Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A mid summer week on the boat - Day 2

The journey begins  - from the mountains to the sea coming down 62 metres traversing the unique Telemark canal -  etched out in the mountains by 500 people in 5 years blasting their way forward and when completed in 1892 the rest of the Europe called it - the 8th wonder of the world. 
Unsurpassed in its beauty with the crystal clear waters reflecting the skies and lush green woods and the tranquility of the nature.

The water locks that help in the ascent and descent of the boats  - clad with stone walls, enormous wooden gates and the 100 year old technique of opening and closing, kept them as authentic as they originally were. click here to see in detail how does a boat come down the mountain.

Waiting patiently at the locks in many places for our turn to go down while  watching  big boats coming up from the sea - the whole atmosphere was just lakes, canals, boats and more boats all in an unspoiled natural setting.

  Ulrik, the captain of the boat and Sankalp the vice - from time to time had to read the maps, keep track of the route and other practical information to cross all the locks to complete our descent before calling it a day.  

I was wonderfully relaxing admiring the calm waters that are overlooked by small towns, churches, homes and the canal life in general.

Finally waiting at the last lock on our journey towards the sea at Skien, a very befitting town to be called the birth place of Henrik Ibsen ( The doll house) with the skyline dotted by the captivating twin towers of a neo gothic church and landscape interspersed with sculptures .
 The best part was yet to come. Down at the sea level, we still have not decided where we wanted to spend the night :-). Yes I said it, where we WANTED to go. May be here?
 or one of these bays here? or many more that are available flipping through the pages.....
It was a long day for the guys, so we had to find a harbor for refills of petrol, food
  parked the boat by a water restaurant for dinner 
and then on the last leg of the day to a bay we all agreed upon to anchor for the night. 

There were already few boats anchored when we came in . While the kids had fun in the small boats rowing around or catching fish , we had a long night chatting with the people from other boats and one of them had apparently traveled to India 30 yrs ago as a backpacker and had many experiences to share.
Finally the sun set at around 11.30 PM
What a wonderful experience it was to select the most exotic place one can imagine and all for free of cost. Tomorrow's destination is even more interesting..... Yesterdays journey here

All pics by me 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A mid summer week on the boat - day 1

It's all dark, dull and cooooooooooold outside with temp's hovering around -15C for the past 2 weeks. But what keeps us going in this weather is the warm thoughts of the wonderful things we can do when Spring/ Summer sets in. Hop on to my boat for a five day trip to see a little bit of the world around me.... First I thought I would do a single post but that is just not possible with so much to see and experience,  so I decided to go slow....
Ulrik - a friend, Sekhar, Sankalp and I drove about 200 kms to board the boat  at Lunde 62 metres above sea level.

  And here it is AneliShanthi ready and waiting to unfold the wonders the next 4 days...
While the men were hectic with briefings about the practical do's and dont's 
 I set out on a small walk enjoying the rain and taking in as much of the calm and peace as possible.
We were not alone, there were few more boats anchoring that night in Lunde in quiet nooks and corners. Everything was so still and calm.
  Sekhar and I decided to overnight in a tent that is being pitched in the idyllic surroundings

We decided on a taco dinner and with some wild flowers I picked on my walk thurst into a coffee glass and some tealights a cozy boat dinner was ready. 
Well past midnight we left the boat to our bed for a good nights sleep.
Remember we have not started the journey yet , so stay tuned for more....

all pics by me

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chudi's and Kangans

Having freshly read the shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella  :-), I strongly themed my 2013 to be the year of DECLUTTERING on the home front.
Starting today on this lazy Sunday afternoon I sat down at the Chudi and Kangan (bangle) corner in my house, a corner that DH always makes a face at (as they stand in the way of his vaccum cleaner).

But it is this corner of mine that tinkle and sparkle and spread happiness with their riot of colors. I finally am going through to see what I can part with :-).


Finally these are the only ones I could part with and u can see why?  :-)

How can I throw out something that has become an inevitable part of me as an Indian woman :-). What do you say?  Can I declutter anything at all :-(.

Sarojini Naidu - the Nightingale of India, thus rightly said in her Bangle Sellers poem...

Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair...
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

Some are meet for a maiden's wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow wth the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of new born leaves

Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart's desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.

Some are purple and gold flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished, whose love has blest,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worships the gods at her husband's side.  

Happy Pongal!!!! and enjoy the festivities with a tinkle and sparkle.....