Tuesday, September 27, 2011

National Parks

What incredible vision and insight some of the American founding fathers had as they proactively created safe havens for flora and fauna in the form of National Parks for current generations and for posterity to enjoy. Lincoln started with the Yosemite's Mariposa Grove and Ulysses Grant with Yellowstone National Park - the world's first truly national park. National Parks are my favorite getaway spots barring the kinderfest in Summer long weekends in Yosemite Valley. ...to be contd...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Million dollar views!

Meal with a view
Here's a list of places I've been to that have a million dollar view and decent food to accompany it.
  • Grand Lake Lodge - Lunch in their patio and savor the gorgeous several lakes view
  • Alyska - day time meal at Seven Glaciers restaurant
  • Top of the Mark - Enjoy spectacular San Francisco views in Mark Hopkins Intercontinental
  • Felix Bar - Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon (Hong Kong). This one also happens to have a loo with a view
  • Cliff House - Sutro or Bistro (winter or summer it's gorgeous - just pray it isn't foggy)
  • Seattle - Calcutta Grill in the NewCastle Golf Course (go before the sunset in summer).
Room with a view
TripAdvisor came up with this top 10 list of hotel rooms with the best view. I wonder why the Half Moon Bay Ritz wasn't in it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Books and Travel

Books make wonderful traveling companions. While visiting Yosemite last week, I read The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, one of my favorite authors. It certainly sated my theological yen. This post captures the books that I like the most and that deal with religion. Obviously, the books don't praise or decry religions or aspects of it. These are just works of art that simply use religion as the background and leave a reader with many questions.
Christianity: The Power and the Glory - set in early 20th century Mexico about the only surviving priest on the run escaping obvious persecution at the hands of secular junta.
Islam: Siege of Mecca: a non-fictional work that grips a reader to the very end; about a very less known event.
Hinduism: Mahabharata translated by C Rajagopalachari. Quite a captivating ancient tale. I am still looking for a good translation of Geeta.
Sikhism: Unholy Terror by Ian Mulgrew. This ended my search of a third party view of the Punjab debacle of the 80s.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Death Valley - Beauty in the Unkindest setting

Must see during April every year - a layer of yellow shimmers in seething >100F temperatures along the entire valley floor. The background is more cruel, jagged barren mountains, an artist's delight comprising all hues raw earth has to offer. For travelers to Death Valley some of my newly discovered tips here: http://kiq.me/HD

Mexico City - 25million people

It is incredible that Mexico City's population is more than that of Bombay (at least officially). The business here is done like how it is done in Spain; meetings over long lunches that might get extended well into a late night dinner - with yum arachera meats and can't-count-anymore tequilas! Fascinating that Tequila's chaser is beer. The host mexican's were quite surprised when I nicely enjoyed a full jalapeno.
As for 'getting mugged', I was told not to use the ATM at the airport never venture out alone,etc etc. Didn't matter- as usual, common sense must be used by a visitor in a foreign land anywhere in the world. My last trip was of course marred by swine flu. This time around stuck to the hotel - not for crime but for virus' ;-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Italy's Rome - epitomizes fullness of life with a unique roguish panache! Romans history is proudly and abundantly displayed in historical monuments. Some are mankind's masterpieces. Like in other parts of Europe the best place to observe people is squares or Italian Piazzas.
..And in the side alleys of piazzas are hidden gems of restaurants serving the freshest of mozzarella and flavorful olive oil. Gastronomic indulgences must be generously washed down with local Chianti and aptly finshed with a cafe and gelatos.
Back to history..walking the the aisles of Vatican museums one does briefly think of Romans copying from Greek culture. But then that's the way its been for ages - Greeks to Romans and to (much later) French to British and to Russians to Americas. One also thinks of original ideas of Democracy, of Aurelius...; indeed a place to reckon but has it turned around since its fall millennials ago. Do civilization return to their peak - how long is the cycle?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Southern Style

Being a New Orleans tourists was almost considered brave a year back. Now it's fully recovered - at least no signs of devastation in the FQ part, apart from wistful lingo refrences - 'since then..'. So bordering on adventure and craving for another southern vacation (the first being charming Savannah), we traveled to NOLA. A reconnect trip indeed with it's benefits - affordable Ritz, lovely weather (it hadn't still got grimy), and to top it all - a treat of southern delights - people, food and rich atmosphere.
There is a lot to re-learn from the distinct Southerness. Savoring life whether it is the beauty of life itself or beautiful creations of people - music and food. Why should this be just an attribute of southerners? Other leading super-fast hum-drum life must pause and enjoy too. True liesure must not be confused with idleness. One must not just alternate hardwork with party-hard lifestyle but strive to interweave work and liesure or better merge the two!

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.
Henry David Thoreau ~