Monday, May 23, 2011

Scotland Trip - Apr 29 – May 2 2011 - Day 1

This year, the royal wedding gave us mango people in UK, an extra holiday making the long weekend an even longer one! 4 good nice ‘sunny days’ were meant to be spent well. A lot of thoughts were put across.. Initially we(Ash, Bhuvana, CK, Teju and myself) thought of going to Gibraltar, but since we faced visa issues, we decided to join the All guys group of 9 people who were off on a road trip to the Highlands in the beautiful Scotland!!!

So let me first list down, all the people who were a part of this memorable trip!
Have split up this group in different categories, and some people may overlap between the groups, but yes there were eventually only 14 people!

The drivers (most imp, w/o whom the trip was fruitless)
Swaroop (the mother hen / Momma of the group)
Chaitanya (The Mr careful driver)
Qusai(The Mr FAST and the FURIOUS driver)
Rahul(The Mr Calm and Composed driver)

The photographers
Ajay (The official photographer – captured some beautiful scenic views of the highlands)
Teju(Who captured all the beautiful flowers in their beautiful colors)
Lalit Khatri (Who made the portfolios for the models below, plus all the above)

The models
Narotam (Where there is a Momma there is a Roshesh as well, alias Mr Hrithik)
Rakesh (Mr Saif)
Qusai (Mr SRK :-P )
Sandeep (Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Satya (Mr Rajnikant, beats all the above!)

The Food gatherers
Ashvini (Pretty woman 1 :-P)
Jenny (Pretty woman 1 :-P)

The Senior associates
Bhuvana (SA 1)
Ashvini (SA 2)
Satya (New promoted 1)
Ajay (New promoted 2)

28 Apr 2011 Thursday Night 11 PM :National express from Victoria Station London, to Glasgow Scotland.

The trip was fun right from the start. We were to take the bus from London Victoria 11PM coach to Glasgow(Scotland) and then hire cars from there.
Even though nobody was looking forward to the bus journey, it did turn out to be fun :-)
Firstly, WE found Sandy's long lost brother at the Victoria bus station. Kumb ke mele mein bichde hue judwe..Everybody agreed that he was a 100%5 look alike of sandy .. but Sandy ne usse pehchanne se inkaar kar diya :-(
and later, after we settled down in the bus, Swaroop started messaging movie names to anybody and evrybody (from our group only) in the bus becuase he was bored!!! Still not sure .. why movie names??!!Eventually when he reliased, it is not working and people are not reciprocating in the same way(and now not sure what he was expecting people to reply back..what does one reply , if people message you movie names only :-P), he went off to sleep..But to the dismay of everybody else who could not manage to sleep at all, esp QC who sat right next to him, he slept all through out the journey uninterrupted.. Sab kuch bhej bhaj ke so gaya tha!!!

Anyways, the bus was on time and we finally reached Glasgow by 6:15 AM the next Morning.

29 Apr 2011 Friday: Glasgow
As decided the girls went off to Teju’s place (Teju stays in Glasgow and thank god for that!) to get fresh. Guys having no other options, got freshened up at the bus stand. And then later, since they didnot have anyting better to do, they posed for photos!! For the first time, Ash and I came across a group of boys, who posed and clicked and posed again for more photos than gals!
and mind you, none of the poses were like the simple, all in a straight line, straight face pose.. the poses were proper Model portfolio shoot types.. where in, looking direclty at the camera was a sin.. and one has to always focus on something far off.. and have that far away look on the face!! you know the correct face angle types!!GOD! Ash and I feel so much better about ourselves after watching these weird shoots!:-D Sorry guys ;-)
Well, while the guys clicked off photos, the food gatherers(Ash and me) picked up all sorts of khana ka chatapar patar items for the trip ahead..!

Clicks from the Bus stop:































The Side Poses:
Posing for shirt ad?? :-)























We have to look and point in some direction just like that! :-D why??













This is to full to Gladrags ka photoshoot out!!





The next stop was at the car hire. All of us were there by 9. 3 vauxhall cars were booked for 14 people. We(CK and the girls) picked up our car at Euro cars and joined the other 2 cars.

For the first 20 mins, Ash CK and I were trying to figure out, how the GPS works. It was a scary 20 mins, wherein we got lost, always took the incorrect diversions and always took the wrong turns. But it was a good experience. This was my first real hand experience of a GPS! Finally we were on the highway, after which the 3 of us finally relaxed and got to enjoy the scenery.

Loch Lomond
Our first destination was Loch Lomond. A Loch is the Scottish term for a lake. Loch Lomond is a fresh water lake .It is supposed to be one of Scotland's premier boating and watersports venues. But sadly, none of that was open on Friday, so instead we wandered about and ofcrse clicked a LOT of photos :-P
Few more snaps!





































After a good breakfast of burgers and coffees at Lochmond, we then left for Fort William by around 12, where we were to halt for Lunch. I had carried by office laptop (since I had to work for few hours over the weekend), hence Ashvini decided to carry the Ipod connector so that we could charge our Ipods. This proved as a blessing in disguise.. The Ipod connector was used to play songs in our car.. and the irony was only our car has the ipod connector :-P This eventually made our car the most wanted car in the followings day.. since only our car had music :-) ..but more about this later ;-)

The distance between Loch Lomond and Fort William is 85 kms which took us an hour to reach. We enjoyed some breathtaking scenery.
Few more snapshots below!


































Fort WilliamFort William is the largest town in the highlands of only being exceeded in size by the City of Inverness . It is supposed to be a major tourist centre with Glen Coe just to the south, Aonach Mòr to the north and Glenfinnan to the west, on the Road to the Isles(Dont ask me how i know all this, all courtesy wiki).

We reached Fort William by 2 in the afternoon. Even though everyone was famished, we dutifully followed Swaroop, as he led us, in the narrow lanes of Fort William to an Indian restaurant, where he had food once. Desi khane ke liye log kuch bhi karenge :-P
The Everest Indian Tandoori Restaurant was where we had lunch. It was right along the Loch Linnhe and had a beautiful view. The food was great, although the veggies had to suffer the torture of mushrooms, carrot and broccoli sabji.. they also claimed that the curry was good.
The staff was not very hospitable though, and they eventually proved that, by serving a very special cappuccino to QC :-P

Donan CastleBy around 4, we left Fort William, and headed for the Donan Castle. It is supposed to be the most photographed castle in Scotland and the castle is open to visitors during the day only. So even though it was closed when we reached(after 6),we made sure it is the most photgraphed ;-)
Few snaps from the OUTSIDE of the Donan castle!





























Isle of SkyeFrom Donan Castle we headed for Isle of Skye, which was the last stop for the day. The passage to Skye is open via three entrances. The first is via the Mallaig ferry, the second is the Glenelg ferry and the third which joins the town of Kyle is the Skye bridge. We choose the Skye Bridge. Itis a road over Loch , connecting mainland with the Isle of Skye . (wiki again!)

The bridge ride was beautiful!!!!.. and everybody suddenly turned silent in the car.
A Crimson orange haze was cast over the horizon, with the crystal clear blue waters of the Loch below. It had lighted up the sky as if lit by fire. This breathtaking view of the Sun set left us all mersmeriesed, as we breathed in the last of this long long day! A perfect ending to the day!












Awesome beauty!!








10 miles after the brigde was our BnB The Sky Bridge - Broadford . CK, dropped the girls here, and we quickly checked in. The rooms were simple but very neat and tidy . We loved the concept of this BnB, where there were commons shower rooms, around 8-10 shower rooms, free wifi and a common free food fridge!!!! Although the next hotel was 9 miles from our BnB, we really weren’t short of food, thanks to all the free food!!! To Ash’s and Teju’s delight, there was a beautiful little black cat as well, which belonged to the owner..and her name was HAMISH.. After a dinner of Bread butter, cheese and jam, we finally got to sleep, after a long, tirining but an exciting day! Looking forward to the next day!

PS: The boys, we got to know the next day, played pool.. Supposedly on the only Pool table, a guy was playing awesomely well, and was winning literally all games.. But such is the charm of our Rakesh, that when this so called Mr Pool champ played with Rakesh, not a ball managed to make it to the hole!!

More on day2 coming soon..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Great Fall

It was a Monday, so I was anyways not in a very good mood! And to add to that, I started the day by falling and tearing by brand new stockings from MnS!!


How did I fall? I was walking on the road, and just before ck's house's turn, i slipped and fell right on the road.. I slipped not becuase i was walking very fast, not because I was admiring the trees and the flowers, not becuase there was a smart guy around, of whom I couldnot take my eyes off!.. I fell becuase of my precious MnS shoes, which have literally no sole left.. The sole has eroded because of excessive use.. The fall has given me a very bad bruise on the right knee and the leg was bledding a lot right throughout the day.. which actually made me that i had diabetes! But still I am not at all upset on the shoes, or on myself for wearing such soleless(not souless:-P) shoes.. Becuase the shoes -> jaise bhi hain mera hain and have been gifted to me by a very special person ;-)


But I was certainly upset on the not so gentle man, who walked right past me.. even though he saw me fall, and didnot even bother to turn and see if I AM ALIVE OR DEAD.


I dunno what is with this British 'gentle' men. I mean, aren't british men supposed to be very gentlemanly!! Forget about being a gentle man, that was totally inhuman, to walk past a lady who is fallen down on the ground right in front of you!!!! Well, he got a lot of £$$&^ from me (I said that in my mind ofcrse)




I went to office anyways, since I had this big ctrl m issues and all blah blah!! But later on I reliased, that I was stupid! Since on tuesday, when i was leave due to this fever which i get whenevr i fall, My C's commetns were.. She took a leave for that scratch!!!!! Well, this comment has certainly rubbed off a lot of salt on my wounds.. But lesson learnt maam.. This comment is going to cost you big time..!! and you would surely see how! (Revenge time has started.. I am actually writitng this blog in the office hrs !! yayy yippeee!!)


Ok, as of now preparing to complete the blog on our awesomeeee scotland trip!!! BFN


PS: After a long time, had long long mail trail with Gomes.. felt so much nicer and better.. She yelled at me for not calling her and mailing her in almost all her emails :-P.. and that made me feel so nicer about myself.. that I mean so much to her!!


The Pink Slippers!

When we were in Vishakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh, we used to visit this famous UDA park beach many a times. Those used to be, one of my most looked forward moments.. and the main highlight of my weekends then. I loved the beaches..Amma, never liked the water so she used to stay back to watch our chappals..But Papa and me never used to lose a minute to remove those BATA slippers and rush to the oncoming waves to wet our feet..Papa like every other PAPA, used to only allow me to wet my ankles.. Every step ahead in the water, after that, would follow with 10 words of caution.. (Like.. u don’t know the sea.. it pulls you in..This is THE BAY OF BENGAL.. It is supposed to be a rough sea..ur a kid.. ur don’t understand.. And so on..) After all that, I would never dare to go ahead and wet my knees…On one of such weekend trips.. Amma could not accompany us.. so as we didn’t have anyone to look after our precious BATA slippers.. Papa and I decided to go ahead into the water with those on.. Papa had buckled shoes, so they could never come out on any case..I had my fav pink strap slippers on..
The moment I went into the water, the receding waves went back merrily, taking one of my pink slipper along with them.. Leaving me with a expression of shock and disbelief..
One thing to note here is , I was super possessive about my stuff.. I never even used to lose a eraser in school!! Amma tells me she used to throw them away eventually..(Ever seen a eraser getting over?? I have many a times )Seeing those pretty pink slipper vanishing in front of my eyes.. the easy tears came up..Papa, after one look at me, went after my pinky slipper and dived into the so called dangerous Bay of Bengal and came back after 10 frightful seconds, with the slipper in his hand and a sheepish but a victorious grin on his face..The man who never allowed me to even wet my knees.. Was drenched in salt water from head to toe just to get back that Pink slipper..!!I ran up to to him in the water wetting my knees finally :-), and he held me up high and gave me my beloved slipper..Eventually those slippers weared off and many Pink slippers came after that.. But even after 17 years since that day, never ever has anyone done such a HEROIC act for me..That incident always had a special memory in heart and mind..and unfortunately that memoryspace is going to be a “USED SPACE” for LIFE!Remebering you ALWAYS PAPA..Love you always!