15 km away from Kohima town) for more than a decade. The main …

A Bite of Balkan

(This post originally appeared in my friend Prateek Dasgupta’s blog on food and it’s impact on culture – Flavor Of Spice) This summer of 2015, I went on a short trip (partially solo and partially with a college friend) to South-East Europe touching some of the Balkan countries (Slovenia, Croatia , Bosnia and Herzegovina – parts of the former Yugoslavia) on the way. This gave me an exciting opportunity to taste some of the varied cuisine of the region including a healthy amount of seafood too as we passed through the stunning Adriatic Coast and the Dalmatian region of Croatia. Former Yugoslavia has had its own share of brutal internal conflicts leading to its breakup and one of the worst war scars in relatively recent history.Like its varied ethnicity, its cuisine is also a culinary melting pot. You may read the rest of the blog here .

Around the World in 100 Movies (Countries) : Part 1

Watching at least one movie from at least 100 countries ? Yes, I thought of this idea in around 2013 after having watched some movies from quite a number of countries before. Finally could manage to complete this mini-goal towards the end of 2014. The first foreign movie (read : Non-English and Non-Indian) which I watched was probably a French movie way back in the later part of the 1990s in Doordarshan (the national TV channel(s) network of India) when a special screening of foreign movies was happening. A girl and a guy initially was about to break-up their relationship but patched up later when they met in the airport. The guy didn’t take his flight as he wanted to stay with the girl. I don’t remember the name of the movie but the ethereal romantic nature of French movies remain etched in my mind forever. Maybe that’s when I fell in love with world cinema and try to explore the culture of countries through the medium of cinema! This blog (ie Part 1) lists a movie per …

About

Seven Continental Dreams! Just the dream of a person who wishes to  travel to as many places and continents as he can and experience the culture from a first-hand perspective. My name is Arif . I have a Grad degree in Engineering/Technology and a Post-Grad degree in Business Management. Currently based out of New Delhi/ National Capital Region (India). My varied array of interests while travelling are: Culture, Architecture and Monuments, Food, Nature, Adventure, Solo-travel experience. (Old Bridge Area of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina , 2015) Disclaimer : © All images, text and other media are copyrighted to me (unless otherwise mentioned) and cannot be used without explicit written permission from me. All food items (cuisine) are legal at their place of origin or consumed where it is legally allowed to consume.