Euro Trip Day #1 : The Moses bridge , Netherlands

25th August 2014
One of the best feelings in my life is to have holidays. The better than the best feeling is to have long holidays. Yesterday, I submitted final version of my thesis and packed my bags for the Euro trip, for which l was eagerly waiting. First planned destination was the Moses bridge.
I left Amsterdam at around 2 pm. In the south of the Netherlands, there is a small town called ”Bergen Op Zoom”, which is the nearest train station to reach the bridge. From the Bergen op Zoom, I took a bus to Halsteren (Molenplein) I had cached the offline map and directions to reach the bridge, but there was some construction work going on in the middle of the way. Losing the track is usually no problem in the Holland, for the people are just too nice when it comes to helping out. l managed to find the route to the “Fort de Roovere” , the fortification which had hidden the bridge in its heart.
The bridge is submerged into the water and is a masterpiece of the Dutch marine engineering. The water-level is maintained always and such that it never crosses the bridge. It looks like the bridge had sunk in the water. The name of the bridge is given after the Biblical story of Moses, who could draw water and was able to make a way through water.

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I was extremely happy that I made it here. It was raining as usual. I had to make efforts to take my own picture on the bridge, because I could not see a single person in the one kilometer radius from the bridge.

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I had decided to stay with my friend Sohan , in Eindhoven. I had to catch a flight to Cluj-Napoca on 26th.
It took another hour and a half to reach Eindhoven from Halsteren. I met two interesting guys during this journey: First was the Dutch guy called Peter. He worked for Novel NetWare for some years (ago). We had a very short conversation, but he utilized it to complain about Dutch systems. He particularly hated the taxes in the county and the monarchy. Obviously he complained about the weather. Our chat would not have come to an end without at least a short discussion about the (dull) weather in the Holland.
The second one was a traveller from Australia, called Trent. He had been travelling in Europe for last 7 months. We met in the train to Eindhoven.He showed me his map and the markings. He was very excited and talkative.Having come from an expensive county like Australia, He had found (travelling in) Europe very cheap.
The journey till Eindhoven was fun because of his joyful stories.
9 pm, I was in Eindhoven. Soham had kindly prepared an Indian dinner for me with his roommate, Bhargav.
First day of the trip was well spent !

My Land

I am redefining the definition of my country
as I live new moments at every foot-step abroad
My mind was shaken by the Emotions when I left my own country,
and I had never thought of being so attached to the other country..
Other country, other land, which now is so dear to me.
People here have loved me so much that
I created my own little world on the other land..

I am redefining the definition of “the world”
Our own world, made beautiful by the nature
The nature here is so different.. It’s not always the same
It’s pleasant sometimes and harsh most of the times
Am all surrounded by the white people here
I was supposed to like them
They have taught me great lessons of life
People having their own peculiar features
People having their own individuality
People showing me my place in their society
People making me feel I am their’s

I am redefining the definition of “my people”
Friends who call me (by names) and take me wherever they want
Neighbours who wish me good luck for exams
Girl-friend who hugs me when a new recipe is a success
Professors who are more than the teachers
Strangers on the street who smile at me and suddenly become well-known
Dutch Friends who talk in English when I am around…

I am redefining what is a friend and a friendship too
Friend who helps me cook
Friend who serves as a beer-p(o)int
Friend who buys me Grocery
Friend who runs and swims and plays with me…
Friends who follow their hobby and make me follow mine
Friends who taught me “Life is fun”

I am redefining the definition of “the life”
Other land has not become MOther-land, but certainly it has become My-land.
The city once unknown to me, has become so familiar..
My lungs want to get filled in with the air of the city..
Temporary neighbours have become permanent residents of the heart
Relations which are beyond the religion, the caste and the language,
They make this life singularly charming.
I am redefining myself in this “other world”…

Amsterdam-Utrecht-Amsterdam : Bike trip

Saturday 28th September 2013

The Netherlands is blessed with eye pleasing country-side and bike tour is the best way to explore it. Last year was too busy to plan bike trips. It was Koustubha who planned the one-day bike trip to Utrecht from Amsterdam. He and Rajiv, his family friend, brought the physical(on paper) and E-maps (on phone) respectively. I joined in, with fruits and juices. Our journey started at 11 in the morning at Uilenstede tram station.

It was (surprisingly) sunny Saturday morning. We made quickly to the Oranjebaan station where we had to refer to the map. Apparently, Google map is/was probably more suitable for cars (bike route is/was still in beta) ! We took the turns based on our intuitions and sometime later this turned the tide of our journey. We were off the track by couple of kilometers. Direction boards for bikes were red in color. Although, the five consecutive boards we saw, were at least kilometer apart from one another, the distance to Utrecht was 32km on each of them. We were quite convinced that minimal efforts had been taken to paint the bike routes’ directions.

Going south-east-wards of Amsterdam, we passed Bijlmer Arena railway station. We tried our best to remember the names of streets (especially with their correct pronunciations) to ask locals.

Dutch people proved to be better directors than Google Map. However, one Dutchman we met, actually scared us. Even upon continuous flow of English words from our mouth, he was describing the route in plain Dutch. His pitch of voice was rather high, giving us illusion that he was shouting at us. Somehow the right path found us and we rode with high hopes.

Abcoude was the small and beautiful village/town we passed by. We saw several Saturday-markets and noisy kids running all around the town. In Amsterdam, having Sun out, is like a bolt from a blue (sky). So, we saw lot of the population on streets and parks. Infinite number of beautifully built houses and roads intersecting thousands of canals… At some point we were just riding over bridges.

Beautiful bridge!

Beautiful bridge!

Country-side (farm)houses and farm animals were very peculiar. After leaving the Abcoude village, we soon found ourselves on the path along the river. It was long straight stretch with beautiful view on either sides.

Along the river

Along the river

The only irritating thing was the wind. It was not just blowing, it was pushing us hard. We had times, when we had to ride the bike with efforts even on the downward slopes. So, there are certain disadvantages of riding the bike in a flat country like Netherlands… Juice and fruit-breakfast break was taken, when we were in the middle of the 7km long straight path, with trees both sides covering the track

THE stretch of path

THE stretch of path

The city center was still far. At last there were few direction-boards showing some sensible and encouraging distance values :

Utrecht within our reach!

Utrecht within our reach!

It was around 3pm when we finally arrived in the heart of the Utrecht city. We parked our bikes near the metro station of Utrecht central. Then we made our way through the widely scattered bikes all around the station. For our appetite, food was mercy. We had our lunch on the street in buffet fashion. Koustubha had made sandwiches with smashed potatoes’ stuffing and breads. Hot Dutch Stroopwafel in the Utrecht market was mouth-watering.

Then we started out little excursion into the city. It’s small and beautiful. Tallest church in the Netherlands is located in Utrecht (112.3 meters).

Tallest church of the Netherlands, Utrecht

Tallest church of the Netherlands, Utrecht

The city is a typical Dutch city in that, there are many canals and old (style) buildings. We saw an old monument with life story of Saint Martin, carved on the walls. Various statues of Saint Martin (a patron saint of Utrecht), Graaf Jan van Nassau (Bishop-elect of Utrecht) formed the premises of the monument.

Saint Martin's statue.

Saint Martin’s statue.

At around 5 o’clock, we made the move and found our bikes safe and sound. Journey towards home was more strenous because of continuous paddling/walking through-out the day. The wind too had changed the direction so as to disturb our progress. It was almost dark when we reached Amsterdam and the Sun
was about to set:

Sun-set at Amsterdam

Sun-set at Amsterdam

We were extermely happt that we could do it. It was ninty kilometers ride back and forth. Enough to test the stamina and endurance. We could fill the fresh country-air into our lungs and it was an experience!

The bike-trip group

The bike-trip group

Mount Rainier National Park: Involving in(to) Galciers !!!

3rd August 2013

I did not have much time to settle in Seattle when I first came here for summer internship. Mount Rainier was frequently recommended to me as the best place to visit in the neighborhood of Seattle. So we formed a group with fellow-interns: Ben, Daniel, Christina, and Amy.
3rd of August, Ben came to pick me up near University of Washington at 7:30. Off we went to Downtown to pick Christina and Daniel up and started our excursion. It was more than hundred
miles drive for the destination we chose was The Paradise of Mt. Rainier.

A glance at Mt. Rainier from car

The Paradise, Mt. Rainier


Ben was from U-Pen and other three guys were Californians (from Berkeley, San Diego). We mixed up quickly and soon started mocking and teasing each other. We played “Who-What-Where” game while driving towards the mountain, which brought lot of fun and laughters.

Mount Rainier national park has lot of volcanic mountains. The Rainier is one of the active and one of the most dangerous volcanic mountains according to Wiki. I was very much expecting the glaciers on mountains and was dieing for sliding! We stopped by a bridge providing us with an eyeful vista:

Vista from a bridge, Mount Rainier National Park

Vista from a bridge, Mount Rainier National Park

We did not stop there longer, for we anticipated more beautiful views to witness. Paradise visitor center was crowded as it should have been. We parked our car in “No parking” area with most of other cars. The visitor center was super-full of hikers. We chose to hike along the Sky-line trail up to “Panorama point” via Alta Vista point. Amy had a cute backpack in form of bear (or bear in form of backpack) who was presumably sixth member of our team.

At around 11 in the morning, we started off climbing. The Sun was bright and shining but few clouds were wandering around in the sky making weather perfect for the hike. We encountered steep ascents at the very beginning. Alta Vista point was not that exciting as we thought, but it gave us some elevation and inspiration for following hike.

On the way towards Panorama point

On the way towards Panorama point

Soon we saw the glaciers on our way and that gave us motivation to go further to embrace those snowy mountains. Glacier Vista point was worth a walk. We were speechless before the beautiful mountain ridges:

Glacier Vista, Mt. Paradise, Rainier National Park

Glacier Vista, Mt. Paradise, Rainier National Park

I met a Japanese girl at that point and impressed her with few remarks (in Japanese of course)! We had a short break there and were sitting on the rocks off the trail. To our surprise, there was a lady polic “on duty”, who warned us and took us back “on trail”! So it was the secret of those beautiful looking mountains. Trails were well-marked and hikers were not allowed (and supposed) to go off the trail to let the plants grow and flora blossom.

We had roasted almonds with us for quick energy on the way up. We took another half hour to reach Panorama point, it was 6800 feet high ! The sight from the ledge was splendid:

Panorama point, Paradise, Mt. Rainier

Panorama point, Paradise, Mt. Rainier

We met a vibrant lady- Jill at Panorama point, awaiting her daughter who had gone to climb The Rainier! She was a good story-teller and she had family history associated with Mount Rainier: Her father was the first to commit a summit at Mount Rainier. For three generations, everone from her family has been climbing this infamous mountain. We shot a video of her interesting story. She kind of made our day with singular accounts of her hiking experiences and other interesting anecdotes.

We met few other fellow intern friends there, Thomas, David,… We spotted one place for glacier sliding. At first I was scared to do it. Thomas was expert at sliding and he exhibited the slide quite efficiently. Then David, Daniel and I slid together! Yes! It was super-fun!

Glacier sliding spot from the bottom

Glacier sliding spot from the bottom

It was an experience! But we had left Ben, Christina and Amy at Glacier point. I came back to lead them towards other trail. We chose to follow circular route and thus different trail on our way back. Ben chose not to come on that snowy trail:

Snowy trail intersecting our Glacier sliding slope

Snowy trail intersecting our Glacier sliding slope

Girls were initially reluctant for sliding but they were supposed to experience that! The return-trail was more lonely and was more in wilderness. We saw a couple of Marmots (really fat squirrels) on meadows. We also witnessed many geographical features due to Glaciers. Ice caves, tunnels were particularly interesting. Some of the features (if looked from the far) were looking like an ice-cream dessert! I would call that view “yummy” !

A tunnel through an ice cave

A tunnel through an ice cave

We took a short (but steep) Golden gate trail at diversion of the trail we were following. That trail offered us yet more scenery and many more catchy landscapes. Myrtle falls was an unevitable barrier which held us (and our breath) for few minutes. Parking lot was near from the waterfall viewpoint. We found Ben near the car, who had reached earlier.

“Reflection lakes” was our next destination. We drove till the first lake and had a peaceful stroll along the lakes. There are couple of lakes there, ideally (at Sunrise) manifest reflection of the Mt. Rainier. We were not lucky enough to see that. We captured few reflections like following:

Reflection lake, Mt. Rainier

Reflection lake, Mt. Rainier

We were about to leave the lakes and “Oh deer (dear)”, screamed I and my wish came true. For some reason, I wanted to see deer in the wild in that park. Yes, it was just a deer, but it was very much dear at that very moment:

Stag in the wilderness, Mt. Rainier

Stag in the wilderness, Mt. Rainier

We called it a day! But it would be unfair if I don’t include details of our exotic dinner in the concluding paragraph. The restaurant was simply unique. It was a long railway, each carriage being a dinner cabin. The food was good too. “Porta Bella Mushroom burger” was my dinner. Others had variety of deer meet: Muse, Elk and similar. Desserts were the perfect icing on the cake! Blueberry Cobbler (served hot and fresh ) and Blueberry milk-shake with vanilla ice-cream! When we left the railway-restaurant, all of us were really filled, less with food ,and more with satisfaction of the snowy-hiking day!

Mountaineers of Rainer!

Mountaineers of Rainer!

RattleSnake Ridge : A day hike in Seattle

One of the simplest day hike in the neighborhood of Seattle is the Rattlesnake Ledge. It was our first choice when we made up our minds for hiking on Saturday of 27th July. The fantastic four on this tour were: Colin, Ruixuan, Matt and I. We left at 08:30 from the Arizona (one of the Amazon buildings in Downtown, Seattle). The journey was a short one (just 38 miles South-east wards) and brought us before a beautiful lake: The Rattlesnake lake!

Rattlesnake Lake

Rattlesnake ridge could easily be observed from bank of the lake. It(He) was looking like a giant mountain having wrapped a lash green shawl around his neck!

Rattlesnake Ridge from the bank of the lake

We chose an East-peak trail and started our ascent. It was an ideal day for hike. The trail had many shadowy path making it difficult to get tired. Our summer had been full of activities organized by Amazon. We had *things* to chat about, make fun of and laugh… To my surprise, many dogs and even babies were brought for the hike by enthusiast hikers. Encroaching dogs were certainly annoying when the path was narrow :-( At times, we “gave up our way” for dogs on the pretext
of taking pictures. Some of the viewpoints were worth it though.

Viewpoint on the way towards Rattlesnake Ridge

Viewpoint on the way towards Rattlesnake Ledge

In hour and a half we reached the ledge. It was very crowded. Most of the crowd was busy eating. Bird eye view from the ledge was simply magnificent.

Rattlesnake Lake from Rattlesnake Ledge !

The ledge also contains a cave within. I explored that cave with another hiker. It led us to other edge of ledge which apparently was an entry to a deadly valley:

“Valley of fear” ! from the edge of cave

We enjoyed Sun for a while and took tens of pictures and ascended further. East peak was still one and half mile away. The path was then through woods and introduced some wilderness. Thanks to the timely arrow-poles directing us, otherwise it was too easy to get lost in dense jungle like that.

Path through the Jungle (towards East peak)

It took us couple of hours to reach the east peak. There was nothing but a bench and a tower which was rather disappointing for us. Although wind was soothing enough. We attempted some trick photographs there

Smoking on the East-peak

Smoking on the East-peak

On our way back, we lunched in the woods, at the place which suited us the most (of course with stones as chairs and barks as tables). We started downwards after eating some grapes. Descent was pretty decent to run back lake-wards. One curious dog was coming on and off the trail. She seemed to have lost her owner. At the end of the trail, though, we met dog’s (beautiful) owner who was careless enough to let her dog unleashed. I was tempted to have a picture on a big rock right at the end of trail. It took me some efforts to climb that rock:

(On) Rock On !

A young boy (Asus was his name) followed me on that rock, displaying his climbing skills. He made it in less than a minute. It was just 14:30 when we had come back to the lake. It was obvious to enter the lake then: Colin and I swam for an hour. We spent few leisure hours conversing at the bank of lake, eating grapes and sun-bathing!

We returned back home contented and refilled with energy. What a splendid hike we had!

Fantastic four !

Barcelona Trip (12-15 April-2013)

Preface:
Being in Amsterdam, if one decides to travel abroad, then there are few cities which can match the fame and glory that Amsterdam has. Barcelona is one of them! Barcelona is capital of Catalunya, an autonomous state(community) in Spain. One strong reason to visit Barcelona was presence of our friend Navneeth, who is doing PhD there. So We could have (free) shelter and guide!

Day 1: 12th April 2013: Departure, Dementia and Delight
Our flight was 21:15. We (Koustubha, Roshan and I) left our rooms at 18:30. We found ourselves at Schiphol when it was just 10 past 7. We preferred having dinner there because our short-duration flight would not offer us a dinner. Roshan and Koustubha were full of funny stories of their college days, making our time spent in good humour. To get the boarding pass, we had to walk a lot to find out *counter* of Vueling Airlines, which, in our opinion, was given an odd position. Security checking was not as strict as it was in India. So it was quick.
At Schiphol airport

We did not mind waiting for more than an hour due to duty-free shops and beautiful figures all around. Observing and mocking people around is favorite hobby of Roshan, which made us laughing all the time.
Aircraft was rather small and attractive Spanish girls welcomed us in. We were keen to record loud and funny announcements running in Spanish, which was then sounding like quarrels. I got a window seat as always. Rosha and Koustubha slept after making fun of a bald man sitting next to us. I started writing diary. We went over the France and reached Barcelona just after midnight. We had some difficulty in searching for right exit. We followed the way shown by Spanish word “Salida” (which means exit). It was surprising that even Airport did not have directions written in English. Navneeth had come to receive us at Airport with his friend Shiraj. Once we were out of the huge *campus* of Airport, I felt like coming in the Pune, such was the breeze at that night and atmosphere. Shiraj found us a cheap means of transport (late night bus service) which led us to the nearest metro station. I guess it was “La Espanya”. The station reminded us of the train station as shown in the movie Matrix.

Metro station (La Espanya)

Metro station (La Espanya)

We bought a three-day unlimited travel card there (for 20 Euros) and got a break of ten minutes a metro station. Because it was friday night, Trains and metros were overflowing. We got a red-line metro going towards Santa Eulalia. We were about to get down from the metro, when Roshan realized that he had forgotten his bag at “La Espanya”. Luckily he had his passport and wallet with him. We lost our battery chargers and he lost his clothes. Shiraj was fluent in Spanish and he tried his best to enquire about the bag. He telephoned station-masters, sent some security-guy to check out the platforms we had been waiting. No success! We walked to Navneeth’s room from “Santa Eulalia”. Once we realized that Roshan did not lose any valuable stuffs and that he was advising Koustubha about luggage, we started pestering him and made fun of him. Though it was 1:30 am when we reached Navneeth’s home, Shiraj made tasty ROTIs and spicy Egg-Burji, which touched our heart making their way into our stomach. After many days, I was chatting with friends face-to-face and had a great time. Friday night of Barcelona was happening indeed!

Day 2: 13th April 2013: Camp Nou, La Rambla and La Espanya (Sport, Shopping and Eyeful fountain)
We started off pretty late, at around 11:30 am. Navneeth’s friend Awais also accompanied us. The first attraction was “The Camp Nou”, the stadium of Football Club Barcelona (FCB). It was at walkable distance from his home. Unlike in Amsterdam, it was bright sunny day and there was crowd on streets (unlike Amsterdam) and we enjoyed the walk. We felt like taking photos and we did, because Barcelona does carry a look of an Indian city (like Pune):

Look of Barcelona-City

Look of Barcelona-City


Though there was no big match going on, the campus of Camp Nou was crowded. I had little to do there, for I did not know any player other than Messi and my knowledge of football is quite messy. My friend Roshan is a big football fan and he made us explore the big shop there having various sport equipments (with names of players, FCB logo etc.) and mementos. I preferred taking pictures (for Facebook) in the campus.

Statue at Camp Nou

Statue at Camp Nou

Camp Nou Entrance, FCB, Barcelona

Camp Nou Entrance, FCB, Barcelona

On our way to University Polytechnica Catalunya (UPC), we saw a football match between some local clubs. The path had steep ascent, which was again unlike flat Holland. Roshan noted that Barcelona is hilly as he observed. We questioned his observation skills by taunting him with the “lost bag incident”. Navneeth’s university was almost at the top of a hill. He merely wanted to collect his I-pod from his room. Saturday had made university dull. After a short drinks-break, we started our search for creation of Antony Gaudi- The Güell Pavilions. Navneeth had some difficulty in finding the right path; but we were happy to walk on that Sunny day:

Walk from Cam Nou to Gaudi's creation

Walk from Cam Nou to Gaudi’s creation-Guell Estate


Antony Gaudi was a Spanish Catalan architect whose contribution to the field of architecture can hardly be exaggerated. His art is capital force behind most of the tourist places in Barcelona. One of his early patrons was count-Eusebi Güell. Güell had an estate in the Les Corts district of the small town of Sarrià (now part of Barcelona). Gaudí was commissioned to remodel the house for which he proposed an Orientalist design, somewhat reminiscent of Mudejar art [wiki]. This house is known as “Guell Pavilions”.
Guell Estate (designed by Gaudi)

Guell Estate (designed by Gaudi)


After taking some pics there, we went to see a nearby building which is kind of hanging garden in Barcelona (it has floral plants in balcony of every floor). Unfortunately we could not see its best view (flourished with colourful flowers) but we could imagine its beauty with flowers:
Hanging Garden

Hanging Garden


La Rambla was next on our itinerary. It’s a long street having similar trees on both sides and myriad of shops which kind of forms an explorable market there. There we found various street artists, jugglers and much more.
La Rambla street

La Rambla street

One end of this street is the port of Barcelona. There is a tower with a bronze statue of Columbus on top of it. It is said that Spanish government-funded Columbus to start his “the voyage”, which eventually ended up in discovery of America. We had some funny picture moments here; especially on the Lion statues around the Columbus monument.

Columbus Monument (Port Vell)

Columbus Monument (Port Vell)


Port of Barcelona was very crowded and it was good to watch (by crowd I mean what you guessed). Sun was shining bright and we had sun-bath for around one hour. We were lucky enough to witness unfolding of the bridge which allowed one of the ships to pass through. On our way back from the port, we ate the famous chocolate brunch-“waffles” at the bank of port.
Waffles

Waffles


Port of Barcelona

Port of Barcelona

By six in the evening, we were at La Espanya, for magic fountain of Montjuïc. The fountain is situated below the national art museum of Catalunya on the Montjuïc hill and near the Plaza d’Espanya. This plaza is one of important squares of the Catalunya. It is where Fira de Barcelona can be found, where GSM Mobile World Congress has been taking place since 2008. It is, in my opinion, the hottest spot in the Barcelona where people of all different tastes can find something. We preferred to climb up the hill and see the view of city from there. It reminded me of hills in Pune like MIT and SIT.

Montjuïc hill top

Montjuïc hill top

Light and music performance with dancing fountain is arranged every evening between seven and nine. Montjuïc hill was quite big and we could not cover it entirely. Olympic ring – the Olympic stadium for summer 1992 was one of the notable sites. There were sculptures and monuments at every corner which deserved more than a picture with them. But we were shameless enough to ignore most of them. First time in my life, I saw an orange-tree with ripen oranges. I could not resist and fetched one with a jump. It was very much childlike (not childish) thing, which made me a bit nostalgic. We made sure we attend the 8.30 pm show (last show) of the magic fountain. It was dusk of the evening, perfect time to appreciate the impression of the serene place. I have no words to explain/exaggerate the magic in the environment, that fountain had brought. Proposals and exchange of red roses was going on all around the fountain. The charm in the crowd was awesome. I would recommend this place for every couple to visit once in their life. The music, the lights, lively water, everything was enchanting.

Magic Fountain

Magic Fountain

With the peace within ourselves, we quietly left the place and started our quest for restaurant having TAPAS – speciality of Spain. “Happy Bar and Grill” was the name of restaurant we found ourselves in. TAPAS is any vegetable fried in Spanish style. Chilly Tapas was the most delicious. Shiraj came to receive us at the restaurant. He led us through the infamous streets and certain lanes of Barcelona, that we would otherwise miss. The pub he was talking about, was unfortunately closed and there were some police near the pub. We were tired due to the day-long walk anyways, so we decided to go home. We planned for the next day. Booked tickets for the church (Sagrada Familia) online.
First day in Barcelona was perfect. It could not have been planned better. Kudos to Navneeth for the plan!

Day 3: 14th April 2013: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the beach (Gaudi’s creations and artifacts)

The day started with my foolish play for hurrying our journey towards the church. I went to print out the tickets that we booked online. I telephoned Koustubha pretending to be detained by police on street. I wanted them to hurry up so that we could leave early. They came searching for me in haste, and found me waiting for them on street. I told clearly that I wanted them to tidy up quickly and it was a little tomfoolery. Then it was their turn: Navneeth, Roshan and Koustubha did not believe my story. and the worse thing was none of them was actually ready for starting our excursion. So we started late, at around 11 in the morning.
The church was scheduled to be closed by 2 pm because of some ceremony. Our ticket was valid between 11 and 1. We reached there early and had some time for breakfast. Spanish coffee in a restaurant near Sagrada Familia energized us for the day. We entered the church after midday and spent an hour and a half in man-made natural (!) beauty.

Sagrada Familia Church

Sagrada Familia Church


Nature is the theme for this church. Its construction started in 1882 and is still under construction! Antoni Gaudi was the architect who combined Gothic art and Art Nouveau (international art, originally French) in the design of the church.
Sagrada familia is a Roman Catholic church of holy family. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and attracts millions of tourists every year (probably making its construction even slower).
Every artifact in the church was something that we find the nature.

Following is the nave in the Sagrada Familia with a hyperboloid vault. Inspiration from nature is taken from a tree, as the pillar and branches symbolise trees rising up to the roof.

Roof of the church from inside

Roof of the church from inside


Spiral staircase resembling the shell is another example.
Shell like staircase at one of the tower of Sagrada Familia

Shell like staircase at one of the tower of Sagrada Familia


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