Postcards from Europe - 4: Munich, Paris & Madrid

At certain moments in life, you know you're living through a future memory. You know that decades hence, when you look back at your life, you'll remember the very moment you're living now. These moments can be sought and planned for, or may arrive completely unexpected. They maybe good or bad. My 10-day trip exploring Europe had several of such moments. Here's a small sample in chronological order:

The rides at Oktoberfest, Munich:

We were taken 55 meters up over Munich at night, and given a mighty twirl. I had never been more scared or had more fun in a ride ever.

Let's go a bit higher, and this time, let's just drop! Free fall from 66 meters folks. We were bounced about a bit like a yo-yo. The climb is scary cause it doesn't seem to end. The scariest part is when you're at the peak and waiting to drop. Quickly overtook the previous ride and became the most fun and scary ride I had ever been on.

A roller-coaster next. With five loops. I screamed the hardest in this one. The exhilarating speed and ferocious turns and the extremely tight loops made my neck hurt! And no prizes for guessing that this now stands as the most scary and fun ride I've ever been on!

The Louvre, Paris!

Is one of my most favorite places ever. I imagine I would be very happy living there. Of course I had heard a lot about it's large collection of paintings and sculptures (and not only due to 'The Da Vinci Code') but nothing could've prepared me for the actual experience.

I walked through halls and halls of mindbogglingly magnificent paintings, many the size of entire walls, in absolute awestruck amazement. I cannot count the number of paintings that caused me to stand there transfixed and mesmerized by the look on a character's face, the composition of the painting, the poignancy of the scene depicted, and the skill of the artist. If pictures can speak a thousand words, then Louvre is perhaps the biggest library in the world.

I can write all the superlatives I know and you still won't know how incredible the paintings actually are. So here's an example:

As with any work of art, knowing a bit about it increases your appreciation of it manifold. This particular painting is 'The Raft of Medusa' by Theodore Gericault, a French painter of the 19th century. It depicts the scene of survivors of an actual shipwreck. The first thing that strikes you is the incredible scale of the painting. The figures in the foreground are twice life size! Gericault locked himself up in his studio for days on end working on this painting in complete isolation. He even collected dead bodies from the morgue and studied how the dying and the dead look like. He took a year planning, researching and composing the painting and the actual painting took 8 months to finish. And all of it shows in the final work!

The rest of Paris also lives up to its name. It really is a beautiful city!

Arc de Triomph

A bridge on the River Sienne

Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid!

The home of Real Madrid. It was a joy walking around the stands, going through the trophy room, the dressing room, stand pitch-side and look around the stands and sit on the player's bench.

Before you get all jealous of me again, I will mention that not everything went right on the trip. In fact, for a few days everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The series of unfortunate events made India seem like a much safer place than Europe. They made the trip especially memorable, and definitely not in the way I would've liked. Still, you try to remember and cherish the good, and forget the bad.


  1. Wow, looks like a blast so far. Hope you're breathing it all in, savouring every moment! Hope the rest of your stay/journey through Europe is a safe and pleasant one!

  2. you didnt really get clicked with ronaldo did you???

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Would have been really jealous if Ronaldo was real. :)

  5. You are the luckiest guy!! Paris!! Such a magnificent place!! Keep the good tidings from your stay in Europe coming! :) Esp. the pictures!

  6. No No...That's a wax model of R9..guys...There is absolutely no need to be jealous. I hope. Tell us that's a wax model..please!

  7. @Azra: Thanks for the wishes! And wow for the pics of SA on your blog!

    @Avanti: Most pics will be up on FB. And you wouldn't call me the luckiest guy if you knew everything. :| But yea, Europe is awesome! :)

    @pankaj, Gunner, Nagneel: That is NOT a wax model of Ronaldo!!! There was a lengthy queue to get this pic snapped. And it was bloody expensive! The original is a framed hardcopy. I've taken a pic of that and put it up here.

    @Anfield: Long story..

  8. I had made up my mind that i wont read ur blog till u are bck..i knew i cldnt stop feelin jealous..and boy was i rite..I m soo J :(


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