Spellbinding blue grotto! (Capri, Italy)

Grotto means sea cave. Blue grotto is truly magical place in Capri, where sunlight passes through blue water creates dazzling effect of blue light. I was fortunate to visit this great wonder of nature.

Entrance to the grotto is very small. You have to really lie down in small boat while entering a cave. They pull you inside with the chain attached to the wall of a cave. Maximum 4 people can be carried inside at a time. Cave entry experience is damn thrilling. Once you go inside a cave, it is very dark, but once you turn, you see nothing but blue glowing water, it’s a jaw dropping beauty!

As you go deeper into the cave, the light follows you. You are allowed to swim inside. Boatman sings Italian songs inside the caves, so atmospheric! They also tell you the history of this place. We don’t get to spend more time inside, but whatever time we get it is the best time of our lives. I was confused a bit whether to capture the photos or just experience the beauty and serenity. But it was just an incredible and it is definitely a must see place!

Tips for travellers: If you are visiting during summer time, please carry goggles, caps & umbrellas, as there is a queue for small boats and you have to wait in speed boat for some time. The most important tip is don’t forget to carry anti-emetic medicines in case you suffer motion sickness.

 

Pizza Napoletana, Pasta and Gelato- Italian delicacies

We all know that Italy has 3 such national dishes that have become a famous International standout: Pizza, Pasta and Gelato ice-cream. I am so fortunate to have eaten these 3 delicacies in its origin country, Italy itself.

During my Italy tour in 2015, I visited a very old restaurant in a small town called Pompeii in Naples(Napoli in local language). It had an antique European architecture, with big round tables and metal chairs. The restaurant was quite big enough to accommodate a crowd of 100-120 at a time.

IMG_20150509_152642

The musicians were playing lovely music in the background. A complete Hollywood movie style ambience! I was thoroughly enjoying it as a first time tourist of Europe.

IMG_20150509_154109

I was more excited to taste a pizza there as Naples is called as the origin of Pizza. Though there are many speculations about it, the idea of flat bread found its way to Italy. In 1889, Queen Margherita visited her Italian kingdom and shown her interest in Pizza as she saw that many people were enjoying it. The special pizza that was made for her was with a toppings of tomatoes, Mozarella Cheese, and fresh Basil(the colours of these ingredients represent Italian Flag!). Since then this pizza is called as the popular pizza Margherita.

In a restaurant we were served with the same Pizza Margherita. It was having a very fresh thin crust, local garden fresh tomato sauce and lots of Mozarella Cheese. I was initially surprised with its simple preparation as I was used to seeing a pizza with lots of toppings-Single topping, double topping etc., but here it was, a simple original pizza in front of me. I tried to take out a piece using a fork and knife, it was easily cut unlike other pizzas, and it found its way to my mouth! Guys, let me tell you, that hot and cheesy thing melt in my mouth like anything! I didn’t realize when I savored the half big size pizza. It was so tempting that I didn’t want to waste my time in capturing photos of it,I took only 1-2 photos . After this experience, I never ever liked the pizza with toppings! During next few days in Italy, at many places I saw the pizza with this simple preparation only!

IMG_20150509_161042 - Copy

Pasta is a staple food of many Italian cuisines. Pasta in Italy is always served in small portions after the first appetizer.  I am not a big pasta fan actually, but again the simplicity and purity of its preparing won my heart. It was so delicious and soft.

IMG_20150509_160501 - Copy

Then it was a turn of came Italian ice cream, Gelato. It is made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar, and flavoured with fruit and nut purees and other flavourings. Gelato ice-cream surprisingly arrived in a metal pot, which was something new for me. It was a basic Vanilla flavour ice-cream, but once again mind-blowing taste, super smooth and creamy. I enjoyed every bit and piece of it.

IMG_20150509_163425 - Copy

Over all, I felt like I am really having my dream lunch here. Everything was so perfect and enjoyable. I think if when you are on tour you should avoid the touristy restaurants and try local restaurants with authentic cuisines.  Eating “like a local” can help you understand and appreciate a new culture better.

DSC01259

 

 

 

Getting fishy in Goa.

If you are in Goa, don’t forget to visit Ritz classic, Panaji, it is a famous restaurant for fish thali.The moment you get into a restaurant, you get the aroma of authentic Goan food. It has a luxurious  ambience but always overcrowded and tough to find a table. That shows how famous the food is, people are  ready to wait for 20-30 minutes to get into the restaurant. Restaurant is open from 12pm to 3.30 pm all days.

They serve really good royal thali(a platter) wherein you get to eat mouth watering delicacies like fish fry(shallow fry), fish/prawns curry, Shellfish(clams),Shark ambottik, Dry fish salad,1 veg dish, rice and 1 sol curry.

In fish fry they served us Red Snapper(Tamboshi) fish and to my surprise, the fish tasted great! Perfect taste with proper marination.This was my second time i was eating red snapper, but this time it was the best taste! I liked it more than any other fish and I will never forget this taste.

Prawns curry was made up of coconut gravy and ambottik had tangy taste of Tamarind and Kokum. Shell fish had clams with  thick coconut gravy, the flesh was properly cooked. Prior to this I never liked clams, but at this restaurant I ate 2 small bowls of clams. I will definitely try this recipe at home.

Sol kadhi in Goa is bit different than in Konkan, Maharashtra. Goan sol kadhi is little thin and has little coconut milk.

You will not get Chapatis or rotis in thali, as Goan people prefer rice over chapati. But you can order chapati or Roti separately.

overall it was a great fish feast.We spent over an hour here.The mock-tails and sweet lime soda was also too good in taste.

This delicious and mouthwatering Goan seafood cuisine made my day!

One word that comes to my mind for Ritz classic restaurant is,’Perfect’.

Clouds that look like things

I enjoy watching sky and clouds especially when I am traveling or when I am alone. During my recent road trip from West Bengal (India) to Bhutan, I experienced these clouds with amazing shape. First I couldn’t guess which shape it is, but then slowly I realized that they are forming a shape of a person sitting in a meditation posture.

Recently I read somewhere that whenever you see some odd shapes of cloud formations, there is a presence of an Angel. I don’t know how true is that, but looking at this miracle of the nature, my hands automatically folded with gratitude!