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Photo Essay: The Unique Ottoman Gravestones of Istanbul, Turkey

19 Jan

Walking around any old cemetery has always turned out to be a lesson for me – in terms of local customs, tombstones, designs, local history, culture, genealogy and design. With shortage of space and paucity of time, most modern cemeteries are built to to be completely utilitarian, but in many older cities you still stumble upon ancient cemeteries that were definitely more than just graveyards to bury the death. And on our recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey we came across the Ottoman culture of cemetery and tombstone design.

Ottoman tombstones at the Sulemaniye Mosue, Istanbul, Turkey

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Photo Essay – Day 5 – Driving from Stavanger to Bergen, Norway

5 Feb

With somewhat sore and slightly painful feet (after our hike to Pulpit Rock the previous day) we left Stavanger early in the morning for our long drive to Bergen.

Driving from Stavanger to Bergen, Norway

Driving from Stavanger to Bergen, Norway

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Photo Essay – Day 3 – Driving from Kristiansand to Stavanger, Norway

26 Dec

Bidding goodbye to our host at Villa Baneheia, we left Kristiansand early in the morning and joined E39 again to drive towards Stavanger. Our plan was to reach Stavanger in the evening with one brief stop in between. We had quite a few options for this stopover but ultimately decided to visit the southernmost point in Norway at Lindesnes to see the lighthouse here i.e. the Lindesnes Fyr.

The Norwegian countryside, Norway

The Norwegian countryside, Norway

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Photo Essay – Day 2 – Driving from Oslo to Kristiansand, Norway

24 Dec

Morning of our second day in Oslo was cold and cloudy and the streets empty when, armed with our backpacks, we left our hotel to pick up our rental car. On this trip we wanted to spend a lot more time in the countryside and were to drive south from Oslo along the coastline to Stavanger and eventually Bergen. We were super excited as this was our first driving holiday in Europe and we couldn’t wait to be on the way.

Early morning at Oslo Central Station, Oslo, Norway

Early morning at Oslo Central Station, Oslo, Norway

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Photo Essay: walking around Oslo

4 Dec

When the pilot announced we had started our descent I kept the book I was reading aside and looked out of the window to get my first glimpse of Oslo, the starting point of our two-week vacation in Norway and Sweden. I was expecting to see the suburbs of a big city but my first sight of Oslo was a complete surprise and something that grew to be so familiar with every place we visited in Norway – hilly landscapes, meandering water bodies, lush green fields and colorful houses.

Aerial view on descent into Oslo Airport, Oslo, Norway

Aerial view on descent into Oslo Airport, Oslo, Norway

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A different side of Venice – Staying in the Venetian countryside

5 Sep

Venice – about 3 years ago I found myself in this city at a really short notice of 2 days. While looking for a place to stay online,  I realized that last minute trips to Venice is not a good idea as all places that I liked and within my budget were full. After a lot of research I  ultimately stayed at the Faronhof B&B, a small bed and breakfast in Oriago di Mira (about 15 kms from Venice). Though I would have loved to stay in Venice; it all worked out much better in the end as this B&B gave me an opportunity to get a glimpse of the Venetian countryside.

The Venetian countryside, near Venice, Italy

The Venetian countryside, near Venice, Italy

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Photo Essay: Venice through my camera lens

20 Aug

Venice. About 3 years ago I found myself in this city at a really short notice of 2 days. With no time to research or read on it, I was quite unprepared as to what to expect or the unique things to see and do here. So I just spent all my time just walking around and exploring the nooks and corners of this unique city.

Venice in one pic - Gondolas, Cupolas and Lamps

Venice in one pic – Gondolas, Cupolas and Lamps

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