Aleppo is Syria is literally at the verge of annihilation now. A city which was once at the forefront of trade is now falling victim to bombs and guns in a a civil war which no one is winning, yet no one is willing to let go of. But Aleppo was vastly different in the 18th century - it was still the hub of international trade and a melting point of cultures from all continents.

A a centre of trade Aleppo also had a thriving population of traders and businessmen who travel across the world to build their fortune. One such man was Shalom Aharon Obadiah Cohen, a Jew born in Aleppo in the year 1762. Thirty six years later he became the fist Jew ever to migrate to Kolkata (then Calcutta), the thriving colonial capital of British India. And with him started the immigration of many other Jews from middle-east, particularly from Baghdad, many of whom settled down and made India their home.

Neveh Shalom Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Neveh Shalom Synagogue in Kolkata 
Magen David Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Magen David Synagogue 

Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to come to India, yet in case of Kolkata, Jews were the last one to come in. However, despite their relatively late arrival and small numbers, they quickly became quite effluent and during its heydays, there were about 6000 Jews in the city and there were five synagogues to meet their religious needs. Sadly only three survive now.

With the formation of Israel after the second world war, things changed quickly and most Jews immigrated to their new home in the promised land. Currently there are only a few Jews and their once magnificent places of worship now remain locked with prayers happening only on special occasions.

Neveh Shalom Synagogue

One such place of worship was Neveh Shalom Synagogue, the first synagogue ever to be built in Kolkata by the Baghdadi Jews and this is it’s story.

‘Sir, you can’t go inside without the cap’, he told me, almost like a command.

I obliged and actually felt quite good to be wearing a Jewish cap. I took a selfie while he still looked at me disapprovingly. I tried my charming and disarming smile, but it fell flat too. Over the years I have realised that such charming smiles work best on women, but I had no other methods of disarming this strict man. We walked in the synagogue and I was awestruck by the simplicity and the history of the place.

The synagogue was originally built in the year 1931 to meet the needs of growing Jewish population in Kolkata. Originally designed as simply a prayer hall, after about sixty years it was found to be too small and so was demolished. In it’s place came up the magnificent Magen David Synagogue, which is currently also one of Asia’s largest synagogue. The synagogue was closed for restoration work, so I had to give it a pass and come to Neveh Shalom Synagogue to understand the history of Jews in Kolkata.

Neveh Shalom Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Torah is kept here during prayers
Neveh Shalom Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Interiors of Neveh Shalom Synagogue in Kolkata 

Though the Neveh Shalom Synagogue got replaced by another bigger synagogue, people were still nostalgic about it and in the year 1911 it was rebuilt right next to the Magen David Synagogue. Much simpler in design, the synagogue is more like a prayer hall and is literally a catalogue of Jews in the city.

The population of Jews in the city is close to nil, so the synagogue is hardly ever used for prayers now, except on special occasion when Jews often come from Israel to offer prayers. It’s actually the funds from these patrons which keeps the place alive even today.

Neveh Shalom Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Our caretaker at the synagogue 

Our guide told us some stories, and later when the caretaker saw me taking so many notes and being so interested in the history of the place, he opened up too. He invited me on the first floor, where there was a small exhibition on the history of Jews in the city as well as many other memorabilia from the bygone era.

I saw some steps and showed my deep inclination to walk up to the roof, and he was quite ok with it. There was nothing much to see of the synagogue from top, but the view of Kolkata was simply magnificent. Just across the street was Portuguese Church (Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary) which was built a little even before the synagogue in the year 1799.

Neveh Shalom Synagogue jews history kolkata calcutta
Portuguese Church across the street 

As we walked down the spiral staircase, the caretaker told me how the synagogues in the city were all taken care of by Muslims of the city. It was quite interesting to see that the Jews is Israel were extremely comfortable with local Muslims being the caretakers.

How to reach Neveh Shalom Synagogue?

The Neveh Shalom Synagogue is located at the intersection of Canning Street and Brabourne Road right next to Magen David Synagogue. However, it’s really easy to miss the entrance as it’s through a really busy market located on the footpath. So ask around if you can’t find it. Basically you need to walk from the Magen David Synagogue towards the Portuguese Church on the left side of the road, and the entrance is also on the left - a few simple steps to the synagogue.

9A, Indra Kumar Karnani St
China Bazar, Kolkata
West Bengal 700001


Entrance fee: Free
In case you thought the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, would make you in to a lazy boy gulping down cocktails, lazying by the pool and chilling in the sun, you would be far from right. The ship has something for everyone, and if you are someone who enjoys adrenaline rush, then you are in for a treat!

harmony of the seas adventures
Adventures on-board Harmony of the Seas

I spent a few days on-board Harmony of the Seas earlier this year as part of the press invite and tried out some, but not all, of these actions first hand. So without much ado, let me present the top five adventures on the world’s largest cruise:

The Ultimate Abyss - the tallest slide at sea

Now this is the most EPIC adventure activity you can do on Harmony of the Seas. The ten story slide is 150 feet above sea level and the guests will slide down a speed of nine miles per hour.

harmony of the seas adventures ultimate abyss
The Ultimate Abyss

Unlike what you might think, it’s a dry slide and you don’t need to don your swimming costumes to try it out. Well, if you want you still can :)

The Perfect Storm 

This tremendous trio of water slides is our Perfect Storm. Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell are their names, and they’re here to take you on a wet, wild ride.

harmony of the seas adventures the perfect storm
The Perfect Storm (Photo credits: Simon Brooke Webb Photography)

Zip Line - nine decks in the air and 82 feet across

Brace yourself for a spine-tingling rush as you race across the Oasis class' Boardwalk®, suspended nine decks in the air. It’s a thrill you won’t find on any other cruise line.
Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Two FlowRider® surf simulators

A flowerier is a Surf simulator where adventure enthusiasts can surf, even on a floating ship. Many of the ships in the fleet of Royal Caribbean have these simulators and it’s quite a lot of fun to surf in the ocean, but not on the ocean.

harmony of the seas adventures surf simulators
Surf Simulator (Photo credits: Simon Brooke Webb Photography)

These simulators are great to not only to practice your surfing tricks, but also learn if you are new to it. There are usually trainers right there, and if you are on the ship, you might as well give it a shot :)

Rock climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on our signature rock wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 43 feet above deck.
Included in your fare, no reservation required.

harmony of the seas adventures rock climbing
Rock climbing (Photo credits: Simon Brooke Webb Photography)

The Ultimate Jog

Hit the lanes of the top-deck jogging track for a sunrise stroll or morning mile, with 360-degree views along the way. I kept planning to hit the jogging highway every single morning I was on the ship, but could never go and run.

However, Mridula and I took a long walk on the jogging track after multiple rounds of cocktails while we hopped the bars in the afternoon. We almost bumped into a few joggers (which means some people thought more about health than we did), but were quickly forgiven when we showed our cameras.

And finally, if you don't like any of these, but just want to play some sports, you won't again be disappointed!

harmony of the seas adventures basketball
Basketball (Photo credits: Simon Brooke Webb Photography)

And finally at the end of the day after all the hard work, you might just want to lie down and enjoy the sun setting down in the ocean.

harmony of the seas adventures pool sunset
A pool to relax :)

Other stories form Harmony of the Seas

If you enjoyed reading about these adventures, do check out my other stories from this magnificent ship :)
How To Plan Your First Cruise? Here Is All You Need To Know!
Ten Things To Love About Harmony Of The Seas
Broadway Show On A Cruise? Welcome 'Grease' On Harmony Of The Seas :)


Disclaimer: I was on-board the inaugural ride of Harmony of the Seas on invitation of Tirun, India. All views expressed above are unbiased and based on my own personal experiences.
I was traveling in the heart of Punjab, driving through tiny hamlets and stopping by small and intimate rural flea markets. It was quite a hot day, but I knew such opportunities don't come by easily so I stopped by every place I could and took a few pictures. Of course, I can never just take a picture, so there were many conversations - some more memorable than the others.

portraits street photography rural punjab india
Relaxed near house without a turban...

Maybe I will share some more of those stories someday, but today it's time for some portraits from rural Punjab :) 

portraits street photography rural punjab india
A young sikh boy...
portraits street photography rural punjab india
Grandfather-Grandson duo :)
portraits street photography rural punjab india
Someone I met at the flea market...he happily posed for so many pics :)
portraits street photography rural punjab india
The shopkeeper...finally a woman portrait :)

Do share, if you enjoyed :)




The Corner Courtyard is a lovely boutique hotel located in south Kolkata and has been developed by the restoration of an old Kolkata Haveli over years of vision, love and hard work. I was recently invited by them to review the property and came back highly impressed. Here is my review of The Corner Courtyard. Enjoy :)

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The wall of mirrors at The Corner Courtyard

A long long time back, 1904 to be precise, a house located in a corner in the erstwhile capital of India, Kolkata, was last inhabited. For over a century it remained as it is, fighting against all odds to retain it’s past glory, yet slowly crumbling with time. It was this lovely house in the corner which was restored a century later and became a top-notch boutique hotel in Kolkata.

Though equipped with everything contemporary now, the hotel also retains a connection to it’s regal past and tells the tale of colonial Calcutta (as it was known then) through it’s silent walls, it’s simple white facade and it’s gorgeous green windows. I spent a long weekend there, and I came back completely charmed by the secrets that the property beholds, and the stories it tells.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Corner Courtyard from outside 
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Corner Courtyard form inside 

This wasn’t my first time in the city, and certainly won’t be the last, yet I had never quite managed to explore it well so far. I had always come here for work, which meant only a few hours in the evenings for short walks. Some of these walks were memorable, especially since I was always all by myself and without an agenda. However, I was finally coming to the city to explore it like a traveller, but thankfully again without a plan or an agenda.

I had planned to spend most of time in Kolkata capturing the different moods of the city. However, as luck would have it, I was down with sore throat and mild fever, and spent many more hours at the hotel than originally planned. Maybe because of this, the place felt even more like a home, and not really a hotel. Though authentic to the old house and the legacy of Kolkata, the property has enough quirkiness to keep you engaged for quite sometime. The walls at the restaurant especially are super cool and deserve more than a glance, and they also make for some cool selfie backgrounds :)

Food at The Corner Courtyard

I was expecting good food at the hotel for sure, but I was simply blown away by it! In fact, I loved the food so much that I would even rate that higher than the experience of stay there. So if you are in Kolkata and love European cuisine, this is totally the place for you. There are numerous non-vegetarian food options available, but there was enough vegetarian food to keep me content during my stay there.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
This is what I ate!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
This is what she ate!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Not the menu, but looking through a book on Kolkata...

The property also has a bar on the terrace, but unfortunately I couldn’t ever go there. However, my friend Amrita who lives in the city raves about it, so I am guessing that the place is really good too. Days in Kolkata are usually warm, no matter what the season, but evening breeze brings in the much needed coolness, and I think that’s the best time to enjoy a glass of cocktail in the terrace. Add to that some Kolkata style conversations, and your evening would be simply prefect.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The seating on the terrace - the day was cloudy and lovely!

The rooms at The Corner Courtyard

Located in the heart of South Kolkata near the Lansdown junction, The Corner Courtyard recently opened it's doors to Customers on October 13, 2013. There are a total of seven unique rooms, and each one of them provide a unique living experience, building on the connection of the house with the colonial era. The furniture in each room is antique and is beautifully restored over years of hard work, and it shows. The name as well as the themes of each room is based on the colors of Kolkata.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Charcoal - the room!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Satyajit Ray on the wall for some cinematic inspiration :)

The room we stayed in is called Charcoal, and was charming to the core. Here is how it’s described on the hotel:

The monochromes of Satyajit Ray’s cinema have memories that are beyond the colour spectrum. His cinema was as classical in style as it was rich in moods. The black and white on the celluloid merged and converged to tell simple yet layered stories. In the modern cacophony of colours experience the toned melodies of expressions, emotions and memories in a pristine cinematic memoir. Lose yourself into the idyllic cinematic past where the classic black and white were enough to colour your world. You are the protagonists here. and the show is yours to steal.

The rest of the six rooms are Indigo, Crimson, Vermilion, Viridian, Ivory and Cadmium. You can read more about these rooms here - The Corner Courtyard.

All that other stuff!

What about other stuff? Well, I loved the art on the wall and the hidden corners if the house so much that it deserves a special mention in this review. They are not just a visual treat, but also provide a glimpse to the legacy of Kolkata. If you have time you must pick one of the many lovely books on Kolkata from the book-shelf, order a cup of hot coffee from the patisserie, sit by the window and enjoy a surreal afternoon. Even if there is no one around, the walls will give you company; trust me, they almost speak, if only you are willing to listen. Such is Kolkata…everything speaks, and conversations simply flow…

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Wall of locks
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Images from the house that it used to be...
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Canon by Canon!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
More books - just outside my room :)

Practical details

How to make a booking?
- For reservations and more information on rooms call them at +91 9903999567/ 0597.
- Or you can email to them - thecornercourtyard.stay [at] gmail [dot] com
- Or you can contact them on Facebook as well

All these online platforms can also be used for making a booking:
- Agoda
- Goibibo
- Makemytrip
- Travelguru
- Airbnb

Cost of Rooms:
Single Occupancy: Rs.5355 (tax inclusive with complementary breakfast and WiFi access)
Double Occupancy: Rs.6545 (tax inclusive with complementary breakfast and WiFi access)

The Corner Courtyard
92 B Sarat Bose Road
Kolkata 700026
West Bengal, india

How to reach The Corner Courtyard?
It's easily reachable from the airport by cab; I used Uber and the location on google was spot-on. On an average day, the ride will take 30-45 minutes easily. Here is a map for reference.

Other details:
- There is free WiFi available for all guests
- Breakfast is included in the room-fare; its decent but fairly limited
- There is no elevator and all guest rooms are located on 1st and 2nd floor, while ground floor is for the reception and restaurant. For some this could be a challenge.

Do share :)

If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share it :)




Disclaimer: As already mentioned, I was invited to the property for a review. However, all views expressed are unbiased and based on my personal experiences. 
Naropa 2016 is the largest Buddhist festival in the Himalayas abd is expected to be attended by over half a million devotees over a week-full of festivities. Due to the sheer scale and size of the event, it's also often referred to as 'Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas'.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Naro Palace
Here is a short story behind the celebration so the festival - an Indian scholar and Saint, Naropa, is credited to have started the rich tradition of Buddhist Philosophy which is prevalent over much of Himalayan region. His teaching of the Six Yogas of Naropa are one of the fundamental pillars of Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. He was offered the Six Bone Ornaments by the Dakinis upon his enlightenment. From that moment onward these ornaments have been used a relic of devotional support. Now every 12 years, on the rooftop of the Himalayas, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa dons the Six Bone Ornaments.

The event this year is even more significant because it commemorates the thousand birth anniversary of Naropa. It started on the 16th of September and will continue till the 22nd of September. I was one of the privileged few who were invited to cover the event and here's my personal account of the festival.

My experiences at Naropa 2016

We were already a little late by the time we reached Naro Palace, the location of Naropa 2016, and the place was pregnant with expectations of what was to come next. With thousands of Buddhist devotees from across the world, including Hollywood celebrities like Michelle Yeoh, we too are swept in the festivities soon enough.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Buddhist monks attending the prayers
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Thousands of devotees catching every word of Naropa
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
A local Ladakhi woman praying
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
The praying monk...
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Our welcome with some Ladakhi music

I have been to the Mahakumbh Mela at Allahabad in 2013, but this was different. The poise and restraints that often define the demeanour of Buddhist across the world were also reflected here. All the devotees sat patiently in the punishing sun, yet all you could feel was a sense of deep devotion. I was without any food since morning, but there was far too much happening even before the His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa walked into the ceremony, that food seemed much less important.

Brief introduction: His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa

naropa 2016 His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa
His holiness Gyalwang Drukpa

For those of of you who don't about His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, here's a short introduction. He is revered across the world by the Buddhists as the authentic reincarnation of Naropa. He is also a world renowned humanitarian, author, environmentalist, and champion of gender equality. He also initiated the live to Love movement that encourages communities to use kindness and wisdom to heal the modern world's challenges. His Holiness dons the Six Bone Ornaments every twelve years as part of the Naropa celebrations.

Getting back to the story, soon it was announced that His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa would be reaching the Naro Palace leading a procession on foot from Hemis monastery which is about three kms away. With much festivity he walked up to the stage and officially opened the event. This was followed by the chanting of the Holy mantras and many other important Buddhist ceremonies. Being a non-Buddhist, I couldn't understand much but it was impossible not be a part of the crowd as it joined their guru in the chantings and prayers. As part of the tradition, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa also donned the Six Bone Ornaments during the ceremony.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
A monk deep in devotion
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Prayer session going on at the Naro Palace
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa with Governor NN Vohra

Around noon the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, joined in as well. I had never been a part of the press entourage which gets so close to an important official like him, so took some pictures as well. This was followed by the unveiling of the ornaments of the six bones to the public at the Naro Palace. On the first day the exhibit was accessible only to the dignitaries, and from 17th September (day 2) it was going to be open to public, day and night, without any break.

The six bone ornaments include crown, earrings, necklace, seralkha, bangle and ankle, and they represent the inner spirituality developed qualities.

Cultural programs at Naropa 2016

A bit delayed already, this was quickly followed by cultural performances which went on till the evening. Artists from different regions performed including Bhutan, Ladakh and other Buddhist lands. My exposure to the Buddhist culture of Leh has been quiet limited so I made the most of it this time. Most of these performances were simply a feast for the eyes, and I loved every bit of it. In a way I was also learning something new about my own country by just being there.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A Ladakhi dance performance
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
The Naro Palace made for a perfect backdrop for the event
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A Ladakhi man dancing his heart out! 
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A gorgeous Ladakhi woman dressed for a performance 
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A group musical performance 

Here is a short video with some music and dance from Ladakh and beyond :)

I took a short break from all the performances to eat my lunch and joined the press conference with Michelle Yeoh. She was humble and absolutely down to earth and answered all our questions with seriousness as well as a bit of humour. She is also a part of Live to Love initiative and you can read more about the work of the organisation here and join them as a volunteer. They have chapters across the world, including countries like UK, USA, Germany, France, Peru and India.

If you are at the venue you don't have to spend all the time at the Naro Palace. Feel free to walk around in accessible areas, and do walk up to the Hemis monastery, which is about 3km away. It's a bit tiring to walk in the sun so plan the trip early morning or late afternoon.

As the evening fell, I was tired, yet content. I had been a part of something so important that I could only bless my stars. I must be found something right in my life to be here...

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
Goodbye time...

More about the Naropa 2016

Naro Palace, Hemis, Ladakh, India

16th to 22nd September 2016

Highlights of the schedule for Naropa 2016

13-14 September - the 7th annual Drukpa Council, the world's largest assembly of Drukpa masters.

15th September - teachings by Drukpa masters from Himalayas and Drukpa nuns from Ladakh.

Main event
16th September - His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa dons the Six Ornaments of Naropa – which are said to provide ‘liberation on sight’ to all those who witness it.

17th September - Public Display of Six Bone Ornaments.

18th September - Rare opportunity to learn about the teachings of the Lineage disseminated by Drukpa Masters themselves.

19th September - Unfurling of silk Thangka of Buddha Amitabha – the largest silk brocade in the Himalayas.

20th September - 50 stanzas on Guru Devotion by His Holiness the 12thGyalwang Drukpa.

21st September - Performance by Shakti Mohan (winner, Dance India Dance) with local students.

22nd September - Closing ceremony with 1 lakh Ganachakra offering.

23rd September - the 8th eco padyatra will start from the Chemdrey to the renowned prediction lake in Ladakh.

How to reach for Naropa 2016

Leh is well connected with flights from Delhi. From Leh Hemis is 40km away and from there the journey takes about an hour and half.

Leh is also reachable by road from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Manali in Himanchal Pradesh. The journey from both the routes is breathtakingly beautiful and adventurous but takes time.

naropa 2016 hemis närö palace venue photograph
Naro Palace in the late afternoon light...

Tips for stay in Leh

Leh is located at an altitude is 11,000 feet and Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is not uncommon here. Do take precautions and make sure you rest on your first day to acclimatize to the cold and lesser oxygen levels before you do anything stressful.

Also drink as much water as possible while you are here, if helps in fighting AMS. You can also take Diamox tablets (Acetazolamide) if you get early symptoms like headache. Visit a doctor if you feel unwell anytime during this stay here.

Phones and Internet 
In Leh only post-paid mobile connections work, and Internet services are a bit patchy. Some networks, like Vodafone, don't work most of the time, though at times of works as Aircel. No mobile network for Vodafone users. Airtel, on the other hand, works much better, even better than BSNL.

Many hotels have WiFi available, but it may not always work. Some cafes in the city market have free WiFi too, and there are cyber cafes as well (a rarity in other parts of India already).

Read more tips about travel to Ladakh here.

For further reading about the teaching of Six Yogas of Naropa, this is an excellent source.

Do share :)

Enjoyed the post? Share with your friends and family :)





Disclaimer: As already mentioned, I was in Ladakh on invitation to attend the Naropa 2016 festivities and share my experiences on the blog. All views expressed are unbiased and based on my own personal experiences. 
Meissen is a small town of about 30,000 residents in the free state of Saxony in Germany. But despite it's relatively small size, it's been a prominent part of Saxony and is often referred to as the 'Cradle of Saxony'. Located on the banks of river Meisabach, the current town was founded as a German town in the year 928AD.

streets of meissen saxony germany
Streets of Meissen

Made even more famous by the Meissen porcelain, the town has much much more to offer. So when I was there, I decided to explore it on foot after the visit to the porcelain factory and loved every bit of it. It was wonderful light when I started and despite the cold, I clicked on the streets and a bit of the festivities as well.

Sharing some of my favourite street shots from this wonderful town. My recommendation would be to walk the town and not drive through it, even if you want to go to the Albrechtsburg castle which is located on a hill, and also spend some time exploring the Meissen Cathedral.

Enjoy :)

streets of meissen saxony germany
Chasing my companion in the trip as she walked ahead fast!
streets of meissen saxony germany
The main city square
streets of meissen saxony germany
The Church of our Lady in the background
streets of meissen saxony germany
Meissen from top - clicked from the Albrechtsburg castle
streets of meissen saxony germany
As we walked back, it got dark...
streets of meissen saxony germany
A couple walking back home...


Disclaimer: I was in Germany on invitation of the German Tourist Office and Saxony Tourism Board. Needless to mention, all views expressed are unbiased and based on my own personal experiences.
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