All posts tagged: World Heritage

Trekking to the World’s End and back!

“Yeah, All is quiet on New Year’s Day” Thus sang the Irish rock band – U2. New Year’s Day 2015. My first outside India and what a place to be in : the UNESCO World Heritage site of Horton Plains National Park in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka! It is a place to respect nature and maintain silence because I was in a silent-zone of a national park – lest the fauna got disturbed! So the words of U2 echoed in my mind. The previous evening I was negotiating with a couple of Tuk-Tuk drivers in Nuwara Eliya regarding travel cost to Horton and back. After some discussions I finally negotiated with one and requested him to reach our Homestay in the wee hours of the morning. I was staying with my senior from Under-Grad school- Arman-bhai but he did not prefer to do the trek that day as he had already done it before with his Sri Lankan wife and did for free then.The tuk-tuk guy (let’s call him Mr. Kumar – I just couldn’t …

Japan – First impressions

In my very first job, the first dedicated customer project that I worked for was a Japanese one- Suzuki and ever since then always wanted to visit that country. Finally I could arrive there in the summer of 2016 (June) for a short vacation of 9 days. If I have to summarize : Japan is magical. Japan is mind-boggling. Japan is mesmerizing! Here are some of the things and experiences that highlighted my stay there: 1. Courtesy: The people in Japan in general are very polite. Bowing to others is almost a routine. I have bowed to almost every person after saying : “Arigatou gozaimasu!” (Thank you!) ( Pronounced – Ari-gato go-zai-mas) . The conductor in the Shinkansen (Bullet train) will bow after he leaves your coach, the food attendant girl/lady will bow after she leaves your coach. Even the people who clean the Shinkansen train at its final destination will bow at the train coach after they are done with their job. Though many people won’t understand English, they will try to help you …

4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a day!

Day 2 of my Nepal (Kathmandu Valley) Trip : Kathmandu Valley is one of the densest places as far as UNESCO World Heritage sites are concerned. The maximum World Heritage sites that I have covered in one day before was 2. (Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (including India’s largest stupa) and Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka – paintings from different periods (Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic,Chalcolithic, Early Historic and Medieval). They are in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh) This time I could manage 4 ! I started off early from my hostel and thought of walking the whole way of around 4 km to the Swayambhunath or the Monkey Temple as it is popularly known owing to the proliferation of the holy monkeys staying there. I decided to fuel me up with a tasty sandwich of canned tuna in a nearby Sandwich joint. After a while of walking I thought it’s better to hire a cycle rickshaw which would take me not exactly close to the temple but drop me to a nearby place as I could then …

“An der schönen blauen Donau !” – Day 1

7-8 June, 2015 Boo-dah-pesht – not to be confused with Bucharest! Whenever I hear the word Budapest, a famous waltz (by the great Austrian composer Johann Strauss II) plays in my mind. It is “The Blue Danube” or more commonly known in German as “An der schönen blauen Donau” (By the Beautiful Blue Danube) . Well, the Danube may not be that blue in Budapest. Don’t blame me for not telling you this! A Wall Street Journal article describes the song : “As with most waltzes, each successive episode, with its subtle change of instrumentation and mood, is repeated before proceeding to the next one. This lends a feeling of symmetry and substance to the musical architecture, while giving us the pleasure of hearing each melodic invention twice. Indeed those lilting, surging melodies, while not actually descriptive, seem inspired by the Danube’s currents and the whirlpools and swells churned up by the paddle wheels of its steamboats.” Though I can’t read music, I feel that the magnificent architecture of Budapest is as varied as musical …

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 …