Jun 28

Silence

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 15

Watch the video on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Jun 26

The Bernina Express – Getting to Arosa

After meeting wonderful people and doing some super hectic sightseeing in Vienna, Florence and Venice, we settled down for a day of travelling from Milan to Arosa…

Dinesh doing what he did very enthusiastically in every train in Europe

Dinesh doing what he did very enthusiastically in every train in Europe

We (me, Dinesh, Vishwas and Nikhil) took the first available train out of Milan to Lugano. We could have gone to Chur the boring way, by going from Milan to Zurich and then taking another train from there to Chur and reached in about 3 to 4 hours… but we chose to take the scenic route with the Bernina Express which starts from Lugano and goes to Chur and takes a whole 8 hours to do so! This year is it’s centenary year, and it was nice to sit in a train that has been chugging along for a whole 100 years!

Other than forgetting one bag in the train as we scrambled to get off the train at Lugano, it was a fairly uneventful journey there from Milan.

You need to register a complaint in order to get your bag back. Whether they find it or not, they make you cough up 50 euros just to tell them to look for your lost bag. It’s quite expensive to be forgetful on trains in Europe 🙂

In any case after sorting out all that we stepped out into Lugano and were taken aback by the sheer beauty of that place!

Beautiful Lugano

Beautiful Lugano

A deep blue lake on one side flanked by tall majestic mountains, the tallest of which were snow capped, giving us our first glimpse of snow on our trip here. Some low clouds added mystery to the already enchanting scenery. A pretty, vibrant town, compact and full of life is Lugano. But we were only there to catch our bus which would take us to Tirano from where we would take a heritage train to Chur. This bus-train combo is called the Bernina Express.

The bus set off through beautiful picture post card perfect countryside which would alternate between a the happy abandon of Italy and the paragon in neatness of Switzerland as the road wove in and out of Switzerland and Italy along the border of the two countries.

Lakes, mountains, quaint little churches, undulating roads, fields of flowers, vineyards, lovely houses, waterfalls all whizzed by as the bus made it’s way over 3 hours to Tirano. The only thing I missed was not being able to open the bus windows and feel the wind on my face.

Soon we were at Tirano and quite hungry. We had a superb meal of pizzas, pasta and salad, all lovingly cooked and totally vegetarian at a small restaurant near the station, while Dinesh sat in the lovely little train guarding our luggage. We got lots of food for Dinesh and when he didn’t finish all of it, ate some more in the train. Then with a shrug and a shudder the train started pulling out of the station.

me and dinesh with the Bernina Express

me and dinesh with the Bernina Express

We were the only people in our compartment and soon took over all available seats to get the best possible views. The windows were tall and went almost all the way up to the top of the coaches so gave us a beautiful panoramic view of the splendour of the swiss alps in all their grandeur.

As the Bernina Express write up on the website says:

“It is called the most beautiful link between the cool North and the warm South. This view was shared by UNESCO in 2008, when it designated the Bernina-Express between Thusis and Tirano as a World Heritage Site – the third train route in the world to receive this honor.

Greens of the Plains where summer had already come...

Greens of the Plains where summer had already come...

The Bernina-Express passes through 55 tunnels, crosses 196 bridges and overcomes gradients of up to 70 pro mille without cogwheel drive. The train carries travelers from Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city, into the stark mountain world above the fog line and past the Morteratsch Glacier. It then travels southward, right into the charming ambience of Veltin.”

Of course we went the other way round, from Tirano to Chur. The train climbed steadily higher. We would pass by the banks of a lake and then suddenly recognize it in a valley.

A lake we passed earlier in a valley

A lake we passed earlier in a valley

Gradually the gentle green vegetation of the plains gave way to the rugged hardy trees of the mountains and soon, we began to see patches of snow which had still not melted.

Rugged Mountainsides

Rugged Mountainsides

The train stopped at many quaint little stations of towns whose population could have been the population of one building in Bombay, anything between 50-500 people…

As we climbed higher still, a strange quietness descended and suddenly we were going through snow. It was snowing. For Vishwas, nihkhil and dinesh it was the first time that they saw snow and at the next station, we had our first snow fight.

Snow!

Snow!

Me Vishwas and Nikihil at Alp Grom, one of the Highest stations on the route

Me Vishwas and Nikihil at Alp Grum, one of the Highest stations on the route

Then the train went into the glacier proper and for almost 45 minutes there was only white, white and more white. We saw a house where the snow had piled up till the roof and a lake that had completely frozen over. It was winter at its best, Santa could easily set up shop here!

Dinesh in the snow at Alp Grum

Dinesh in the snow at Alp Grum

Climbing higher and higher into the Mountains

Climbing higher and higher up into the Mountains

All too soon, we were descending down to Chur from the winter wonderland of the glaciers and as the vegetation turned green all over again, we napped for a bit.

Check out the house almost buried in the snow

Check out the house almost buried in the snow... Wonder what those fence type thingies are for

Soon we were in Chur and the train to Arosa was in an hour. Only it was not a train, it was more like a tram. We met a native german guy, blonde hair, blue eyes type who took one look at our very Indian clothes (kurta pyjama) and came over and talked very pleasantly with us in absolutely fluent hindi… he then tried to convert us to the “one true religion” Islam.

Thankfully, the tram for Arosa was scheduled to leave in just a few minutes and we extricated ourselves from him and piled into the bus where another, this time pleasant surprise awaited us… Naushad joined us!

He was free and on a whim called up Guruji and asked if he could come to Arosa, and Guruji said yes ok come, we need someone to translate to hindi! 🙂 … and so there he was on the tram. It was really nice to see him.

The tram started moving and as a slow night was falling, went through gorgeous chasms and valleys and in about an hour or so got us to Arosa.

The Kulm Hotel - Arosa

The Kulm Hotel - Arosa

Arosa is breathtakingly beautiful. A gorgeous lake greets you as you step off the tram/train station. Surrounded by huge mountains, it’s a valley up in the mountains. There was still snow all over the place in patches and it was deliciously cold. The entire town was deserted, their winter season was over and the summer season was yet to start. But one hotel was all lit up, and vibrant and cheerful… The Hotel Kulm!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

ps sorry for not posting this on Thursday, but things have been a bit of super hectic during our Summer Magic program here at the Ashram… They are all in silence now and i have some time 🙂

Jun 21

Be a Gopal

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 14

Watch the video on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Jun 17

Updates

Ashtavakra Geeta talks with Guruji at Bangalore has been a phenomenal time for me. Especially since i took up the task of tweeting live from the Yagyashala every evening. Twitter kind of didn’t work so a few days ago i started using facebook for it and that has suited me perfectly 🙂

Summer Magic work is in full swing. The people coming for the course are in for a treat…

I got published in the Speaking Tree of the Times of India today. Click to read the article. and then remember to leave some comments there too 🙂

Have been cooking and taking photos for my cookbook… Hopefully should be done by December 🙂

Just finished a Sahaj course in Bangalore city.

We are having the second Bhakti Concert in Bangalore on July 1st at the Chowdiah memorial hall…

And then mid July Dinesh and i will be going off to Bombay and Surat for a series of courses there, before we return to Bangalore Ashram mid august…

Exact Schedules will be up soon…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Jun 17

Venice

We had visited Vienna and Florence before coming to Venice…

We had only 3 hours in Venice. It’s an utterly enchanting city. As soon as you step off the railway station, there is water. The public transport is boats. There are floating boat stops instead of bus stops. We decided to go to the Piazza de San Marco (named after Marco Polo). On the way we saw many types of boats plying on the waters of Venice. Police boats, a ferry boat onto which people had driven their vehicles, a small boat with 2 luxurious sofas on it, private little jet boats, a gondola, yachts, a huge ocean liner…

First view of Venice

First view of Venice. Other cities have Bus stops, Venice has Boat Stops, you can see one on the right.

As we went to San Marco, we saw houses built right onto the water, with garages for their boats, even a petrol station to fill gas for your boat. In the distance there were even electricity towers and wires strung across them in the middle of the sea!

Cables across the water

Power cables across the water

Venice has a beach called the Lido, but we had no time to go there, we walked around the Piazza de San Marco, a huge square flanked on one side by a beautiful old church (it had closed by the time we got there, so couldn’t go in), a tall tower and many shops and restaurants along the other borders. Venice is the city of gold and they are doing major restoration work on her monuments, maybe next year would be a great time to come here and see everything sparkling and new again.

Buildings right on the Water

Buildings right on the Water

It was drizzling a fine mist now and then, once it even became a quick concentrated shower, put soon passed and the sun shone brightly just a few moments after. We spent a few hours walking around the square, there was a restaurant called Florin’s which was established in 1720. So people like Mozart or Michelangelo could have eaten there. Everything was of course over priced. I am pretty sure Mozart and Michelangelo must have cribbed about their prices too 🙂

Too quickly it was time to leave, as our bus boat made its way back to the railway station, great grey clouds gathered over the city. On the horizon lightning flashed and snaked through the sky, and soon we could hear the majestic boom of thunder.

Bewitching Venice

Bewitching Venice

Just as we were walking into the station, the heavens opened and a veritable downpour began. I think Guruji was holding it back just for us, our train left for Milan while torrential rain was lashing the bewitching city of Venice.

We reached Milan at 10:30 in the night, got into a taxi and went to max’s house. We had a train in the morning out of Milan at 7:10 am, so after a nice hot herbal tea and a bit of chit chat with max, went to bed… early the next day, we made it to the station on time and got into our train and settled for a day of traveling.

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Jun 14

A Liar is Innocent

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are throughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 13

Watch the video on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Jun 10

Florence

What we did in Vienna

So, we cancelled our tickets from Innsbruck and re booked ourselves on a train that left for Florence from Vienna itself.

The whole exercise left us almost 60 Euros poorer.

Madan was with us, and helped us board the train to Florence on time. The compartments are cramped but comfortable, much like the third ac compartments of Indian trains, only instead of curtains, the six beds are in small, fairly cramped coupes. Somehow we managed to squeeze our luggage into the tiny places provided for stashing it.

Very cool to look at from outside - Don't do overnight journeys in these!

Very cool to look at from outside - Don't do overnight journeys in these!

We are sharing the same coupe with an Italian couple who don’t speak any of the languages we do. Dinesh is already asleep while I am typing this, the sun has set, so not much to see outside the window either…

Soon the Italian lady decided she wanted to sleep, and once she went to bed, I did too and it was only 9:30 in the evening.

I had written the above paragraphs before actually trying to sleep on my couchette. I felt completely boxed in, and had a faint feeling of claustrophobia because the ceiling of the train was so close. Somehow I slept.

I enjoy sleeping in trains, the shake and surge of the train coupled with the rhythmic sounds of the wheels on the tracks usually lulls and rocks me into deep slumber. On this train it was too cramped, made even worse, when in the middle of the night two more ladies entered the coupe with their luggage and found no place at all to keep it. They just bunged it in and went to sleep, and started to snore in a few minutes. It’s quite amazing how people who snore always fall fast asleep before people who don’t… Those ladies were also using up air in the coupe and I started to feel faintly suffocated too… to complete my woes, one person had put some horrible strong perfume.

Accept stuff  as it is, and many Om Namah Shivayas later we arrived in Florence, or as the Italians call it Firenze. Dario one of our teachers picked us up at the station and took us to his beautiful little home. We got the room in the cozy attic. It was raining a bit and nice and cold. Our beds were made. I snuggled in and woke up at 11:00 am. We had only a day to go around Firenze.

View from Dario's home

View from Dario's home

One of the first things you should know about Italy is that C on a tap in the bathroom means Hot water, the F on the tap stands for cold… otherwise you could get nastily burned or horribly shocked first thing in the morning.

We gobbled some breakfast and drove through some of the most charming roads I have been on. Narrow, with greenery spilling onto the roads over walls of beautiful villas and offering tantalizing views of the city through sudden gaps, these roads wound their ways to the Piazza de Michelangelo and lovely big square with superb panoramic views of the city.

Florence from Michelangelo Plaza

Florence from Michelangelo Plaza

Here the great dome of the church of Florence, there the Ponte Vecchio, down below the river Arno, more bridges across the river, the tower of the palace de Medicci rising grandly into the sky, the green dome of the synagogue shy, but holding its own, and the many, many other buildings all framed by mountains with mist rising through them made an entrancing picture. A bronze replica of the very famous statue of David dominates the piazza, and an ancient graceful church rises above it at the back.

We went to the church and meditated there for a few minutes, enjoying the silence and the darkness. As we walked down a lovely gravel path to the piazza, Rosalinda, another of our teachers in Firenze, joined us and we made our way from there to the city proper.

Me and Dinesh in Florence

Me and Dinesh in Florence

Then we walked. We walked everywhere. To the great church, but we didn’t go in, too long a line to get inside, then to various other smaller churches, a big square, and many other lovely spots. Some ostentatious, others unassuming and elegant.

Across the river there are many bridges, the most memorable of them is the Pont Vecchio, meaning the Old Bridge. It has shops that sell gold and jewelry literally growing out of it and has an old world italian charm to it quite unlike anywhere else. For the record, the stuff sold in those shops, no Indian would touch with a barge pole.

Me n Dinesh with the Pont Vecchio in the background

Me n Dinesh with the Pont Vecchio in the background

The ice cream place of Firenze is Grom’s. Dario and Rosalinda swore by it. This was not gelato that’s all the craze everywhere now, this was proper full cream eiscream! Unlike Tichy’s in Vienna this was not crowded, and we could get a taste of many flavours of their delicious ice cream before we ordered our ices. They were really, really nice. They give you a choice of 2 flavours together in one cup and I had a Sicilian cassata coupled with some biscuit and praline type thingie. It was brilliant. But I will have to admit that Tichy’s was just a shade better.

Grom - The Ice Cream place of Florence

Grom - The Ice Cream place of Florence

I insisted that we wanted to see David, the icon of Firenze. He is kept in the Museum de l’aacademie. We stood in a pretty long line to get in, but it was worth it. The museum has a room full of beautiful old musical instruments. Lovely old Stradivarius violins, old old horns, bugles, trumpets and flutes. There was even a dulcimer dating back to the 1300s. And the oldest surviving upright piano in the world. A nice little exhibit that showed the difference between the mechanisms of a harpsichord and a piano. When you strike a key on the harpsichord, it doesn’t matter how hard or how lightly you strike it, you will always get only one sound, no variation in tone or volume. On a piano, the mechanism is such that depending on how you strike a key, there will be a huge difference in the quality and volume of the sound produced. It was nice to see in that room how the piano of today evolved from the dulcimer. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play any of the instruments, but you could see and hear a video of them being played.

We wandered into a few more rooms that had plaster works of the masterpieces which dot Firenze itself as well as many other cities in Europe. This particular museum seemed to be obsessed with the passion of Christ in its frescoes and had many, many paintings about His crucifixion and the miracles immediately after. Some were truly beautiful, others I couldn’t appreciate, and could only categorize under old.

Then at last we entered the grand hall, which houses amongst its many treasures David. He is an awe inspiring sight. He takes your breath away. He is beautiful, graceful… His eyes have a far away look to them, making me wonder what he was looking at, what he was thinking… Every aspect of his body is lovingly, painstakingly sculpted. It is incredible how cold hard marble can be made to look so fresh and alive. All he needs is some God to breathe life into him…

David

David

We gazed and gazed at him from many directions, until finally it was time to leave. I was quite hungry too and Dario had to leave for some yoga class he was teaching and Rosalinda who had left earlier came over to babysit us. She took us to Leo Gusto a trattoria which served among other things, pizza of course.

I had my first taste of real Italian Pizza and it was good, as good as the pizza we get back at home in India, say in Flaours in Delhi. I had not missed much. The grilled vegetable salad was strictly so-so.

We walked back to Rosalinda’s car, where we were joined by Julia, a bright, vivacious young girl and then went to her house. A pretty little place surrounded by trees and parkland begging to be explored (no time to do that), to check some details of tickets for our onward journey from Florence.

After a hot cup of very nice herbal tea and interminable surfing on the net, and no real decision about what we were going to do next, we drove to the brand new Art of Living Center in Florence. Vishwas and Nikhil who had arrived the day before to Rome, trained up to Florence and we picked them up on the way to the center.

Our Center in Firenze is a beautiful place. The space is divided into a nice big hall for Kriya, a spacious office and few smaller rooms for ayurveda treatment and consulting. Sparkling clean, white wooden floors, laid by Dario himself and cool green doors and paneling give it a feel of quiet calm which seems to be hiding a bit of whacky impishness. We recorded a Knowledge Sheet here, eventually it will be put up on the blog.

Pizza!!

Pizza!!

We had another round of pizza at a place called Pizzaman. This stuff was a completely different quality. It was melt in your mouth goodness. Only a few places in the world could compete with this gastronomical delight. Throughly enjoyed our meal and then went home to dario’s to sleep.

We had planned to go to Pisa the next day, but instead dinesh took all our dirty clothes to the Laundromat while I preferred to do a nice long round of Sadhana.

It cost 11 Euros to wash our clothes!!

I absolutely adored Florence and would have loved to stay longer in this entrancing little city… maybe some other time…

Soon we piled up in Dario’s car. It’s a nice car, tall enough inside that you can comfortably do bhastrika. Next stop was Venice…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Jun 7

Anger of the Enlightened

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are throughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 12

Watch the video on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Jun 4

Summer Magic 2010

The Winter Break courses have been tremendous hits. Young people from all over the world have come to Bangalore Ashram and experienced hours and hours of Meditation, Seva and Satsang along with talks on topics ranging from Indian Classical Dance, Ancient Indian Culture and to Entrepreneurship and Finance all wrapped up in huge doses of mirth.

The Summer Magic program promises to be all this and more… Watch the video that Abhiram and Gowri have made…

Here are the dates:

June 21st: Reporting

June 22nd-24th: Various activities (no am not going to tell, come and find out)

June 25th, early morning – 29th afternoon: The Advance course

As with the Winter Break, Guruji will be physically present in the ashram for a few days of the course.

Bring along a water bottle and a yoga mat. Do bring your umbrellas too, it has already started raining here on the ashram. The weather is pleasant but can get hot in the afternoons. Don’t bring any expensive stuff to the ashram. The Advance course will be a very intense one, so please start doing your Sadhana very regularly (if you have not been doing it) till you come to Ashram.

A few people have exams and so wished to come later than the 21st of June, they are welcome, but they need to report latest by June 24th 11:00 pm. They will be missing out on a lot of activities we have planned and may not get to see Guruji. They will be expected to pay the full amount for the Summer Magic.

There are a few scholarships available. Please talk to your YES!+ teacher for details.

Dinesh, me and the entire Ashram team look forward to welcoming you here later this month

Meanwhile, All the Best for your exams (and the results) 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Jun 3

Vienna

Vienna is pretty. But unlike other places in Europe, there is no ban on smoking in public places and many, many people smoke here like chimneys. Makes walking unpleasant when you keep getting smoke blown in your direction. Otherwise it’s a lovely city to walk in. The public transport is fantastic and for about 6 Euros you get a 24 hour pass on all public transport in the city.

Beni was our tour guide along with Amit and Seema who were monitoring everything long distance from Berlin.

First we went to Schonbrunn, a very beautiful, big huge imperial palace with even lovelier grounds surrounding it.

Dinesh and Beni

Dinesh and Beni

There must have been some good times here coz the energy was light and airy and unlike Versailles that I had visited many years ago, it felt nice to be there.

A huge fountain, the fountain of Neptune dominates the gardens, which are surrounded by wild parkland, a labyrinth (didn’t go in) and a zoo (was not interested). We took a long walk to the top of the hill through the rolling parkland and were rewarded by a stunning view of the city.

Neptune's Fountain

Neptune's Fountain

On top of the hill overlooking the palace is a structure called the Gloriette, which has been turned into a café where I had the most delicious pink lemonade with ice cream. Dinesh and Beni had strawberry milkshakes. The inscription of the date was very strange, see the pic below, some of the Cs are mirror imaged. Could it be a typo? 🙂 … Can anyone tell what it means? What date it actually is?

Decipher this...

Decipher this...

After we got our tickets booked for our onward journey to Florence, we went to have lunch at Xu’ Kitchen, a 100% vegetarian hotel which serves mainly mock meat. We had mock fish, duck and chicken… a very delicious meal. They were closed, but very kindly agreed to serve us when Beni mentioned that we were from India and there for only a day.

The service was slow, they didn’t have the required staff in the kitchen, but the food was memorable. She even threw in some free desserts and sushi at the end of the meal, saying she was sorry that the food took so long to come… We really appreciated her gesture.

Lunch

Lunch

Then went to Tichy’s for dessert, a place that serves some of the most delicious ice creams I have ever had… I had vanilla mixed with pineapple pieces, dinesh had a big cassata and Beni ordered an ice cream which had a frozen apricot in the center, surrounded by vanilla ice cream and held together with various powdered nuts… very nice indeed! If there is one reason to come back to Vienna, it will be the ice cream of Tichy’s. They run their shop from April thru September or so and on the opening day and closing day serve free ice cream to whoever comes by. The crowds outside the shop seemed like they were serving free ice cream everyday This is real quality stuff and if I had had more time, I would go everyday and check out every flavour they had.

We went to the Vienna City Park that has a life size golden statue of Johann Strauss. Posed for some photos and walked around for a bit.

The King of the Waltz and me!

The King of the Waltz and me!

Benny at very short notice had managed to magically produce 2 tickets for a Strauss and Mozart Concert at the Kurzsalon adjoining the park. It was a chamber orchestra, just 14 people but they played with feeling and the 2 singers who did some arias were pretty good, as were the ballet dancers who swept onto the stage and danced to the music being played.

All the music was light classical with waltzes, polkas, marches and happy arias all mixed together in a heady brew. They cheated a bit, which was very surprising to hear in Vienna, the music capital of the world. They skipped a few parts that a more mainstream orchestra would dare not. It was clearly an orchestra that didn’t take it self too seriously and was the better for it.

Some very pretty chandeliers lighted the salon, and the effect was rich, cozy and elegant, but they unfortunately use incandescent bulbs for the lighting, which meant that as the evening wore on, the hall got uncomfortably warm.

The Chandeliers got hotter and hotter...

The Chandeliers got hotter and hotter...

The seats were the most uncomfortable seats I have ever sat in, in any concert, possibly anywhere!

Even dinesh who is fit and slim had trouble getting both his bottoms onto the chair together. The hall was full, but somehow the seats next to us were vacant, so it was just this side of bearable. The musicians must have been pretty sure of a great show, to risk making their audience so uncomfortable with the terrible chairs and the extra hot lighting… I am sure many would have walked out if they didn’t like the concert.

For a ticket the price of 35 Euros, they should have provided better, comfortable seating… I enjoyed the music, but had a backache by the time it was over.

Beni was a great guide and has a great sense of humour and gamely walked all around the city with us, even though I am sure he must see all the stuff we saw everyday.

It was a long day, and we reached home only after midnight… and I was asleep as soon as my head was on the pillow.

The next day, dinesh and igor went off to the railway station to book our tickets onwards from Florence to Venice in Italy. I stayed home and cooked some food for both of them.

Made a quickie pasta, with a tomato basil sauce, and some brocolli and oyster mushrooms thrown in. Then I garnished it a few slices of gouda cheese and baked everything until the cheese was golden brown.

We ate a lot. It was quite tasty.

Which was a mistake, coz then I went to sleep and woke up only at 4:25. I didn’t want to leave the house before doing a Guru Pooja there, which meant we missed our train to Innsbruck from where we were supposed to have our connection to Florence. We even took a taxi to make it to the station on time, but got caught in the rush hour traffic and the train had left minus us…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Page 18 of 67« First...10...1617181920...304050...Last »














    Schedule



    Blogroll
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Archives
    • 2017 (10)
    • 2016 (5)
    • 2015 (26)
    • 2014 (24)
    • 2013 (7)
    • 2012 (9)
    • 2011 (37)
    • 2010 (107)
    • 2009 (163)
    • 2008 (278)