Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

The 20th of June was the 12th Annual Stonehenge Summer Solstice gathering on the Plains of Salisbury.  When planning my UK adventures from India, I had assigned myself a photographic project to attend and document the Druids’ ceremonies amongst the stone monuments.  Little did I know that I would be joined by some 18,000 other Solstice worshippers.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Here I am, back with another promised update.  This is our new discipline, to alternate work days to catch up on editing and blog updates.  While I work, Matt is out exploring Pokhara and obtaining our trekking permits for the Annapura Trail!  We hope to start that very long walk on 25 September.  I am feeling a little apprehensive about 21 – 29 days walking at great altitude in the world’s biggest mountains! “Its just a wee stroll,” Matt says to comfort me.  I say, “let’s hire a porter and make it a wee stroll!”  Details to follow on that adventure later.

Now, Hong Kong.  What a fabulous city!  My big city experience is a Canadian one – Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.  Vancouver would be the more exotic one, what with its tall, shiny buildings nestled into the Rocky Mountains.  None of these prepared me for Hong Kong.  In a word, it is all BLING!  Buildings, harbour, decadence, the shopping paradise for millionaires!  Diamonds, rubies, opals and Rolexs in every window.  The really BIG fashion name brand stores all had guards at their doors and line ups to get in!  Imagine!  As much as I was mesmerized by all the bling, Matt was equally gaga for the technology.  Full malls dedicated to just technology.  We visited it all, more than once and stocked up on new gadgets.

Bling!  Something for Every Occassion! (more…)

Read Full Post »

Natural Beauties – Aphrodite Rises from the Sea

We are in paradise where beach living is what millions of travelers have come to Bali for.  A complete change from the ultra dress/body conservative norms of India.  There you will recall my challenges of fitting into a society where women were expected to be wrapped up in six yards of beautiful sari drapery and a full petticoat beneath.  There I conformed and draped myself in long, multiple layers against all sensibilities of fighting 45 degree temperatures. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Ahh India. A subcontinent known for its overwhelming sensory invasions. I can tell you this is true! Landing in Mumbai for me was a total chakra shake up! My nervous core went into overdrive from the incredible pulse of the city’s energy. From the constant sounds of the city, traffic horns beeping from every vehicle as an expected communication system, from the waves of heat, mingled with smells of food, garbage, garden debris and road side garbage burnings and constant wafts of curries drifting from roadside vendor wallahs, all attacking my sensorial factors throwing me into a spin!

Overcoming my fears was gradually done by hanging onto Matt, mentally as we are not supposed to show public affection. He took this very seriously and refused to hold my hand! Meeting the people of Mumbai also helped. To find their very friendly eyes in crowds, mostly willing to give a smile, say hello and ask about our country was clear evidence of the beautiful kindness we have found everywhere. Getting free rolls of toilet paper from our hotel. Asking the Goddess Shiva, who was posted on the wall of our train seating compartment, to bring us safely through our journeys, Next thing you know, a kind Indian woman pops in to find out who we were and ended up inviting us to stay at her home in Mumbai, and gave her mobile phone number in case we ever needed anything! All along the way, people have stopped us and offered help, leading us to our lovely little home stay yards from a Hindu temple that was celebrating its annual Elephant Festival. Shiva is watching out for us.

Now, 8 days into our journey, my body is still coursing through a complete body "cleansing" but I know I am OK and that everything is going to be just fine. The Muslim Temple also up the road, calls out prayer songs at 05:30 am daily, now my wake up call, and by the 0700 Hindu Temple’s bell ringing, I am awake and sitting up Lotus style, getting back into my morning meditation rituals while Matt sleeps on. I am definitely getting into the Indian Groove!

Read Full Post »