Monday, June 19, 2006

The Eurotrip begins

This is the start of a blog about the 3 month long self-paid travel and learn program in Europe also called the Student Exchange Program.

This series of blogs is primarily meant as an outlet for me to recount my memories from the wonderful trips when we went backpacking across Western Europe. Just saying ‘backpacking across Western Europe’ makes me so happy! I have always been fascinated with Europe. Nisha would readily agree to this. Infact going to Europe together has been one of our long cherished dreams. Nisha was not with me on this Europe trip, and how I wish she was.

As I said the main intent of this blog is personal. I couldn’t find a medium conducive enough to telling a story along with snaps. A blog seemed the most suitable for the purpose. Hence the blog. If somebody else also happens to read this, it would be a bonus! I would mostly write about my experiences. (In considerable detail about what I can remember) Tirthankar and I were together on every one of these trips. Many places I would use words like ‘we’, ‘our’ etc, which should be assumed to mean Tirthankar and myself unless mentioned otherwise. Though we had a lot of disagreements on specific practical issues, our basic philosophy about what it was to experience Europe was pretty closely aligned. Otherwise I don’t think we would have ended up spending more than a day in Naples (and loving every bit of it) or gone to Greece (a decision we deeply regretted later).

If anybody finds any mistakes or inconsistencies in what I have written please tell me about it. This blog has come at least 6 months too late, and I cant say I remember each and every detail as if it happened yesterday!!

For the record I went on the Student Exchange Program (STEP) from IIMC to EDHEC Business School, Nice (the French Riviera). Tirthankar and I planned the whole trip together, starting from getting visas to air tickets to Eurail pass to all the phenomenal goof ups as well. We spent three months from September to mid-December in Europe. We stayed for 10 days with my dad's friend in London and then went on to Nice. At Nice there were three of us from IIMC - TT, Chirag abd myself. Most of the time though only I and TT went on trips together. Whenever we got the chance we would pack our bags and go tripping across Europe. Enjoying Europe while saving every cent possible was not at all easy. All in all we went to London, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Leuven, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cannes, Monaco, Rome, Naples, Athens, Venice, Vienna, Salzburg and Barcelona. Quite a haul what?

Following are pics taken on the move, capturing fleeting moments which in any case would have been etched in my memory. Modern technology of course allows me to publish them on a blog!

The Grande Canal in Venice, the city called La Serenissima or 'the most serene'. Captured at the only time during the day that the sun showed its face. A post card moment if ever there was one!!

An unknown monument somewhere in the narrow lanes of Napoli (Naples). The tall structure rising into the blue sky with the birds flying around, against the backdrop of the yellow and red brick building all adds up to this being one of my favourite pics!

The view from our apartment balcony was a source of perennial joy for us when we were there. In blazing yellow hues of bright sunshine, mellow orange of a sunrise, blood red or purple sunset or even in pale white moonlight...the memory still gives me goosebumps.

At the picturesque port of a small Greek island. Believe me, if you ever go to Greece, head for the islands, avoid Athens - atleast for another 2 years

A moment of quiet contemplation at Trafalgar Square. London is my pick for the model big city. Live life in the fastest lane, or relax in one of its many quiet spots!

This post-wedding photo shoot was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all! This open display of emotions and passions is something that is found in abundance all across Italy

Call us foolish adoloscent boys if you will, but there is no denying that this Aishwarya Rai billboard at the Paris Gare De Lyon train station sent us into starry eyed staring mode!

At Amsterdam, a city of bicycles and other earthly delights :-)

Vienna would leave you with an unmistakable feeling of 'man, these guys are rich!!' A pic of a gilded room in Belvedere Palace.

The Saltzkammergut region near Salzburg, Austria. This was our first brush with the Europe of spectacular natural beauty

Yes, this Belgian waffle is as delicious as it looks. For the record it has strawberry, banana, cream and chocolate sauce loaded onto a soft yet crispy waffle...ummmm, yummmy

The pub crawl in Barcelona had us realising a lot about Spanish culture as well as about ourselves. And also that my knowledge of British English was deficient in a few crucial areas!!

We could not do any justice to Germany, and I would always deeply regret it. But whatever little time we could spend there we made sure we sampled some of its famous beer (atop a river cruise to boot)

This pic has us proudly munching bread, our staple diet for many a trip!!
Taken with the Denmark guys at Monaco


Blogger Rajia said...

hi my names mirajia and I really liked your thing about Paris. I wanna go there some day. Maybe you can blog me or do a search of me all you have to do is type in rajia when they say "this search is not found blah, blah, blah!" so yeah you do that then.

8:37 am  
Blogger Sankett said...

Hey Parag.. this is a nice collection.. I thoroughly appreciate the time u took to make ur blog look all so gr8 with comments about almost everything.. nice job!

And I am complete busy sorting my blog as another tech blog now... must start another one for things like this!
thanks for the motivation!

12:58 pm  
Blogger onfoyou said...

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8:08 am  

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