Trip to Italy

Our much awaited trip of 2016 happened in March.  The plan for the trip to Italy took some shape after days and days of planning, and we were off to the land of pizzas and pastas on our fourth wedding anniversary.

Italy has in store everything for everybody; great history, beautiful architecture, ancient ruins, scenic view, serene beaches, delicious cuisine and much more.

Below I have tried to capture the beauty of the country and our moments there in my words .

Milano – Our first destination in Italy was the fashion capital – Milan, though we didn’t get time to actually explore the fashion side of the city – we managed enough in a day to make ourselves happy. The first day in any unknown country can be overwhelming and confusing and so it was with us, so the day we landed we just checked in at our hotel and then wandered nearby and got some useful tips by our hotel staff and just relaxed in our room. Next day – which was the only full day we had in Milan – we bought an all-day Metro pass which can be used throughout the day to travel anywhere in city which came in handy at the end. We headed to see the cathedral and other attractions nearby. As soon as I stepped out of the metro station, a beautiful off white facade of the monument was welcoming us. With the Duomo at the centre and the Galleria Vittorio on the other side, the place was very busy and lively.

We admired the cathedral from outside, clicked pictures and then went inside to admire the art, visited the rooftop and by then we had spend 3 hours of our first day. Then we had yummy pizza in Vittorio and did some window shopping and then headed to the Duomo museum to get some insight of Roman history. At last we just sat on the steps of Cathedral, sipping coffee and basking in the sunshine, which we usually don’t get back in our place.

By evening we headed to Eataly store to buy some Italian goodies and ended the day with wonderful dinner, went back to our room and packed our bags to catch early morning train to Venice.
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Venezia – The most exciting stop in our itinerary.  We arrived at Venezia Santa Lucia station by noon, purchased our actual street map, without which exploring Venice on foot is not possible – thanks to some tips on trip advisor for this suggestion and it really turned out to be true at least in our opinion – Venice by foot is a must for any couple.

Venice is known as the most romantic city of Italy and it is true in every sense. The city has retained its old buildings but still not lost its charm. The narrow streets, the canals, numerous bridge, old but colourful buildings, beautiful gondolas, souvenir shops filled with Venetian masks all add uniqueness to the city. We started for our hotel dragging our luggage with one hand and looking for route in map on another. Dragging the luggage on streets of Venice can be bit tiresome, as the streets are very narrow and crowded. We finally reached our hotel after missing some turns here and there but it was fun. After freshening up, we headed for seeing Grand Canal and Rialto bridge. The bank of canal  lined up with colourful tall buildings and the river silently flowing was making the view picturesque.

Next day we visited St Marco square and it is beautiful in every aspect. While walking around the streets around St Marco,we discovered  a very small pasta joint called Dal Moros. The queue was spanning across street, but after tasting the delicious pasta, we felt it was worth the wait. This joint only offer takeaway, we took ours and happily enjoyed it sitting on the steps of a nearby bridge. We ended the day with Gandola ride. The gondola ride can leave a hole in your pocket but it is worth taking this romantic ride once in a lifetime.  The perfect 2 days in Venice ended and we were ready for our next destination Rome.

Gandolas lined up near Grand canal
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Roma – We stayed in Rome for 2 days and wished we stayed more. It is rightly said that Rome was not built in a day. Every brick has a history to tell right from the cobblestone paved streets to the grand Colosseum. This huge monument takes you back to the Roman culture and you cannot go without imagining the thousands of spectators enjoying the fight between gladiators. The entrance process to the Colosseum can be bit disappointing as you have to wait in long queues. The Trevi fountain at night was another treat to eyes. The noise of fountain can be heard from a distance outpacing the noise of tourists. The coins thrown in fountain formed a bed and were shining brilliantly.Vatican City, the home to pope is extra-ordinary in architecture. St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine chapel, Vatican museums everything is grand and tells us about the ancient history.
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Capri – Travelled to Naples from Rome and took a ferry to this beautiful island. The highlight in  Capri tour was the Blue Grotto. We were lucky enough to get this wonderful experience as we were the last batch, for which is was open for that day. A big motor boat took us near the cave and then we were transported to a small boat. One of the fellow boat mate started crying after seeing the low height of the cave. After some consolation and assurance of the boat man, that she will be safe and sound we were ready to enter the grotto. Inside the grotto, it was beautiful. I have no words to explain the beauty of this natural phenomena when sunlight and water unite inside the cave ( sounds too dramatic :P). Blue water and the boatman singing Italian folk songs taking rounds inside the cave make it a very beautiful experience. After the grotto visit, we took funicular to reach the top of island, overlooking the lemon grooves. The island is famous for its lemon. The view from the top was breathtaking. We strolled around the island and then headed to Augustus garden to view the wonderful Faraglioni. The view of Faraglioni standing aloof in the vast sea was amazing.
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Florence and Pisa – The day started with visiting the tower of Pisa. The park enclosing the tower of Pisa  was fully crowded with students. We later came to know, that students come to Pisa 100 day before their school exams; it’s a belief that it brings them luck for exams.

Florence another beautiful city of Italy, and home too many great artists. We were awed by the finesse of the statue of David by Michelangelo. We wandered in the streets, then went to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and spent some time there enjoying the beautiful views.
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The trip ended here and it was time to head back to our home. Italy is definitely a place to return. One of our memorable trip and we resolve to come again .

PS: I learned that I can go for days without Indian meals. All these days we gorged on pizzas, pastas, spaghetti, tiramasu, gelato and ofcorse how can one go without having espresso from Italy.

 

 

 

 

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Little things that make me happy

happiness

  1. Sipping tea in the morning without any hustle bustle.
  2.  Laughing till the stomach hurts.
  3. A new bloom in my tiny garden.
  4. Cooking something from the home produce.
  5. Sleeping on fresh and crisp, yet soft sheet.
  6. Listening to melodious songs and humming along.
  7. The aroma of the coffee as I enter my office building.
  8. Bumping into an old pic and  reminiscing the memories.
  9. Reading old and funny convos between me and Seepi.
  10. An unexpected message from an old friend.

Being 30!

Oops!Did I just revealed my age ? Yes I did ! I faced the inevitable fear of turning 30 recently.

The fear is not of the growing age. The fear is of the baggage that this arbitrary number brings with it. The baggage of responsibility, maturity and social pressure.
The fear of facing nagging questions. The fear of right time slipping from your hands. Also, the guilt of procrastinating some very important decision of your life. Guilt of being selfish. Guilt of not having the right or convincing answers when faced by some very known and obvious questions.

This is the crucial age in anyone’s life. You judge yourself for your achievements. You are judged by your family for not having kids if you are married. Or for that matter, your decision of not to mingle when you are single.
I constantly, hear from everyone, this is the right time to do this, do that. I wonder but this is also the right time to do so many other right things. This is the right time to think of my career, save money for future, travel across the world, try out new things. I know, this is also the right time to extend my family when I am at the best of my health.
Why it is so hard to take right decisions. Why it is so hard to ignore others advice. Why it is so hard to follow your heart.

I feel sad and dejected, thinking why I was not exposed to these beautiful things of the world when I was having time. Now when I am aware of such wonderful and exciting things and when I have the resources to fulfil my dreams, I am running out of time.

I am confused to choose the right thing at the right time. The only way to pacify my restless mind is to seek refuge to hope and optimism.

Happiness Tasted !

Happiness came to me in the form of saabudaane ki khichdi today. Yayy I ate khichdi today. It may not sound a big deal but its a big deal for me considering the situation I am in. With in-laws around, I am not in my comfort zone to cook anything which I feel like eating.  I cant voice my cravings for these simple refreshments.

Its not like they stop me or I don’t have the right to cook what I want. The thing is the in-laws are not much interested in North Indian fare like poha and khichdi. I don’t feel like  preparing it if everyone is not interested or specially if they give a look or eat like they are forced to eat jail kind food.

But there are times when I cant resist my cravings and then my messiah…yes my Seepi has to come into action. He becomes my mouthpiece. He expresses his feelings to eat this dish ( whether he himself likes it or not :P) and maa kya pyaar cant shrug off his interest. And then the MIL herself says….prepare it for Seepi, he likes it naa. And I jump in my head with happiness.

So, I finally ate khichdi today. Its one of my favourite. I have many childhood memories attached to it. My mum used to fast every Thursday and we used to be very excited that we will get to eat khichdi today. Needless to mention here, my mum prepares it so delicious. Me n my sister often used to keep fast only for the sake of khichdi. Such was the craze.

My soul is satisfied after getting this small joy. Happiness tasted after a long time.

PS : MIL quiet liked it. I hope she herself ask me to prepare it next time.

Writing By Chance

While Seepi trying to engage everyone in the wildlife history show running on television in his attempt to tie everyone with the same cord,I silently pick up my mobile and start surfing the blogs.
Seepi gives me his usual look or more of a signal I say to keep my mobile down and participate in his attempt to bind everyone.
I listen to him and try to show some fake interest.
With my eyes set on TV but mind wandering in my dream world of having my own blog, I am awakened with the question of what to prepare for dinner. I quickly enter the kitchen, prepare dinner , eat , do the dishes and other cleaning stuffs. All these things are done in a rush , to find some me time where I can complete my daily quota of reading posts from my favourite blogs. I head to my bedroom and quickly snug in my bed under my blanket to be greeted by my mobile again.

Seepi enters the room after a shortwhile expecting me to be in deep sleep after the exhausting day but find me again deeply engrossed in my mobile. He settles himself beside me and snatches my phone saying keep it aside and spend some time with your husband. I surrender to his request and comfortably settle my head on his shoulders expressing my feeling to have my own blog. I ask him how people think and observe so deeply the routine things of life.
I wish I have this deep thinking and observing bone in my body. Seepi replies you can do everything you wish for if you really want to do it and put me to sleep reminding me of the start of the next day.

I woke up the next day with smiling Seepi showing my mobile with the word-press app which he has installed in my phone when I slept. Little did I know that the boy will take my words so seriously.
I asked him, but what will I write…and he says….your thoughts,  be it silly , significant or trivial.
And here I am writing my first post and wishing to pen down each and every moment of my life.

A very hopeful

Pearl