Persepolis

Persepolis is a brilliant illustrated autobiography by Marjane Satrapi.

Deep in its message yet wonderfully depicted through illustration, this is a must read. The author captures her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in a most endearing style. I am a fan of Marjane Satrapi & would highly recommend this book, which is sheer talent with a story.

Persepolis has also been adapted into a film but nothing like getting hold of the book!

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Femina in 1960

A vintage copy of the Femina magazine from March 1960, which was found in our ancestral home.

I was fascinated to discover that Femina was launched in July 1959 , so this is the 8th edition of a magazine, now over half a century!

Femina is one of India’s most popular magazines, especially among women!

Dom Cathedral, Cologne

Köln in German, or Cologne in English, is Germany’s 4th largest city. Eau de Cologne (Water of Cologne) that is known & used the world over, was birthed in this city. The city is  famous for the  Cologne Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church.

Here are some photographs I captured of the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria if you read the details on the Wiki link).

A World Heritage Site, work on the Cathedral commenced in the year 1248. It is supposed to be Germany’s most visited landmark (details in the link above) & it is alleged to house some relics of the Three Magi who visited Jesus  after His birth.

I was fortunate to have visited this Cathedral with its rich Gothic architecture, historic & religious significance.

Guten Tag Berlin!

Berlin, circa 2008…

What I enjoyed about this city –

–  getting to see history at close quarters

–  getting to actually see the remaining parts of the Berlin Wall

–  the graffiti which captures the spirit of the city, carried in an earlier post  Street Art

–  being a part of the 200,000 odd crowd which thronged the Tiergarten to witness Barack Obama’s speech 

–  walking through the famous Brandenburger Tor

–  staying in East Berlin at Prenzlauer Berg,  über cool & youthful spirit,  home to students & artists

–  the sidewalk cafés of Prenzlauer Berg which served those amazing desserts

–  getting to attend George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess Opera…terrific

–  art, history & culture blend in

–  truly Berlin, truly enjoyable.

Hover over the image for a brief description of some of these pictures.

Grim Reminders of the Holocaust – Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

I have often wanted to know more about the suffering of the Jews & atrocities committed against them during the Nazi regime. It was therefore only natural to want to see a real concentration camp if that were ever possible.

During my visit to Germany this became a reality & I was able to visit an old concentration camp which is now a well preserved musuem. It stands as a cold reminder of one of  man’s worst crimes against humanity.

Located outside Berlin is the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg.  A former Nazi camp, it serves as a grim reminder of the extent of  man’s depravities…& the suffering endured by millions of  Jews as a result.

For those interested in reading more on this topic, I would recommend the following books – The Diary of Anne Frank,  Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl &  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

Thank God for freedom!

When Paris Called

A ton of energy & the ability to walk, walk, walk is what you need if you visit Paris.  Cathedrals, cafés, monuments or the museum – there is so much to explore & experience in this city, which is best done walking. And of course the camera is kept busy too. 

History everywhere  you look is Paris in a nutshell to me.

A panoramic cruise on the River Seine is a great way to take in the many views of Paris. Visiting the 12th century Notre Dame Cathedral brings back memories of  Hugo’s  book  ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

To behold Paris’ most iconic symbol the  Eiffel Tower is truly awesome. Walking down the Champs Elysees, supposedly ‘the most beautiful avenue in the world’ is a great way to absorb the city &  you also get to view the  historic Arc de Triomphe. We also got to witness the celebrations of the Bastille Day or French National Day…when all of  Paris seems to converge on  the Champs Elysees to witness the parade & celebrations.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Louvre – this  museum has just too much to see in a short duration;  most popular attraction without a doubt being Leonardo da Vinci’s  ‘Mona Lisa’. It was so crowded with tourists…had to literally push through the crowd for a glimpse up close –  I wasn’t able to capture a very clear picture though.

Around the city one gets to admire the many monuments &  rich architecture – below are photos of  the La Madeleine Church (formerly meant to be a Temple) as well as the statue of Joan of Arc. Way too much to see!!!

While there indulge merrily in the local French cuisine…& go get some joie de vivre!

 

 

A Tryst with 650 Years of History at The George Inn, England

During our holiday to the UK a few years ago, we were fortunate to be able to stop over for lunch at The George Inn during one of our days of local sight seeing.

Located in the village of Lacock in Wiltshire, England, this picturesque ancient village is several hundred years old & has been the setting for some famous English films. 

The George Inn dates back to 1361 (Wow!) & is famous for having a running license since the days of Oliver Cromwell. It was a very interesting visit – the inn with its incredibly ancient history & aura as also getting to see a village this quaint…memorable!