Category Archives: Countries

Scotland

The notion of Scotland, only ever consisted of spectacular moss-covered mountains filled with titillating smells of raw nature, scintillating sights of sunrises & sunsets, the sounds of silence and the sights from Lord of the rings in my mind. Here are some pictures from a 4 day, 800 mile road trip, through the highlands and mountains which reaffirmed that notion.

I landed in Edinburgh and went straight out to the car rental place and drove off into the highlands. The final destination I had in mind was Neist Point on the west of Isle of Skye.

From Edinburgh, I drove until I found this castle, later which I came to know as Eilean Donan.

An american colleague mentioned about a small town of Applecross, which was only reachable via a high mountain pass. He described his ascent up the steep roads as ‘shitting my pants all the way while driving on the wrong side of the road’.

Sold, I was now on my way to see it for myself. But the weather turned sour, and the way up was devoid of any views to match up with expletives I had heard.

I had the good fortune of running into a Scottish gentleman, who happenstance was on vacation away from the Netherlands, preparing to light up a joint – who reassured me that I could indeed camp for free if owners were nowhere to be found to accept my payment. I obliged.

The next day at dawn, I began circling the peninsula to take the longer route around the mountain towards Skye.

Fair wind compelled me to get the drone out to attempt some aerial shots.

Somewhere along the way, I felt that I wanted to try taking that mountain pass again; No sooner that thought entered my brain, I found myself turning around for round two.

And after a frustrating drive uphill I experienced a replay of the expletives my colleague shared a few weeks earlier. I was not disappointed.

The view warranted the long-drive ritual of making some noodles to slurp on while sighing to the sights.

At the end of the thrilling descent was the road towards Skye, teeming with some wildlife a.k.a sheep.

A detour plan that formed in my head while I casually gazed at the grazing sheep, brought me to to the fishing village of Elgol.

That evening I met some local fishermen who agreed to take me on their day-long trip to the sea on their boats to catch some sea delicacies. Unfortunately the next day, the weather turned sour to the extent that the entire village called off fishing for next few days. I settled for a tourist boat ride to the nearby loch.


Dawn greeted me with sights of lazy yet curious farm animals, making me wonder, have they ever seen a brown person?.

Car camping in the cold left me feeling stiff. Leisurely making of fried eggs and tea for breakfast to these views, fixed me.

The last leg of the trip began, which brought me to the place I had been dreaming for a long time – Neist Point.

First snow 2017

After being snow-deprived in the past few years, except for that one time in some January, the first snow came in early this winter. While I thought I was going to miss the first snow in Amsterdam, little did I realise that a much grander treat would await me when I reached this little town called Enschede.

The views out of my friend’s window, the UvT campus overlaid in a carpet of trees and wooded parks, were fast filling up with snow. The smell of hot Indian food and Chai started lingering inside the tiny living room. It made us ecstatic and filled the air with this unexplainable feeling of joy and cheerfulness. Suffice to say; I had to step out in the blistering cold to make some pictures.

Rainy afternoon in Amsterdam

Lights dazzling through the falling droplets, the dim ambience with latent moisture in the air, light reflecting off puddles, crowds flowing with umbrellas, leaves a feeling of poetic romance lingering in the air. I love it when it rains in Amsterdam.




Arching trees and fog

Sunday morning, there was no sunrise, for the whole neighbourhood appeared to have disappeared, cloaked under a veil of thick fog. Visibility was low, so I decided to go out biking. No sooner than I got out, the sun was out and fading away the fog to reveal the colours. I stopped at a narrow walkway with trees arching over to take in the spectacular saturated greens.

Normandy, France

On a sunny April weekend, a friend and I rented a car and started driving towards Normandy, yet again. The destinations we wanted to head to was as always – Etretat & Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France all the way from Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was my 4th time going this route, and I was excited as it was the first time I wasn’t the only one on the driving wheel.

There was a feeling of apprehension brewing inside me right till the trip started, which I initially dismissed as nothing. Little did I know that the journey was going to be riddled with troubles. First signs were quick to show up, as I realised I forgot memory cards for my DSLR camera; and that the film SLR had a dead battery. My only consolation was that I had a small pocket Fuji camera.

We drove through the night, stopping for a nap at a fuel station somewhere on the border France and Belgium. At dawn, we made a proper rest stop for breakfast, toilets and fuel. It is one of my most favourite places in France; the scenery is spectacular.


The fog along the rolling hills and roads just about started to disappear as the sun shone.


The first stop for the night was to be in Etretat, so we went and booked ourselves a hotel room, and then headed to Mont Saint-Michel. I have been dreaming of flying the drone and taking pictures of this place, and it was time.



While heading back to Etretat, I managed to make a quick flight with the drone to capture the spectacular colours of the sandstone cliffs which adorned the coast along the English channel.

My soul, desperately yearning for a soft bed, could hear the hotel calling 250kms away. Before that, there were more important matters to be settled first – food. Instead of settling in for a quick dinner fix, we drove to Le Havre, to eat some Indian food. The morning views were as incredible as I always found them, staying at the same hotel, during earlier trips.

Thus commenced the next phase of my misadventure, where I ended up crashing my drone behind these cliffs. I discovered some tunnels which I walked up to, climbed a little and passed through.

At the potential crash site, I found a secluded beach surrounded by spectacular scenery. After concluding that my efforts were futile, I trekked along. After an hour or so I observed people from up top the cliffs staring at me, as were the passing boats. It turned out the tides have risen few meters cutting me off from the mainland, and they realised I was stranded before I did. Eventually, I signalled few paddlers who then rescued me.



Resigned this was enough adventure at Etretat, we started heading back. En route, an impromptu detour was made to Cap Gris Nez, a place that has been on my todo list and bookmarks for a few years now. With the shores of the UK being just 35kms away, the Cliffs of Dover were visible. I felt an insatiable urge to, touch those cliffs and to see the other side



It was afternoon; the car had to be returned the next day while another 400kms lay ahead. Irrationality prevailed, and we made yet another detour towards Paris, thereby adding another 400kms to the trip, just to have dinner at this one particular restaurant – Saravana Bhavan.