Hampi : Glory Of The Vijayayanagar Empire

Lakshmi Narasimha temple Hampi

I never thought there could be an archaeological site as vast and neat/clean as Hampi. From most of our travels, such sites are limited to tiny areas in congested villages or towns. Hampi is anything but that. The name Hampi comes from Pampa, another name for Goddess Parvati. Hampi is also known as Pampa Kshetra, … Read more

Paris! Paris!

Paris is the city that probably evokes feelings of attraction and romance the most. That’s the way the city is marketed and that’s the reason we visited this city, with a certain family elder who was determined to visit Paris and Switzerland, longing for the Bollywood nostalgia.

We found a wonderful place to stay via AirB&B (perhaps the only good AirB&B experience we have had) near the Gare Du Nord train station. First opened in 1846, it is one of the busiest train stations in the world. If we wanted to travel Paris in fast affordable ways, we would have to use the underground, and it was actually a fantastic experience.

But the best way to explore a city is to walk it, and we found it extremely rewarding. Here are some walks we could indulge in, considering we had limited time in Paris. If you are interested in museums, there are many in Paris, and this is a cool list.

Moulin Rouge : We wanted to see this iconic Cabaret (only from the outside). The Metro station nearest to it is called Blanche. Step out of the Metro and Moulin Rouge is right there. Do walk on the Boulevard de Clichy, an awesome walking area shaded with the canopy of trees. Look out for many adult themed shops and also some amazing food joints.
From Wikipedia: Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club’s decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle France. 

Canal Saint Martin: Walk along this canal, pass the hill side walks and the temple atop the hill. Walk past the Point Ephémére, the artsy bit to the hip Antoine Et Lili.

Montmartre : This rustic but now hip part of town has many a cafe, gallery and restaurant. This walk has always charmed artists, and you can find many painting live right here in its lanes. Walk the length upto the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Paris, or the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This is also the highest point in Paris and get a glorious view of this lovely city.

Rue De Rosiers : This fantastic part of town, also known as the Jewish Quarter, is full of history, excellent old architecture and great eateries and boutiques. Go for fallafels here and you will never forget the taste.

Saint Germain: (From Wikipedia): Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the four administrative quarters of the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France, located around the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its official borders are the River Seine on the north, the rue des Saints-Pères on the west, between the rue de Seine and rue Mazarine on the east, and the rue du Four on the south. Residents of the quarter are known as Germanopratins.

Walk along the lanes from Rue de Seine and Rue Jacob. Walk along Rue Bonaparte, and the Rue de l’Université. The entire block has many fabulous old buildings and context in history and culture: Ernest Hemingway had once stayed here, The Treaty Of Paris which gave the USA independence from Great Britain was signed in one of these buildings, Julia Child learnt to cook here. Walk into the Orsay Museum in the lanes of Saint Germain Des Pres. You need to give this part at least half a day.

There are many more amazing walks in Paris, but we had time only for these. Which walks would you recommend?

View from our Apartment near the Gar Du Nord.
View from our Apartment near the Gar Du Nord.
Architecture in Paris.
Waiting to find our bearings admiring the architecture.

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We Are Losing Our Beautiful Drives

When we search online for ‘Great Drives Near Mumbai’, we typically get similar results (Mumbai-Pune, Alibaug, Lonavala etc). But over a period of time, we have been losing these beautiful drives to over-‘development’ just as we are losing our environment, clean air and water, bio-diversity, silence levels and night skies (amongst many other things.) Beautiful … Read more

Khem Villas : A Luxury Stay In Ranthambhore

For us, forests are not just about sighting tigers. They are also about the beautiful trees, the grasses, the birds, the reptiles, other mammals… and of course being in touch with the forest itself. Not many places allow this, while giving you the comfort and good food you need. Khem Villas in Ranthambhore National Park … Read more

Road Tripping To Ratnagiri

I have been forever wanting to road trip to Ratnagiri, but not use the regular NH66/Goa Highway. So when the chance came to go visiting a friend in their village home, I jumped on the chance and drew up an alternate route, which passed through rural landscapes, along the Arabian Sea, having to  cross creeks … Read more

A Brief Visit To Lucerne and Safenwil, Switzerland

Waking up one morning from deep sleep we saw an amber glow in the skies. Looking out of the window, we were blown by the magnificent painting like sky of Lucerne. We had our first ‘Why is Switzerland Called So Picture-Postcard Beautiful’ moment. On a brief trip to Paris, we had taken out two days … Read more

Chikmagalur : A Dreamy Misty Coffee Heaven

Misty trails in Chikmagalur

I never thought, for some reason, that I would like Chikmagalur, having been to Madikeri earlier. And I was more than happy to be proven wrong. Located in the foothills of the Mullayanagiri Hills, Chikmagalur has a mild climate suitable for coffee plantations. Nestled amongst the hills and valleys of the fabulous Western Ghats, Chikmagalur … Read more