• Beira Lake
    Blog,  Resources,  Sri Lanka,  Visas

    Sri Lanka’s tourist ETA is a breeze

    On the one hand, there are quite a few countries that require lots of documentation to apply for a tourist visa. Bank statements, self-declaration, proof of funds, travel insurance… Then the endless wait, trying to differentiate between calendar days and working days. And then there is the Sri Lankan ETA. View of a Sri Lankan airline It is, by far, the easiest and fastest visa application process I’ve gone through. It doesn’t require you to upload a scan of your passport or photograph, or any other documents. All it requires is five minutes of your time, plus or minus a few minutes here and there, in case the kettle has…

  • The Little Princess
    Blog,  Europe,  Hungary,  Travelogue

    The princess and the tram

    Budapest has plenty of things that make it a delightful city to visit. One of them must be an innocuous statuette sitting casually on a railing along the Danube promenade, right in front of the track on which the famed Tram # 2 runs – the Little Princess. The palace in Buda As seems the norm these past few years, I found her quite by chance. Walking along the promenade between Elizabeth Bridge and Chain Bridge on the Pest side, I initially spotted Tram # 2, ranked as among the top 10 tram rides anywhere in the world. While I didn’t do the journey, hopping on the tram gives you…

  • View of Latin Bridge in Sarajevo
    Blog,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Europe,  Travelogue

    Luck by chance

    They say that history flows like a river. If that be the case, then nothing sums up the tumultuous history of a region, and the world, like Miljacka river that flows beneath the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo does. A tram chugs along Obala Kulina Bana For a river its size, there are several bridges across the Miljacka river. Unless you know exactly which bridge you are looking for, it can take a bit of time. Which is what happened when I went looking for the Latin Bridge. Without any thought or plan, I set out looking for the bridge, and instead chanced upon another discover – the Festine Lente, which…

  • View of the bridge with the academy in the background
    Blog,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Europe,  Travelogue

    Make haste slowly

    It measures 38m long, has an unusual loop that runs right in the middle and best of all, is designed by three students. Go take a walk on the Festine Lente in Sarajevo. View of Festine Lente bridge I was looking for the Latin Bridge. The same bridge that brought Sarajevo into the limelight and had the whole world at war with itself in 1914. Not like it is hard to find. On a good day, expect to see curious tourists milling around the bridge and the building wall close by. Surprisingly, it was this other pedestrian bridge that caught my fancy. The Festine Lente, or looping bridge. It translates…

  • Blog,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Europe,  Travelogue

    Make haste slowly

    It measures 38m long, has an unusual loop that runs right in the middle and best of all, is designed by three students. Go take a walk on the Festine Lente in Sarajevo. View of Festine Lente bridge I was looking for the Latin Bridge. The same bridge that brought Sarajevo into the limelight and had the whole world at war with itself in 1914. Not like it is hard to find. On a good day, expect to see curious tourists milling around the bridge and the building wall close by. Surprisingly, it was this other pedestrian bridge that caught my fancy. The Festine Lente, or looping bridge. It translates…

  • Plaza dancing outside a shopping mall in Shanghai
    Asia,  Blog,  China,  Travelogue

    Plaza dancing

    A walk through the streets of Shanghai can throw up a lot of surprises, especially in the suburbs, away from the main tourist areas. Like an open-air dance session in full flow in a public sidewalk. Shoppers on the streets of Shanghai I frankly didn’t know they have a term for it – Guang Chang Wu. It’s also called plaza dancing or public square dancing and has been very popular among the middle-aged throughout China since the 1990s. Public square dancing The routine is simple. The neighbourhood gather around at a park or, in this case, a large public sidewalk, and dance through well-choreographed routines as music plays in the…

  • The Sea-to-Sky corridor
    America,  Blog,  Canada,  Travelogue

    From the sea to the sky

    Often, the journey is a lot more interesting, and beautiful, than the destination itself. One such journey is the legendary Sea-to-Sky corridor. Views of Howe Sound on the Sea-to-Sky corridor Chances are, if you are driving from Vancouver to Whistler, then you will find yourself cruising on the Sea-to-Sky corridor, or British Columbia Highway 99 (BC 99). While the two points are roughly about 120km apart, it has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery I’ve seen so far. So, a drive that would ordinarily take an hour and a half at the most, takes that much longer. With landscape as beautiful as this, it is hard not to make a…

  • Milda
    Blog,  Europe,  Latvia,  Travelogue

    For Fatherland and Freedom

    It’s been a landmark in Riga for close to a century. She’s a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and independence. And she’s affectionately known as Milda. View of the Freedom Monument as you walk from the Old Town While the Old Town is what many tourists come to explore and experience, a short walk outside and you can see a bit of Latvian history, literally towering over you. And if you time it well, watch a change of guard done with such precision, it’s an attraction all by itself. Guard of Honour The Freedom Monument It towers over the city, sitting between Old Town and Central Riga. It was built in…

  • The Three Graces
    Blog,  Europe,  Travelogue,  UK

    The Three Graces

    When in London City next, make sure to catch two installations around Piccadilly. While one is obvious, the other one is something you will need to crane your neck up to and is a lot more interesting – The Three Graces. Statue of Eros outside Piccadilly Circus station On every visit to the city, having passed through Piccadilly Circus so often, I have barely ever noticed my surroundings, absorbed as I am with the throngs of people that come here and other worldly distractions. Until one summer day, on my last visit. Taking a break from all the window shopping, I stepped out of one of many stores and decided…

  • The Haas Haus
    Austria,  Blog,  Europe,  Travelogue

    The Haas Haus

    How do you seamlessly unite the past with the present? Or the historical with the modern? And still not rub purists the wrong way. For that, you don’t need to look further than Haas Haas in Vienna. The mirror facade on Haas Haus I’m sure that would have crossed Hans Hollien’s mind, when he went about designing this masterpiece in 1987. Walking through the historical part of Stephansplatz, you can’t help but notice Haas Haus building, or Haas House. It’s in stark contrast to the other buildings in its surroundings, including Vienna’s oldest architectural masterpieces – St Stephen’s cathedral, which is bang opposite this building. St Stephen’s cathedral Its history…