Romancing The Pacific Coast.
The Pacific Coastline between Astoria and Brookings has some breathtaking tourist attractions. The Canon Beach is one such place. The wind is relentless and one must get a proper foothold unless one wants to be driven into the sea. In the distance is the Haystack Rock which rises like a black leviathan, about […]
Les Andelys And Its Ghostly Ruins.
The region of Normandy which extends from the English Channel to the banks of the River Seine is an ideal place for a holiday. Its lakes and rivers, hills and verdant woods, lush meadows and fruit laden orchards beckon invitingly. At a tight bend in the River Seine is the small town […]
Beethoven-The Man With The Eternal Scowl.
On December 16th, the world celebrates the birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven. He was born in 1770. Cultural pilgrims from all over Europe, will flock to Bonn, to walk down Memory’s lane, and recall the genius of a musical giant, who still straddles the western musical firmament, with the wealth of his […]
CONSUELO-The Woman Who Saved Blenheim Palace.
Dowry and Forced marriages are often associated with Asian and Indian communities. But even until the late 19th century, bankrupt European Aristocracy depended for the survival of their estates, on the enormous dowries brought by women from across the Atlantic. While the Dukes and Counts had titles and class, their coffers were empty […]
A Trip To George Eliot Town.
Nuneaton, a little town in the Midlands of England, may not be most people’s idea of a tourist spot. Yet, as I walked down its streets and avenues named after characters and places from the novels of George Eliot, they sprang to life all around me. I was transported into the ancient Victorian world in […]
Drachenfels- A View from the Top.
Cruising down the river Rhine in Germany, one is struck by the number of ruined castles visible on its banks. Most of them were built during the Middle Ages as defensive structures on mountain tops. Even today, those castles are characteristic of Rhine country. Romance and legend have been woven into the Rhine […]
Luccio – Tuscan Village on a Hill.
We were on our way from Bologna to Lucca in Italy, and had to drive through 114 kilometers of tortuous roads through the Apennine mountains. The scenic heights and the bracing winds made us very hungry. We stopped at a coffee house on one of the peaks to relish Tuscan chocolate truffles and coffee. […]
WORMS – THE CITY OF RELIGIONS
For anyone interested in the history of the Protestant Reformation, a visit to the city of Worms is a must. It is an ancient Nebelungen city on the Rhine between Ludwigshafen and Mainz, and is the gateway to the Rhinehessen. Though many pre-Roman legends have been associated with the city, it is better […]
On The Cheimsee Lake.
A visit to the Cheimsee Lake was the highlight of my trip to Bavaria. It is about three hours by road from Munich. “If you want to see perfect harmony between Man and Nature you must go there,” said the frau in whose house I stayed. Cheimsee the largest lake in Bavaria […]
SCHWABISH HALL – CITY OF WHITE GOLD.
Schwabisch Hall in Germany, the city that owes its wealth to ‘white gold,’ is made famous today by the Goethe Institute, which attracts students from all over the world. They come here to study German, and the courses offered are from basic to higher levels. But students are by no means confined exclusively […]
SCHWABISH HALL – CITY OF WHITE GOLD.
Schwabisch Hall in Germany, the city that owes its wealth to ‘white gold,’ is made famous today by the Goethe Institute, which attracts students from all over the world. They come here to study German, and the courses offered are from basic to higher levels. But students are by no means confined exclusively to […]
WORMS – THE CITY OF RELIGIONS.
For anyone interested in the history of the Protestant Reformation, a visit to the city of Worms is a must. It is an ancient Nebelungen city on the Rhine between Ludwigshafen and Mainz, and is the gateway to the Rhinehessen. Though many pre-Roman legends have been associated with the city, it is better known […]
When The Berlin Wall Fell Down
November 9th, 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There was jubilation in Berlin when the Germans celebrated the occasion with pomp and pageantry. Leaders from all over the world were invited to share in this historic event. The Media both print and visual, went to town so that people […]
CALW – BIRTHPLACE OF HERMANN HESSE.
Driving through villages in Baden Württemberg, we reach Calw which is about 18 kms from Pforzheim. It is the birthplace of Hermann Hesse the famous writer, poet and artist. This is a beautiful town built into the flanks of rolling hills. Its fachework houses decorated with colourful flowers on their window ledges are typical of […]
MARBACH –DESTINATION FOR BOOK WORMS
Most people visit Marbach because of its famous citizen Friedrich Schiller, German poet, dramatist, historian and philosopher. He was born here on November 10, 1759. His house is a modest half timbered, unpretentious building on Necklastorrestrasse, which shows that his parents were of limited means. There is a sculpture of him in one room and […]
AACHEN – CHARLEMAGNE’S FAVOURITE CITY.
Throughout the year 2014, the City of Aachen is celebrating the 1200th anniversary of the death of Charlemagne (Charles the Great) the first Roman Emperor, who was its most famous citizen. He was a man with ambitious plans to unite all Germanic people spread over, West Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France. A fine military strategist, […]
Romancing The Pacific Coastline.
The Pacific coastline between Astoria and Brookings has some breathtaking tourist attractions. The Canon Beach is one such place. The wind is relentless and one must get a proper foothold unless one wants to be driven into the sea. In the distance is the Haystack Rock which rises like a black leviathan, about 235 feet […]
Bend In The River At Les Andelys.
The region of Normandy which extends from the English Channel to the banks of the River Seine is an ideal place for a holiday. Its lakes and rivers, hills and verdant woods, lush meadows and fruit laden orchards beckon invitingly. At a tight bend in the River Seine is the small town of Les Andelys. […]
Cold War Relic – Bunker At Arhweiler.
The underground museum near Bonn served different purposes at different times. From a railway tunnel in WWI to a mushroom farm, later as an arms manufacturing unit and finally as an air raid shelter in WWII. eva bell goes on a history tour. The Ahr Valley in Germany is a wonderland of greenery. Lush forests […]
Witch Hunt In Germany.
Not everyone would consider the Harz Mountain ranges in northern Germany a popular tourist destination. Yet those who have been there have come away enchanted by those mysterious mountain ranges made up of massive boulders and spooky rock formations; of dark cliffs and treacherous crevices; of witches, ghouls and folklore to chill the marrow in […]
Wine Festivals Along The Middle Rhine.
Summer along the Rhine is fun time. For almost five months in the year there is sunshine, and people make the best of the weather. Winter’s drab colours are stowed away. Women and girls come out in bright dresses. Men hang up their overcoats and discard their galoshes. Walking, cycling, boating, rowing – there is […]
Strasbourg And Alsace.
We had been on the road for almost six weeks – a quartet of senior citizens in an old camper, travelling cheaply through Europe, yet not missing out any of the interesting spots. At night we camped on caravan sites which not only ensured safety but offered clean bathrooms and hot running water, kitchens, electricity […]
Leipzig -Where The Music Never Stops.
In the summer of 2003, four senior citizens decided to travel across Europe in a camper for about six weeks. During the day, we did as much sight seeing as we could. At dusk, we headed for the nearest caravan site and pitched camp. There was no need for advance booking, and the rates were […]
Whispering Winds Of Kodaikanal
Come summer, the cool of the mountains beckons, and Kodaikanal gears up for the tourist onslaught. From Kodai Road station it is a three-hour drive into the Palani Mountains. The ghat section begins at Batlagunta, and snakes up to the top, at a height of 6300 feet. The mist rising up from the valleys in […]
Dalhalla – Opera In A Quarry.
About 300 kms northwest of Stockholm is the beautiful region of Dalarna, spread out all around Lake Siljan, The neat timber cottages built in the old Dalecarlian style, the lawns in verdant green, meadows covered with wild flowers, reaching almost down to the water’s edge, were so refreshing. We motored down to Rattvik, where we […]
All For A Green Cause.
The world today, remembers Beatrix Potter as an author and illustrator of children’s books. But in her beloved Lake District, she is venerated as a crusading environmentalist, who is largely responsible for preservation of the ecology of the Lake District. For the first twenty four years of her life, Beatrix spent most of her time […]
Women In The “Land Of Kings.”
Rajasthan! The name conjures up pictures of sunlight bouncing off golden sands, in a spectrum of light that reveals a colourful people – Of billowing skirts and diaphanous chunnaris , of tall moustached men with enormous turbans and white frock coats, of camel safaris and painted havelis , of wandering balladeers and tantalizing dancers, against […]
The Vision Of A Broken Wall.
A very long time ago Tennyson wrote, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” As the people of Germany celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9 th , many will remember with a sense of pride, the genesis of a powerful yet peaceful revolution […]
A Day At The Hague.
Most tourists to Holland are content with touring Amsterdam the bustling modern metropolis of ‘infinite variety’, with its exclusive shops and restaurants on one hand, and its Bohemian ambience of garbled houses overlooking a network of waterways. But a visit to the Hague reminds us that Holland is not merely windmills and tulips, polders and […]
The Bridge At Remagen.
Cruising down the Rhine from Bonn to Koblenz on a lazy afternoon, the twin towers of Remagen bridge rose like black ghosts through the treetops on the west bank, making me sit up with a start. We were about 22 miles north of Koblenz . “Hey, what’s that? “ I asked a fellow traveler, “Is […]
Stonehenge -After Midsummer’s Day.
The first Summer Solstice (June 21 st ) of this millennium is over, and once again, the stark forbidding boulders of Stonehenge , are forgotten till the next year. The Druids and the New Age travellers disperse after a night-long frenzy of dancing among the megaliths, of chanting and communicating with higher planes of reality; […]
Man Behind The Vienna Waltz.
Johann Strauss the “King of Waltz” has given back to Vienna the intoxicating city of his birth, almost four hundred widely acclaimed waltzes. One of these is “Tales from the Vienna Woods.” Yet most tourists limit themselves to Vienna , and seldom venture into the woods. A drive through these dark woods brings to mind […]
Of Tulips And Windmills.
As the train sped across Germany to Holland , the gradual change in landscape became evident. No mountains, no fachwerke houses, no vineyards. The Netherlands are really ‘lowlands’, and most of the country lies below sea-level. Criss-crossed by canals and rivers, this beautiful country would be submerged at high tide, if not for its dykes […]
Christiana – Paradise For Losers
Hidden away from Copenhagen ‘s tourist attractions, is a homeless encampment called Christiana. This is a city within a city, peopled by the impoverished and the weird; a mini-United Nations where black, brown and white live together in an incredible Utopia of their own creation – a junkyard made habitable, and decked up in psychedelic […]
Murdeshwar By The Sea
Murdeshwar is a lovely place to visit in any weather. Luxury buses ply overnight to Kundapur. And from there, it is a 70 km drive on the NH17, which runs alongside the Arabian sea . The relentless roaring breakers create a strange restlessness within. The waves are rough and angry as they pound the boulders […]
Medicine in Khurdistan
I arrived in Teheran in the thick of winter. It was January 1977 and the Shah of Iran was still on his throne. I was to work among the Khurds of Iran for a year. But I would first stay in Teheran for a week to get acclimatized, and also prepare for the cultural shock […]
Dresden – Florence On The Elbe
In the summer of 2002, four adventurous senior citizens set off to see Europe in a camper. We were particularly interested in visiting the erstwhile East German cities of Dresden and Leipzig . At night, we camped at caravan sites on the outskirts of the cities, where the tariff was cheaper than any hotel, and […]
Dalarna – Escape into Childhood
Almost three hundred kilometres away from the city of Stockholm , and to its northwest, is the beautiful valley of Dalarna . It is a three-hour drive through miles and miles of pine and conifer forests, interrupted by fields of wheat and rye. Legend has it that 360 million years ago, a meteor four kilometres […]
Consuelo – The Woman Who Saved Blenheim Palace
Dowry and Forced marriages are often associated with Asian and Indian communities. But even until the late 19 th century, bankrupt European Aristocracy depended for the survival of their estates, on the enormous dowries brought by women from across the Atlantic . While the Dukes and Counts had titles and class, their coffers were empty […]
Clara Schumann – Love Extraordinaire
The 184 th birthday of Clara, wife of the famous music composer Robert Schumann, will be celebrated on September 13 th . In a world that is governed by the “I “ syndrome, feminists will question the wisdom of Clara Schumann a talented pianist and composer, who put her own career on the back bench, […]
By The Arabian Sea
Murdeshwar -on - Sea is a lovely place to visit in any weather. The imposing statue of Shiva on a dark foreboding hill, presides over the village and draws worshippers and tourists from all over.
Beethoven – The Man With The Eternal Scowl
On December 16 th , the world will celebrate the 231 st birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven.