Seated right along the border of France and Spain and flanked by gorgeous beaches, San Sebastian is a walhalla of fine dining and is a perfect getaway from France or Spain for a long weekend. My last stop along the northern coast of Spain, I took a morning bus from Santander to San Sebastian passing through Bilbao. I could have chosen to spend my time in the bigger Bilbao instead but I was ready for a more intimate and chic affair with San Sebastian.
That India is quite diverse is a known fact and with its diversity comes ample opportunities for the curious traveller. I travel solo a lot, either on vacation or on work. Occasionally I extend my work in a new city to a mini vacation by taking time off. It is during my slow travels that I think of some things back home and I wonder if the sense of freedom I seek is available to me in its true sense.
When a village is often proclaimed as “most beautiful village”, I’d certainly like to check it out for myself. Researching on some of the quaint villages in the autonomous Cantabria region of Spain, I was attracted to Comillas as a visit for its epithet as ‘most beautiful’ and also because it housed one of the very few pieces of Gaudi’s architecture outside of Catalan. Set across the Atlantic coast and tucked in the hillocks of Green Spain, Comillas is about 50 kilometers west of Santander and is easily done as a day trip. The village was once a summer retreat for the aristocrats of Spain and I would learn why.
I recently bought myself a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is a massive book and I haven’t read it yet (a shame I know!). A colleague across my table quipped to me “There’s only so much description of a tree I can take”. I like big, massive books. I mean books that take time for the reader to settle in. I mean books that don’t allow you to get into the story until you’ve read the first 80 or 100 odd pages. These books aren’t to be read on a Kindle. The hard pages as they brush across your thumb and forefinger as you turn the pages form important tactile memories and these big books also stroke my ‘reader’ ego, I must admit.
I came across the news report of this award winning photograph today and it pained me immensely to see that conflict between these gentle giants and humans continue in India. Just look at the little calf being burnt, clearly he is shouting. How can one’s heart not cry? We adore the elephant to such an extent that we worship them, heck, one of our beloved Gods has an elephant head and yet these values don’t seem to come forth when survival with the pachyderms is in question.