Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

My top 5 silhouette shots, in random order:

We aren’t allowed to photograph the original at the Museum, so we have to make do with replicas. Here is one of David at Piazzale Michelangelo, Firenze.

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, is best associated with the bustle of traffic around the lake and crowds of people enjoying the breeze. This is a rare sight of people meditating amidst all that chaos:

Buddha is one of those forms that lend itself beautifully to silhouettes. One of my favourites at Borobudur, Indonesia:

Photographing exotic orchids at Singapore’s Orchid Garden can get tiring for the eyes and the feet. Then when I lay down on the ground, exhausted, I had to raise my arms for one more click:

This may not be the best silhouette shot, but it is my absolute favourite, bringing back memories of a wonderful trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia. A sunrise cycling trip, and we were looking at the wrong side until Souvik decided to walk around the monument, then rushed back to let me catch the view just in time:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

For this week’s photo challenge, here are my personal Top 10 water bodies:

#10: Rajaram Talao, Kolhapur. Actually this one is off the charts – needs no ranking, it’s home. Love walking around the lake, especially during the monsoons, early morning, to catch the flora & fauna.

#9: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Idyllic. Spent many an afternoon here, with a book, a lunch box, and occasionally ambled off to Fanny ice cream for their divine treats.

#8: Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram. Great spot to dash off on weekends from Chennai. Baba couldn’t resist sketching the marvellous architecture of the temple.

#7: Fontana Trevi. Where, you ask? Roma, for you geography duds. Done our duty, thrown some coins in the water, hoping to get back there soon!

#6: Golden sunset at Goa. Parties, water sports, great food, bliss – the beaches offer it all. Oh, Goa.

#5: Marine Drive, Mumbai. Heritage walks. Cycle rides on Sunday mornings. Breakfast at Tea Center. Unforgettable.

#4: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. The most unique land(water)scape in Vietnam. Been there so many times, I could do a guided tour all by myself. Just get me a junk boat and some unsuspecting tourists . . .

#3: White water rafting at Shotover River, Queenstown, NZ. Plenty of thrills, thankfully no spills. It’s been a decade, but the memories are fresh.

#2: Pacific Coast Highway, USA. Vish drove Reva & me for hours on this route, and we couldn’t stop gushing at every twist and turn. There are hundreds of pictures as proof. Sublime blue water!

And the current #1: Tay Ho, Hanoi. That’s Westlake, for foreigners. Great place to see a slice of Vietnamese life – fishing, posing, modelling, eating, exercising, cuddling (!). Join the locals in admiring the spectacular sunsets. Visit a pagoda. Pose with the lotuses, if you please. Chill out with a beer. Or burn some calories on a bicycle or a run, and reward yourself with the delicious iced coffee or fresh coconut water.

If there’s only one thing I’ll miss about Vietnam, it will be Westlake.

 

 

Italy trip update

Got our Schengen visas yesterday. After 3 trips to the most exciting (not!) Ambasciata. Italia, here we come!!!

Next on the checklist is train and museum bookings in advance. Since we will have at least 4 inter-city trips, I am trying to figure out if it makes more sense to book trains journeys right now, or directly on the day of travel. The rail websites have left me confused! Any advice will be appreciated.

And I’ve heard that the waiting line for museums can go to 3-4 hours. So which ones are must-see, and can they be booked in advance?

Tough decisions, huh?

And the kitchen sink at home is not draining properly. I did one round of unclogging yesterday, a second one should make it better. Plus there’s a mountain of ironing load. (Sigh) Swinging between Renaissance and Rut is painful.

La Mia Vacanza in Italia (figure it out!)

I’ve been dreaming of a trip to Italy for a couple of years now. Bought the Lonely Planet Italy in 2008, in anticipation, and the holiday is materializing this year. I am over the moon!

Souvik is pretty gung-ho too – wants a new wardrobe, toned physique, and looking forward to all the food.

In my dream, I live in the countryside, soak in the Tuscan sun, by the poolside, with a glass of wine and olives.

In reality, we will stay in an apartment, will take long walks to all the hotspots, drink wine and eat gelatos everyday 🙂

The tickets have been booked, the apartments too, and I’ve started to read “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes to get into the mood. Apartment hunt was the most fun I’ve had without moving out of my chair. I picked them out of www.ownersdirect.co.uk (great site!) and my imagination ran riot after that.

Next on the list is the visa and researching the works of all the great masters of the Renaissance.

Tomorrow we’re shopping for Souvik’s new clothes and mine are on their way from India (coz the Vietnamese sizes are way too small).

Also making a wishlist of must do’s while we’re there. To start it off:

#1: Catch a World Cup Match with the Italians

#2: Cooking class in Florence

#3: Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain

#4: Eat loads of pizza