Why waking up early is worth it …

…when you’re visiting Thiksey monastery in Ladakh. Exactly five Saturdays ago I visited Thiksey monastery early in the morning. The morning prayers conducted by Buddhist monks and little monks in training is open to public every day and a number of tourists head there to get a glimpse into the lives of the monks who…

Himalayan Blue Sheep

During my 5 day trek in the valleys of Ladakh I wasn’t really expecting to see much in terms of wildlife. After all I could hardly expect a snow leopard to come sauntering down (for even at a height of 3500 metres + we were still down) to say hello. On the last day of…

Climb every mountain

I guess I’m old enough to have belonged to a generation that grew up listening to songs from movies like ‘The Sound of Music’. Songs in these musicals must have shaped the lives and dreams of millions of people in the same way that music continues to mould and shape lives and aspirations these days-…

Mountains in the morning light

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit through morning prayers at Thiksey monastery best Leh. We had to get to the monastery by 6am so we could be there before the prayers started. However, as a happy by-product I also witnessed sunlight slowly creeping through the valley. It was nice to…

Roman House Reconstructed

If you’ve ever been to Pompeii or Herculaneum or any of the other ancient Roman sites you would have come across ruins of individual houses. Some are big like the house of Faun in Pompeii, some are extremely small. Some are well preserved and some are not. But in most cases it is often difficult…

Pannonia Inferior- the Hadrian Connection

Quick quiz question On visiting an erstwhile frontier town from the ancient Roman empire, the emperor you are most likely to encounter or who beat you to that town nearly 1900 years ago is likely to be (a) Hadrian (b) Hadrian (c) Hadrian (d) All of the above Hadrian is (maybe after Augustus) one of…

5 things to do in Copenhagen

When you don’t have a lot of time or don’t have the inclination to run around too much. Every website and blog about Copenhagen will tell you it is a very walk-able city and this is true. However, there are walks and there are slightly longer walks and then you could even rent a bike…

Crisscrossing Contrails and Danish royal names

I have seen jet contrails intersect before but never so perfectly in a cross. I took the opportunity to take a photograph with the statue of Victory in the foreground. Frederik V of Denmark also seems quite stunned by the crisscrossing contrails 🙂 This statue is in the square just outside Amalienborg Palace which is…

Cool Copenhagen

I was about to introduce the post saying Copenhagen is the furthest north I have ever traveled, but just then I remembered that about 10 years ago I spent close to a week going around Scotland- I guess I’ll have to wait until I head to Norway or even Iceland before I make that comment….

Munich Diaries

It is a rare privilege to be able to visit a distant city across continents twice. Just over 10 years ago, I had a cold and miserable stopover of a few hours in the biting cold of Munich in winter. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to visit Munich (this time for work)….

Paradise Redux- Beachcomber St Anne, Seychelles

A few years ago I visited a resort at Langkawi which until now remained the best beach hotel I had ever visited. In the middle of February I made my first visit to Seychelles. Out there I spent a few nights at the Beachcomber hotel at St Anne island. I think my choice of hotels…