Tag Archives: Europe

Of Art, madness and magnificent views

“Nothing is art if it does not come from nature.” – Antoni Gaudí

One of the best things about visiting Barcelona is to be able too see the beauty of the maestro, an artist who is far beyond your extraordinary. Well if you ask me, Barcelona is Gaudí, Gaudí is Barcelona.  Yes, I’m talking about the master architect Antoni Gaudí of the early 20th century who shaped the city with his marvels. Not just his most famous century old work which’ll finish hopefully by the end of this decade, the La Sagardia Familia, but a lot more than that. The sheer marvel of visiting various places in Barcelona to view magnificence of Antoni Gaudí is a fortune that many should seize!

On our visit to Europe and Barcelona, after Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery, I think what caught my eye was Catalan Modernism artworks across the city by this amazing artist. If you intend to visit Barcelona, and have the sailing or seas on your mind, then do take some time out to visit some of the most spectacular works by this master artist.

One such experience is Park Guelle! A must visit if you’re in Barcelona.

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All the work of art right from the windmill to the steps to the alligator statue on your way up to the Park Guell terrace, you’d realise the spectacular cuts, the design the beauty of the elements of architecture including colours are inspired by nature, true to his style.

Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudí’s artistic plenitude, which belongs to his naturalist phase (first decade of the 20th century). During this period, the architect perfected his personal style through inspiration from organic shapes. He put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in the analysis of geometry.

To that, the Catalan artist adds creative liberty and an imaginative, ornamental creation. Starting from a sort of baroquism, his works acquire a structural richness of forms and volumes, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premisses. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and put to practice much of his innovative structural solutions that would become the symbol of his organic style and that would culminate in the creation of the Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family!

Some magical moments of this artistic creation, captured in a lens of time! One that I wouldn’t hesitate to re-visit again!

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No one here gets out alive…

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison

That said, one cannot truly explore horizons of life without a dream larger than that horizon itself.

I’d always been a huge fan of James Douglas Morrison, and when I started following him, listening to his songs, and read the book by the same title as this blog, I had never imagined, I’d have the opportunity to explore what is possibly the mecca for all the fans of , ‘The Legend,’ Jim Morrison!

Jim Morrison, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France, Europe, Srinivas, Travel Blogger

Here lies the Legend!

For most travellers and tourists, Paris has it’s own charm and yes the Eiffel tower adds to a semblance of nostalgia and the rest of the city carries a feeling of being remarkable in it’s own way. It certainly is an epitome of historical greatness and has a fine taste for food, fashion, flawless culture  and a desire towards perfection of it’s own kind. No wonder it’s the most sought after destination by traveler’s across the world!

I’ve read many a times,

“Paris is always a good idea!”

Yes it is, especially if you can visit a place like the Père Lachaise Cemetery, and experience the aura of the souls of the departed, with a sense of purpose that you never had.

The destination was definitely on my list and I was saving the best for last, after having explored most of the city, spending more than a few days in Paris, @FeetonTheMap and I decided to explore the artisan life on our final day, by spending some time walking across the streets of Paris, visiting the Shakespeare and Company, reading a few lines, many a quotes, playing the Piano and being in the same location which once upon a time (1920’s) was a gathering place for many then-aspiring young writers such as Ernest Hemingway!

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The experience of exploring the almost century old bookstore, which still stands as part of modern art, culture and of course a business that has a repertoire that many would consider beyond what even traditional  sight-seeing locations in Paris would stand for. The quaint little bookshop was the beginning of a path to explore the greatness that we hoped would help end our trip on a high, a spiritual as well as that of self-discovery having, tread the path of the legends in a way, like never before.

While getting to the cemetery isn’t such a big deal, considering the easy access of metro the bigger challenge is to find your way around the cemetery to reach the grave. An ordeal that is truly worth the long walk and the wait, especially if you take the main gate from Gambetta side. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to take a picture of the cemetery map to navigate grave after grave while we tread the paths of the fall, leaves trailing across our feet, quite literally giving us a feeling of explorers of the dead!

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Walking round and round, around in circles, walking down steps and trying to find your route section by section, getting to ‘Area 48’ is an enjoyment of it’s own kind for sure. It took us probably a good 30-40 minutes, considering we were enjoying the experience, stopping by a few graves as we passed by. The wait was worth it, for I knew, when we got there, the sense of awe was something I’d cherish forever, not just to think of it as a check or a tick mark in my bucket list, but a lot more than that.

And I most certainly wasn’t disappointed! How could I be… I just stood there, for about 15-20 minutes and admired the beauty and the significant and enchanting view, with a sense of nostalgia… It felt like I was thrown back in time, in an alternate world! And that’s when I realized, I knew, it was time for me to leave…

And that’s when I had a smile, a smile on my face, cause in my head I could hear the words of his beautiful ballad, “This is the End.” A song that had a sense of severing ties, ones that left him heartbroken after his break up with his girlfriend, Mary Werbelow!

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes, again

Until we meet again… Au Revoir

Lisbon – A destination to enchant…

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine”

Yes indeed, one of these days I need to start reading more pages of this book. Its almost about time that I start going international on my travel. Yes I have a bucket list and there are certainly some places that I’ve bookmarked already and need to plan my travel accordingly.

One of the things that I want to do in Lisbon is take a road trip! And what better way than get a cheap car hire than DealChecker… 🙂

Why Lisbon?
One of the most amazing destinations that are already on my bucket list is Lisbon, Portugal. Yes, the capital of Portugal. Why Lisbon though? Well, there are plenty of reasons why I’m pretty much attracted to this destination. Most importantly because of its  contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today’s Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city.
So with that in mind, I thrive to take a look at one of such beautiful cities soon and hopefully add this on my bucket list.
What would I do in Lisbon?
There are a several things that one could do in the largest city of Portugal and my list would probably be endless if I think of it. So let me narrow it down to one of these amazing locations that I’d love to go to.
The Famous Se Cathredal
A solemn-looking cathedral that reflects the Romanesque style of the 12th century. Built on the grounds of the city’s main mosque, the cathedral was raised to celebrate the Moors’ defeat in the mid-1100s. If you are an admirer of sacral architecture one needs to visit this church, the monastery and the treasury. It has a very particular calm, dark atmosphere. The monastery is quiet and somehow comforting. The style(s) of architecture are interesting to study and very inspiring.
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Walk through Alfama
This again is an enchanting experience for a traveler like me. The backpacker unknown traversing the dreams of destinations across the universe. One should take this opportunity to walk through Alfama, a beautiful neighborhood and go up to St George’s Castle. Built in the 6th century, it was a royal castle for the Moorish until it was captured by the Portugals’ first king. It is now famous as an ‘oasis of peace’. Enjoy the majestic view of King Afonso’s statute at the main door and then a series of cannons.
St. Georges castle
Belem Tower
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Belem Tower is a fortress built in 1515 to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. Commissioned by King John II, the tower is an important example of the Portuguese Manueline style. Other places to visit while in the neighbourhood are Jeronimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries, Coach Museum, housing the world’s largest number of coaches and royal vehicles, and Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque.
Belem Tower
Jeronimo Monastery
Jeronimo Monastery is the sleeping place of one of the most famous travellers and explorers the world has seen – Vasco da Gama. It is also the place where sailors in the olden days would pray before embarking on a voyage. The church is beautifully designed with ornate portals, pinnacles and gables. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Jeronimo Monastery
Quinta Da Regaleira
Besides being in Lisbon, a short trip to Sintra would be also very nice… One of the prime attractions of Sintra is the Quinta da Regaleira, located in the historic centre of Sintra. The estate consists of a palace and chapel, a park featuring lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The Regaleira Palace features five floors with a living room, dining room, billiards room, balcony, bedrooms, some smaller rooms and servants rooms.DSC01327
The Pena National Palace
The Pena National Palace and the surrounding Pena Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is also one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. The Palace is an interesting mix of Romantic,  Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance styles.  The construction of the Palace and park started in the middle ages with the erection of a chapel, however the earthquake of 1775 reduced the monument to ruins. In 1838, the King Consort, Ferdinand II, commissioned a palace to be built on the ruins.
Pena National palace
These are some of the top destinations that are on my mind. But of course, how can I forget the most enchanting scene in Lisbon city itself. Perch myself on top of one of the resorts or hotels on the mountain top or generally go on top of a building and click something like this at night…
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What do you think? Ever been to Lisbon? Any tips for me there, when I do go…