It’s a sunny afternoon as we make our descend into Lisbon. I smile at the changing landscape below. We circle over where I assume the river Tagus joins the Atlantic ocean; the sun rays reflecting off the blue waters would make for some good photos but I continue to squint my eyes and watch from the corner of the window. We fly over a reddish suspension bridge that looks a lot familiar and I quickly turn to hubby, who is buried deep into this new book he bought at the airport, to ask him about it. By the time I manage to pull him towards the window, the bridge is far behind and we are flying over red rooftops, colourful houses and what looks like a bustling city spread up, down, and all around small hills. I forget about hubby leaning in to see the view, and unable to resist anymore, I begin to click a few photos excitedly.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’d know how much I love sitting by the large windows of my living room. It should be no surprise then if I say, I am sitting by one of those lovely windows right now as I type this. I am also cozily tucked into a throw and intermittently staring at the marvellous sight that is the balcony of a couple living in the opposite apartment block. Beautifully and just adequately lit by their lamp in the corner and some candles on the table, I can imagine what it must be like to sit in the cool breeze, crisp air and sip some red wine & nibble on chocolates. The gorgeous flowery plants all around the parapet hide the view but it’s a good guess they are having red wine. I’d if I was sitting there and chocolates would be a definite yes! Hubby nods in agreement, but also nudges me to not stare so hard.
Containing myself, I get back to my screen. It is almost 7:15pm, sun has set and the skies are slowly losing their beautiful hues of dusk to blackness. Getting used to the sunsets in London can be a challenge for someone who has lived all her life in a tropical land. We rise and fall (into bed!) with the sun over there, and it feels cumbersome to do it any other way! That is the reason I best like this time of the year here. The days haven’t yet become short and dark, and everything outside is pretty great too. I mean, what’s not to like about autumn. From the way it’s spelled to nostalgia attached with Enid Blyton story books; from scents and softness of the season to its distinct foliage.
This is also the time when I begin to click the big tree at my office square everyday, capturing the changing leaf colours and density, in the hope that I will make a stopgap video out of those frames! I know I will go replenish my stock of scented candles soon and buy fresh produce of the juicy berries and apples so my fruit basket can mirror the season colours! And that reminds me, autumn is also the time to cover up again, to bring out the boots, soft cardigans and coats that I had so happily stowed away. I will, of course, refrain myself from getting a new wardrobe but the shops are already lined with such sumptuous textures that it is going to be difficult to stop! I quickly glance at hubby who looks immersed in a book, so I don’t bother telling him of my temptations now. Around the house, all the rugs and cashmere blankets will be shown some sun before it becomes a scarce commodity, along with doling out some soups, leafy healthy preparations out of this new recipe book that hubby gifted me and find more & more excuses to stay indoors to catch up on movies we missed during the busy outdoors-y summer.
I suddenly look out the window again and I don’t see any shadows in that balcony. Just find a faintly flickering candle all by itself on the table. The road below has also quietened now. Well, Sunday has almost come to an end, and it so appears that my fond remembrance and wishful planning for the season have taken me away in thoughts too. But then, it is something to look forward to, isn’t it? Reality surrounds us, and Sundays have become mere reminders of Mondays more than anything else these days. But what is a Sunday devoid of wishfulness, of yearning, of tiny escapes of the mind? It is in these tiny escapes that I tighten my grip on reality and live it, shape it fully.
I now have a reason more to love the autumns!
We were almost on our way to Annecy, in France when on a whim we decided to make our celebratory trip more cozy, less travel-intensive, and closer to nature. The last bit is an exaggeration actually, but I will say that the idea of staying by the side of a lake, that is flanked by vast green fields, some fells, forests and small hills was very appealing.
We quickly researched online, rejoiced at those positive reviews and well, before we knew it, we had booked ourselves a relaxing long august weekend in the Lake District of UK!
And now that I’ve sat down to write about it, I realise there isn’t a lot to tell you. Except that, the lake was so serene in the mornings I could see my reflection gazing back at me as pleasantly surprised as I was at first while forming it! Except that, the hotel was so immaculately preserved (since its 17th century origins!) that I was afraid of touching of its richly decorated furniture lest I spoil it, you know. Except that, when it rained all through Saturday night, I sat and listened to the rain drops falling (on my head; remember the song?) on those leaves in the grand verandah there, lit by lamps and candles alone and I lost track of time. Except that, their breakfast spread was so mouth-watering and sumptuous that I could eat it for all three meals happily! Except that, their reading room is what I’d one day like my study to look like, period. Except that, I woke up to sheep in my backyard, calmly nibbling over the lawns until someone softly whistled them out from there. Terrible that I was so lost in the moment I forgot to capture the scene into my phone. Oh, and except that, if you want to spend a leisure (semi)luxurious holiday with your loved one, Lakeside by Lake Windermere in the Lake District is the place to be! I know, too many lakes but trust me once you reach there, you won’t get enough of them.
Leave any holiday planning to me and I will pack the days & nights with so many touristy activities that I may need a holiday to get over my holiday hangover (read more like fatigue!). What can I do! The twitterverse is to blame, you see; with so many beautiful photos and articles all over, I do not want to miss out having gone so close. But, those 3 days by Lake Windermere proved very different. And, it reminded me of something I had read a few months ago: The need for an empty space, a pause, is something we have all felt in our bones; it’s the rest in a piece of music that gives it resonance and shape ~ Pico Iyer (of course, who else!).
So as we wined and dined under the chandelier; as we walked on the morning dew and laughed; as we sat in the sunshine and felt the wind in our hair, I realised it’s good to not rush through the moment in the hope to capture it all, instead to enclose the present moment, to make it stay, to fill it fuller and fuller, until it shone, whole and bright, only to softly let it go and move on to the next moment. In other words, I realised it’s good to slow down every once in a while! To pause; to reflect; to just breathe and be. It is not just healthy for your heart and head, it helps in ways only time can show you and soul can understand.
Have you been to the Lake District? How was your experience, I’d love to hear your versions as much! And if you haven’t paid it a visit, I insist that you do – I know you will love it! There is enough information online about tourism of this area so I won’t bore you with any details. I will say one thing though, keeping 3-4days to soak in the place will be a wise choice.
In the middle of a fine work day, I caught myself amidst avid travellers and popular tweeters talking about their travel styles and likes. It is as good as daydreaming, if not better!
It was the weekly-Wednesday tweet chat hosted by Stuti and Megha with hashtag #MeAndMySuitcase. And it is one of their questions that led me to this post. The question was, ‘what moment changed me from being a tourist to being a traveller?’. And, without a doubt in my mind, it had to be the serene and picturesque valleys of Grindelwald!
The morning walk by the stream, breakfast in the warm sun, to spending the day walking up and down the hills all around, to sipping on coffee listening to the faint music of the cowbells in the evenings while chatting with the hostel in-charge. These were only some of the things that I did during my stay there! It was uplifting to be in the lap of nature, it soothed my soul.
And, this week’s #throwbackthursday post is to the beauty & wonder that lies in Grindelwald!
Plan a visit if you haven’t yet! I insist that you do.
And, if you have been to this beautiful valley in Switzerland, tell me about it! I’d love to hear your stories.
This week’s #throwbackthursday post is all about taking everything as it comes. Fretting over how something did not pan out as you planned is only a futile attempt at how you can recover from the situation, and make the best of what you have.
A question on tonight’s #TravelIST chat about Travel Mishaps was what led me to this post. “Ever been in a Travel Mishap with a happy ending?”. Henley on Thames is one of the few that I could put into this category!
My friend and I missed a train out of London for Brighton. We had an entire day planned for Brighton, only for it to be completely ruined, thanks to some confusion! We did fret over it but soon enough we decided to hop on the next train – to wherever it may lead in an hour’s time heading outwards of London. And Henley on Thames was it!
It was a small sleepy town, with sprawling bungalows and lush lawns, and the residents enjoying themselves on a siesta for sure. But boy! it was beautiful! The boat ride on the River Thames gave me plenty to capture. And unable to pick one among those, I thought I will make a collage of all that was picturesque of this small but wonderful town!
How we spent our time there? Well, we took on the mood of the town pretty quickly. We walked through the silent streets, ate a long lunch at a local cafe, sampling some of their local tea and biscuits. We then took the boat ride, stood on the Henley Bridge & enjoyed the view. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
And we could not have been happier about missing that train to Brighton – we later heard it rained there that day! Ha! Like I said in the beginning, most often its best to take things as they come!