Madrid – Day 3 – Toledo

Toledo is located 70 kms from Madrid city and is known for the influence of the cultures of the Muslims , the Jews and the Christians.

We visited the quaint old part of the twin with its cobbled streets and beautiful views. We also visited a museum which was home to a beautiful painting by ElGreco.

A picture speaks more than a thousand words, so today I shall let the pictures do the talking 🙂

The Streets

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The Views

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The Monastery of St Juan

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The Jewish Synagogue

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The City Hall Square

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And this amigos, was Toledo 🙂

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Seville (Sevilla) Day 1

Today was a lazy lazy day. With a 9 am flight from Barcelona to Seville, we hardly had any time to sleep. We checked in to Hotel Zenit,which is really cozy as well as modern and has most of the small comforts a hotel has to offer. The weather here is much warmer and thus I could shed the jacket ! Phew !

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The evening was spent loyering around in the streets nearby, scanning window displays and then we attended a Flamenco performance.

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A still from the performance

It was AMAZING.
The dancers were all so energetic and did a brilliant job. For most of the show photography was not allowed.

This is a MUST do for anyone visiting.
Along with the dance we had dinner
there as well which was a fish tapas menu. I tried octupus for the
first time today. It was  chewy and didn’t have that fishy taste that is prominent in a lot of seafood. 

Barcelona Day 1

We landed up in Barcelona at 1400 hours and were greeted with warm weather. Which was a great relief from the cold and rainy weather in Amsterdam.

The evening was filled with an architectural tour of the city which was centered around Gaudi’s art and construction. This was a four hour long tour. His way of architecture was very dramatic and very vibrant. The use of mosaic is evident.
We also went to the Sagrada Church which has been partly done by Gaudi.

Dinner was Spanish seafood paella at one of the local shops.
More pictures shall be posted soooon !!
Stay tuned.

Amsterdam Day 2

With a wild night at the dam square on day 1 ( which has not been mentioned there since it happened after the post was published ) , we kick started our day 2 on Amsterdam with the typical city tour very sleepy.
The guide showed us around the various buildings and places of interest which included Anne Frank’s apartments, the ‘titanic’ of Amsterdam which is called so because the building is built like a sinking ship, the gateway through which Napoleon entered Amsterdam for the first time and many more.

The afternoon was the best part of the trip – Keukenhoff, the tulip gardens. Though the fields were not in full bloom, the gardens and greenhouse were brimming with beautiful tulips in all colours imaginable.

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We often thought the wooden tulips available in the souvenir shops were cheap to look at, but when you look at the real ones you really need to go touch them to see if they are real !!
This is a MUST do for all those visiting, even if it is for the fun stuff there.

All the cities in Netherlands have their own flag and anthem. Amsterdam’s flag has 3 crosses representing the dangers the city had. Since the city was built on a swamp they put wooden panels for construction, and thus the first hazard was a fire. The second was the proximity to the sea and thus floods and the third cross represented danger of the plague.

After spending the entire afternoon in the gardens and taking a thousand photographs ( to say the least) we headed out to the red light area.
The area is caller Red light, because apparently in red light the pimples and wrinkles are not visible. ( take note when taking pictures or doing it

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ladies  :p)

We headed back to the hotel and had dinner on the way at a place called New York Pizza.

Lessons learnt – Amsterdam is windy so no matter how many layers you wear you will feel cold. Try to take gloves along if you’re going in march.
The tulips fields are not in full bloom in march. Please go in April end to see the best .
There are always unexpected rains so try
wearing a windcheater.

Amsterdam Day 1

Landed up at 7am local time to harsh weather (though they said it was 7 it felt like 0 degrees!)
The city is one of the most beautiful cities you could ever visit. Lush green everywhere , blue skies, and bikes. Bicycles everywhere. And that is what Amsterdam is about ( other than the weed :p)

The best way to explore the city if you have time is on the bicycle. Though the drive is opposite to that of India. It takes a while to adjust to the right hand lanes.

We set out to explore the touristy destinations and ended up walking in vondel park which is beautiful by all standards possible, the van Gogh museum and the museum square. What was interesting about this place was the atmosphere around it. Everything was vibrant and the air, well after new Delhi, Amsterdam is a breath of fresh air. And the tulips. Well I have no words to describe how beautiful they looked. It was a treat for the eyes !

After an early check in we went to Madurodam which is a miniature working model of the entire city. The bonsai versions of the trees sent me down memory lane, when people used to practice the art of growing bonsais in their houses. A drive past all the embassies and the Parliament at Hague, revealed a sharp contrast in the modern day architectural styles. One thing I was pretty mesmerized by was the old school red brick buildings, long french windows and arches.
Amsterdam is also famous for its blue pottery. Which you need to pay through your nose for, since it will definitely burn a huge hole in your wallet. Hand painted and all that jazz, you see !
Went across to see the factory at Delft where this is made as well.

Had dinner at this place called – ‘Pastabar’ and walked home.
And that was the end of day 1.
Pretty touristy.
Not the ‘traveller’ kind.
Bicycles, architecture and flowers – took my breath away
Weather – pretty harsh.
Lesson learnt -Early check-ins exist in lalaland. Very few hotels can actually give you an early check in ! ( we stayed at Best Western)

Wanderlust

Not All those who wander are lost.

And I’m a part of the nomad family called the Indian Armed Forces.
Both mum and dad were doctors in the army and thus life was all new cities , new friends, new schools etc from the start.

We’ve been across the length and width of India.
Needless to say – I love this life.

When my father left the army in 2012, the only thing that had me upset was the standstill life would come to.

But being a traveller is in our blood and doesn’t wear off just because we settled down in one place.

I would love to take you with me on my journeys across the country and now across the world as well.

Today I leave for Amsterdam, Netherlands and I would love to take you on a virtual tour with me 🙂

Stay tuned !IMG_20160323_135436