Sunday, September 27, 2015

Shenandoah Caverns Virginia, USA

Shenandoah Caverns 
Shenandoah caverns are located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, USA. It was opened to public in 1922. The best part was the accessibility to the caverns. What would have been a long and perhaps not to easy to trek route, was made easy by an elevator. Yes, there was an elevator ferrying people to the entrance of the caverns and back!

The elevator took us down 60 feet and there we were at the entrance of the caverns....our tour lasted an hour, and it was simply amazing! I did not know how the 1 hour passed. The different kinds of natural formations were absolutely amazing!

Every time we entered a cave there was something different, it transferred us back to a completely different world! I have never seen anything like this before. I enjoyed every bit of the tour.

Formation in the caves 

Extensive deposits on the walls

Beautiful cascade!
Capital Dome formation

Diamond cascades

Rainbow Lake

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The beautiful Amish country, Lancaster, PA

Amish country, Lancaster PA
The Amish country near Philadelphia is beautiful. It is worth a trip. I had no idea about the Amish way of life before visiting this beautiful Amish village. When you see this village, you get the feeling that time has not moved and that it is still the 18th century.

The Amish are simple people, they believe in plain living and simple thinking. The community does not believe in using modern conveniences such as electricity, running water, motor vehicles, telephones,... because they believe in community harmony and not in promoting individualism. They wear plain clothes and do not own cars; instead they travel in horse driven buggies. They do not have social security, insurances.... If anybody requires financial help, the community comes together to help out the person. The children get a formal education till grade VIII and after that they start working, mostly in the farmlands. Their basic means of livelihood is farming.

Children between the ages 16-25 are allowed to explore the outside world, so that they can decide whether they wish to choose the outside world or live within the community; most of them come back to the community. It must be difficult to adjust to a modern fast paced world after living a life that is so secluded from the rest of the world.

The countryside is beautiful. And so is the Amish food!

A shopping place near Amish village
for tourists

Amish buggy

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Berger Express Painting IndiBlogger Kolkata Meet

I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation from Indiblogger to attend the Indiblogger meet at Kolkata!

I have seen updates on meets in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi but not Kolkata, I assumed the number of people from Kolkata was less and so a meet was not really a viable option.Since this was my first meet I did not know what to expect from it.

I was a bit late for the meet, and was feeling guilty but a warm greeting at the registration table...made me feel immediately at ease and welcome! I headed straight into the hall (after helping myself to a cup of coffee). The introductions were going on...and within no time I came to know of so many bloggers in the city of Kolkata...young budding authors, bloggers who are working for greater causes. Before setting off for the meet I was apprehensive and had decided to be there for 30 min to an hour at the most, but within 5 min of being there, I realized I wanted to stay on:)

There was so much positive energy, discussions going on around me, and Indiblogger did such a good job of anchoring the whole event that I never felt odd walking into a meet where I did not know anyone personally..I only know of a few and that too in the virtual  world...

The group events organized by Berger were a lot of fun, it was just perfect  for the meet. We formed teams and got immersed in the tasks that were allocated to us. Conversations started flowing easily; it was great to bond with people in the team, and outside of the team as well.

I was quite impressed with some of the technology and tools that Berger is using. I was not aware about these new technologies until I saw the video on the new home painting techniques yesterday in the meet. It was good chatting with Berger representatives and getting to know more about paints and the evolution of painting homes from the old schools methods to the newer hassle free, stress-free homes painting techniques. It will be nice to learn more about it, and the literature that they provided us will certainly help! The travel mug that came along with the literature was such a pleasant surprise! I am going to carry it the next time I travel!

My favourite part of the meet was the last event where each team was asked to think of a cause that they agreed on, and depict that in terms of a painting. It was an amazing exercise! Wonderful ideas
and paintings came out of that! And there were prizes to be won!

I did not win any but I took back wonderful memories of the event, and made some good friends... I feel like a winner anyway!

I am sharing the paintings that the bloggers created yesterday evening; Each one of these paintings are unique, beautiful, and a winner in their own right.

Thank you Indiblogger, you guys were great hosts! And Berger for an evening well spent. I went to the meet with some amount of apprehension, and not too much of expectation, and came back feeling high, and wanting more of these events in Kolkata!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Philadelphia; Historic & Beautiful

Philadelphia has been one of the many places that I have always wanted to visit.There are so many things about Philadelphia... the rich history, the Liberty bell, popular films such as Rocky, Philadelphia...and so much more.

And when I finally did manage to see it, it was so great. I just loved every moment of my trip! .

The historic buildings such as the Independence hall (declaration of independence was signed here), Congress hall, The Liberty bell, Betsy Ross's house, coupled with modern buildings, a walk through Elfreth’s alley which happens to be the oldest residential street in America (dating back to 1702), love park, and not to forget the rocky steps... made for such a memorable trip. Met some very nice people in this trip.There is sheer joy in travelling to a new place, meeting people, and learning so much more about a country!

Here are some pictures from my trip.

Independence Hall

Congress Hall

Near Constitution square and Congress Hall

Liberty Bell

Elfreth’s alley 
Elfreth’s alley 

Elfreth’s alley -Beautiful old houses

Museum of Art
Famous Rocky steps leading to the Art Museum

Benjamin Franklin Parkway-Philadelphia

Betsy Ross's house

Love Park