Happy Air Max Day guys! In 1991, Nike released the Air Max BW and it had a bigger ‘window’ in the heel than any other Air Max model before it. Fast forward to 2016 and Nike has come out with a modernized take on the BW, featuring updated materials and a cored out outsole, bringing the classic runner into the modern age. Just like the Big Window shows you the soul of the shoe, here are some places in Bangalore, where I live, that make up the essence of the city.
Travel is a very personal thing. Some people like to take it slow, exploring places on foot, savoring moments while relishing local delicacies. But some others like me prefer to zip from location to location, strapped for time, taking in only the best sights and trying to be efficient with what time they have. Best part about this is readers, is that you get to read and see everything important so you can take your time when you go to the same place! So I did a quick runabout in North Goa while I was there this weekend on a beautiful red Vespa VX.
At around 8 am I started from Panjim bus stand and made my way to Old Goa to check out some churches. The Church of Bom Jesus and The Se Cathedral are both massive but it’s the relics contained within that interested me more. Priestly robes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Versace collection from the 90s, huge paintings and pillars that have winged angels carved into them, all under one roof. Another must visit place is the Museum of Christian Art where you can find some more Christian relics and artifacts like this peacock statue below. It’s great to see some very intricate metalwork and carvings from a completely different age.
If you are not a fan of crowded beaches, you can simply skip Baga and Calangute and head straight to Anjuna, which is a rocky beach. I had lunch at the Apple Martini Cafe, which is a cafe on the cliff above Anjuna, with a striking blue/white color scheme and many friendly puppies! Amazing 360 degree view of the sea from up there.
Next stop: Vagator Beach. Not far from Anjuna, Vagator is a beautiful curved beach with a few rocky outcrops.
Chapora fort, near Vagator is a great viewpoint. Only the outer walls of this fort are still standing and there is a short trek up a steep slope that leads up to the fort and another short walk that leads to the edge of the cliff on which the fort has been built. Chapora is like a frying pan in the midday sun but it does give you this awesome view!
Goa’s beaches are all in a straight line and one long road leads to them all. The next one I went to, and the best among them all, Arambol beach is about 20 kilometers from Vagator. The reason I like Arambol the best is because it houses some nice art peppered around the landscape and also the lake! There is a ‘Sweetwater’ lake nestled in a grove of trees you can find if you walk along the beach for a bit. Walk a bit more and you will enter a jungle where you can find a large banyan tree, usually surrounded by people practicing Yoga and meditating. Also it was the least crowded of all the beaches.
Thoroughly drained I made my way back to Panjim where I had one final stop to make. The Gitanjali Art Gallery where I found some amazing art and photographs from all kinds of artists. You can also have some great food at the Panjim Inn, that’s right opposite the gallery.
Riding along the riviera around sunset is a treat, watching the casino ships and smaller boats bob in the water as the sky changes hues every second. Santa Cruz is a small neighborhood that has many colorful (blue, yellow and even mint) and well built houses in small lanes. A treat for lovers of vintage architecture. Though my heart yearned to keep that red Vespa and ride away to the rest of the beaches in the South, I was out of time and made my way to the bus back home.
So I managed to go to six beaches, one fort and an art gallery in Goa in 12 hours. Without feeling rushed. A day well spent I must say.
View the full gallery of images here.
Waking up at 3am and sneaking downstairs only to discover that the neighbours are still awake and dancing to house tunes is a great thing on some days. Days on which you have to idle your noisy moped to pre-heat for a ride. This way, no worries about waking anyone. Yercaud is a hill station situated about 240kms from Bangalore. But this was not going to happen. Fervent calls to my fellow travellers to depart were butchered by excuses like ‘Nail cutter nahi mil raha yaar, kal chalenge’ (I can’t find my nail cutter, lets go tomorrow). Anyways, we left Bangalore by 430am and took the Hosur–Krishnagiri route to Salem. Road conditions near Krishnagiri are not good owing to frequent detours due to the 6-laning that is underway.
A road going through Salem City leads up to Yercaud which sits 1515m above msl. The road up has 20 well spaced hairpins and some great twisties. There was a forest fire raging at that time so i stopped at very few places to get pictures on the way up. This fire became quite large and spread up the hill and was still burning strong when i was on my way back inspite of a lot of forest guards and firetrucks running around. Breathe noxious fumes-check.
Breakfast is good at TTDC’s Tamil Nadu hotel or can be had at carts with secular artwork for less. Pedal boats in the lake are neat but you are given 4 seater boats with only two pedals. #FML.
There is a deer park nearby with a lot of quite healthy and well-kept animals including fat pidgeons. The Kiliyur waterfalls are nearby but after descending 200 or more large stone steps we found that the water had all dried up. A lot of cursing and stair climbing later we headed for Pagoda Point (misspelled as Pakoda (HAHAHA) Point in many places), a high view point which provided respite from the sun and cool wind.
Other viewpoints include Ladies Seat, Gents Seat and Childrens Seat which can be avoided altogether really. The Rose Garden was scorched and dead. We then went to what seemed to be the best boarding school in the universe complete with a swimming pool, two full size soccer fields, handball basketball tennis courts, and an Eiffel tower next to a dinosaur statue(wtf). With old architecture. Also mad tuition fees. Also 2 emus and 3 turkeys and 2 ducks and a dove. With this we decided to head back and did so through the easy left handers which were now murderous right handers with FIRE on one side and FALLING TO BOTTOMLESS DEATH on one side. More noxious fumes and onto the highway where we met hot billowing crosswinds. Made it back to Bangalore(Electronic City) at 7pm.