Travel adventures across the World!!!

Travel Blog


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Year 2016 – Travel and Yoga!

2016 has been a great year for me in terms of travel and yoga. I am so proud to say that I have practiced yoga almost every day throughout the year. I always set some time apart to return to my mat and grace my practice. I also traveled to so many different places through out the year for which I am very grateful. Travel and Yoga are the two things I have been in love with lately and I hope our bond only grows stronger in 2017. Here are a few trips where I tried to make both meet each other.

Santa Barbara, California

I made my first road trip of 2016 in California driving through Pacific Coast Highway from San Fransisco to Los Angeles. Here is a picture of me in Wheel Pose (Chakrasana). The pose is very good for strengthening of the both upper and lower body. It is also a great chest opener.

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Wheel Pose( Chakrasana)

Washington, DC

I was in Washington for the Cherry Blossoms in April. Here is a picture of me in Tree pose(Vikrasana) at the Library of Congress. The tree pose is a balancing pose good for both mind and body. Its practice strengthens the body and calms the mind.

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Tree Pose(Vikrasana)

Florence, Italy

I traveled to Italy with my family over the summer. On international yoga day I was in Florence. Here is a picture of me trying to do Camel pose (Ustrasana). I am so terrible at it and I hope to improve. This pose is a huge chest and heart opener. It also strengthens the thigh muscles.

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Camel Pose(Utkarasana)

Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin

Late summer, I and my friends made a fun road trip to the Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. Below is a picture of me doing the Reverse Warrior(Viparita Virabhadrasana). The pose strengthens the lower body at the same time stretches the upper body. It is also a very good balancing pose.

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Reverse Warrior( Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Palm Springs, California

I spent my birthday at Palm Springs doing an amazing yoga hike by the Santa Rosa mountains.The sun shined through my sun salutations at the top of the hill. Sun Salutation(Surya Namaskar) offers body a complete rejuvenation and gets the blood flowing from head to toe. Below is a picture of me in Cobra pose(Bhujangasana) as a part of sun salutations which is again a great chest opener and arm strengthener.

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Cobra Pose(Bhujangasana)

St Pete’s Beach, Florida

My last trip of the year to Florida over Christmas, we stayed at this really nice resort in St Petes Beach. The Don Ceaser resort offered yoga classes in the morning at their private beach and I loved practicing yoga at the beach by the waves. Below is a picture of me doing Boat pose(Navasana). It helps in strengthening of core muscles.

Boat Pose(Navasana)

As the new year begins, new resolutions and opportunities await. Let us all welcome the year and promise each other positivity and gratefulness. No matter what we all should promise ourselves to return to things that we love to do. Blessings and good wishes to you all. Happy 2017 🙂

What are your passions? Please post your comments. I would love to read.


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One sunny day in Rome!

The most exciting part about visiting Rome for me was visiting the city of Julius Caesar. As a kid I have read stories of Caesar, his kingdom, politics and death. I never imagined at that time that one day I would get a chance to see all the historical ruins of the places I read about. I was thrilled to stand next to ruins where Anthony made his speech , in the city where Julius said his last words to Brutus. All the memories sharply came back on to me. It was an amazing indescribable feeling and made me more than happy to have got a chance to explore Rome.

We stayed in the bed and breakfast very close to the historical center of the city. We arrived in the city later in the day and spotted the Colosseum from a distance right when we picked our dinner from an Indian Restaurant. I was very excited to see it from far away and couldn’t wait for the next morning to get really close and explore all the way more.

Days in Rome are hot and sultry during the summer. Since Rome was our last destination for our twelve day long Italy trip, we were all super tanned as you can see in the pictures. It was a very hot day nevertheless we were all ready to get out and tan some more 🙂 After walking about 15 minutes, our first sight was the giant Colosseum which was the largest amphitheater that was ever built. It’s ruins stand as an iconic symbol of Rome. Once where there used to be gladiator contests now stands as a historic pride that attracts thousands of tourists to Rome.

After a few minutes of walk from the Colosseum, we spotted the Roman Forum which holds the ruins of the governmental buildings of Rome. It was once upon a time the political center of the city. Further walking along the palaces and fountains , Rome felt like an absolute historical city with very rich architecture and culture. We then reached the shopping district of the city and relaxed by the Trevi Fountain which is the largest fountain in the city and one of the famous ones in the world.

As the evening was approaching, the feeling of the trip about to end was creeping in. Nevertheless I was going to wrap up and bring so many happy memories from my trip back home. We shopped for quiet a bit on our last day and headed home to relax and be prepared for the long flight back home. My trip to Italy was one of my best vacations of life and its memories will be alive in my heart forever.


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Sorrento, The coastal town of Italy!

Right from the day I have got back from Italy, I can’t wait to write about Sorrento. My ordeal is now over and I finally get to jot down my experience and thoughts about this wonderful coastal town. We hired a taxi from Naples train station to reach Sorrento. Our drive to Sorrento was along the beautiful Amalfi coast and we were lucky to see the amber colored sky in the midst of sunset by the Mediterranean Sea. Our driver was very kind to make a stop and help us get some beautiful pictures of the sun setting along the coastline.

As soon as we entered into the town, I could spot the beautiful street sides full of orange and lemon trees. The most amazing and unique part of this town was that there were orange and lemon trees everywhere including street sides, restaurants and hotel backyards. It was such a delightful experience to have the lemons just fall of the trees while you are sitting and eating under lunch/dinner them. We enjoyed picking lemons from our hotel backyard and enjoyed freshly squeezed lemon juice every day. Our hotel management was so very sweet to offer us orange juice freshly squeezed out from the oranges from their pool garden everyday during breakfast. We stayed at the Carlton International hotel and I would definitely recommend this hotel because of the location which was so central, the garden by the pool and more so because of their warm behavior and great service.

The best part about Sorrento is that it is very well connected to beautiful islands and other coastal villages. The nearest beautiful places that we traveled from Sorrento are Capri, Positano and Amalfi. There are ferries that run throughout the day to Capri and Sita bus that runs to Positano and Amalfi from Sorrento train station.  During our visit, we made our day trips to all these beautiful places and returned back to Sorrento later in the day. Our third day there, we actually got a chance to explore Sorrento. The central square of Sorrento is the Piazza Tasso around which there are neighborhoods where there are lots of stores for shopping. The Marina piccolo is the main port area of Sorrento and at a walking distance from the square.

In all out trip to the town of Sorrento was fulfilling in every way and was one of the highlight of our Italy trip. Definitely add it to your bucket list if you haven’t yet 🙂


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Five things to do in Island of Capri!

For all those who are planning a trip to south Italy, Capri is a destination that just cannot be missed. It is a picturesque island on the Gulf of Naples located south of Italy. Capri is accessible from the Marina piccolo port of Sorrento via ferry which takes about 30 minutes. It is beautiful island surrounded by blue green emerald water bordering the rugged surfaces. One can spend a perfect day relaxing, swimming and exploring the island in and out. Here are few things you could do in Capri!

  • Beach- Beach- Beach

The crystal clear beach of Capri right by the Marina Grande bay covered with pebbles is probably the first thing to spot as you walk through the island after hopping off from the ferry. Simply relax by the beach or take a dip!

 

  • Funicular up to the Piazzetta

Piazetta is the heart of Capri and provides an panoramic view of the spectacular island. There is a cable car that takes you from the bay area up to the Piazetta which takes about five minutes. The lines are long but they move fast. Once you are in the top, the wide view of Capri is just spectacular with water surrounding the island from all sides. The sight of the blue bell flowers and lemon trees all over the hills is just outstanding.

 

  • Swim the Green Grotto

The best way to explore the island of Capri is by boat. There are different sight seeing tours offered by tour companies that do both group and private tours in the water. We rented a private traditional gozzo boat for three hours to go around the island. Our sailor took us to all the prominent sights of the island including the blue grotto, green grotto, natural arch and Faraglioni.

We also stopped by the green grotto to take a quick dip in the turquoise green water. The waves of sea being pretty strong didn’t let us swim for a long time, but we still enjoyed our short swim.

 

  • Boat ride to the Blue Grotto

The Capri Island is known for the Blue grotto. The blue grotto is an illuminated cavern in the Mediterranean Sea which reflects azure blue light when the sun shines on the surface of the water. It is just indescribable and a must experience during the visit to Capri. The tickets are 13 euros per person and the Italian serenade music in the background sung by local gondola boat riders makes it all the more beautiful. Usually the wait time is long since it’s a very touristy thing to see, but we got lucky since it wasn’t very busy in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon 🙂

 

  • Faraglioni – 

The spectacular rock formations eroded by the ocean over time stand by the island of Capri. Our boat went under this rugged formations and it was a splendid view to watch those huge standing rocks in the middle of the ocean . We also spotted red pastel corals in the coral island and enjoyed the sight of natural rock formations that resembled faces and bodies of different animals.

Are there any islands that are close to your heart and you would recommend for travel? Please share, I would love to read!


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The city amidst Tuscan hills, Florence!

Florence is one city that is a perfect blend of architecture, history and music surpassed by natural Tuscan landscapes. The city is basically divided in two parts by river Arno. One side encompasses the rolling countryside region where the Florentine locals live amidst fresh air and the other side is the red roofed old architectural city swarmed with tourists all year round. We were in Florence for two days and our bed and breakfast was located along a hill in the middle of dense lush trees and winding pathways. As soon as we reached there we were lucky to find an excellent India restaurant within walking distance from our bed and breakfast.

We explored Florence just like a local and not as a tourist. Instead of taking any tour buses or guides to help us explore, we hopped on local buses for transport which was both cheap and efficient. The historical center of the city is the main area around which the churches, galleries, and shopping area are all at a walk-able distance. Piazza del Signoria was right around the corner when we reached the historical center of the city. It is the political hub of the city with various sculptures among which the most prominent ones are The Fountain of Neptune, David’s statue and the huge gold turtle. Next to the piazza square , stood The Uffizi gallery which is one of the most famous art museum in the world. After walking for a few minutes from the gallery, we stumbled into The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore which is the most noticeable church in Italy with a huge red duo-mo designed with Gothic style marbles. After strolling for a bit around the main center we headed back for lunch and a little afternoon nap after all the walking.

Me and my mom, as adventurous as we are, we walked back to the city to enjoy the beautiful evening after our power nap. We walked along the bridges over Arno river. The street musicians played soft music which was just perfect to listen to while the sun set. We went back to the Duo-mo to watch it while the sun set and we got a glimpse of the most amazing sight on our way back. We got to spot the Strawberry moon, which is a rare phenomenon when a full moon and a summer solstice coincide, the moon appears to be a large amber colored one. We were lucky to see it along the bank of the river Arno while all the tourists tried to capture the moon in their lenses. We were in the taxi and weren’t lucky enough to capture it but nevertheless we at-least got to see it.

After spending the first day at the tourist hub of the city, we wanted to explore the serene Tuscan hills the following day. We boarded a local bus to the Piazzale Micheangelo which is one of the highest points along the hills and the best spot to get a extensive view of the city. The river Arno flowing right in the middle of the city with the backdrop of the humongous Duo-mo surrounded by red roof topped old architectural buildings was a beautiful sight to enjoy. I clearly remember that day was international yoga day and I tried to get some clicks in different yoga poses while the tourists watched me go crazy.

After enjoying the sunshine along the hills, we headed towards the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is a medieval time arch bridge. It is very famous among the tourists for jewelry and art shops. We then munched on some delicious Chinese noodles at a Chinese restaurant by the bridge for lunch. After our lunch we were all set to grab our luggage and get ready for our train to Naples. All in all, we spent great time in the beautiful historical city and I would recommend it to the travelers who would love to explore an artistic city with rich history and background.

You also must be surprised to read that we ate Indian and Chinese food while we were in Italy but to be honest we were tired of Italian pizzas and pastas and wanted our taste buds to taste something different. Has this ever happened to you ? Do share , I would love to read!


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Positano, a Cliff-side Village along the Amalfi Coast!

Having been brought up in a small town of India surrounded by so many villages, I have always had desire to visit villages of other countries. I have been endlessly curious to know and see how villages of other lands look like. That is how Positano, the coast side village of Italy was a part of our itinerary during my family trip to Italy. The Cliff-side village of Positano along the Amalfi coast is more like a beach town surrounded by little houses puzzled up together built upon high cliffs. The breathtaking bird’s eye view, ample greenery topped with ornamental flower vines on the hillside during summer makes it look all the more beautiful.

The village of Positano is about 45 minutes drive from Sorrento. The cheapest means of transport from Sorrento is via Sita Bus which leaves the train terminal at Sorrento every half hour. The tickets are just 8 euros person and the bus provides transfer to Positano and Amalfi, the coastal villages along the Amalfi coast. We hopped into the bus at around noon. Our drive was very scenic overlooking the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The drive was uphill cutting sharply through the mountains making way downhill and finally landing into the magical land of Positano.

The bus dropped us at quite far in the hills away from the beach and we stepped down about 1ooo steps to reach to the main shopping area. The walk down the stairs was very unusual, it was through the houses that were built along the hills. It looked like private stairways going down right by their houses. We enjoyed walking down the stairs looking and appreciating the vegetable gardens in the backyards of private houses, just like any other village. I even noticed green figs hanging on the trees yet to ripe on our way down. After a few minutes of walking down the stairs , we overlooked the panoramic view of the city which was just like something that I had never seen before for real. The blue sea surrounded by the cliffs and hills packed with little colorful houses covered with beautiful pink Bougainvillea flowers looked just magnificent. Living in one of these houses must be such a wonderful experience.

We then finally reached further down to the main shopping district of Positano. Little boutique shops on both sides, lemon scented soaps and perfumes, ceramic handmade art and craft were few of the things that caught my attention while walking through the shops. As we walked further down, the streets got narrower and narrower and they were covered with purple pink bushes all over the walkway. The beauty of the this place can be experienced only by visiting it for real and I was really awestruck looking at the natural creativity and happy at the same time that I got to visit such a lovely place.

At last we reached the beach “Spiaggia Dell Fornillo” which was a sight absolutely worth those stairs and walkways. The colorful beach chairs all around the beach, tourists basking in the sun and the hustle bustle of the little restaurants nearby was a perfect spot to relax. We spent some time sipping on green detox smoothies in one of the restaurants facing the beach. After lazing around for quite some time and soaking in the view of the city, we made our mind to head back to the shopping area to buy some souvenirs. We really loved the lemon scented perfumes and I personally loved the soaps too, their lemon like fragrance was just to die for. We then made our way to the local bus which dropped us back to the Sita bus stop to hop on the bus back to Sorrento.

Overall we had a lovely day, although we were bit tired by the time we reached Sorrento at the end of the day, it was all worth it. I had never seen such a serene and scenic village. It is a perfect getaway to spend time away from the city and enjoy mother nature. Is there any other villages you would recommend for visit? Do share. I would love to hear!


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The City of Canals, Venice!

Venice is the most unique city I have ever visited in my life so far. My recent visit to this city has left me amazed and the time I spent there with my family is very memorable. We visited Venice just for two days and explored every nook and corner of the city on foot. We stayed at The Westin Europa and Regina which was an absolute delight with magnificent views of the Grand Canal.

As soon as we landed into Venice we rented a water taxi to our hotel. The water taxis are expensive in comparison to the water bus, however we had a lot of luggage and ended up taking the taxi. There is no way to get to Venice by car since there are no cars or roads in Venice, isn’t that amazing. Venice is full of narrow streets and walking ways just like a maze. There are canals and boats all over the city instead of roads and cars. Our boat ride to the hotel was very exciting, it was a speed boat with a covered seating area and right there our trip started with a bang.

After reaching the hotel and relaxing for a bit, we made our way to the Piazza San Marco which was just a five minute walk from our hotel. The square was full of tourists surrounded symmetrically on all four sides with magnificent architectures on each side. The sight of the tourists feeding the pigeons with the backdrop of the beautiful St Mark’s Basilica is still vivid in my memory. We sat by the Basilica and enjoyed eating delicious Pizza topped with red pepper and cheese from one of the many Italian restaurants at the square. After enjoying lunch by the square we started exploring the little shops along the narrow streets making our way to the Rialto Bridge which was full of touristy shops along both sides. It is also called the Rialto market and it is the bridge that connects the two sides of Venice that is separated by the Grand Canal. I really liked browsing through the Murano glass work and leather bag shops which were very prominent throughout the city.

After reaching the other side, we relaxed for a bit by the canal taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful view of restaurants by canal lit with lamps and decorated with flowers on both sides. I loved walking by them and took the opportunity to capture them as well. We spent the rest of the evening at our hotel enjoying beautiful view of the Santa Maria Church reflecting over the calm well lit water of the grand canal.

Our second day in Venice started with the delicious breakfast at the hotel deck which overlooked the Grand Canal. The fresh smoothies, juices and fruits was an awesome kick start to our day and we were ready to explore the rest of the city. We started our day with a charming gondola ride along the beautiful canals and bridges. Although it was a bit overpriced, we enjoyed riding under the bridges, passing by little restaurants by the canals and appreciated the elegant view from the water. We learned a little bit about the history of Venice and the lagoon that was created after diverting the water from the Adriatic Sea. We were then dropped on the opposite side from our hotel at the Santa Maria Church.

After strolling by the stairs of the church, we crossed the narrow bridges to walk towards the market and made our way to the Academy Bridge. The bridge showcases brilliant views of the city with Grand Canal in the back drop and is such a perfect spot for photography. We then returned to our hotel to pick our luggage to get to the train station. In the mean time we had hot cup of tea with some snacks at the hotel bar at the deck facing the canal view. It was a perfect end to our absolutely splendid trip.

Venice has undoubtedly been one of the best destinations that I have ever visited and it is definitely worth an experience. It is truly a romantic city with unique setting. Which is your favorite city so far? Do share. I would love to hear!