Self portraits – Autumn series

It’s Autumn in France, and the gloomy weather sometimes amplifies the beauty of nature around us. This evening was no exception. I called my friend to tag along for a bicycle ride (we are riding buddies you see), he was too busy watching a stupid movie and was lazy to get out of the house in this cold weather. I had thought of clicking some portraits for him. I ended up riding alone and made few self portraits. Well, he missed his chance this time! The next time I call him, I’m sure he’ll be there!

Here are the pictures. All of them were taken using a Nikon D90, 50mm f1.8

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French countryside

I live in Chasseneuil du Poitou. I don’t have to go around looking for villages, because I live in one! My friend Jayanth and I hike around the place a lot. Sometimes we end up going on really long hikes, and since the region we live in, is small, we’ve hiked out of the chasseneuil region in almost all directions. One evening (like many other evenings) Jayanth and I decided to go for a small jog. We were about to enter the elevator when I stopped him and went back to the apartment, to get my camera and tripod. Then we grabbed some snacks, shoved them into our bags and were off. We knew it in our heads that we were going on a really long hike!

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The road towards Martigny. The board indicating that we are leaving Chasseneuil.

There’s a tree all by itself in the middle of farmlands. I call it the lonely tree. Its on my jogging route, and sometimes when I’m lazy to get up in the morning, the thought of this tree inspires me to run. I really like this tree a lot!

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My friend and I headed towards the lonely tree

This time we were headed towards the lonely tree which is 2 kms from our place. Both of us started walking with lollipops (chupa chups – a type of candy) in our mouth. We walked past the tree and then realised that we should have taken a picture. Walked back, set the tripod and *click*. We were on our way once again, on the path between farmlands which looked like a desert. We reached another lonely tree, which we named “Mystery mara” (mystery tree), because there can’t be two trees with the same name right? On one of our previous hikes, we saw a small forest (not really a forest, more like a plantation) in the middle of nowhere, and hiked towards it.

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The forbidden forest (Picture by Jayanth)

This place looks exactly like the old forest in Lord of the rings, so we decided to call it “the forbidden forest”. We walked for about 5 kms and found vast cornfields equipped with giant sprinklers. We spent some time running through the water blanket made by the sprinkler, and made a few videos of our stupid actions.

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Chasseneuil du poitou is engulfed by vast farmlands in all directions. It really is a beautiful place.

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The lonely tower – reminds me of the tower from the movie “Lord of the rings – the two towers”

We were 8 kms from home when it was starting to get dark. It was almost 9 pm but there was still plenty of light (We have longer days now). We decided to sit down and eat the snacks we had shoved into our bags. One biscuit after another, we finished the whole pack. Some water to drown it and we were heading back home.

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Snack time, at the farthest point of our hike

We had to walk all the way back, through the desolate farmlands. And nowhere did we spot a single human. The thought of such empty places coupled with the eeriness of the night was scary as well as exciting. We had interesting conversations about random subjects to avoid getting freaked out about fictitious supernatural elements. When it got really dark, we clicked some more pictures, tried out light painting in front of the camera, but never stopped to rest.

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M for Mayur, and J for Jayanth

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Experiments with light

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The two brothers

When we reached the lonely tree, we didn’t speak until we had passed the tree. The sound of crickets, whistling winds, and cloudy skies, it was the perfect setting for a scary atmosphere. Once we passed the tree, we were brave and courageous once again. We talked about horror movies, scary ghosts, and were not afraid at all! We could also see the road ahead, and had gotten brave all of a sudden. The last 2 kms was filled with brave talk about ghosts. My friend even quoted a weird theory from the television series, “Supernatural”. Something about urinating, to ward off spirits (:D)

When we reached the apartment it was almost 12 am, we had food waiting for us (prepared by our friends), which we devoured quietly. When I finally went to bed, I just had one thought on my mind, “Where do we hike next?”.

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The lonely tree, at night

Paris – The City of Light

My friends and I had been to Amsterdam to welcome 2016, and on our way back to Poitiers, France, we had a few hours to kill. We had reached Paris on 3 January 2016, early in the morning. The bus to Poitiers was at 15:00. Since we had a lot of time, we decided to head to the “Louvre”. It was still very dark when we arrived at the gigantic walls surrounding the Louvre Pyramid. We couldn’t figure out where the entrance was and there was not a soul to be seen. After a lot of walking around, we found our way inside. I must say we were extremely lucky to have arrived at the Louvre Palace in the morning. There were hardly any people around, and I never did spot any homo sapiens “selfying” with their phones! The dim lighting of the palace complimented by the dark sky was a visual treat indeed. Due to the limited time, we couldn’t venture into the museum. But I was really glad to just witness the beauty of its surroundings. We walked around the palace enjoying the changing colours of the sky, after which we took the metro and arrived at the Eiffel Tower. Seeing the Eiffel tower was an achievement for us, not because its a World Wonder, but because it had been 4 months since we arrived in France, and had never been to the Eiffel Tower. The view of the city from the top of the tower is stunning. One look from here is ample for anyone to fall in love with the architecture of this city (Paris is divided into 20 Arrondissements). 

Here are some pictures of these beautiful places,

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The Palais-Royal, home of the Conseil d’État

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The bridge, Pont des arts

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The Seine river as seen from the Pont des arts

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The Seine river

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The gateway to the Louvre Pyramid

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The Louvre Pyramid (Mona Lisa is in there somewhere)

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The Pont des arts leading to the Mazarine Library

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The Cour Carrée (Square Courtyard completed under Napoleon I) seen from the Mazarine library.

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Posters promoting Australian tourism, in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower.

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View of the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

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Chaillot’s Palace seen from the Eiffel tower.

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La Grande Roue de Paris (The big wheel of Paris) seen from the Eiffel Tower.

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The “Champ de Mars” seen from the Eiffel tower.

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The World famous “Tour Eiffel” (Eiffel Tower)

Prague – Czech Republic

Here are some pictures from my recent visit to Prague.

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The astronomical tower

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Astronomical tower

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At the Prague square

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One can see beautiful architecture and vibrant colours throughout the city.

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The two guards

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View from the Charles bridge

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The little red houses

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Another view of the city, from the top

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On my way to one of the huge cathedrals

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The three guards

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The officers in blue

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All that glitters is not gold.

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The two huge doors

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The golden cathedral

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View of the city at dusk

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The city at night

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A night at the Square

Super Moon and Total Lunar Eclipse

Today I witnessed the Super moon & a total lunar eclipse. Here are some pictures taken from Poitiers, France.
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The super moon hours before the Lunar eclipse

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The Total Lunar eclipse is minutes away
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Total Lunar Eclipse and the Super Moon