Whenever the calendar marks the start of December in a year, my mind and heart automatically switch to a festive mood. Twinkling lights all around, big Christmas trees and discounts in shopping malls signals that Christmas is on its way. It is not only on 25th, but every day in the month of December becomes a celebration in small and varied ways. I celebrate in December mostly by seeing a new place every year. Once I went to Goa in India, once to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, once to a Christmas village in Switzerland and another year I explored the Christmas market in Strasbourg in France, which is one of the oldest and biggest Christmas markets in Europe. Today I will share with you all my experience of visiting the Christmas market (or as the French say “Marche de Noel”) in Strasbourg.
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Business magnets, actors, artists, doctors, engineers, scientists, common men, poor men, etc all receive a gift of peace and silence from death! No partiality at all though our society has always been partial to previledged ones during life and after death. Perhaps we all have seen a king’s palace in any tourist destination and rarely that of a farmer’s house or a carpenter’s house. The lives of late eminent and rich personalities and also their tombs have always been a center of attraction.Only death is impartial not the society. No, I don’t have any intention to write about such contradictions that exist in our society instead I intend to take you all to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte – a winner of many battles!
The Louvre is the world’s largest museum. It is located in the city of love, Paris, which is of course the capital of France! It has 35,000 objects on display over an area of 72,735 square meters. On a chilly morning in March, when I entered the Louvre, the world’s second most visited museum, I realized that this is a kind of place where one can immerse oneself in great contemplation while looking at the works of artists who have risen to great heights.
I often have a feeling that afternoons are meant to be lazy; and if it is late summer and it happens to be a Sunday and you are taking a stroll by the lake side in a small French town, a cup of coffee in one of those romantic small cafes is just too perfect.
A cup of coffee has always been my favorite companion on my travels. After reaching a destination or in between, after a short or a long journey, a session with a coffee cup casts a magical spell every time.
My love affair with coffee grew when I was in my early teens. Almost all of my adolescence winter evenings were filled with an out of the school syllabus book, a cup of coffee and a couple of hour’s solitude. This luxury, was one of the important ingredients for making me a romantic soul forever. I always missed my coffee cup in the summer evenings albeit the temperature used to be 38 degree Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).A session with a coffee cup casts a magical spell every time. Click To Tweet
After a decade or so, when I started staying in Lausanne, Switzerland, even my summer evenings got filled with the fresh aroma of coffee beans, a Kindle, a pen and a diary. My romantic soul flourished.A cup of coffee has always been my favorite companion on my travels. Click To Tweet
A coffee cup and a story
After every walk by the shores of lake Geneva, I used to sip in not only a cup of coffee, but some solitude and silence along with it while overlooking the beautiful Alps. This resulted in a different me; a thoughtful, mountain loving and silence seeking individual.I used to sip in not only a cup of coffee, but some solitude and silence along with it Click To Tweet
These newly developed character traits surfaced in me frequently during my travels. My sweet sojourns to various cafes in different parts of the world yielded me with stories – small, ordinary, special, long, unexpected and abrupt stories. So one day, I thought of writing down the stories, especially the ones which glitter, not only in my memory but also inside my romantic heart. So here I am, writing down some of those beautiful realities which I encountered while traveling.
A Coffee cup and a story in Gletsch, Switzerland!
It was an August morning. While exploring Gletsch – a picturesque hamlet in Switzerland, I came across a small and cozy cafe. I found just another couple in there. The experience of a calm and quiet cafe in a calm and quiet village gifted me something that I didn’t find anywhere else since then. Read this beautiful story here.
A coffee cup and a story in Thonon – A small French town!
A lazy Sunday afternoon in late summer, a lakeside stroll in Thonon – a small French town, a cup of coffee and an exciting story; an unexpected one! Now when I look back to that day, my lips expand and my cheeks bulge out. I will forget this story the day I tell it to my grand children. I listed it as one of my important duties to tell it to my grandchildren. If you would like to tell this story to your grandchildren as well, then just read it and have a hearty laugh (quite a rare thing these days).
A coffee cup and a story in Château-d’Oex, Switzerland!
By now, you all must be thinking what about a romantic story (isn’t it expected from the self proclaimed romantic soul)? My answer is – yes! The setting of this story is no other than the beautiful Switzerland, which I believe has a power to turn on even the most unromantic person. It was a bright and beautiful day amidst the snow clad mountains in Château-d’Oex, Switzerland. It was a date that goes far beyond my dreams. Read the story here.
A coffee cup and a story in Santa Cruz, California
In the middle of the chaotic cacophony, a sip into the coffee cup can make you think not only quickly but deeply. This is a story of a vivacious summer day, dazzling sun, sparkling ocean and a vibrant crowd in Santa Cruz – a city in California.
These are the days of delight as well as dread. New country, new home, new paths and new ways of life are creating a layer of intrigue inside, yet craving for the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland. While my mind was busy in a continuous process of attachment and detachment, I went to say hello to the pacific in Santa Cruz, California.
17 countries and counting!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
By H. Jackson Brown’s mother
|Lassen Volcanic National Park, USA||2017
|Crater Lake National Park, USA||2017|
Moments were floating like a cloud in the mind, and when they bumped into the right cord, drizzling started, followed by a heavy shower. Slowly, silently and undeviatingly, I got soaked in the drizzle; a drizzle of glimpses of that afternoon and evening; our laughter; our words. And then I was completely drenched; drenched in the shower of memories.