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Showing posts from 2015

In Search of Incredible

So December has been really hectic so far, well the actual craziness started with my sister's birthday on November 30th, when the city (Madras) started experiencing torrential rains. We were cooped up inside enjoying the downpour (little did we know that more was in store), taking pictures and getting drenched in the terrace and making merry like kids... the rain always does that, brings out the kid in you. So anyway, the rains continued through the next couple of days and then mayhem took over, the city started fragmenting into islands. It was chaos everywhere, but the stories that kept pouring in about ordinary people pitching in to help the flood affected people shed some sort of light on the whole ordeal. We tried to help by volunteering in church and driving around searching for bread and water to deliver to relief camps. We lost power for a couple of days, and that was another experience hanging out in candlelight; talking, musing and wondering if others were safe (we had d…

Paris

We reached Paris around 8 pm, it was quite cold and we went shivering to an Indian restaurant nearby. A few of us didn't want Indian food so we went to a pizzeria  Had some wine (Chianti) and pizza. This is the four seasons pizza that I ate. It was nice sitting here with the group and discussing stuff, I remember the song 'Take me to church' by Hozier started playing and then we started discussing that. Didn't expect to make friends on this trip, even now we stay in touch, so glad I met them. Another fun and tiring day came to an end, got back to our hotel and drifted off to dreamland. The next day, had some really good breakfast of croissants and peaches with nutella,  and then set out to explore Paris, which has enamored writers for ages.
This was where we stayed, Hotel Ibis Paris Porte d'Orleans, pretty neat place.  A bridge on the way Visited the Miraculous Medal church first where mass was celebrated and then proceeded to Notre Dame Cathedral, which I blogged …

Lourdes

So after a nice breakfast in Burgos we started on our way to Lourdes.  Fields of gold in France  Driving through France was fun, the scenery is amazing like this field of bundled up hay.  Rugged mountains The castle of Lourdes in the center. Our quaint room in Lourdes As soon as we reached the room we had to walk to the Lourdes shrine for mass. We had mass in this chapel directly above the grotto. River Gave, near the shrine The massive shrine  The site of the apparitions The source of the water that Bernadette apparently dug up from the ground By 5 pm the Eucharistic procession started, and nuns were walking with this blue ribbons contraption. The Eucharistic procession The procession ended in this massive underground church   It started raining heavily by the time the procession got over and it was nice walking in the rains near this roaring river to a restaurant for Indian food at a Sri Lankan restaurant. There was the usual rosary procession at 9pm, but it was raining then too an…

Arriving in Burgos

The past few months have been terribly crazy, so many things have been happening (mostly in my head), that there aren't enough words to make sense of it all. It all felt like the ground beneath me was cracking open, the familiar ground that I knew growing up was now shifting and rearranging itself. The catalyst that set it all in motion and the beacons that shone upon a path, have been of immeasurable help and I don't know what I'd do without them. 
Anyway, I wanted to finish this travel post of 2015, before the year got over... so let's get on with that. So in the last post, we had just finished our candlelight procession in Fatima, Portugal. The next day we had a guide who took us around the premises, explaining the apparitions and the story of the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francesco and Jacinta. The main church was under renovation and we couldn't enter it, but to its side is the grave of Francesco, the shepherd boy, depicted with a lamb on his lap. This …

Avila and Fatima

The next day after an early breakfast we set out to visit Avila, which is about an hour's drive from Madrid.
A video of the landscape in Spain... Here, we've just reached Avila... these Walls of Avila were completed between the 11th and 14th centuries and they are the city's defining image. We had a lovely guide, Maria, and she took us around this quaint city explaining about the fortress and the cathedrals.
Another video depicting the welcoming sounds of Avila... the constantly chirping birds over the walled city of Avila are quite captivating, they seem to beckon you in. Avila's charm...  The sun, spilling her beams... 
The church of St. Teresa of Avila Inside the church, mass was just getting over... The chapel dedicated to St. Teresa
The main square in Avila
So after checking out the church of St. Teresa and the museum where her finger is displayed, we started on our way to Fatima in Portugal which is about a five hour drive from Avila.

Stopped on the way to have a …