Metro or subway is my favorite mode of transport in any city. It is cheap, it is convenient, it is environmentally friendly and it gives you a taste of the local life!
When I look for a hotel I try to find it near a metro station. In Paris we stayed at the Hotel Ibis Styles Paris Crimee La Villette, which was about 300 meters walk from the Cremee Metro Station. It suited our needs perfectly. It is the M7 line but once you are on a metro you can interchange and go anywhere! I had downloaded a Paris Metro app and I had data, and we were ready to explore Paris on our own!
Even though this was a personal trip it was made special by Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Tourist Office who helped us discover the city of lights at our own pace by providing two 6 day travel cards for public transport and 2 Museum Passes. It was only on the first and the last day I bought tickets for metro. If you use the vending machine you can use notes and coins. But if you wish to buy from the cashier, you can only use card!
Other than taking a taxi back to the airport we either walked or took the metro. As we had 3 day cards we found that the gates would not open on my sister’s ticket even though it was valid. The station staff was always helpful, they would open the gate for her. We managed to get the ticket changed before our trip to Palace of Versailles. They suggested us to keep the ticket away from mobile phones.
We found great art on the walls of the station of Bastille. I would have loved to go station hopping like I did in Moscow. But with so much to see and do in Paris, it never really happened! I anyway wish to go back to Paris and if I do, I would make time to just go metro hopping!
One of our favorite spots in Paris was Bir Hakeim, it is walking distance from Eiffel Tower and gives you a fabulous opportunity to click some stunning pictures both of the tower and the bridge. You can see some of them here.
I keep documenting my metro and tram experiences under #themetroproject I love to collect the cards too! In the picture you can see Paris, Singapore, Prague, Dubai, Moscow and Delhi Metro cards!
I could simply go back to Paris to click more of these signs which are all over the city! I do hope Alka and I will return to this beautiful city one day!
I went on a trip to Israel in 2016 with the Israel Tourism Board. I visited Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Haifa and Tel Aviv as a part of the trip. I remember it as a hectic trip with mostly one night in each city except for Tel Aviv. But then a majority of blogging trips are like that.
I was looking at my Israel pictures as I was planning to upload them to Shutterstock. I have recently dabbled in stock photography, particularly Shutterstock and that is how I ended up looking at the pictures from the Israel trip!
Can you imagine visiting Jerusalem and not doing an exclusive post on it? Looking at the photographs even after 3 years brought back such memories!
My most surreal experience in Jerusalem was at the Western Wall. It is the holiest place for the Jews. I am not particularly religious, I am not superstitious and I a Hindu! But when I touched the wall and closed my eyes, it felt as if I was standing in an open field alone! I was shocked out of my wits and my eyes flew open! I didn’t dare to touch the wall again. It is my most surreal experience till date. I can only state what I felt, I have no way to make any sense of it!
I flew with El Al to Tel Aviv. That is quite an experience in itself, you can read about it here! However, I remember the flight because of a movie I watched, Apples from the Desert, which depicted the lifestyle of Orthodox Jews! Watching the movie gave me some clue about the people I observed in the country!
I remember this moment so clearly. My group was running through this courtyard towards the entrance to the Western Wall. I was in love with the courtyard, the olive tree at one side and the arched gateway near it! I paused for a moment to click a picture, praying that I will not get separated from my group! And on cue, an elderly gentleman walked towards the gate! This picture is in some sense the essence of my blogging trips, hurried like anything and yet showing me the beauty of travel!
I spent just a few hours in the Old City of Jerusalem, taking in the historic sights sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the sunrise clicked from my hotel room in Jerusalem!
By the end of the Old City tour I followed the excellent example of the young boy sitting next to me. I sat on a the pavement to give some rest to my aching feet, I was that tired.
The Israel Museum at Jerusalem has many great collections both historic and modern. However, within the White Dome some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display!
Mahane Yehuda Market is popular both with the locals and the tourists. It is a great place to eat, click photos and do some people watching!
It is fun to talk to people in Israel as a lot of them have visited India and remember it fondly!
As I continue uploading old pictures for stock photography, I wonder what more I am going to unearth and write about. Going through my Israel pictures was so worth it.
If you love mountains, you will love Nepal. After all 8 of the 14 more than 8000 meters high peaks are located in Nepal!
Nepal is a paradise for trekkers. Even though I was not trekking this time, I love going back to Nepal! Sharing the trip to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan in pictures with you, I hope you will enjoy the post
If you are flying in to Kathmandu from Delhi, you want to grab a window seat on the A side of the plane. That is where the action is while flying in to Kathmandu. Usually pilots announce when we are flying over the Everest region but not this time. Not sure which mountains I saw but they were awe inspiring!
In all my three trips to Nepal, I have been around the Pashupati Nath Temple but never managed to get inside. It was the same this time, when we reached, the temple doors were closed. But thanks to Mr. Karunakar Upreti we walked up to the vantage point behind the temple to capture the sunset!
If you wish to visit the Shanti Stupa in Pokhara you have to climb a bit even after the car park. The views along the way are breathtaking! I am always happy to walk, more so in the mountains!
And while I was climbing down we stopped for an excellent cup of coffee in a cute little cafe. Food tastes so much better in the mountains, more so after an uphill walk!
We visited an upcoming hotel in Sarangkot near Pokhara. I envy the guests who would stay here from the view from the lobby! The first picture in this post is also taken from Sarangkot where we went to see the sunrise.
The last time I was in Pokhara it was in 2013! The Phewa Lake is still serene but the amount of construction the town has seen is unbelievable!
And that is a view of Kathmandu as our plane named Makalu took off! Those don’t know about mountains will think of the name as McAloo but people who love mountains know that it is the name of a revered and feared 8000 meter high peak!
And even though I have written a separate post on the Chitwan National Park, I could not close this one without a picture of the Rhino!