Category: USA


Yo Yo Yosemite

Yosemite  National park located at a distance of around 180 miles from San Fransisco and 300 miles from Los Angeles ,is one of the largest national parks spread over a wide 1100 square feet area.Yosemite  encompasses  the enormous mountains and valleys,giant Sequioa trees and grooves ;a number of water falls ,wide life and scenic natural beauty.It is an ideal location for nurturing  your trekking craze,for it has many beautiful locations accessible on   trekking.

The drive from our place,Santa Clara to Yosemite was fun ,as we explored the different native regions and farm sides throughout.As the yosemite region was approaching, we could feel the nature’s glory, with  narrow and single lane roads  winding like a roller coaster and  surrounded with hills on one side ; the valleys with dense trees and forests on the other side.As we entered the Yosemite valley ,we could see huge granite rock hills and mountains  and they looked  amazing and increased our curiosity to explore the rest of it.The Yosemite valley in fact took us to a different world, like those seen in ideal picture portraits and sketches of nature.Though we stayed there  only for a day;the trip was a wonderful memoir.Here,I would list a few important spots to be visited at Yosemite valley.

Yosemite valley can be explored by a drive in a car or by the of free shuttle  bus service within the park.I would rather suggest the shuttle becuase that would offer a guided descriptive tour of the entire valley .The shuttle stops at all the important locations including :

  • Museum:This museum exhibits  the history of Yosemite ;pictures of  some native people living in yosemite ,gallery exhibiting the  photographic views of various granite cliffs,mountains and water falls.
  • Yosemite falls:Yosemite falls comprises of the upper ,middle and lower yosemite falls  and spans from a hieght of approximately 2400 ft ,giving it the credit to be one of the largest falls in the world.Lower Yosemite falls is at a short distance walk and takes us to the base  of the water falls.The Water falls emerges from a narrow creek which gushes down to form a huge torrent;leaving us wondering about the marvel of nature!

Yosemite Falls Location during late summer

Yosemite falls in it's elegant form.

  • Swinging bridge ;Vernal and Bridal veil falls and Glacier point : Swinging bridge is a place  from where you could trek to the Vernal and Bridal veil falls.Vernal falls  looks beautiful dropping from a hieght of 200 meters and is at a distance of around 1 miles  trail trek. The trail further carries us through a steep trek towards the Bridal veil falls and is at a distance of 2 miles from there.I was so exhausted at this point ,that I couldn’t evn dare to climb still further upto the Glacier point”.The Glacier point  is around 4 miles trekking distance from the bridge and one of the most exotic locations on earth ,owing to the breathtaking panoramic view of the entire stretch of the yosmetie valley ; the water falls and granite formations including the el captain rock ,’half dome  shaped granite hill and the valleys.The valley is visible at a drop of around 3000 feet and looks spectacular!The sunset or sunrise views here are elegant and pleasure to eyes of  the spectators. .Glacier point is also accessible via the highway 41 and is drivable up to a short distance away from the view  point ,from where it’s a short walk.

Glacier point view.

Yosemite falls from Glacier point

view from the bridge

  • Elcaptain meadow:This place is located at the outskirts of the park and we could stop by and watch this as we drive out of the yosemite valley.This features a huge granite rock named“Elcaptain” which is a huge spectacular rock formation.

El Captain granite

  • Sentinel meadow and Sentinel bridge: These locations give a beautiful view of the Half dome shaped granite rock as well as it’s reflection in the merced river and also the  Yosemite falls and Elcaptain.

Half Dome

A beautiful lake on the way

PS: Yosemite has a variety of activities which includes Trekking ,Hiking rock climbing ,biking ,bird watching ,forest camping ,water activities like swimming,rafting,fishing etc for enthusiastic people.Lodging facilities are avialiable and also tent houses for camping.visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm for details.

Mystery spot -Santa cruz

MYSTERY SPOT : This place is located at Santa Cruz ,CA ,at a distance of approximately 40 miles from City of  San Fransisco.This is termed as a”mystical “place where you experience effects of gravity ,perspective ,positioning and variations in hieght.This place was discovered in 1939 by some surveyors and has been a point of interest and curiosity since then for many spectators and visitors.This area has a small wooden house ‘ located at a small circular area of around 50 meters diameter which has this ‘magical effect’.People have a lot of predictions including  ‘extraterrestrial effect’;’haunted house’;Some heavy metals buried beneath the place ;co2 seepage underneath the house ,etc etc;but the credits for these phenomenon  seems to be given to some scientists for the  optical phenomenon demonstrated here by them.
The drive to this place was very skeptical and seemed very mysterious with narrow winding roads and dense forests around with tall sequoia trees touching the sky;no where giving us the hints of a tourist location ahead.Finally when we reached the place ,it seemed like a small area with only forest around and not even some shops or entertainment spots around.The tour was guided with a tour guide who took a bunch of people of 20 in number  at a time.This haunted house ‘ mimicking  place  was located at a small hilltop and we had to trek a little distance to reach it.On reaching there ,the guide demonstrated some phenomenon like –
1.’when a ball was placed on a wooden plank facing downwards,the ball would travel in the opposite direction uphill’ rather then rolling down!
2.Drops of water flown on the plank would also roll upwards and drip rather than flowing down towards the sloping side.
3.She asked few people to stand in a row in ascending order of their heights  on a flat board and it appeared that the shorter person  seemed  the same height as the tallest person.
After all these,we entered the house ,and there we felt as if we were leaning ,and we couldn’t stand still and were feeling dizzy or as if we were about to experience a fall.Everybody around appeared leaning either towards the side or to the front.People were trying hard to keep themselves balanced and stand erect. Appeared like everyone where boozed and intoxicated!. When we stood on the window steps on the wall ,we appeared to lean forward as if  we would fall ,but in spite of that were standing erect!A table was placed inside the house and people were standing on the table to experience the enigma.People were perceived to be leaning forward and still managed not to lose their balance and trip down!So everything around seemed as if there was no effect of ‘gravitational force’ in the house! On close observation,what we felt and concluded was that the house was constructed at a ’tilted angulation’ opposite to the direction in which the hill was directed towards.For ex:If the hill was sloping from direction” x to y”;the house was tilted at an angle of ‘y to x’ so that the gravitational effect would be neutralised.Sounds amazing right! Yes this strange ‘engineering and construction marvel ‘ left everyone perplexed.This place is a worth watch just to experience this phenomenon.  

A Trip To Cincinatti

We were staying at Dayton ,Ohio and CINCINATTI was at  close to 45 min drive from the place we lived.So one weekend we decided to have a day out at Cincinatti.WE thought of covering the “coney island” mainly and spend less time at the  city and downtown; but  happened the vice-versa.It turned out to be nice  day out.Some of the important places which we visited are:

Cincinnati zoo and botanical garden:This zoo has a variety of animals which includes even the endangered species like white tiger and Felines.Botanical gardens also are a worth watch with few of the rarest collections of perenialls ,trees and shrubs.

National underground Railroad freedom centre:-This is one of the important places to visit ,with a unique theme of supporting the “freedom “concept and resisting “slavery “and human trafficking.There is an exhibition entitled against slavery and human trafficking including forced labor,sex trafikking child labor ,etc named as “Invisible”whcih is a must watch.

Down town :Cincinnati down town has 3rd 4th 5th streets as main points of interests and the down town tour can be accomplished either by a “Holley Jolley” trolley or by a traditional ,well decorated horse carriage driven by professionally dressed man/woman.Down town has a lot of buildings to be seen like the carew tower,Scripps center,fifth third bank building ,Macy’s plaza,union terminal.Some of the important places to visit in downtown :

Carew tower:This building located just near the fountain square ,is a 49 storied commercial complex with an observatory desk at 49th floor giving a spectacular view of the entire city.This complex has restaurants ,gift shops ,dressing outlets ,offices inside.

TYLER DAVIDSON FOUNTAIN SQUARE:This is one of the most famous attraction and hang out place .With a huge banner reading “Life happens here”,this place has enthusiastic people from all around the world united at one place ,chilling out at the square having fun .There are a variety of itinerary and a huge Lcd display for entertainment of people .We spent an hour here and our kid was having fun near the flowing water at the fountain ,were al the kids were accumulated.

CINCINATTI MUSEUM CENTER AT UNION TERMINAL:This museum is replaced by the previously occupied railway station and has a kids museum and a historical museum displaying the historical aspects of Cincinnati.

CONEY’S ISLAND:we headed towards our most desired destination to unwind an amazing experience of breathtaking rides and chilling water dips.The coney island has 2 main portions ,the Sunlite pool and the Classic rides.Sunlite pool is the largest recirculating swimming pool in the world and is as large as a football ground .This portion of the park has thrilling water slides and a lot of other waterrides.The clasic rides mainly includes a lot of kiddie rides which can have an unlimited usage and also a lot of  exhilarating and breathtaking rides like “The screaming machimne“which throws us up from as high as 50 feet;””python roller coaster“;”River runner” ,the boat which takes us swinging right and left above the river.

The traditional horse carriage

 

FIFTH THIRD BANK BUILDING

FOUNTAIN SQUARE

 

SUNLITE POOL

NEW YORK -THE HAPPENING CITY

 

New york ,“A city that never sleeps” is the most happening city in the world.New york is a widely spread city with more than 7 million residents and has inhabitants with cultural diversities.Manhattan is at the center of New york city and harbors the tallest buildings and the financial district and is situated on a large island in the middle of Hudson river.manhattan is the heart of New york.Streets run east to west starting from the first street to 218th street.And from north to south runs the first to twelfth avenues.Newyork is a vast ocean and to explore the whole city with an Eagle’s eye is almost next to impossible.So for tourists like us ,a“hop on hop off “bus tour would be the ideal option,and the bus tour starts right at 8am and extends up to 12 in midnight(it has both day and night tours).

Here I will list the  famous and top 10 attractions of New york.

1.ELLIS ISLAND AND STATUE OF LIBERTY– Ellis  island which was the gateway to millions of immigrants and had an inspection center has now the famous Immigration museum for tourists.Statue of Liberty which is world-renowned is a symbol of peace and liberty”and was gifted to the USA by France and signified the independence of the USA. This is located at the liberty island .There is a ferry to the Ellis and liberty island .The ferry ride offers an elegant view of the skyline of the New york city.   

 
  
 2.THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING-This is a world-famous landmark and is situated in 5th avenue and consists of 102 floors .It has an observatory desk at 86th floor and also on 102nd floor.  
3.Broadway street – This is a famous iconic place at downtown Manhattan is a theatrical district harboring clusters of theaters playing variety of shows.

Empire state

 
4.The ROCKFELLER CENTER AND OBSERVATION DESK-This building has 8,000,sq ft or spread over 22acresand extends from 48th to 51street and comprises many buildings.The center building is the Rockefeller plaza , GE building and comprises 70 floors and is a famous tourist attraction.Top of the rock observation desk is situated on 70 th floor and gives a panoramic view of the entire city.

ROCKFELLER PLAZA

5. THE WALL STREET AND THE FINANCIAL DISTRICTThis street features many of the financial institutions of Manhattan and is a pleasure to watch with all th buildings aligned in a straight line which includes the Federal hall and New york stock exchange office
.6.The iconic “stock exchange bull“/charging bull stands in the green park at the financial district ,which is a major photographic attraction.Bull signifies the aggression in the stock market dealings and rubbing the nose/horns of the bull signifies good luck!
7.The famous world trade center was located here in the financial district and now we can visualise the “memorial of world trade center” at the site . 
 
  

WALL STREET NEWYORK

STOCK BULL

8.  BROOKLYN BRIDGE  -The bridge connects the cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn and is the world’s largest suspension bridge with a stretch of 1.8 km and the towers amidst the bridge are 276 feet tall and the bridge is supported by  a mesh of strong cables.

9.MADAME TUSSAD’S MUSEUM– This renowned museum located at 42 nd street has more than 200 life-like wax figures of famous icons and celebrities.

10.Times square-This extends from the 42 to 47 streets and is “The happening place”of New york with the streets open all through night and crowds hanging out in full spirits at midnight ,a variety of pubs ,restaurants,musical shows and night life.Time square was named because of the famous“one times square “building which hosts one of the most;extravagant new year eve’s ball.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE

 

TIMES SQUARE

Hi readers

Being at the bay since 6 months ,i have experienced only the beating heat,and now after so long i can feel the chills!Bay area is getting cloder ,waiting for the daylight saving time ..can sleep more!

San Fransisco ,which i term the “city of uphills and downhills” is a city which has an amazing unique structure of being constructed at the steep hills and slopes above the bay ,without poundering with the natural beauty and is surrounded throughout by the bay.It is an amazing city with spectacular skylines of the magnificient buildings and elegant view of the pacific ocean.

Top 10 highlights in the city which is a must watch:

1.THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE:California’s most famous icon ,golden gate bridge spams the city of san fransisco to marin county.Joseph strauss designed this unique orange colored decorative 1.2 mile suspension bridge which can withstand wind speed as great as 100 miles per hour.Hieght of suspension bridge towers-746 feet.
2.THE VISTA POINT-After a drive past the golden gate bridge the vista point offers a spectacular view of the pacific ocean and the golden gate bridge .Its the ideal place for capturing beautiful photgraphs of the bridge .we can take a trek across the hill  above the vista point and have an amazing view there swayed by the blowing winds of the bay.

3.PIER 39-This is the main harbor of all the 42 harbors,and has a  market place featuring the variety of shops in 2 floors where you can shop a variety of things which includes ocean pearls ,jewellery,winter wear sweaters,jackets,food vendors offering yummy sea food and also eat out at a variety of restaurants.This place also features street play of instrumentals like guitar ,truimpet played by artists;children’s entertainment area –a fascinating  merry go round with lightings ,magic shows ;entertainment shows.Thisplace also harbors a lot of sea lions at the bay shore .

4.FISHERMAN’S WARF-This place features a lot of sidewalk vendors who sell bay’s array of sea food including crabs and fishes also bagels and dough bread.Its a pefecet blend of fishing fleets,motels ,museums ,fishing boats.

5.AQUARIUM OF THE BAY -A beautiful aquarium by the bay side at the pier 39.

6.The BLUE AND GOLD FEET BAY CRUISE-This cruise trip starts at the bay shore at pier 39 and covers the pacific ocean hovering through and beneath the Golden gate bridge and the Bay bridge and also covers the view of the Alcatraz island .The cruise trip will be memorable with the sea gulls and birds crossing over your head and a soothing cool breeze from the pacific ocean.

7.The ALCATRAZ ISLAND-This is a small rocky island at the middle of the bay which  featured  a military prison established in 1854 and  was converted into a federal security  prison housing “public criminals“like “scarface”and “machine gun “Kelly.This prison was closed in 1963 and now thosands of visitors visit this place as a point  of interest through a “ferry ride”.

8 .GHIRARDELLI SQUARE-This was a famous chocolate factory occupied bya red brick building once;and is now converted into a visitors place with restaurants,shops and there are original chococlate machines on display ,and shops selling ghirardelli chocolates and icecreams.

9.THE CROOKED STREET/LOMBARD STREET-A very famous destination of the SFO at the end of “Hyde street “on top of the hill whcih starts right at the top and curves down at steep bends turning to the left and right in a “zigzag”pattern(Seems as if the bends are at 90degree inclinations).The road seems impossible for a drive ,but people do drive down the street ,and the the speed limit in tht road is 5mph/hr.

10.THE CABLE CAR DRIVE ACROSS POWELL AND HYDE STREET-You can miss anything in san fransisco ,but not the Powell and Hyde street ride on the cable car,because this ride will take you to ecstasy!Starting at the downtowns of  powell and market street ,this ride takes you further uphill through the nobhill and the russian hills across the Hyde street.On the way you can see the china town road filled with chineese outlets and cusines and stuffs.The streets are so unique in their own way because they have segments of steep (almost 90 degree inclined)hills and valleys and then   the ride ends excitingly sliding down the russian hill to the bottom as if we are going to plunge into the ocean ,but stops in a pretty little park as an end point.

Finally to end ..I end with a quote which i read somewhere when somebody asked,”why couldn’t they just cut down the hills and slopes of SFO and make it into a flat city?” That’s beause “City of San Fransisco wouldn’t be San  Fransisco without the uphills and downhills”.

 

PIER 39

    

VIEW FROM THE CRUISE

 

THE GOLDEN GATE VIEW FROM THE CRUISE

 

THE ALCATRAZ ISLAND

 

THE CROOKED STREET

 

THE VIEW FROM TOP OF THE HYDE STREET

 

THE NIAGARA FALLS -AN OVERVIEW

 Niagara Falls ,which i term as themystic worldwhere you are lost in the mists of the gushing waterfalls ,is truly a heaven on earth.When viewed from the american side ,it is located at the “Niagara state park” ,Niagara ,new york.

TO EXPLORE:
1.The Niagara falls
2.American falls
3.Horseshoe falls
4.Maid of the mist ride :The vessel which takes you to the base of the horse shoe and american falls ,where you experience the rushing torrents of the water falls.
5.The cave of the winds ride:A lift which takes you thousand feet below to the base of the falls where ou take a trek/walk  to the base of the niagara falls where you are engulfed in the gushing water falls .”Feel it to experience it”
6.Maid of the mist observatory deck:elegant view of the water falls at a glimpse and also th e amazing view of the Canadian side which includes not only the water falls ,but also the beautiful city of Ontario.
7.The discovery center at the Niagara falls
8.The Niagara falls aquarium :has a wide variety of sea creatures and has a spectacular seal show every 2 hours;amazing for the kids to watch!
 
9.The Imax Theater:Has amazing 3D shows of the spectacular falls and its history.
10.The state park  which itself is beautiful.
11.ecstatic illumination of Niagara falls at night starting 7pm and lasting upto10 pm.
The park has train shuttles  every few minutes ,which take you for a tour around the nigara state park covering all the important locations.
Also a discovery pass could be brought to cover all the important events and places at a reasonable cost.

AT THE BASE OF THE HORSHE SHOE FALLS "MAID OF THE MIST" RIDE

 

  • THE HORSE SHOE FALLS VIEW FROM THE TOP

“CAVE OF THE WINDS”RIDE AT NIAGRA WHERE WE ARE TAKEN TO THE SUMMIT OF THE FALLS

 

DRENCHED IN THE GUSH OF ELIXIR

 

OUR SHUTTLE TRAIN RIDE WITHIN NIAGARA

   PS: This is a video I captured at the base of the ‘Horse shoe falls’ during the ‘Maid of the mist’ ride.You can relate the thrill what we experienced during the experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kib0bpFka4A