The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa

The Dubai Mall clicked with Iphone
Burj Khalifa clicked with Iphone

The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall by land area with more than 1,200 shops. I have never seen such a big mall and don’t think I will see something bigger than this. The Dubai Mall has a total retail area of more than 500,000 square metres. I went here in the evening so that I can see The Dubai Fountain show and also see the laser show at Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Fountain is a choreographed fountain system on the lake of Burj Khalifa opposite The Dubai Mall. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world with a height of 829.8 metres. It was originally named Burj Dubai, the name got changed to Burj Khalifa after Abu Dhabi and UAE government lent money to Dubai to repay its debts. The Dubai Fountain and Laser show at Burj Khalifa is one the most memorable and spectacular show I have seen.

Top of Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel. The construction of Eiffel Tower started in 1887 and was completed in 1889. From the bottom the height of Eiffel Tower is 324 metres made of iron. Even after being at the top of Eiffel Tower, I can’t believe the tower was completed in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days. Around seven million people visit Eiffel Tower every year. What I like the most is there was no serious injuries or death during the construction. (Source: http://www.toureiffel.paris)

An experience at Top of Eiffel Tower when it is windy causing the Tower to sway is a Nice Experience I will never forget. I can keep going to places like Paris any number of times and I wish am here at the Top again. Thanks for Checking, Stay Safe and Take Care.

Is it a TRICK

I saw these two gentlemen when I was at Prague. I went around them to see where the person on the top was seated, I only saw him and I could not see where he was seated. I have read about Illusion, watching it live on the middle of a road in a tourist destination is Awesome. Whenever I see this photo I go back to Prague.

Few lines about Prague – Prague is the largest city in Czech Republic. Prague is known for Old Town Square and colorful buildings. Switzerland , Prague, London, Paris, Venice and Budapest – Whatever or Wherever we click is a delight to our eyes. Walking along the Charles Bridge is always memorable. I was there for a day and visited Prague Castle, Old Town Square, Prague Astronomical Clock, Dancing House and Wenceslas Sqaure. Kindly click https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/04/24/my-travel-diary-europe-iii/ to know about my visit to Brno, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Thanks for checking, Stay Safe and Take Care.

My Travel Diary Karnataka

Whenever there is a long weekend, people in Bangalore will be out for a long drive. Am not an exception to this, we plan a trip to one of the weekend getaways from Bangalore well in advance. We leave from Bangalore early in the morning hoping we will avoid the early morning traffic jam, not once we were lucky to avoid the traffic. Most of Bangalore will be on Nice Road heading to one of the resort. We like Jungle Lodges and we will be one of the early birds to make the reservation. In this post am going to take back my mind to Kabini, Bandipur, Coorg and Hampi.

Kabini The drive from Bangalore to Kabini is around 220 kilometres and takes around 5 hours. We went to Kabini around 4 years back. We were not lucky to get our reservations at Jungle Lodges and we ended up staying at Kaav Safari Lodges. We paid a premium for the quality of service and food. This is where I realized going on a holiday to Europe is a better choice economically. Kabini was a total disappointment because we hardly spotted any wildlife. I went on Jungle Lodges Safari two times and both times I was not lucky to spot any wildlife. What I liked about Kabini is the beautiful river and trees presenting nature at its Best.

Bandipur The drive from Bangalore to Bandipur is also around 220 kilometres and takes around 5 hours. What I liked about Bandipur is the proximity to Masinagudi. Masinagudi is in Tamilnadu and Bandipur is in Karnataka, distance between these two places is around 25 kilometres. We went on a holiday to Bandipur around 3 years back, we were lucky to get the reservation at Jungle Lodges. The advantage of staying in Jungle Lodges is the early morning and evening safari part of the package. Jungle Lodges has the permission to drive deep into the forest. Comparatively we were able to see lot of wild life at Bandipur and Masinagudi.

Coorg The drive from Bangalore to Coorg is around 260 kilometres and takes around 6 hours. We had been to Coorg twice, we stayed at Heritage Resort first time and at Club Mahindra second time. First trip was six years back and the second trip was two years back. What was consistent about both my trips was the quality of food at Coorg which was exceptional. There are plenty of places to visit in and around Coorg. We had been to Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, Abbey Falls and View Point Park. Tala Cauvery which is considered as the source for River Cauvery is a beautiful drive from Coorg and is around 90 minutes drive. There is also a Tibetan Monastery near Coorg which is a must visit place.

Hampi I always like staying in a village, Hampi is the perfect place for a long weekend. We had been to Hampi three years back. There are plenty of places to see in Hampi. Jungle Lodges is located in a village at Hampi which was the highlight of our trip. We went to Hampi for 3 days and I liked the early morning running and yoga. It is always healthy and nice to run in a village where we can breathe fresh air. One thing we must avoid at Hampi is the tour guides. It makes sense to make use of Google and decide the places we plan to visit for the day.

There are many more nice places by drive from Bangalore to be covered. Hopefully Covid-19 will leave this World soon, we can go back to our normal life and start planning the cool destination when we have a long weekend. Take Care and Be Safe.

My Travel Diary Delhi

I had traveled to Delhi few times in the past but was not lucky to go around Delhi. All my business trips to Delhi were during the weekdays and I could not see Delhi. I had been to Delhi to watch the formula one race at Buddh Circuit, Noida. During this trip the only purpose of visiting Delhi was to watch my icon Michael Schumacher. Finally, I was able to go around Delhi when I traveled in 2018. We were staying at our relative’s place at Gurgaon for two days and we stayed at Holiday Inn near Airport for three days. I was always thinking Bangalore, the garden city of India, is greener. When I went around Delhi I started thinking Delhi is more greener. I could see more trees in Delhi and I was imagining the early morning running or walking Delhiites can enjoy. Apart from the plenty of places to see in and around Delhi, what I liked the most is the quality of food in all the restaurants we went.

Day One – We took the early morning flight from Bangalore to Delhi. We reached our cousin’s place at Gurgaon in the afternoon. In the evening we went on a drive watching India Gate, Parliament of India and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. We returned to Gurgaon for dinner, our cousin took us to one the best Chinese restaurant. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but will never forget the quality of food we were served. Finally, we went to Bikanervala for dessert.

Day Two – On day two we had nice breakfast at our cousin’s place. We went for a long drive around Delhi and we went to Gulati Restaurant for lunch. We also did some shopping in the famous bazaars. We visited Qutab Minar, Red Fort and India Gate.

Day Three – On day three we started early and traveled to Mathura and Vrindavan by car. Mathura is around 170 kilometres from Delhi and Vrindavan is only fifteen minutes drive from Mathura. Mathura is considered as the birth place of Krishna and Vrindavan is considered as the city where Krishna spent most of his childhood days. Cameras were not allowed in these holy temples, we visited few other beautiful temples in Mathura where we clicked some beautiful photos.

Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Day Four – On day four we went to Taj Mahal. We had planned to spend the full day at Agra. We were lucky to click lot of nice photos at Taj Mahal. Finally, I visited one of the seven wonders of the world.

Day Five – On day five we went to Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple. Both temples were beautiful and I can still look at these beautiful places when I close my eyes. I was allowed to click photos at Lotus Temple but a strict no at Akshardham. After visiting these temples we returned to our cousin’s place for lunch. We went out in evening for family dinner and late in the night we went to see the colorful Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

In my earlier trips to Delhi what I liked was the metro which connects Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. In my 2018 trip to Delhi I saw the beauty of in and around Delhi. Delhi is greener than any other city in India. For someone who loves nature, Delhi will bring smile in our faces looking at the number of trees. As mentioned earlier, what I also liked in Delhi is the quality of food at the restaurants we visited. I definitely want to visit Delhi few more times on a holiday, wish formula one returns to India. I can see Delhi one more time and watch a formula one race live.

My Travel Diary Gokarna

We visited Gokarna on a family holiday in Dec 2019. I love driving long distance and we decided to drive to Gokarna from Bangalore. Gokarna is around 500 kilometres from Bangalore and is a 10 hour drive. We left early in the morning from Bangalore, had our breakfast and lunch on the way and reached Jungle Lodges at Gokarna in around 9 hours. The drive through Sharavati valley wildlife sanctuary is a memorable one. Jungle Lodges is completely cut off from Gokarna town, the rooms were nice and the food was very good. Gokarna is known for Mahabaleshwara Temple and Beaches. The purpose of visiting Gokarna was to have good time together with family, get some fresh air with nice food and also see some important places. We had great family time, had nice stay completely cut off from pollution and Jungle Lodges treated us with very good food. Let me talk about the places we visited from here.

Jungle Lodges

Mahabaleshwara Temple Mahabaleshwara is known for its Shiva Linga also known as Aatma Linga. I read that this is a 4th century temple and is one of the seven sacred Muktistala in Karnataka. The temple is located on the shores of Arabian Sea. There are few other small temples around Mahabaleshwara temple, one other temple we visited is Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple.

Om Beach and Kudle Beach The shape of Om Beach is considered to be in the shape of Om and hence it derives its name and also considered auspicious. Om Beach is a place any photographer would love to be with their camera. There are plenty of water sport in Om Beach and I also saw lot of people enjoying their meditation and practicing yoga. Kudle Beach has a perfect C shape, it is know for its scenic view and the click of sunrise and sunset is a delight to watch anytime.

Murudeshwar Temple After staying at Gokarna for 2 days we left to Jog Falls. On our way we visited Murudeshwar Temple. Murudeshwar is known for its tall Shiva Statue located on the shores of Arabian Sea. Murudeshwar temple has a 20 storey Gopuram and has a lift to have a view of the 123 feet Shiva idol. The temple surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides is one more photographers paradise.

Jog Falls Jog Falls is the tallest waterfall in India on the Sharavati River located in the Shimoga district. We stayed at Sharavati Adventure Camp for a day which is opposite the Sharavati River. We had a nice welcome after we checked into our rooms to realize none of our mobile phones were working. The rooms were located opposite the river and we had a nice view of sunrise and sunset. The resort arranged a drive to Jog Falls next day morning, we were there for around 3 hours clicking some nice photos.

After having nice time for three days in Gokarna and Jog Falls we started driving back to Bangalore. When I was driving, for few seconds I lost concentration and there was a SUV on the opposite direction and we could have had a head on collision. Thankfully, I turned the wheels to right side and the driver of SUV was already to his right and we were safe, I will never forget this. What I liked about my trip to Gokarna is the Beautiful drive from Bangalore, comfortable stay at Jungle Lodges with nice food, a town with beautiful historic temples and nice beaches to hang out. One of the Must Visit place in Karnataka.

My Travel Diary Dubai

Dubai was the last International location I traveled. I went to Dubai for 2 weeks in Oct 2019 for work. I had 2 weekends in between to go around Dubai. As usual I took the Emirates flight from Bangalore to Dubai. After landing at Dubai I took a cab to my hotel at Dubai Internet City. The cab person was from India, he was so proud of talking about Dubai and he kept the one hour drive completely engaged. He was hinting me about the increase in cost at Dubai and his plan to return to India. It was a nice drive to hotel, I could see lot of tall buildings and I could see Burj Khalifa most part of my drive to hotel. On reaching the hotel I stepped out for a walk, went around the place to know the nearest metro station and the vegetarian restaurants around. There was a place for walkers and joggers behind the hotel, I was very happy I can start my day here for the next 2 weeks. During the two weeks at Dubai, I started my day here running followed by some yoga asanas. I liked this place so much that I even used to go here in the evening and watch lot of children play. There were few vegetarian restaurants around this place and I was happy I don’t have to worry about food. My office was only a kilometre by walk, the weather was so hot that I took a cab to work most of the days. During the two weeks at Dubai I visited some nice places.

The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall by land area with more than 1,200 shops. I have never seen such a big mall and don’t think I will see something bigger than this. I went here in the evening so that I can see The Dubai Fountain show and also see the laser show at Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Fountain is a choreographed fountain system on the lake of Burj Khalifa opposite The Dubai Mall. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world with a height of 829.8 metres. It was originally named Burj Dubai, the name got changed to Burj Khalifa after Abu Dhabi and UAE government lent money to Dubai to repay its debts.

During my stay I was very lucky to go on a Dubai Marine Cruise one of the evenings. This was a 4 hour hour cruise on the Dubai waterways which included going around Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Creek and The Atlantis Hotel. The Burj AL Arab is a luxury 5 star hotel and one of the tallest hotel in the world. The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial stretch of water with lot of islands. The Atlantis Hotel is a luxury resort located at Palm Jumeirah.

What I liked in Dubai the most is the metro which makes it very convenient for people to commute. I could see lot of people partying during the weekend. What I didn’t like in Dubai is people smoking everywhere making the air totally polluted and the small post card with phone numbers of adult clubs lying on streets. I don’t know whether this is everywhere, I could see plenty of them around the hotel I was staying. What I missed seeing in Dubai was my friends, they were either travelling or busy. I don’t mind going to Dubai again on a holiday to experience few days stay at The Hotel Atlantis.

My Travel Diary Europe IV

After travelling to London, Manchester, Milan, Venice, Switzerland, Brno, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in Europe, I was lucky to get one more travel opportunity to Europe. This time it was to France – Lyon and Paris. It was again a business travel for 2 months with my team. I took Emirates from Bangalore to Lyon. On reaching Lyon Airport I took a cab to reach the service apartment. The service apartment was located on a beautiful road with lots of trees on both sides. I checked in the service apartment and was very happy to see a nice kitchen with all essentials for cooking. It was winter and the weather was very cold but pleasant. We were getting used to the Europe Weather. Next day morning after having our breakfast, we took a small walk outside. We noticed a park and we went in, this is one the most beautiful park I had gone. This park also had a Zoo, I immediately planned a visit to Zoo one of the weekend. Since, the weather was very cold, I used to walk on the service apartment corridor during weekdays and during the weekend I used to visit this park to run and practice yoga. We were a small team and we used to cook our food everyday. As usual we were busy with work during weekdays and during the weekend we used to go around Lyon and also visited Paris one of the weekend.

Beautiful Park opposite the Service Apartment at Lyon

Visit to Zoo The Zoo was on the other side of the park. One of the weekend I took my camera and went in. I had one of the best evening clicking those beautiful animals and birds. This Zoo attracted lot of elders and children, there is nothing better than watching children having fun. Both the park and zoo was so scenic and I can never forget the beauty of this place.

Paris My friend and me took a fast train from Lyon to Paris one of the weekend. On reaching Paris we had a nice welcome by nature with very heavy downpour. We thought we will never be able to go around Paris as it was continuing to rain non stop. We decided lets forget the rain and start going around Paris. Our positive start was acknowledged by rains coming to a stop. We started the Paris trip by visiting Cathedral Notredame De Paris. We were here for a while and then took a cruise to Eiffel Tower. We booked our tickets to go to the top of Eiffel Tower. It was a beauty to watch Paris from the top. In the evening we went to Louvre Museum and we again returned to Eiffel Tower to watch the light show.

Lyon and Paris are one the most Beautiful Places I have traveled. What I like about any place in Europe is the public transport. What I like even better about Europe is its Beauty. We can keep looking at the photos we clicked any number of times. I want to go on a holiday to Europe, spend a week in Paris and Switzerland, a week in Budapest and Belgium, finally a week at London.

Hopefully Covid-19 will leave this World soon and we all will be able to plan our holiday. Be Safe and Take Care.

My Travel Diary Istanbul

I traveled to Istanbul more than 2 years back. I was lucky to go twice, I was unlucky that my first trip was very short, lot of meetings and also was unwell. As usual I took an Emirates flight from Bangalore to reach Istanbul. This was a short trip for 2 days. I came out out of Istanbul Airport and took a cab to the hotel. I thought for a moment am at Bangalore seeing the traffic. When I looked at the Landscape everywhere I know it was not Bangalore. When I saw the tall buildings and speeding cars I know I reached Istanbul. I got an upgrade to Emirates Business Class and my bad time, the lunch resulted in a bad stomach. I checked in the hotel and took some medicine. I skipped the next day breakfast and lunch so that I wont have issues completing my business meetings. Around the evening I had a nice Turkish tea with some nice cookies. I was hearing someone talking about Turkish delight and also what is good to eat at Turkey. I skipped my dinner so that I will be perfectly fine next day. After around 30 hours I had food, joined the hotel breakfast, started with few slices of bread and honeycomb, fresh and the most tastiest honey that I have tasted. My meetings were over on time, reached the airport and took my return flight to Bangalore. I only saw tall buildings, traffic, landscape, tasted Turkish coffee, tea and honeycomb in my first visit. I didn’t have the time to go around Istanbul, I know am returning again in 2 weeks for more than a month.

Panorama view from Hotel

I again took an Emirates flight from Bangalore to reach Istanbul. Luckily I didn’t get an upgrade and importantly had no health issue on arrival. I took a cab to the service apartment, our accommodation was booked in one of the premium service apartment in Istanbul, I checked in my room at 37th floor. This time I also had a team traveling with me. We were cooking our own food during the weekdays and during the weekend we join together and cook. The weather was very cold at Istanbul and hence, I was using the corridor for my morning walk and did yoga in my room. During the weekend I used to wake up late, go out and run when the sun is out. We were very much occupied with work during the weekdays and we had our schedule planned for weekend even before we reached Istanbul, go around Istanbul, have fun and click pictures.

Bosporus The Bosporus is a narrow waterway located in northwestern Turkey. Bosporus is on the boundary of Asia and Europe, on one side of Bosporus is Anatolia and on other side is Thrace. One side of Bosporus is Asia and the other side is Europe.

I took few boat rides around Bosporus Straits and here are some of the best clicks.

Hagia Sophia Museum and The Blue Mosque Hagia Sophia started as a cathedral, became a mosque and now a Museum. What I read about this great landmark is this was built around 1,500 years ago. Sultan Ahmed Mosque known as The Blue Mosque was constructed between 1609 and 1616. This is a functional mosque and also attracts lot of tourist.

Grand Bazaar we also visited the Grand Bazaar few times. This is the oldest and largest covered markets in the world with 61 covered streets and more than 4,000 shops. This place attracts more than 2,50,000 visitors per day. This is considered the first shopping mall of the world. Whenever I visited this place I didn’t take my camera and hence, couldn’t click one.

During our stay at Istanbul we tasted Turkish coffee, tea and delights whenever we went out. We also tasted the most famous Baklava. When I was at the Airport for my return flight, I could see Turkish Delight counters on most of the Airport and I did pick few for my family back home.

When I think of Istanbul what immediately comes to my mind is The Turkish Delight, Baklava, Turkish Coffee and Tea. What also comes to my mind is the Traffic, Tall Buildings and the Landscape. What I liked the most in Istanbul is the public transport. Istanbul is a place with lot of history, some very nice tourist attraction and this must be one of the best holiday destination.

My Travel Diary Canada

I traveled to Canada more than 4 years back. This was before my back to back travel to Europe. I took my favorite Emirates from Bangalore to reach Montreal. I was in Montreal for more than 5 weeks, when I think of Montreal what immediately comes to my mind is the unpleasant chill weather. After landing at Montreal, we straight went to Crown Plaza, this was our home for 5 weeks. We were a small team that traveled from India for Business. We know even before our travel it is a going to be a very busy schedule and hence, we have to plan well our trip to Niagara and Toronto.

Montreal Montreal is the coolest place I have visited till now. We were arranged a bus for commute between Crown Plaza and Office. Even though we were wearing our thermals and blazer, we used to sprint from the bus station in office to the office door. This was only around 50 metres, still it was extremely cold that we used to sprint. I can run fast and most of the days I will open the door for others. Crown Plaza did not have a kitchen and we have to rely on restaurants for lunch and dinner. Even before leaving from here my team did a good research of hotels, on the very first day we went to Thanjai Restaurant which specializes in South Indian food. This was our home for food during our stay at Montreal. In Montreal we went to downtown few times. We were completely occupied with work and one of the weekend we made reservation for the tour of Niagara.

Thousand Islands On the tour of Niagara, the trip started with a visit to Thousand Islands. It is a 3 hour drive from Montreal to reach Thousand Islands and it takes 3 hours to reach Toronto from here. Thousand Islands is a group of around 1,800 islands along the border of Canada and US. Most of these islands are occupied by beautiful single residence houses. We took a cruise to see the beauty of Thousand Islands, this is one of the most beautiful place in Canada.

Toronto Our next halt was at Toronto. Before reaching Toronto we had the opportunity to watch the traffic on the busy Toronto Highway. On reaching Toronto we went to CN Tower. CN Tower is around 550 metres high located in downtown Toronto. This was the tallest free standing structure until Dubai had its Burj Khalifa and the tallest tower until China had its Canton tower. It was fun going to the top of CN tower and clicking some nice pictures. We were able to see Toronto Islands from CN Tower. Before checking into a hotel for night stay we also went to Nathan Philips Square and few other important landmarks in Toronto.

Niagara and Niagara on the Lake Next day morning we reached Niagara. Even before reaching the falls we were able to hear the sound of water. It was so scenic to watch the water flow from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Niagara is located between Ontario province in Canada and New York state in the United States. We took a boat ride to go closer to the falls to experience the sound of water flowing from the top. After spending few hours at Niagara we went to Niagara on the Lake. This is a small beautiful town which is around 15 minutes drive from Niagara. Niagara on the Lake is known for wineries and what we were told by our guide is, this place is pensioner’s paradise.

We had nice 5 weeks at Montreal and returned home to a nice comfortable weather. When we were leaving I was taught of a term, cabin fever. This means people stay inside their houses or stay inside a car or stay in office. They hardly step out on the road to walk or run during winter. When I think of Canada or Montreal, i can only imagine the unpleasant weather.