Washed in refreshing greens, the morning arrived. I greeted the morning with smiles and eyes full of gratitude. And then without wasting much of my time, I dressed up and rushed out of my room to relish every bit of the morning glory. I saw tendrils of mist were streaming over the Great Smoky Mountains afar under a cobalt sky. The moment aroused a whole orchestra of emotions in me. So I decided to spend some time contemplating with a cup of coffee at McKinley Edwards Inn in Bryson City, my refuge at the time.
My wintry wandering this year took me to a city, not primarily of painters, poets or prophets but of businesses, industries, and traders. I tried to feel the pulse of the city and ended up with happy vibes brimming with the beauty of a different kind. History draped houses, canals, lakes, and a large port give this city a unique character that settles comfortably into one’s memory and steps forth like old pals at the mention of Hamburg, the Hanseatic harbor city.
The wonder of the wilderness and the respite of remoteness which we saw and felt at the Spirit Island in Maligne Lake literally made us less conscious of hunger and thirst. We simply forgot to take our lunch that day. When it was afternoon and we were preparing to return, we realized we need to eat something. But to our astonishment, all the restaurants were closing. So without wasting any more time, we decided to drive to Fiddle River restaurant in Jasper. And you know what, it was our best decision. A beautiful day ended with a winner dinner!
Address: 620 Connaught Drive (Upstairs), Jasper, Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0 Website: Fiddle River Restaurant Timings: 5 pm – 9:30 pmA beautiful day ended with a winner dinner! #Travel #Food #ExploreCanada #Jasper Click To Tweet
I tried to organize all the higgledy-piggledy thoughts in my mind and found out most of the thoughts took a retreat from the mundane daily life and escaped to a world of a fairy tale. After all, December brings Santa, snowman, snow-draped roads, reindeer along with blessings from Jesus. Even an adult can choose to become that innocent child in the holiday season and escape into a different world; an uncomplicated, unambiguous and innocent world. I chose to escape to the mountains. I boarded a train from Montreaux to Château-d’Oex, in Switzerland. It is located half-way between the beautiful Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland and the small town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. In fact, the international competition in hot-air ballooning is held every January in Château-d’Oex.
In this age, when our lives are changing fast and the overwhelming powers of technology are stirring every aspect of our living, I often think about the cardinal values in life. Will they remain the same or will they change with this fleeting age? Struggle for survival has been there from the beginning. Our past generations had struggled with a conviction for a few certainties in life. In today’s world, conviction and certainty and even identity are flickering in the dynamic realm of a fast-paced society. Hence, during my travels whenever I witnessed weddings, I felt a sigh of relief. It is indeed comforting to witness love and dreams still occupying a place in this world.
Around 11 am, my jet-lagged eyes saw the October morning brimming with autumnal lights for the first time in Berlin. Summer had trickled into autumn, unlike California, from where I boarded the flight two days back. I treated myself with a cup of coffee and sat down to peep into the city from my hotel window. It almost felt like a Facebook feed because of its continuously changing scenes. Then I decided to open the window a little and instantly the city came alive. The aroma from the Pizza shop, the sound of laughter and conversations, and the people made it real and intimate, unlike the virtual world. The open streets that I could see from above have an allure that’s hard to avoid. Therefore, without wasting much time, I quickly planned to see the ongoing Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany and walk the history-filled roads of Berlin.
Vancouver greeted us with a marvelous moonshine. After seeing Vallea Lumina, a fabulous artwork of light and storytelling in Whistler, when we reached Vancouver by car, we saw the sparkling sea under a full moon night. If Vancouver had been a man then he could have felt the silent applause of my eyes. The scene instantly instilled in me the desire to see the beautiful vignettes of Vancouver. I opened the car window wide open and felt the balmy night and saw the glassy downtown afar. The next day, after a few hours of sleep, all of us, including our three-year-old daughter, were ready to get the wheels of our car rolling and start exploring.
Notification alert 🔔: Real-world has a secret magnet to attract our mind and soul and is more powerful than any virtual world’s algorithm that optimizes to gain our partial attention. After a week-long trip to the Canadian Rockies, I realize this truth now, even more, as I am re-entering into the world of social media by virtue of my profession. Although I am back, my heart is still reminiscing the views of the Rockies while riding up the Banff Gondola. It was akin to floating amidst beauty. The music of the guitar played by a musician at the top of the mountain that evening during the sunset festival is still surpassing the sound of my keyboard. I feel I am still listening to it live. The resplendent Rockies at the time of the sunset made my eyes content to its brim. Now, when I am writing these lines in my diary, my mind’s eye is still marveling at the scene of the setting sun over the Canadian Rockies.