Parliament Buildings; New Delhi, India

Parliament buildings
Parliament buildings

Driving towards the Parliament Buildings in ‘New Delhi’, the sheer size echoed a position of power. In 1911 the foundation of the new city was laid and top architects Lutyen and Baker, set to work on designing what is today’s Parliament hill. This is one of, if not the largest democracy in the world.

Parliament House is one of the most magnificent buildings in New Delhi which has one of the brightest clusters of architectural gems possessed by any country in the world. Visitors to the capital invariably pay a visit to this building as the two Houses of Parliament—the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) are located within its walls. Map and location.


Gandhi memorial at Rajghat, Delhi, India

As we approached the Gandhi memorial, shoes were removed out of respect. Walking towards the central platform felt very spiritual. Hundreds of thousands pay respect every year. A square platform of black marble marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination back in 30th January 1948. The only splash of colour comes from  the garlands of orange marigolds. It is surrounded by a beautiful park with trees planted by Queen Elizabeth II, US President Eisenhower, Ho Chi Minh to name but a few. At Rajghat you will see his last words “Hey Ram” inscribed in the marble.(meaning – “Oh God”).All heads of state are usually taken here to place wreaths in memory of “the Father of the Nation”. This memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is located between the main Ring Road, in Delhi, and the banks of Yamuna River, towards the southeast of Red Fort. Opening Time: 6:00 AM – 6:00PM. Entrance Charges: Free.

Opposite the memorial is the Gandhi National Museum. A framed plaque on the wall sets out Gandhi’s philosophy: “Non-violence is the pitting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant . . . it is then possible for a single individual to defy the might of an unjust empire”.

Memorial: Ghandi


India Gate: Photo highlights on Flickr

India Gate

India Gate

India Gate

Like many inspirational national monuments India Gate is no exception. This iconic building pays homage to the (82,000+) soldiers who laid down their lives for the British Raj in the World War and also in the 3rd Anglo-Afghan War of 1919.Standing 42 meters and made of red sandstone and granite is without doubt a must see monument in Delhi.

In 1971, the Indian Army placed a marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet – known as Amar Jawan Jyoti and bound by four eternal flames.

The monument is located in central Delhi and can be seen, in a direct path, to the Parliament Buildings. The War Memorial was designed by Edwin Lutyens, who was not only the main architect of New Delhi, but a leading designer of war memorials.

The top of the monument following the large word of INDIA reads;


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Travelling to Agra, India:

Travelling to Agra

Travelling to Agra

Travelling to Agra

Travelling to Agra:

We opted for a taxi ride from Delhi to Agra, with the main intention of visiting the Taj Mahal. The taxi ride was approximately 3 hours. This was a pre-booked excursion through a reputable company.

Fast facts about Agra:                                                                                                                                    The city is situated on the banks of the Yamuna river.Previous emperors ruled from Agra included; Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Luxurious forts, palaces and mausoleums were all created in this city. The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort have been declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco.





Inspirational: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Stunning… Opulent… Holy. The 3 words I would use that perfectly describe the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Somehow this unbelievable Muslim mosque was built in a mere 11 years. It contains the largest hand sewn Persian carpet in the world, weighing 45 tons, and up until recently also boasted the largest chandelier in the world. We’ve been here before but would highly recommend the tour as there is so much to know. The 5 most interesting points to me: 1) prayers are 5 times a day, the first is before sunrise at 4:35 am; 2) prayer is made along the raised lines in the carpet, standing shoulder to shoulder and toe to toe to symbolize brotherhood, unity and also to keep evil from getting past; 3) there are 100 names, qualities or attributes of Allah and 99 of these are featured on a wall called the Qibla wall in traditional Kufi calligraphy. Only 99 are known to man … the 100th will be discovered upon meeting him face to face after death; 4) 2.5% minimum of earnings are expected to be given charitably … to a brother, or cousin in debt or even a neighbour and 5) prayers are made while facing Mecca, the holy land. Very interesting to learn how beloved Sheikh Zayed ruled, as he provided free education and healthcare among other benefits to his fellow Arabs, as he embodied the Muslim belief that every person is equal. This mostly marble, Mother of Pearl and 24 karat gold structure boasts 82 domes and 1,000 pillars that are intricately inlaid with floral designed mosaics of agate, jasper and amethyst. As I walked barefoot on the cool marble hand-laid floors, a breeze rustled through the traditional Abaya robe I wore, and the beautifully nostalgic reciting of the Holy Koran flowed. Omar was our friendly, informative guide who spoke softly of the history of the majestic mosque itself and of the religion and daily observances of Muslims. Plan to spend a couple of hours here as the tour lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and the photo opportunities are plentiful. There are many places to sit and soak in its beauty. Visit my travel blog.

Victoria, British Columbia

On a whale watching trip in Victoria, British Columbia; cold but a blast!

The Amethyst Inn

We booked in at the last minute and managed to get the last room available… the Windsor Room(funnily enough, my husband had asked me to marry him at the real Windsor Castle in England, so..!) This inn was absolutely gleaming; immaculate from top to bottom. The wooden staircases were freshly oiled, the carpets were spotless, the furniture and mantelpieces were shining and the gorgeous stained glass windows sparkled in the light.
We arrived in the early evening and were greeted at the door of this historic home; we were invited to have a cup of tea, cookies or a glass of sherry but as we were tired, we went straight to our room. There were books to borrow, chocolates to share, a television, a giant soaker tub and everything was just so, so clean! The only negative was that as this was a period home, there is no air conditioning and it was quite a warm evening. They do provide a fan and ceiling fan but they are quite loud so it made it hard to sleep.
The inn is beautifully located and the history behind it all is quite interesting as well; a newspaper baron and his wife built this home and raised their family here for many years(wait, one more coincidence – my husband and I are both in the newspaper industry as well!). There is a coded security gate at the entrance so we felt quite secure in a place we did not know well.
Breakfast was in a gorgeous dining room, where we were served on proper china plates with actual teacups.. such a nice treat. Our waiter was so nice and had impeccable manners. We were never without coffee or tea and had the most delicious fresh baked croissants I’ve ever eaten(and I’ve been to France!). We also had fresh fruit and half of a fresh bagel with whipped cream cheese and salmon on top.. lovely!
We were sorry we had to leave right away and couldn’t explore more of the inn. I would love to return in the winter to experience the beautiful antique fireplaces with a roaring fire…
The Return Ticket gives the Amethyst Inn, Victoria, BC: four tickets out of five


An amazing view of the Acropolis from the ruins of the Temple of Zeus
Mythological & Majestic 
 We arrived in the evening after a ride in a taxi from a lovely young man who gave us a lot of local history on the way from the airport (contrary to comments we had seen, we were not overcharged for the taxi from the airport as it is a set fee) & yet were met at the door by our wonderful host Yiannis who took our suitcases, checked us in & gladly gave us an idea of places to eat etc. We went to our room which was just as pretty as on the website only to hear a little tap at the door.. it was Yiannis with a bottle of chilled champagne! Did we feel like royalty! Enjoyed that and the fact that we had a bar fridge plus another small fridge to keep some champagne for in the morning with orange juice!
  Had a very comfortable, restful sleep & then were surprised again by the breakfast spread! My Lord there was the freshest fruit, the best breads, any kind of cold cereal, two fresh squeezed juices(I saw the juicer; it was FRESH!) and they would bring you a fresh cappuccino or whatever you wished… fresh cooked bacon, eggs… Greek Yogourt, fresh honey… so good!
   We were given excellent suggestions of where to go and set up on a tour one day to see Sounion with a very good tour group. A decent sized, brand new luxury bus; very comfortable and worth the trip. The weather wasn’t great but the guide was lovely and there was a place to have tea or something to nibble, plus a nice gift shop. The photo ops were stupendous!
 Back to Ava… we cannot tell you how thrilled we were to see that in reality you can nearly step out the front door and TOUCH Hadrian’s Arch at the Temple of Zeus and also the Acropolis! It is that close! That’s value to be among all those restaurants, all that shopping, all the history and again; right outside the hotel… Crazy! You need to stay here and you need to stay for a week just to relax and enjoy it. Lovely… clean; the housekeeping was immaculate. The suite is so perfect. Nice TV, lots of clothing storage, good reading lamps, a nice table & chairs to eat or write in journals at, plus a writing desk; gorgeous bathroom with a beautiful painted ceiling… we just loved it and three nights wasn’t long enough…
 Thank you, Yiannis & also the girls (Andrea was one) who were lovely hosts/hostesses.. always smiling & couldn’t do enough for you. We have stayed in hotels in Paris, London, Vegas, Mexico, Vancouver & Whistler to name a few and this was the best rest, food & service we ever had all in one stay. Thank you, Ava!
The Return Ticket gives the AVA Hotel, Athens Greece: four tickets out of five

The Return Ticket gives Athens, Greece: four tickets out of five

The “I Amsterdam” city card


The “I Amsterdam” Pass

  When travelling in Amsterdam, before you even leave the airport, stop in at the Visitor Information office and buy the “I Amsterdam” city card. There are different packages depending on how long you are visiting with lots of tips and savings.

  The line ups at most attractions are very long but you are able to be fast tracked and go into a completely separate line if you have the pass. There is free public transportation as long as you swipe your pass upon entering and leaving the transit bus. We rode the bus from the airport right near to our hotel for free. 

  We received a free canal boat tour with the pass, there are many discounts on food and other things, and we did get to tour the unbelievable Van Gogh Museum for free as well. There was an extremely long wait outside of the museum but when they saw we had the city card, we walked right in!  

The Return Ticket gives the “I Amsterdam” Pass: four tickets out of five.

My Perspective on Travel

The scribblings of this travelling housewife & her amazing, oh-so-adventurous husband… you’ll find tips & suggestions of destinations to visit, what to do (or skip!) when you get there, places to eat (or avoid!) & even a few simplifying-your-trip ideas.

I’ve travelled to over 9 countries & 3 of the 7 continents so far… Let’s see — Bangkok to Bath — Athens to Amsterdam to name a few… and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon! 

And I have over 37,564 readers on tripadvisor! 

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