Sunday, May 20, 2007

cruise to Alaska atlast!

i remember the excitement overflow and goosebumps....finally the high point of the trip. i was really shocked to see the ship, it was enormously large-like a floating city. it had 750 crew for around 2500 passengers. it was grand from inside, you could call it baroque- overly decorated. we were assigned our staterooms which were quite tiny according to american standards and quite large according to indian. ours had a window and a great view but who cared? we all rushed outside to the deck on the 12th floor...

12th floor through out the cruise remained our meeting place, if someone was lost - they were found there. it had the market place- which was a buffet eating place- huge, the game room, card room, library, spa n gym, open deck- pool and water slides, the theatre, the auditorium(600 seater with balcony- rococco style) and essentially the spinnaker lounge. the ship had a spectacular lobby on the 7th floor, triple heighted with a lounge and bars, discs and restaurants- i could go on and on about the ship but thats all for now.

exploring and knowing the ship took us probably first half of the was really exciting.

all these lounges and restaurants and other areas overlooked everchanging outside. the feeling was stange, you are in the same place with a different outside.

i can say one thing for sure the cruise was totally worth the money, and if u eat every living thing on earth - you must go for it. the feed u as if there is no tomorrow, and the charge is all inclusive so no worries. make sure u take a free style cruise, who wants to stick to schedule on a holiday?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


our cruise to alaska started from seattle. we had a day and half to explore the city. we walked for really long in really cold weather and bythe time we reached somewhere - the city was shut. dissapointing. so on the first day seattle seemed to be a dull city with grey weather - turn off. even in big cities everything shuts very early in US.. its strange by 9 pm absolutely everything is shut...and there is daylight till then so you dont even feel hungry enough for dinner..

we walked past Gehrys building and the seattle needle(strange monument from outer space). gehry i must say has done a good job with the exterior..flashy and ostentatious but interesting. his usual silver material with which he clads his building was replaced in some places by pink n yellow flashy materials which gave the building a weird look - as if it was some craft model done by some kid. but again it was 430 PM and it was shut.

the next day i almost forced my brother to take me to gehry's building...which by the way is called - The experience music project(EMP). we went inside to find out that it was a dull and boring museum absolutely opposite to starnge exterior. there was no experience of the building in most parts and the interior might as well have been put anywhere. the dynamic outside and boring is only skin deep? probably the best part of the building was that the sky rail runs right through the building..we were not allowed to take any pictures inside, but trust me it wasnt even worth it..

besides the EMP there was pikes market, which was almost exactly like our juhu fish market. only difference was it was it was tourist had restaurants n cafes and signs.
Downtown seattle was just okay. the only thing was that it was used up well. seattle is a major port - it reminded me of mumbai ka dead east coast..and to think the east coast of mumbai can be like that?

The Experience Music Project- Frank Gehry


roman pantheon

Rotunda - Uva

University of Virginia seemed like a small town by itself. the buildings are short and spread out, seperated by vast endless greens- almost like a garden city. walking from one building to another seems to be enough excersise. it was designed by thomas jefferson, who was inspired by the roman architecture. In his words the experience of the college should be like a 'academic village'. the roman influence could be seen in a few buildings like -the Rotunda- library building at the head of the garden. the buildings were all inset with a colonaded pathway all around. over all it was a pleasant place straight out of history, with changed use.

Align Center

Uva- pics

Friday, May 18, 2007

charlotesville- my brothers place

initially i did not like c'ville too much.. .. there is almost zero life - actually only 100,00 people and a lot of green all around, but thats because i am used to bombay. A fter visiting other big cities i am sure i liked c'ville the best. the drive from DC to c'ville was a good refreshment after the long flight and mumbai hassles.

c'ville started out as a university town(UVA)-with all possible amenities, good food and a cute downtown. its green all around with amazing colours. my brothers place was even better than i expected...last time i visited him, he had an apartment which was absolutely dirty- a typical bachelors house. this time, because he is married, their home is beautiful, with a forest and stream behind, large sloping back yard-on which they grow various fruits n flowers, a well landscaped front, and a typical american(venturi) home.

it was good fun to stay at his place. he has a game room in the basement(pool and tt), and a forest behind to explore- where i spent most of my time.

f ront - with his spurano

his back yard- merges with the forest
exploring the forest