Places….there are places that leave an impression in your heart. Places that somehow touched you or changed something in you or your thought process. Places that gifted you great beauty. Places that played a role in meeting someone. All these wonderful destinations! I feel lucky that all these years I was able to travel and see many places on Mother Earth. These travels let me know Her and myself better.
Some time back, I was sitting at a jazz concert in a beautiful grand hall of Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg. I love jazz music, and went to a concert after a long time. Apart from listening to the lovely music I was admiring the hall and its decor. The architectural style seemed to be a Baroque one with elements of Rococo. The four huge crystal chandeliers looked just like one sees in the Hermitage museum (St.Petersburg, Russia) and other palaces. The main staircase also reminded the ones I see in numerous palaces, only sans the golden and elaborated decor present there.
So, here I was sitting and having a double treat – music plus architecture, a treat to eyes, ears and the heart. And then it struck me that why I love to travel. Rather, one of the things I love about traveling; it is not just the passion to get on a journey, or see new places. It is also to see HOMES and BUILDINGS in other places. So, I realized that one of the first things I see when I land in new places are houses and buildings. I just love to see how and where people live; how the homes are shaped and decorated. How the cafes, shops or museums are planned. What are the solutions for interior design in different parts of the world? All of this enchants me and is stored somewhere in my mind. So, it becomes really exciting to see all this in other countries or cities or villages.
Love for architecture, homes and interiors meets my passion for travel. And that’s how they get enriched with each other. I decided to start this blog right there during the concert to share my observations while I travel or while I stay at home.
Copyright © April 2017 Inesa Sinha
The benefits and joys of living in small places!
Since, last three – four years I have been spending some time living in a small village in Kerala. It is countryside by the Arabian Sea. Tired of living in a megapolis for many years, I return here in the winters and experience a life which I used to dream long ago. So, here is my list of what makes me so happy living in a small, slow paced village:
- You meet like minded people very soon and easily
- No need to spend time and energy in traveling from one end of the city to the other. No painful traffic jams
- Less crowds in public places like shops, banks, clinic etc.
- Easy to talk to anyone, people are mostly in a relaxed mode, not in so much hurry
- You keep meeting known people on the beach at the local shop, at the temple, at a bus stop…gives a feeling of being connected to one another
- You are closer to nature, the air is fresh and the body is much more rested than in the city
- Mind is more peaceful, more relaxed
- Spontaneous happiness is possible- some wishes materialize much faster here, I guess because of a more pure atmosphere…
- Connecting to your inner self is easier. Self -awareness level increases
- People smile more!
This summer I am in India and getting some sleep at nights! Unlike the summers spent in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the nights are not meant for sleeping… because I am talking of the white nights phenomenon. The northern pole and countries like Norway get 6 months of day and then another 6 months of night. As we come down from north to Nordic countries like Sweden, Finland and parts of Russia this phenomenon gets less. Still what we get in Saint Petersburg are the white nights, starting from May and ending by early July. The days get longer, and in May itself it gets dark only after 8-9 pm. By June 21st when the day is longest the sun hardly sets for 2 hours at about 2 am. This way one can literally read a book at night without using a lamp. The best part is that when you return home after work it is still day time. One feels the day hasn’t finished yet.
People, both native and tourists eagerly wait for this time of the year. Needless to say it is the most exciting time. Tourists flock Saint Petersburg; there are crowds of people everywhere during the night time as well. One has the advantage of a long day to see so many places in the city and the suburbs. Saint Petersburg is situated on the banks of river Neva which flows right through its center. A boat cruise on this river and its adjoining canals surely promises to be a romantic one! Another tour which is a must for any tourist is a night bus tour like “Saint Petersburg in White Nights”.
The numerous bridges across the Neva river have a system of opening up at nights to let the navigation pass. It is almost a mystical sight when the dark silhouettes of a bridge begin to move upwards and one sees two halves of the bridge standing upright. The bridges continue this opening – closing every night throughout the summer and autumn till November. Once winter sets in and the river gets frozen, navigation stops. The schedule of opening and closing of all major and beautiful bridges are published in the newspapers. So a person can plan his sightseeing at night keeping in mind that one can cross a bridge only at a particular time of night.
The only constraint for people who don’t own a car is the metro. The metro closes by 12.50 am and opens at 5.30 am. So if you miss the last train be prepared to spend the summer night on streets or in a park. Some cafes, bars, disco clubs are open 24 hours. So if one has company it’s not so tough to spend the time after seeing the bridges do their open-close act.
Another thing one should not miss is the numerous festivals organized during the white nights. For Russian ballet lovers there is the great ballet festival at the world famous Mariinsky theatre (formerly known as the Kirov theatre). One can watch the stars of Russian ballet and enjoy the grand interiors of this imperial theatre as well. For music lovers there are several classical and light music festivals. Jazz and blues fans can hang out at the open air concerts, usually organized in some park.
Numerous big and small events are organized almost daily in the city. But one must keep in mind that it’s better to buy tickets in advance for the major events (one can also book them through the net). Saint Petersburg being the cultural capital of Russia often runs out of the tickets.
So with some planning one can have a great time. Saint Petersburg is often called “Venice of the north”. Rightly said, because it has more than 100 canals, bridges, great architectures and many more buildings built by Italian architects. The city has barely a 300 years old history (it was founded in 1703), but it has inspired numerous poets, painters, writers, musicians, dancers and thinkers. And the white night is the inspiration of all inspirations for any person who can admire beauty.
(Saint Petersburg, Russia)
published first on http://www.worldwithoutobstacles.org (see Articles)
I feel alive when traveling. It is a passion for me. It is an ongoing process of the mind too…we do travel alot in our day and night dreams. But having the opportunity to travel many places on earth, the ‘mind’ travel in the parallel worlds does not satisfy me at all. So with a feeling of little guilt, like a pampered child may feel, I am contemplating on where my next trip would be…