Nostalgia has kicked in and before going on my break, I thought I will do two nostalgia posts. Here, I bring to you my top travels of this year. French writer, Gustav Flaubert, has once said, “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” This year was all about that realisation and broadening my horizons intellectually and spiritually; something which traveling always teaches me.

Travel and Living

1. Kerala: It is God’s own country after all.

2. Amsterdam: The coolest and the most liberal city I visited this year.

3. Paris: Because Paris is always a good idea.

4. Longleat Safari Park: As I am a through and through nature’s girl.

5. Barcelona: A vibrant city which teaches you the art of doing nothing, enjoying everything and living.

6. Ibiza: Not just a clubbing heaven but pristine beaches, sparkling blue Mediterranean waters and scrumptious food.

7. London: My new work place and perhaps the most pulsating city in the world where you can never get bored.

8. Bombay: Truly a city that never sleeps and as Dorothy said, “there is no place like home.”

9. Oxford: A wonderful walking city and the seat of knowledge and learning.

Hope my next year is also as adventurous as this one and I am able to tick off few more places in my travel bucket list.

Have a great day and wish you all a Happy New Year.

The spook story surrounding Paris’s famous Cathedral—Notre Dame Cathedral—prompted me to take the beautiful walk across the city surpassing several winding rues and lanes. Legend goes that Notre Dame is haunted by a ghost of a locksmith who was commissioned to make locks for the cathedral. He asked the devil for help and died a few days later. I hoped to get frightened but instead I was pleasantly mesmerized.

Notre dame

 

Construction of this grand structure first began in 1163. It is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture  which took nearly 200 years to complete. It is believed to have opened in 1345.  Paris is often regarded as the birthplace of Gothic structure and the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress (arched exterior supports) of this Cathedral make for a fine testimony.

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Stained Glass

 

As soon as you step in, a calmness envelops you and you will be welcomed by a sight of tall, nicely carved archways and beautiful stained glass paintings. Incidentally, during the French revolution, the cathedral was damaged and many of its treasures and statues were stolen. Although, some were found in the 1970s, nearly 200 years later.

Joan of Arc

 

The Cathedral also houses a rather beatific statue of Joan of Arc.  A deeply spiritual peasant girl who led the French Army to several important victories during the hundred years’ war. It also has one of the biggest Church bells–Emmanuel weighing over 30 tonnes.

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Notre Dame is a haven of architecture and history and the perfect place if you want to see a slice of the city’s rich culture.

Traveling for me is the most humbling experience and the best education out there. I feel every city has its own distinct vibe. For me, Paris is like an extremely beautiful and confident woman. She never doubts herself and walks tall, proud and unflinching in the race of life. And she surely knows the affect she has on everyone (and everything) around her. On that happy note, here are some pictures of the truly beautiful iron lady–the Eiffel Tower.

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If you are a Paris atheist I dare you to really observe and I know you will pretty soon croon like Ella Fitzgerald, “I love Paris every moment.” 😀

City of Love, Fashion Capital, City of Lights, Literary Paradise….Paris has many such different faces. This weekend the husband and I decided to experience this city’s genius up, close and personal. As soon as we stepped in; it seemed the city had completely taken us with its charm. I am yet to see a city with such a strong personality , a city which envelops you completely in its grandeur and audaciously challenges you to ALWAYS remember its mighty beauty. Starting from today (till next week), I will bring you various sights and places that took me completely by surprise with its jaw-dropping allurement.

Arc de Triomphe

From the Eiffel Tower to Palace De Versailles to its many Cathedrals; the aesthete in you will not just be satiated but exhilarated in this city. Our first stop was the Arc de Triomphe (Triumphal Arc; pictured above).   The Arc honours all those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Its inner and outer surface names all the French victors and generals who participated in the Revolution.

Arc de Triomphe

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As you can see the sight is characterised by its intricate carving and sculpting work. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and it features four icons on each side. Each sculpture shows nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. The Arc set the tone for public monuments in Paris.

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Arc De Triomphe

Just one visit to the Arc is enough to understand why Paris is one of the artistic capitals of Europe and why it has been home to many artists and art movements. As for me I was glad that this was just the beginning.