Category Archives: Countries & Travel

Sunny Sunday in Amsterdam

It was a sunny day. After vegetating for most of the weekend, I decided to step out and cycle around for few hours exploring some of my favorite spots and discovering some new ones.

Reeds with the advent of spring have found themselves growing out of their oblivion. I never get tired of taking pictures of them.

I proceeded to bike towards the sluice locks Oranjesluizen, which connects river Ij with Buiten-Ij. I discovered that it has been around for close to 150 years (opened in 1872).

The red bridge Schellingwouderbrug stood out separating the deep blues on either sides of the horizon today.

What surprised me further was the fact that the water level towards the inland was much higher than Ij.

I leisurely biked around, exploring the dijks on the other side of the sluice locks. The house boats, all bunched up looked exceptionally pretty

The underbelly of Schellingwouderbrug looked quite dramatic and so stopped to capture few shots. I then took the ramp on the right to get onto the bridge itself.

After crossing the bridge, I followed onto Zuiderzeeweg and reached a spot near camping zeeburg. I often pass by this area when I am commuting to work on bike. Today I took time to stop by and explore

Then sunny backdrop was quite deceiving and it was quite cold all throughout my ride. My fingers were going numb and so I decided to call it a day started to circle back home.

Morning Commute

I usually commute to work by the tram, and it involves switching to another tram at Centraal. Ever so often, I either get down several stops earlier after changing or just walk all the way from Centraal to work in Rembrandtplein via the Dam Square and Kalverstraat areas of Amsterdam.

On the lucky days that I am early, I sit down around the area and enjoy some quiet minutes amongst the hustle and bustle.

The Kalverstraat area is devoid of tourists in the morning, which makes for a pleasant stroll. At any other time of the day, it is a full house with barely any space to walk.

Window shopping is a must-do, especially for flowers and clothes.

Way home at night

After having procured a new wide angle lens (Sigma 20mm f/1.4) recently, I have taken to carrying it around with me as much as possible. Ability to capture night scenes in broad perspectives has suddenly broken me out of my usual field of view, and I can feel my vision and imagination expanding in reach. Here are some shots I took in Amsterdam on my way home after my Swimming and Rowing workouts last week.

Glimpses of Iceland

A conversation about having horses as pets reminded me of the magnificent beasts I saw in Iceland where it is also commonplace. It occurred to me that I never posted pictures of the actual trip, and so here is an abridged recollection of the adventure and pictures.

A few years ago (August 2015) along with some close friends, I headed to Iceland. We rented a 4×4 for a week and mapped ourselves 2000 kilometres of travel, over a terrain ranging from comfortable roads, to hazardous mountain slopes and to paths barely resembling civilisation’s footprint, while I was the sole driver.

We started driving in the northwesterly direction with the hope of circling back from Snæfellsjökull National Park in a day. We passed via Arnarstapi making a stopover at the little harbour town.

Landscapes reflecting perfectly in lakes around was a surreal sight.

So was the golden sun in the backdrop against cotton buds ready for plucking.

The next day marked the beginning our longest leg of the 3 days journey to cover the most ground. We stopped occasionally to marvel at the majestic horses and the magnificent mountain backdrops.

The sight of Eyjafjallajökull was undoubtedly goosebump evoking.

As the roads twisted and turned, we suddenly found ourselves on a different planet which was covered in black sand fields announcing our approach towards Jökulsárlón.

The slow drifts of icebergs in Jökulsárlón’s glacial ice fields were a soothing sight.

As dusk rapidly fell, we scrambled to find accommodation for the night while hunting for the cellular network to make reservations, battling hunger and grumpiness.

On our way back, we spent leisurely amount of time at the gigantic Skógafoss and few other waterfalls of less notable sizes

Occasionally we hit patches of sun which lit up the landscape in contrasting shades of green, brown, black and blue.

The last day of the trip was spent recovering in Reykjavik. We headed to the coast to enjoy the last glimpses as the sun set.

Eltz Castle and Germany

For Christmas, a friend and I decided that it might be fun to visit the Eltz Castle in Germany. This was the second time I was the shotgun to the driver, and unlike the first, it was entirely uneventful.

Our trip started quite late, so we decided to first take a detour to Frankfurt with the intention to arrive at Eltz the next day. In hindsight, it was the right decision as its a rare treat to witness a city as big as Frankfurt be entirely calm and devoid of any traffic – vehicular or pedestrian. It reminded me of a trip I made to Hamburg during Christmas a few years ago

After a leisurely all-you-can-eat breakfast the next morning, we started driving. And within the hour, this sight was bearing down us.

Few hours of later, we began our return journey through the spectacular countryside of Germany. The rolling hills and sprawling greens had the classic WindowsXP look.

Soon we were passing through several towns. The decision to stick to secondary and tertiary roads as much as possible, did not disapoint us.

And just like that we were out on the highway and on our way home.