Enough has been said about the charms of travel by trains and many a traveller has waxed eloquently about the delights of journey through Europe by trains. Of course the imaginative mind immediately conjures up images of chance encounters, thrilling adventures and the like, well portrayed in several books and films. Mountain trains add an all new dimension to the experience of a traveller, one that seeks solitude and probably little adventure than to immerse oneself in the journey than the destination. In one such journey over destination preference, I planned on taking the little known “Train des Merveilles” from Nice to a mountain village called Tende in France.
As soon as I stepped out of the station I saw a car braking its speed all of a sudden for an elderly lady to cross the road. The result was some abuses from both ends, vigorous gesticulations and a traffic jam for a good 15 minutes. Ah how I loved it! I was back in Italy after a good two years and I had almost forgotten how different the feeling is, stepping into one culture from another. Entering Italy from France is quite convenient and easy, especially when vacationing along the French riviera. One gets to experience a different culture on a day’s jaunt from another. How could I let the opportunity pass?
The idea of the French riviera often conjures up images of rich aristocrats enjoying sunshine in their backyards in their uber-rich villas, overlooking the Mediterranean. Often, in their rich attire, they may wander into elite clubs, smoking away through their expensive cigars, the troubles of the outside world, playing in rich casinos through the evenings and sauntering into galleries in the afternoons. What does a budget traveller do in this part of the world? In the midst of all the shine and glory, is it possible to find one’s own space and call it theirs?
Traveling through peak winter in cold places is never fun. On a recent work cum holiday trip I was presented with two options – take pictures at -20°C or stay warm in rented rooms. Needless to say, I chose the former. Working my way through parts of Boston, New York, Colorado and Minneapolis over the course of just a little under 4 weeks, I managed to get some wintry snowy pictures with shaking hands. I leave a few here.
Having traveled through the slightly off the beaten path of Northern Spain, I thought it might be useful to pen down some practical information on how to travel through this part of the vast and beautiful country of Spain. I often found more information on the bigger and more popular cities of Spain but found it a little difficult to get easy information on this part. Its my humble attempt to list a few things that might be useful to someone planning to travel here someday!