Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Blr-Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip, 100717 and part of 110717

July 20, 2017

Adnan and Sarrah, who are two of the most impressive young people, with unbounded talent only matched by their humility about those talent, invited me along on their trip to the places mentioned above, and I jumped at the offer…such great places to visit, and such great company to do the trip with!

I am choosing only a few photos from my Flickr albums of the trip, which are

1. Blr-Pollachi

here

2. Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip

here

3. Top Slip-Parambikulam-Top Slip (public bus route)

here

4. Top Slip-Valparai

here

5. Valparai, and my train journey back (that’s only the last 5 photos)

here

We started off from Bangalore rather late in the day, as they had to re-do their tickets to return to the US (18th August is their departure date). But though we did not take the “scenic” route, and travelled through Krishnagiri, veering away before Dharmapuri, on the Pollachi road, there was enough to keep us interested and excited all the way.

I told Sarrah I’d get her chai at one of the “copper boiler chai shops” on the way, and we stopped at Tiruppur, where Lily runs her chai shop. These copper boilers are slowly being replaced by more efficient,but less quaint, stainless steel ones.

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Lily’s mother lives with her, and she has two daughters. One is married and living in Coimbatore; the younger one works as a teacher in the school near the airport, just a few kilometres away.

Against the monsoon sky, these village guardian deities, called

Aiyanar

sit in conference…alas, the car hit a particularly bad pothole as I clicked!

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Saradha sat outside her biscuits/snacks stall, looking over her little daughter’s homework.

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We reached our hotel in Pollachi (Ratna Square, the building in the centre…the one on the left is a movie theatre called “Shanthi”, and don’t miss the amazing architecture of the bakery on the right!)

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The next morning, we had a superb brefus at Amutha Surabhi, just a few doors away,

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We stopped for a while at Aliyar on the outskirts,

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looked at the temples,

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the scenery,

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the fishes,

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the butterflies and flowers,

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the insects,

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Mating Damselflies

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and the people eking out their livelihoods

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at some cost to the environment

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We had to wait around until 9.30 am, when the Tamil Nadu Forest Dept office at Pollachi opened.

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We wanted to book accommodation at Top Slip, but could not book accommodation online, and had to wait to talk to the young lady in charge at the Forest Dept office. She did give us a lot of information, but did not even give us an acknowledgement slip; all she did was talk to the Forest Guest House in Top Slip. I do wish the booking could be streamlined…we found the morning enjoyable, but would have preferred spending it in the

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

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I’ll write about the trip through the Reserve and into Top Slip tomorrow…but will tease you with the largest butterfly in south India, which we sighted (amongst many other Interesting Things) on our drive!

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Jenga, and earthquakes…..

April 30, 2015

KTB is now the right age to enjoy simple card, board and concept games. For her birthday, this year, she was given the game of

Jenga

and cottoned on to it fairly well..but her Nanna managed to build quite an edifice!

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Pic: Anjana Mohan

I guess it takes an architect to work out how to keep the structure standing while removing something from its base…I know it’s beyond me.

I thought of how Jenga has played out, in such a deadly way, in Nepal….

Economic development and its dependencies: different lifestyles

December 15, 2014

Visiting any large city,and observing the different worlds that co-exist, is always a thought-provoking experience. Gurgaon is no different.

Here’s the view of one of the thousands of high-rise apartments that have come up in this was-a-sleepy-village:

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To me, however, what gives character to this photograph is not the high-rise..but that cluster of buildings nestling below it, with the spire of a temple as well.

In those homes live the people who make life convenient for the occupants of the high-rises; the faceless people who provide so many services: maids, ironing-wallahs, drivers, security guards, gardeners, the innumerable tasks that the relatively cheap labour in India takes on.T The prosperous middle-class would collapse without these services that take away some of the strife of daily living in this country, rendered by people who do not have other people to take away their own strife.

Motorized fossil-fuel transport, of course, is the backbone of this kind of residential area, but right next to the motorized transport in this photo, is a greener option: the cycle rickshaw, which does not depend on electricity or fossil fuel. I was happy to see many plying everywhere.

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Here’s someone delivering large PVC pipes somewhere by cycle rickshaw, this one modified for cargo:

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In fact, I was tickled to see some motorized transportation being consigned to a dusty oblivion:

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Here’s someone who fills mattresses with cotton (or is it some artificial filler, I wonder) and then sells them:

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Some provide services by carting away the deteritus of a consumer lifestyle:

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Some get excellent exercise while commuting:

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Here’s a “chik” (bamboo-slat blind) maker, whose blinds will add to the ambience of so many “ethnically” decorated apartments:

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Other people provide services for those who provide services. Everywhere, mobile carts catered to the needs of those less financially well-endowed than their high-rise brethren:

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Here are the people who tend to the the little greenery that surrounds each high-rise:

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Here, a mobile cycle-rickshaw, so ingeniously fitted with a pressure pump,that allows car, van and truck tyres to be inflated:

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This is Indian

jugaad

at its best…no more waiting at petrol pumps to inflate one’s tyres!

The urban scenario is not a pretty one for the lower economic strata:

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Pollution and litter seem to be part of their lot, and yet they manage to exist…and thrive, and have a blue-eyed vision of their future:

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Here’s a night view, with the building (in the first photograph) to the left:

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Fascinating to see how, in the same space, so many different lifestyles go on!

The heights a job can take people to…..Gurgaon, 111214

December 11, 2014

I went for a walk today, and was awed by the size of the highrise buildings all around me in Gurgaon, Haryana…now a suburb of Delhi, the capital.

As I climbed back to my sister-in-law’s 19th floor flat (boast, boast…I can do 19 floors after an hour’s walk!), it suddenly occurred to me, as I crossed the 7th floor, that I could take a pic of the view from each floor and make it into a movie. So here’the 7th to the 19th floors:

I saw a few garbage collectors doing their jobs on each floor; I didn’t photograph them out of sensitivity…I don’t think they would have liked it.

While on my walk, I saw this incredibly tall fire-fighting crane:

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It belonged to the DLF Firefighting Service (apparently each Phase of this residential complex has one, this is Phase Five)

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I imagined a firefighter, high up on that small platform on top, going to the rescue of residents in apartment buildings, quite high up.

Then, I found something that I didn’t have to imagine. A speck on the building opposite me caught my eye.

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Can you see the window-cleaner?

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I zoomed in:

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Dangling by that rope (though it seemed a safe piece of equipment, it certainly gave me vertigo), he was busy with his work:

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I walked home, musing that those in “high places” in the pursuit of their jobs or careers need not always be the object of our envy. I salute people like this, who take up “high-level” jobs where they live with danger every working day, and take it in their stride.

Linkoping Cathedral, 200614

June 26, 2014

After looking at the Midsummer’s Eve celebration, I realized that the

Linkoping Cathedral

was not very far away, and we walked till the beautiful green-blue spires were near:

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It was breathtaking to watch the main spire looming up into the sky:

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The stained glass windows looked majestic from outside:

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Through them, I could also see the effect of the stained glass as it would be if I entered the cathedral:

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Here are two of the stained glass windows from the outside:

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The side view of the Cathedral:

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Some of the tall windows have been damaged,but the damage has been left wisely alone for the most part.

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In just a few places, some refurbishment has been done:

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A detail of the weather vane:

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detail of the trellis work:

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The awesome main spire:

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The Diocese nearby:

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How ironic that the school (Gymnastik) nearby incorporates the word “nastik”, which means “atheist” in Sanskrit!

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Each entrance was imposing:

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This was the main entrance:

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The doors are, predictably, solid:

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So are the locks (yes, the Cathedral was locked)

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The walls are imposing against the sky:

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The Museum was closed, too, when we reached:

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Right next to the Cathedral is the Linkoping Palace:

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The Linkoping flag has a tiger on it, which was very appropriate to someone from India!

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Was this some kind of sundial? I couldn’t make out, and there is no mention in the Wiki:

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Here’s PC, clicking it, too:

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The road with the old coach houses:

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The Cathedral as it reaches up to touch the summer sky:

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It’s very frustrating not to be able to get enough (in English) about this beautiful building and its environs…translating everything from the Swedish is a frustrating job!

A walk in Linkoping, 170614

June 24, 2014

We started with the Linkoping Station.

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Where the trains went to and fro busily:

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where the amount of lumber being transported on one train was awe-inspiring:

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PC ( Prashanth Chengi) was getting ready to click, too!

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This sculpture looked as if Casper the Friendly Ghost and his friends were having a picnic there:

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Here;s PC with the station in the background:

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I clicked this

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW:

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and this

EURASIAN BLACKBIRD:

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But that was when the (European, not Eurasian!) buildings caught my eye:

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this is not a black-and-white photo!

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The same place, later in the dusk:

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Some smaller touches were lovely, too:

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What does this design mean?

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I don’t know the story behind this statue:

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I wish telephone manhole covers were always this interesting!

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Sometimes, the best fashion is no fashion at all:

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Magnet Madrass? 😀

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this funeral parlor was right next to the Income Tax office!

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I agree, bingo can be rotten, especially when you have ONE number left and everyone gets all the prizes before you:

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Cobblestones are quaint, but they ruined the wheels on one of my suitcases!

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Dusk falls only by about 10.30 pm:

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Prashanth treated me to dinner at “Yogi”:

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He had prawn Biryani, but the thought of the bill was apparently enough to prevent him from smiling:

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But he smiled when I reminded him that we were celebrating his successful completion of both Halv-vattern (150 km) and the full Vatternrundan (300 km) on successive weekends!

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We walked past this lovely seat on our way home:

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Bus ride from Goteborg to Linkoping, 150614

June 19, 2014

It was to be a 4-hour bus ride to get to Linkoping (by the way, the latter is pronounced lin-show-ping and the “shoping” is similar to the modern English “shopping”…there were markets which then grew into these towns/cities .)

I started with a prismatic tram-shelter seat as we waited to get to the Central Station:

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As we took the tram through Goteborg, to the central bus/train station, I saw some buildings.

I looked at what I felt must be an ancient water tower, and Google tells me that it is, indeed:

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An ancient church, probably..the solidity of those buildings!

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We approached the Central Station:

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It was a picture-postcard!

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Nearby was an hotel:

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As my bus left Goteborg, I didn’t know what this more modern tower was:

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Signs helped me know where we were headed:

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A town that we passed:

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Lovely to see the modern bus shelter and the ancient copper-covered cupola!

I realized that the Bus Gods must be appeased:

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This was in Jonkoping:

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Contrary to everything I’d heard, cars began to pile up (I counted more than forty in line!) at this traffic signal:

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We were travelling along the large Lake Vattern.

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Another beautiful spire:

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Our drivers were Mike, and Pia, reflected here:

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I saw windmills but didn’t tilt at them:

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Beautiful meadows sped past:

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We arrived in Linkoping:

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Ikea! I’ve always wanted to visit this place IN Sweden (I’ve visited in several other countries and cities).

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I was hoping to see the Gota Canal, but I only saw the sign.

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Fleecy clouds, pretty houses and green trees welcomed me:

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A very witty sculpture of a hoop, with a dog looking askance at it, was at one roundabout (if you look carefully, you can see the small dog.)

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The hoop itself was a marvel of balance!

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I passed “Biltema”, which my cyclist friend Prashanth Chengi, whom I met on LiveJournal, tells me is a cycle store:

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Prashanth just finished the cycling marathon of Sweden…the Vatternrundan, a 300-km ride around Lake Vattern!

A quick view of the Linkoping Cathedral:

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I hope to find out what this cigarette-lighter building is:

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Was this a planetarium or telescope? I couldn’t tell.

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I didn’t like these smokestacks quite so much!

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But at Linkoping Station and Bus Stand, my journey came to an end!

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June 18, 2014

It was Sunday, and I was leaving for Linkoping in the afternoon….so we decided (after clearing up a lot of ticketing mess) to go for a nice ramble, with a picnic lunch.

We started by watching this young

WHITE WAGTAIL:

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Next, we watched a flock of

TITS (Blue or Great? the debate rages between Sumana and me)

foraging:

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and sitting on the trees…

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A

BLACKBIRD

showed itself in the leaf-litter:

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A

FIELDFARE

turned over the leaf-litter in typical Thrush fashion.

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I spotted Cupid, out in the spring sunshine:

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I realized that I was not the only one watching the birds:

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He then stepped out of hiding, that black beauty:

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Even “pests” look beautiful sometimes!

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I love the way tourists and cyclists are given importance:

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I did feel welcome!

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We chose a spot near a magnificient pile:

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Family photography began happening:

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Lunch was not fast enough for some people:

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A healthy, yummy dessert!

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Having seen Cupid, it was appropriate that I look up into the sky, and saw this sunbow and the arrow of a jet contrail:

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Quite aptly, too, there were star-crossed clouds!

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Advik, whom I have christened Laddu Kumar, was looking particularly sweet.

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We came back home, I finished my packing, and Deepak *lugged* my luggage all the way to the bus stop…but that’s the next post!

June 17, 2014

The past few days, I’ve been enjoying windows, and doors, and buildings…along with friends, and their friends!

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We met Shashi, Ishaan and Sahana Kattla:

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Sahana is a beautiful baby:

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Ishaan was enjoying himself with his umbrella!

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Other children were enjoying summer, too.

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An old house:

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A peaceful place to sit and read:

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Old buildings:

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Goteborg University:

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An unusual window near the University building door:

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Even buildings under renovation appeared pretty:

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No, I was not angered, but the tram was!

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Windows:

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We knew which country we were in:

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We walked down to a small lake:

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You could park your skin here!

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Enjoying Sweden’s buildings very much!

Another walk in Goteborg, 130614

June 16, 2014

Advik put on the new anklets I bought for him, and looked more of a laddu than ever:

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Meanwhile, Sumana’s masala rice was excellent:

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The colours of summer beckoned us outdoors.

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Creatures such as this

DAMSELFLY

rewarded our outing!

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Wildflowers grew in their hundreds, adding beauty to the meadows.

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This looked like Queen Anne’s Lace,but was perhaps something else:

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Buttercups shone golden in the sun:

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Daisies daily:

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Honeysuckle spread its heady scent:

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Waterlilies bloomed in the pond:

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Ferns were lovely, too:

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A duck sat rock-still:

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Rain was not very far away, but held off:

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Mallard female:

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Mallard male:

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A baby

WHITE WAGTAIL

strutted about:

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while the mother brought food:

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GULLS

posed:

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JACKDAWS

with their white eyes were everywhere!

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A FINCH

female peeked at me:

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Then she watched a

BLACKBIRD

bathing:

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EURASIAN TREE SPARROWS

were everywhere:

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WOOD PIGEONS

walked along:

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EURASIAN MAGPIES

are the crows of this area:

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I saw my first

FIELDFARES:

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These are thrushes and behave exactly as our thrushes do back home, turning over the leaf-litter and foraging.

A

HOODED CROW

was a hidden crow, in the foliage:

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Babies were everywhere…these nymphs will grow up soon enough!

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Some acquatic flower that I don’t know the name of:

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The greenery was lush and inviting:

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A flowing stream:

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and a fish in it:

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The water in the stream made for an abstract picture:

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Look at the common birds that I’ve seen in Sweden

here

The FB album of the short walk

here