Erose in Hills

Ever since I visited the hills of the Himachal Pradesh, I have been trying to situate my imagination in a meaningful context. I went to explore the beauty of the hills in 2015 and I was accompanied by a cohort of college friends. When I first arrived in Shimla, I was completely mesmerized by the sight of the quaint railway station and we were surrounded by some shrouded men huddling under shawls. There was a phantasmal silence of the impregnable hills and fronds of pine trees swayed in gentle breeze. I was in a kind of reverie and I said to myself that hills often brought back an entire panoply of joyful recollections.

Lofty mountainous range of the Himalaya

The hills of both Shimla and Manali are breathtakingly beautiful and will definitely remind anybody of the “snow-enveloped peaks” of Bavarian Alps, featuring in Grimm Brother’s Hansel and Gretel or Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. Shimla and Manali are the most sought-after tourist places in the district of Himachal Pradesh and are visited by bevies of backpackers or casual voyagers from across the world. One of the most significant reasons to visit these hill stations of the Himachal Pradesh is the placid beauty of the Himalayas, matched by the serenity of nature. In order to explore the rich bounties of nature, one should take the toy-train ride, passing through the strikingly beautiful route of the Himalayas. The toy-train travels through a sinuous mountainous path and it is fantastic to see the wisps of smoke billowing out from the chimney. Apart from the snow-capped hills and mountains, Shimla and Manali are girdled by the chains of deciduous trees and some rare species of migratory birds. The red apples of these hill stations are greatly consumed by people of all walks of the society and the tourists. These two idyllic hilly towns have some of the artistic hamlets of neo-Gothic fashion and other imposing structures of old times.

Winding path dotted with small and artistic hamlets

Day 1

Trip to Kufri

Perched on the Himalayan foothills, Kufri is a small, bucolic town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Swathed in clouds, Kufri exudes a mystic aura or has a mesmeric hold over the imagination of the travellers. We traveled to Kufri, which was just a few minutes distance from our hotel in Shimla. I popped on a fleece jacket and roved about Kufri on a horseback with an ardent zeal.

Mountains of Kufri, Shimla

Day 2

Enroute to Manali in Himachal Pradesh

The river ‘Beas’ or ancient Greek Hyphasis comes to our mind when we think about going to Manali from Shimla. It is one of the Saptasindhu or ‘land of seven rivers’ that is mentioned in the Vedas. The river rises at a height of 14,203 feet at Rohtang Pass in the Western (Punjab) Himalayas in Central Himachal Pradesh. Throughout our journey from Kullu Valley to Manali, Beas river adorned our path and we were so much enthused by the sight of the silvery water of the meandering river that we just could not resist ourselves from capturing pictures along the river bank.

Beas River near Manali in Central Himachal Pradesh

Day 3

Jaunt to the Solang Valley

Juxtaposed to the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, Solang Valley is a ‘Dale of beauty and grandeur’. It is 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. It is remarkable for its sport and summer expeditions. The area is noted for paragliding, skating, parachuting and ropeway rides.

Solang Valley

Our trip to summer towns of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla and Manali shall always be etched in our memories, needless to talk about Gharwal cuisines and huge spread of dishes that were all so lip-smacking. A trip comes to a close but the fond memories of the tour never wither away in the lifetime.

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Psalm of Mallorca

Hallo

“Meine Damen und Herren,

Willkommen zu Urlaubsparadies Mallorca und eine angenehme reise“, said the pilot of the flight.

Mallorca was just a few minutes away and I peered out enthusiastically at the picturesque sight of the insular region from the flight. As the rings of clouds withered away, the view of azure Balearic island of Spain became clear. We landed in Mallorca at around 1 pm in the afternoon and went straight to the Hotel from the Flughafen. The location of hotel was doubtless, very riveting and perched on the foothills. After coming out of the plane, I observed that Mallorca has an unsual topography and it has both sea and hilly terrains. Almost all the hotels of Palma de Mallorca are situated in the hilly landscape and we decided to rove about the south coast of Mallorca, which is dotted with eateries and boutique hotels.


Mittelmeerinsel Mallorca ist ein abwechslungsreiches Paradies

Day 1—-Exploring the rich bounties of Mallorcan history

We got up in the early morning and gathered tourist like determination as it is the key to exploring the sandy beaches and historic sites of Palma de Mallorca. We started at around 10 am in the morning and readied our groß Mittagessen bag and hurried off to the hotel lobby. We took the shortest path to the bus stop and boarded the bus to La Seu, Palma Cathedral, which is a favourite tourist spot in Palma de Mallorca. The majestic cathedral was built between 1229 and 1346 by the Crown of Aragon on the ruins of a Moorish-epoch mosque. Themed on Catalan Gothin architecture, this respendent cathedral was started during the time of James I of Aragon in 1229 and was concluded in 1201. This cathedral is housed in the old city of Palma and it is surrounded by many lavish architectures of 13-14th centuries, such as the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the Anne’s Chapel. Like other buildings, the Palma Cathedral is also built on a citadel, overlooking the Parc de la Mar and the pristine Mediterranean Sea.

Splendor of La Seu, Palma Cathedral

Smitten by the beauty and grandeur of Mallorca, we decided to explore more of its opulent archiectures built in the Old City (South-East area of Palma behind the Cathedral). This area has a clear vestige of Arab past and the architectures share close resemblace with Florentine buildings. The Old City comprises many popular historic edifices, such as Ajuntament (or Town Hall), the Convent of the Cathedral and Banys Arabs.

The next favourite stop is Banys Arabs, which is synonymous to Arab Baths or Medieval Hammam. It is one of the few vestiges of the Moorish past in Palma de Mallorca. It is difficult to trace the exact inception of the development of this place. According to Mallorcan historians, it can be traced back to the 10th and 12th centuries of Medina Mayurqa (now regarded as Palma de Mallorca). The splendid Arab Baths are perfectly embedded in the manicured gardens of the former orchard of the manor house Can Fontirroig. It served as the meeting place as well as wash house of yore.

Beauty of Banys Arabs

Day 2—Delving into the Mallorcan Culture

Slouching around in a fashionable Señorita dress and a cool tee, we planned to explore the rock and the sandy beaches and dig into a bowl of Mallorcan delicacies, such as Paella and Tapas. On top of it, we were so much enlivened by the Graffiti work that we captured some of the interesting pictures in our camera. Throughout the trip, the bylanes and cobbled streets have always reminded us of the writings of the famous Spanish author, Gabriel Garcia Marques. Topping up, the Mediterranean climate suited our temperament.

Day 3– Profundity of historical sites (contd.)

The next brilliant site is the Convent of the Cathedral, which is situated in the Old city of Palma de Mallorca, just a stone’s throw away from the historic Banys Arabs.

Cathedral de Palma
The Convent of the Cathedral


Royal Palace of La Almudaina

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is a fort-styled palace of Palma and it is juxtaposed to the Cathedral de Palma, Mallorca in Spain. The extravegent palace has been the historical focus of the island since the Meghalithic settlements. This imposing structure witnessed the advent and debacle of various Islamic and Christian dynasties and had been refurbished in accordance with the monarchical norms.

Day 4— Tour to Bellver Castle

The grand Bellver castle is a Gothic-styled castle, which is situiated on the woody cliffs and positioned in the center of Palma on the islands of Mallorca, Spain. In the 14th century, this castle was designed and developed by King James II of Mallorca and it is one of the few circular castles based in Europe. One can capture the enchanthing vision of the majestic island from the Bellver castle de Palma, Mallorca, Spain.

The Bellver Castle de Mallorca, Spain

From enjoying a bottle of Sangria in a salubrious coastal weather to viewing the historic sites encompassed by rugged cliffs and Mediterranean plantations, Mallorca was a treat to our eyes and gave us a respite from the severity of work load in Deutschland.

Danke, Mallorca and you shall always be etched in our memories.

Against the backdrop of Baeleric Sea, Palma de Mallorca, Spain