Most great civilizations and cities have established themselves on the banks of mighty rivers. Take the Danube, for example, the second longest river of Europe – meandering through over ten countries, many a beautiful capital city lie on its banks. Some of the biggest of them, Vienna, Budapest etc have historically been drawing a lot of visitors, eclipsing some of the smaller ones. The petite capital of Slovakia, Bratislava sits alluringly close to Vienna and is still skipped by a lot of visitors; an easy train journey from the capital of one country to another, it is an offer that’s too hard to turn down. On my visit to Vienna, I made time for a visit to the Slovakian capital.
My early childhood impressions of Kathmandu were that of a forlorn land, tucked amongst the towering snow-capped Himalayan peaks and a fascinating Hindu kingdom. The notion was reinforced with my childhood hero Tintin visiting the city and my sarcasm guru Black Adder referring to the place in a nonchalant manner. Growing up, having developed a deep interest in history and philosophy, Kathmandu now started holding more prominence as a tourist destination for me. In my short stay in Kathmandu, I had some of these notions reinforced and some shattered.
A guest post from my dear friend with whom I had had the chance to travel with, to Lucerne:
Welcome to the Land of the Alps, the country that immediately brings to mind the aromatic romance of chocolate, the silent whirring of the gears of a Swiss watch or the gentle swish of the blades of a Swiss-knife. Welcome to Switzerland where Mother Nature has taken the time to carve this land into a masterpiece of eternal beauty.
There was something so painful in Raimunda’s moistened dark eyes as she sang the song ‘Volver’, that I couldn’t help hoping for her, like a loved one, that her life turns out well. In this intimate disrobing of character by Almodovar, with nothing but a camera tenderly caressing the stunning Cruz’s profile, he reminds us that her well wrapped fragility beneath the cloak of fearless determination is constantly returning to haunt her.
Yes, what is it indeed? It is one city we ‘know’ of a lot more than any other.
Poets have admired its beauty, story tellers have romanticised it to no end and beautiful movies shot at its various locations. Yet, if one were to expect Amelie Poulain’s picture perfect Paris, they are going to be disappointed and yet there is something here for everyone to call Paris his or her very own.Paris awaits discovery on foot and a lot of time. The charm in Paris lies in strolling along the cobbled pathways of the charming Monmartre where the likes of Dali and Monet spent their days producing their great works below the silhouette of the Sacré Coeur.
Salzburg is an affair of the heart. Romance with music, with the Salzach, with the baroque architecture, with the Apfel Strüdel and how I was to have an affair with the city over my time there! I arrived late evening in Salzburg three hours after having taken the train from Innsbruck. The wide green pastures and towering Alps had given away to crowded landscapes and hillocks. I took the opportunity to first witness the city by night. The change in the scene was immediate.
As a solo female traveler, I never once felt unsafe nor was I lonely or bored during my travels in Italy. I had a chance to travel through Venice, Rome, and short trips to the Amalfi coast and Florence during my stay. I would like to share a few learnings :