Tag Archives: Botanical Gardens

Oz trip — Botanical Gardens

We finally reached the Opera house and I groaned seeing the zillion steps for the first time. It was not so bad because of the cool breeze. It was a hot day but not humid and the cool breeze enticed you to drop things and fall asleep on the steps. No, we did not do tht but it was close ūüôā This snap is a good example of how difficult it is to take snaps in this tourist-crowded place. But, it was fun as well. You can see the guy in a white shirt posing for someone’s camera.¬†

Most ppl were seated at the steps and we decided to do tht as well. A family with a bunch of kids were having a snack. All of a sudden we realized that the number of silvergulls shot up. Soon the kids were tossing crumbs and the birds were enjoying the crumbs and fighting for them. We enjoyed the way the birds jumped and fought for the crumbs. Soon the snacks were finished but the gulls did not understand or chose not to. They started inching closer. The mother shooed the gulls away but they did not go away. The gulls were sure that there was more to be had even when there was not. We left just as the fight got serious. One of the kids started screaming and the family moved away. The gulls left immediately.

We went inside the opera house but because we were not watching any play or buying any tickets, we did not stay long. The Arien was busy shooting pics of the Harbour bridge from the Opera house. I felt we were getting good exercise. Back home, both of us have sedentary jobs and though the Arien manages an hour of gymming, I do nothing. We were both quite tired after the walk and we were yet to visit the Botanical Gardens.

As soon as we reached the Botanical garden, the Arien shot more snaps. He was taking pictures of a sailboat and trees. The place reminded me a lot of the Botanical gardens in Ooty.  But, the place was very clean. There were a lot of families having picnics at the botanical gardens. It was a very nice and calm place. We also noticed 3 fitness-crazy ppl. 2 guys and a gal, dressed in black. They were doing a bit of running, push-ups, spot-jumping, followed by running. It was scary. The gal was able to keep up with the guys. Impressive! 

There were a lot of birds as well which was very surprising for us. The Arien went a lil crazy with the bird snaps. It is so difficult to get a great picture of any bird. We noticed a bird, which looked a lot like a parrot, but was not a parrot. The arien informed me that it was a white cockatoo.¬†Its actually the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Hmmm.. I have learnt a lot ’bout¬†wildlife from the Arien.¬†

There was a boy, another tourist, I presume, who was feeding the cockatoo. The Arien shot a zillion shots of which a few are good. Just when you had everything angled for a good shot, the cockatoo would turn its head away from you and you would have a funny snap. These are a few of the good ones.

I got a bit bored, to be honest. The Arien took forever to take those snaps. And the birds would simply not smile, I mean,¬†look at the camera.¬†You get the picture, rite¬†ūüôā

And then we saw the¬†cormorant australian wood duck swimming in the small pond. The Arien of course, knew the name. I had no clue. I thought¬†the bird¬†resembled a duck ūüôā She happily posed for the pics and the Arien was able to get a neat pic.¬†

We noticed a chick sunbathing and in my extreme ignorance asked if it was the duckling. The Arien told me that the chick was a purple swamphen. We saw the mom walking nearby – not pretty at all.¬†I was sure this chick could not possibly belong to the swamphen but¬†of course¬†-I was proven wrong.¬†¬†It is not good to have this bet with the Arien. I always lose. So, we had caught sight of the silvergull, the cockatoo,¬†the cormorant australian wood duck, and the purple swamphen — on one sunny day wen we visited the Botanical gardens. And we were not that into bird watching… wooohooo!! This improved the Arien’s mood. From starting off with a cranky mood, he was now planning¬†which ones¬†to share.¬†The credit goes to Botanical Gardens for totally distracting the Arien and keeping him in good temper.¬†

The Arien also shot pictures of the Opera house from the Botanical Gardens. You can see the Opera house and a bit of the Harbour Bridge as well. It was a good shot. He was pretty impressed with that shot as it captured both.

The last shot for the day was an upside down tree which looked very pretty that the Arien was least interested in. It was fenced in РI think to prevent folks from climbing on it and marring its beauty.  The Arien was quite surprised that the picture looked nice. We decided to leave after taking that snap. It had been a good day, relaxing. It also provided us an amazing photo-op which we took full advantage of. 

We returned to our room re-charged – having thoroughly enjoyed the respite.

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Udhagamandalam (Ooty)

Day 3 –¬†Part I

Day 3 started pretty early for both of us. We decided to leave early 36bendsso we can finish the Ooty trip and then check out from the resort. We had asked for permission to check out as late as 2 pm so we could complete the trip in peace. The resort owners sweetly obliged.

We left the resort at 6:45 a.m.¬†and the drive was indeed breathtakingly beautiful.¬†The hairpin bends were indeed scary – they are actually known as the 36 Hairpin Bends to Heaven. I wanted to stand and stare – the bends looked lovely and there were very few ppl on the road. You do feel one with the clouds as you go around the hairpin bends. This particlar snap was taken frm one of the bends –¬†I was¬†standing atop the chuntu embankment and took this picture. The actual view is so beautiful that this snap does not do justice to the view.

botanicalgardensThe plan was to visit the Botanical gardens, first. I was not sure if it was even open at this time – it was¬†7:45 am and everything seemed closed.¬†Also, it was republic day and so I was not sure if as a mark of respect – it may be closed?!! Its amazing wht we realize after reaching our destination!! We needn’t have worried..¬†the Botanical Gardens was open to public¬†at 8 am – this information was gleaned from the local chai shop from where¬†we had our first chai of the day. While we were discussing¬†if we shd have breakfast¬†and gulping down hot¬†chai/coffee – the chai fella told us to¬†get going to the Botanical gardens. Well, that decided things. ¬†ūüėÄ

I thought we wud be the first ones but wht do you know – there were so many ppl – most of them taking snaps. We saw this tree that looked oh-so-different that the arien happily took a picture. It was awfully cold and I was shivering inspite of the red jherkin that I was wearing. The sun was slowly making its appearance.

There were so many weird looking trees that totally caught our attention – I bg-difftreethink I wanted to take snaps of all of them but the Arien was not interested. The trees were from all over the world – I saw one from Australia, and another¬†from China, and they all looked so different and the garden had so many different varieties that I really wanted to stand and stare. This was another one of those trees that made me want to stand and stare – it was right next to the entrance and I was surprised we missed it wen we walked in ūüôā

My fingers were numb and I think I was hungry¬†b’cos I was slowly turning cranky as we walked around the garden. It was a lllooong walk and it almost seemed never-ending. The Arien wanted to climb a small hill and I told him to go on – I was really not interested in climbing that hill. It was no longer as cold but it was not warm either and I was hungry – the arien came down after a while saying he had no clue where the hill ended and he did not see any other way of coming down and so he returned – he was hungry as well – by then.

fishWe had breakfast at a local saravana bhavan and going by the crowd of irritated ppl – we decided to order the fastest breakfast item namely, Idli Vada ūüôā True to popular¬†notion¬†the idli vada came by pretty quickly and soon we had finished eating and were ready to leave while folks who had come in before us were still sitting (im)patiently. As we walked out of the hotel, I saw this aquarium which had two huge fishes – that looked vaguely familiar. The Arien¬†stated “What Bull – all tht 40k crap at¬†KRS – and here¬†this guy has two of them”. And thts when it hit me – of course, this was the same fish that we saw¬†in Krishnaraja Sagar dam¬†near Mysore, ¬†that supposedly cost the government 40k – and this guy had two of them!!¬†I asked to take a¬†snap of the amazing fish and he smilingly¬†waved me on.. and so here is the pic.

The next stop for the¬†day¬†was the Rose Garden.¬†This was where the Arien lost the temper ‘cos he was not allowed to rosepark in a “Only Government Vehicles Parking allowed” area, by me. He was furious for a looong time ūüôā The rose garden is of course a garden full of amazing roses – you can smell them from a distance but they looked dry and care-worn.¬†There was even a rose named after Jayalalitha. Some of the roses were huge, some were small and they were¬†in so many different colours – so many ppl were¬†posing with the roses¬†tht it was really too much – the arien was of course fuming n so we walked our different ways until we met¬†at the middle of the garden and then decided tht we had seen¬†enuf of the rose garden ūüôā This rose is not the Jayalalitha one but was the biggest one we had seen in Ooty. MIL’s roses are almost always this size and look amazing as well ūüėÄ

I wanted to get a Toda Shawl for myself and my¬†mil, and sil.¬†We spent a lot of time, losing our way in the process, walking one way and then the other, to no avail. When we finally found¬†the toda emporium – it¬†was closed on account of Republic Day and I felt sorely cheated. We decided to have a second breakfast while we were at it – hehehehe ūüėÄ I purchased tea for family junta – I mean – everybody who visits ooty buys tea n chocolates and while we saw quite a few chocolate vendors – we were told tht the best was King Star who opened at 11. So we waited till 11:15 and yes – it was obviously the most popular – I spent an amazing half an hour there before I realized tht I had come in to buy chocolates!!! After buying a lot of chocolates – I found that I did not have my purse :O I had to go out of the shop – get my purse frm the car – and then get the chocolates – if the Arien was fuming earlier – he turned furious ūüôā

kite1Our next and last visit was to Doddha Betta. I was completely bugged by then – I had no wish to go anywhere and so I sat at a bench that was thoughtfully provided ( I am sure it was for older folks and not for me) but who cares!

Suddenly, the place where I was sitting became xtremely popular because of a cute bird that was seen fluttering in mid-sky. It looked pretty weird – like it had had enough of being pushed arnd (pun unintended) and decided to stand and face the music. Everybody was pointing and staring and for a few awful minutes, I thot they were pointing at me and then I was staring too. The arien took this snap.

By then – I was ready to leave – seriously. There were so many ppl – it was a holiday and I was sure we were late¬†and it was already 1 pm. We had chai and chilli bhajjis – as I was not too sure wen we wud have lunch and the arien has this tendency to become xtremely cranky if a meal is delayed or missed.¬†After that we¬†decided it was high time we left – because there was no way¬†we wud even reach the resort by 2.¬†¬†When will we check out??!!…¬†Grrr!!! I was worried tht they may charge us for another day – we had not planned for tht – I was totally¬†tense!! The Arien refused to believe that may happen – he can b way to optimistic ’bout things which bugs me a lot!!