Cassis – Calanque d’En-Vau

Calanques- those beautiful mountains, crystal clear sea, Cliffs to dive from, What else one will need to make the weekend exciting.

I recently visited Calanque d’En-Vau located near Cassis, in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast. It’s a port city which commands the view of an old chateau. We started our trek from cassis, in the beginning, it was very smooth, then was a descend into the Calanque de Port Pin. We stopped there for a while and moved on to the greater part of our journey. Then it became challenging and more exciting. In between, we stopped to rest, meanwhile had a great treat for our eyes. All we could see was the Calanques and sea. Then came a steep challenging descend into the Calanque d’En Vau.

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Port of Cassis
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Statue de Calendal
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Midway
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Just before the descend into Calanque d’en Vau
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Calanque d’En-Vau

We had a plan to swim, but we could hardly find people swimming! yes, it was very cold, the water temperature was around 15°C! Then with all the courage we swam and although initially it was bit cold later it was fine.

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Variety

We took a different route back to Cassis although it was tough at some points, we made it soon. And here is the total activity of the day.

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Activity of the day

Travelling tips

  1. An easy way to reach cassis is by the local train- TER. It costs around 6-10 Euro from Marseille. There are also buses to nearby places from Marseille.
  2. It’s a good idea to carry something to eat.
  3. If you are planning for the two-day trek you can opt the youth hostel nearby as wild camping is prohibited. Visit the tourism office at Cassis for information.
  4. Try to take a route by the side of Calanque d’en Vau to go back to Cassis. It’s a bit tough but worth it.

 

Grenoble – La Bastille

Before I shifted to Lyon, I visited a friend in Grenoble – a city in southeastern France, around 100 km from Lyon. It is a beautiful city in the proximity of the Alps.

La bastille is a fortress in Chartreuse mountain range and overlooking the city, its one of the most visited places in Grenoble. We can reach Bastille either by cable car or by hiking. On reaching the top one can witness a breathtaking view of the Alps and the city.

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View from my friend’s Flat
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Pont Marius Gontard on river Isère
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Hiking starts
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In halfway
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Hills beyond the wall
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From the top!
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The four cars
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Alps 😍
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Rivers- Isère and Le Drac
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Parc Paul Mistral
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The light disc

Poland Pravasa

Here are few pictures of my recent travel to Poland. Wherein I visited the capital city-WarsawKraków, and Zakopane.

Kraków is one of the oldest cities of Poland situated on Vistula river. St. Mary’s Basilica is one of the main attraction.

Zakopane is a city in the base of the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland. Morskie Oko is a must place to visit.

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St. Mary’s Basilica
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Street in Krakow
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Auschwitz concentration camp
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Different Blocks in Auschwitz concentration camp

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Tatra Mountains

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On the way to Morskie Oko
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Morskie Oko Lake
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Walking on the Frozen Lake
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Alone on Morskie Oko

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Bonjour France…!!!

Bonjour France!!!

Well, It was my first visit to a foreign country and it is France which is a region of medieval cities, peaceful villages, calm rivers, and beaches of Mediterranean. It was for my higher studies. New place, new life, new people, new language, totally it was a different and new beginning for me. I was really excited about it. I landed in Paris in September 2015. It was hard to come to France leaving my loved ones and home country.

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Me and my friend Jayanth
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Over the clouds!
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A view from my seat

I was accompanied by few of my friends hence I didn’t feel much lonely after coming here. I reside in the city of Poitiers which is a riverside city in the west of France. My hostel is in city outskirts. It’s a peaceful place!

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Our first meal at Poitiers

First few months were really adventurous. It was fun discovering new things, roaming around knowing just ‘Bonjour’, ‘Merci’ and ‘Au Revoir’ (Hello, Thank you and bye) in French. Another most used sentence was ‘Vous parle Anglais?’ meaning ‘ Do you speak English?’. The course work here was very different from my previous education held. Initially, it was difficult to adjust to it. But as time lapsed things became easier. I used to go out with friends for outing, parties and night outs. It wasn’t difficult for me to get adjusted to the French food as I was a Non-vegetarian.

There are things to like about France. The way they wish everyone seems good. They are always calm and has an interesting lifestyle. They don’t work too much but they do what is required. They spend their weekends and holidays well. There are a couple of things to learn from French people.

Day by day I started learning French language and also about the French culture.  It’s exciting to learn French. We invite French people for dinner or lunch with Indian special dishes. Few of them like spicy food while few just cry! It feels good interacting with the French people. They are very calm and helpful in nature.

There is a beautiful river named ‘Le Clain‘ near our residence. We usually go there on weekends. We play football in the nearby ground later we have food near the river.

The city I live in is not a happening city. But that doesn’t limit my entertainment. I go to different countries for the trip during semester breaks and holidays. So far I visited Paris, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Vatican City and San Marino. It will be refreshing after a tiresome course work. Here are few clicks from Paris.

Daily Skype calls to parents, group video chats with friends in the weekend, preparing and having special Indian dishes, receiving a parcel from India, celebrating birthdays, outing with friends are some of the happiest moments here. The snacks we receive in the parcels won’t even last for a week.

I also frequently visit a nearby village which is Martigny. I go there for running. This village always brings a feeling of my own village back in India. I like to run around the fields. I click few pics often and send them to my father who is an agriculturist as he frequently asks me about the French agriculture.

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Sunset

There is a lake near my residence. I just go there in the evenings. Sit for a while alone there. The view will be spectacular. The vehicle reflection on the water is the best part. I feel relieved after a walk around the lake. I do meet few local residents near the lake. It feels good. In the weekends few families come for camping near the lake. It feels good to see the families there.

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View of the Lake and my Residence
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Evening time around the Lake

Here are few pictures which I  took in and around my city.

Now I can speak some manageable French. I have learned a few things after coming here. Life in France is so far good.

Yes, although I have come here for strong reasons for the betterment of my life, Sometimes, I do miss my parents, friends, family occasions and my village. But at the end of the day, I need to work hard and bring a meaning to my travel to a far place from my country. I am not the same person who I was when I came here. Life in France has taught me about the value of parents, people, money and time. I hope the rest of my life in France goes well.

 

 

 

Munnar Maapleys

It was a day I returned from my native to Bengaluru after the Ugadi festival celebration, my friend Shiv called me and said macha munnar trip tomorrow! And I was like maga I just reached Bangalore!

My friend vasanth (Maamz) was in Theni (tamilnadu) and he had a guest house in munnar. At first, I was not ok with the schedule, later somehow managed to go. In fact, sudden plans will be the most successful plans. Six of us- Shivshankar (shiv), Jayanth (JBL), Mahantesh (monty), Madhu, Syed and me were ready for the trip. We assembled in Jayanth’s house for so-called ‘planning’, and did nothing except booking Train tickets to Dindigul from Bengaluru for the next day (Too much of planning is injurious to trip).

Next day we all met at the Bengaluru city railway station, we bought snacks and dinner and boarded Tuticorn express around 9 PM. Train Journey was cool as always, with fun-filled conversations. After a 10 hours journey, we got down in Dindigul and went to the city bus stop. We had tea, bought some sweets and boarded a bus to Theni where our friend Vasanth (maamz) was residing. After few minutes we realized that we have missed the sweet box at the shop in bus top. Jay, Syed and me got down and headed back to the bus stop while rest of them continued their journey. We got the sweets back and we then took a bus to Theni.

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Funny thing was we three reached Theni early than rest of the guys (thanks to the driver). Vasanth picked us from the Theni bus stop. Then we headed to the coffee estate in his car. We parceled breakfast on our way. It was Ghats section (Series of mountains). The scenery around was a treat for your eyes.

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The estate was somewhere in the middle of the hill. We reached the estate but then we had to climb down the hill for a while to reach the estate house. So we took the food parcels and started climbing down. It was like walking through a forest. The ambiance of the place was splendid with a variety of plants and trees. Maamz told us that there are two German shepherds right down there! When we reached there we were just shocked to see the two huge German shepherds.

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We had breakfast and thought of being there for a while. Shiv was clicking selfies with German shepherds, Rest were roaming around and were capturing the nature beauty, both in their eyes and camera. We then climbed up and continued our journey towards the guest house.

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Late afternoon we reached the guest house. We freshened up and left for an outing in and around the village (Gajanaparai). First thing was to find a hotel as we didn’t have our lunch. We found some Kerala restaurant. Ordered food and waited for years! Everyone were voracious but those people were serving water, onions etc. but not the main dish. Then came the food. The taste wasn’t that commendable. But we were just satisfied. Then we moved on to an Elakki farm (Cardamom). Roamed around for some time.

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While coming back to home we stopped at a small river. I was near river and maamz was near the car. He called me there and said ‘maga I have left the car key inside the car and I have locked!’ Then came our engineer Syed. He opened the door with the use of scale! (not professional but he has some experience with his car). He was the hero for a moment, for that moment only. Then again we went back near the river to click few pics.

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Then we headed back to the village. Near to the village, there was a tea estate we stopped there and spent some time chit chatting and clicking some pics. Then we had tea and returned to the guest house.

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Dinner was chicken which was prepared by the local people near the guest house. Veggies got their food parcel from a hotel. After dinner, we had some fun by playing cards and also Hulivesha (Tiger) dance by our maamz. Then everyone slept as all were tired.


We got up early in the morning and went for a morning walk, it was so cold outside. We returned back and everyone had a hot water bath and groomed up and then left to Munnar top station.

We entered a tea estate zone. It was a great treat for our eyes. This continued for few miles.

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We headed to Pallivasal falls. We climbed down and went near the water. I slipped as it was very slippery and somehow managed to escape the fall (Shoki). Otherwise, I would have bathed for a second time on that day. We continued our travel to reach the top station. The weather so cool and the scenery was Awe-inspiring.

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We then headed to Mattupetty dam. We went for a speed boat ride. It was an amazing experience. We then had lunch and moved on.

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On our way, we stopped at valaparai hills for sight-seeing. We had tea at a shop which few miles from valaparai. Believe me that 2 cups of tea were the best tea I have ever had in my life till date! we then reverted to Theni.

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We rested there for some time and then maamz left to Chennai for some work and we guys booked train tickets for the next day from Madurai to Bangalore as our next visit was to Madurai. It was farewell time to our maamz after which We reached Theni bus stop and boarded a bus to Madurai.


Few clicks of Madurai Meenakshi amman Temple.