A day in Seattle

I am in Seattle from the last few days and have been planning to visit some of the major attractions here. When I searched for “Places to visit in Seattle” the first few search results were the following:

  1. Pike Place Market
  2. The Great Gum Wall of Seattle
  3. Space Needle
  4. Chihuli Garden and glass

Since I didn’t have any company, I decided to be a solo traveller for a day. Trust me I have never roamed around places alone. I always wanted to do so but never did. Before starting my trip I downloaded Moovit app so that I get to know from where i can take which bus. One thing which i liked about the Moovit app is it shows bus stop ID as well along with the bus number. For a person like me, who was new to the place, it helped a lot.

Pike Place Market: This market was one of the few things I wanted to visit. They call it “Historical district” as one can find hundred years old shoops here. Roaming around in an unknown city all by myself was quite an experience.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle: It looks colourful in pictures but trust me its smelly and gross. They had cleaned this wall for the first time in 20 years in November 2015. It happens to be one of the major attractions in Seattle. I thought i’ll have to search for this wall, but its at the entrance of Pike Place Market, yo ujust have to take left to the alley.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle

Space Needle: The iconic Seattle’s landmark and tourist attraction center. It has a revolving glass floor 500 ft up in the air. I walked all the way from Ivar’s fish bar to the Space needle. It’s a good 30 mins walk (1.5 miles). The entry to the observation tower is not free. But you can get some discount if you are taking ticket for Space needle and Chihuly garden and glass together.

Chihuly Glass and Garden:
Named after Dale Chihuly, this place showcases his glass work but for some reason it was never in my list of places to visit. I guess i was underestimating the power of creativity. When I went inside, I was just mesmerized with the fact that everything was made up of glass. During my visit, various thoughts were crossing my head like, how can someone make such a beautiful thing out of glass, how many people would have been involved and how many days would have been spent on each detail. At the end of the tour, they showed a small documentary on how the glass chandeliers are made. I came and searched for all the videos related to glass blowing till my eyes started paining. Photos from Chihuly Glass and Ganden can be found on my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2D_c0nl7U-/

After walking more than 10 kms, i was so tired that i wanted to take a cab back to the hotel. I got a mini heart-attack when i checked the cab fare, it was 40 $. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bus again. I had to walk a bit from Seattle space needle to catch the bus, also, there are no direct buses for Bellevue. One has to take bus till Kirkland and from there take a bus for Bellevue. Anyway, after walking for a while i found the bus stop. I got into one of the buses and I reached Kirkland. One thing which I learned from my bus journey was unlike India, there bus drivers don’t talk to the passengers while driving the bus. I wanted to confirm with the bus driver if it was the correct bus and he was listening but not answering. Later at a signal he told me he cannot talk while driving. But i was in the right bus.

Do you have any such travel story? Do share in the comment your experience.

My kitchen story – Pure veg omellete

Blessed are those who know how to cook and have interest in cooking. I dont have any inerest in cooking. I don’t even feel like cooking. I am happy if i get food served infront of me without going to the kitchen.

I am on my business trip. And this time i have decied to cook rather than hopping restaurants. I try to cook something which requires less preparation + cooking time. I have been trying to cook anything and everything in microwave because it takes less time and attention.

One fine sunday i decided to prepare omellete with veggies. I wanted to have lots of veggies so i added spinach, carrot, cauliflower, tomatoes and potato. I prefer to have only two eggs a day. While chopping the veggies i did not realise that i am going to add only two eggs. Very happily i put all the chopped vegetables in the bowl and added two eggs. The eggs were not enough for the vegetables. I mixed the veggies and eggs nicely in a bowl. It was very clear I screwed my omellete but i was just going with the flow.

I poured the mixture in a plate and put it in oven for 10 mins. After 10 mins when i took it out from the oven, it felt like a vegetable cake. I could cut it in slices. But it was a good learning. Now whenever i put veggies in omellete, i double check the proportion.

My first ever microwave cooked omellete will always be memorable.

What’s your kitchen story?

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Are you Travel ready?

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Hi to all who came across this blogpost and wondering what do i mean by Are you Travel ready? Everyone is travel ready then why this question? Well through this blogpost, I wanted to tell people what all things one should carry while travelling. If you are a travel enthusiast and have travelled alot, you can contribute to my post by adding things which I may have missed. If you are travelling for the first time and a little confused about the things you should carry then this post is for you.

Its always good to have a checklist before you start packing. Few things which I always carry are:

  1. Toiletries:
    • Toothbrush, tongue cleaner and toothpaste (smallest available pack)
    • Facewash (smallest available pack)
    • Showergel (smallest available pack)
    • Shampoo (smallest available pack)
    • Face towel
  2. Sanitary napkins (a must for female travellers)
  3. Make up and make up remover
  4. Thread and needle (i always have this in my bag)
  5. Scissor
  6. Eateries :
    • A bowl, spoon, fork, a coffee mugReady to eat packets (mostly cup noodles, cornflakes)Biscuits and some snacks
  7. Undergarments (quite obvious)
  8. Use and throw panties — incase the hotel does not have laundry (which is not possible now a days) or the laundry is too expensive
  9. Essential clothings
  10. Power bank
  11. Camera and its accessories (plus extra batteries and memory cards)
  12. Laptop (the most important)

A must visit place

Have you ever visited a place which you saw online (Instagram in my case) and saved it in your places-to-visit list? Well, recently I had a chance to visit one such place. A few months back, while scrolling through the posts on Instagram, I came across a pic of a library. The library looked huge and, the moment I saw it, I wanted to visit it. But that time I didn’t know where this library was. I started looking for more details about the pic. By that time I was sure I’ll never get a chance to visit this place which is in Seoul, South Korea. And eventually the pic which was moved to my places-to-visit list. With time I even forgot about this place. Recently, I got a chance to visit our parent company in Suwon, South Korea. Even then it didn’t click me that I could visit this library. During my visit, I went to meet a friend of mine who is doing PhD from Seoul National University. This friend asked me what would I like to see in Seoul. I described him about this library. He said he knows one such library but he was not sure if what I was describing and what he understood were the same. Anyway, we went to the place which I described him and he thought he understood. It was the Starfield library, Seoul. I was so mesmerized by the library I couldn’t take my eyes off from the design and architecture. I was looking at the library from top to bottom, left to right without blinking. It was books all around. At that moment, I just wanted to be there and wanted to see and touch each and every book. If you are a book lover and if by chance you are in Seoul do visit this library. If you have already been to this place then do drop comments about your experience.

Also, I realised Dreams do come true.

Kodaikanal

I had a chance to visit this beautiful place in Tamilnadu with my girlfriends. We were a group of five girls from Bangalore. Before going to Kodaikanal we planned our trip, as in how much budget do we have, where would we want to stay, how would we like to travel, etc. Since all five of us were busy in office we decided to split the planning so that everyone has an equal amount of job to be done and no one is overloaded with the planning.

Since I have been travelling a lot, I decided to travel cheap this time so that I can save some money for my upcoming trips. I have always travelled in an AC bus, never tried non-AC bus for such a long distance. This time we decided to travel in a non-AC bus for a different kind of experience. We booked a non-AC bus with KPN travels from redbus.in. My experience with KPN travels was not great so I would not suggest it to anyone. They had charging point but it was not working. They don’t provide blanket even for a long-distance journey. No water bottles as well.

On the way to Kodaikanal
On the way to Kodaikanal

We wanted to stay in a cottage in the mid of the hill station to get a feel of the place. After doing a lot of search online, we decided for Pink House. It is in Vattakanal, seven kms from Kodaikanal. We reached Pink House in the morning and I was so mesmerised with the view that I felt my two days’ stay would not be enough to absorb the beauty. It felt as if we were staying amidst the clouds. But one has to climb a few steps (actually a lot) to reach this cottage. There are other cottages also on the way to Pink House. It is located exactly opposite to Altaf’s Cafe. Dolphin’s Nose is quite close to the cottage. The cottages here provide breakfast and dinner on request. In case you want to enjoy bonfire, they will provide you woods for which they charge as well.

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Pink House (view from the entrance), Vattakanal

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Pink House, Vattakanal

The owner / care taker had a dog. The dog’s name is Luci and she had a cute baby too :-). Both the pets were very friendly. It was fun playing with them.

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Luci

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Luci’s baby

After getting fresh, we had our breakfast (which was prepared by the owner / care taker of the cottage), we headed towards Pine Tree forest. Our cab driver was also our tour guide.  After Pine Tree forest, we headed towards Pillar’s Rock. It was disappointing. When we went there the place was covered with fog and we were unable to see the Pillar’s Rock. They have entry fee also and we felt our money was wasted as we could not see anything. Maybe it was a bad day for us to visit the place. There is a small market outside Pillar’s Rock. One can explore the market. The shops had many handmade toys, chocolates, essential oils, coffee and tea powder and other decorative items. I bought homemade chocolates from there and it was yummy 🙂

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Pine Tree Forest

After exploring the market near Pillar’s rock, we went to Sheep farm. Well, even that was a disappointment. The place was stinking and i could only see rabbits in the cage. Sheeps were having fodders at a distant place where we were not allowed to go. From that farm, we could see one lake and my friends wanted to go there.

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View from Sheep’s farm

So from the farm we went to Mannavur lake (it’s exactly opposite to Sheep’s Farm). At first I was a little skeptical to go because I was tired and I could not see the lake at all. One has to walk a kilometer or two to reach the lake, the weather was sunny and above all we were hungry. My friends somehow convinced me to walk down to the lake.

After a good walk, we reached the lake. The location was beautiful, I forgot I was tired and hungry. I sat calmly on a bench and was absorbing the beauty of the place. It was serene, I just wanted to be there. I could see people boating, some people sitting quiet and enjoying the nature, some like my friends, who were busy taking selfies and photos. After a while I also joined them in taking photos and getting clicked.

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Boating in Mannavur Lake

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Mannavur Lake View

After spending an hour at Mannavur lake, we decided to take a break and grab some food. There was a small tea stall near Mannavur lake entrance but we wanted to have lunch so we didn’t stop there. Our cab driver took us to a small restaurant. By the time we reached there, the lunch was almost over. We had biryani (biryani is always a savior). All of us were tired and it was getting dark so we decided to go back to our cottage. The cab driver dropped us near Altaf’s Cafe and left for the day.

After taking rest for a while we decided to visit Altaf’s Cafe. This cafe is famous in Vattakanal. The cafe was full and we couldn’t find a seat for ourselves.

We went to a nearby cafe and had some snacks and coffee. The distant city lights from the cafe was looking like a sky full of stars. We asked the care taker / owner of the cottage to prepare dinner for us and asked them for woods for bonfire. We had dinner by the bonfire and after that we called it a day.

Next day we woke up with a beautiful sunrise. Trust me I have never seen such a beautiful sunrise in my life so far. We got ready for Dolphin’s Nose. I would suggest you to visit this place early in the morning when the sun is not that bright. Also, wear a pair of shoes as you would have to walk for some 20-30mins.

The view from Dolphin’s nose was beautiful, it was covered with trees full of greenery. There is a deep valley on the edge of the Dolphin’s Nose. It’s dangerous to go near the edge of the rock. Please avoid going near the edge if you are afraid of heights.

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That’s me trying to go near the edge of the rock while posing @Dolphin’s nose

On the way back to Dolphin’s Nose, there was one more view point – Mountain View. There were small stalls for breakfast, tea and coffee. We had lime juice there to buck up our energy.

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Mountain View

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Mountain View

Now was the time for Vattakanal waterfall. I had read tourist reviews about it and, therefore, kept it for the last place to be visited.

It was cold and knowing the water would also be chilled I was reluctant to go inside the water. But my friends dragged me in. The water was crystal clear and we went inside water till the rocks. The rocks are very slippery, I had a bad fall there. Fortunately, my friends held me back from falling in the water. Of all the waterfalls, we saw in Kodaikanal, Vattakanal waterfall was the best and it had more water than any other waterfalls. There is one more famous waterfall, known as “Liril waterfall”. Apparently, the liril ad was shot there but now this waterfall has very less water.

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Clear water of Vattakanal waterfall

After visiting some more waterfalls, we went to Coaker’s walk. As the name says, this place is more for a walk. This place would be ideal for morning walk or evening walk. They have an entry fee, and they charge for camera separately. Since we were running out of time as we had to catch our bus back to Bangalore, we took a quick walk. Nice scenic view could be seen. They have a small telescope room as well, in case one wants to have a telescopic view (it is NOT free). With coaker’s walk, we ended our trip to Kodaikanal.

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View from Coaker’s walk

Tips:

  1. Carry warm clothes even if you are travelling in summer season (we travelled in the month of May-June and the weather was cold)
  2. Do hotel/cottage and cab booking in advance in order to avoid last-minute rush and price hike.
  3. Make a list of places you would like to visit by doing some search on booking websites (the cab driver may say this place is not good or that place is good according to his convenience).
  4. Don’t forget to carry your camera if you want to capture the beauty of the place.
  5. Carry notebook and pen, in case you want to make a note of the places you visited. We have notepad in the mobile also in case one wants to use that. I would prefer notebook and pen though 🙂
  6. If you are travelling in a group, it’s better to maintain an expense report. Try Splitwise app to split the expenses.

Note: This was my experience. I would love to hear from you all about your experience. Do comment below your experience or leave a link of your story in the comment. 🙂