Paris

Less than 24h in Paris – but still a photographic opportunity.

After a few days in Provence, I needed to travel to Paris for my flight home.  The timing did not work to connect from train to plane, so I was forced to overnight in central Paris (darn!).  On Saturday evening I took the opportunity to enjoy a full French meal in a delightful brasserie, then ambled back to the hotel among the throngs of summer tourists and Saturday-night revelers.  I woke at sunrise on Sunday morning to stroll around the city while it was cooler and quieter.  Read on and check out the photo gallery.Early morning light at Le Louvre. Continue reading “Paris”

Provence

A short week in Provence during a record-setting heat wave.

I joined the family for a three-day visit to Provence, outside Avignon.  We rented a villa in a tiny village surrounded by pastoral beauty, giving us a good base for exploring the area and plentiful opportunities for early-morning bike rides through the countryside.  It  quickly became my habit to hop on a bike shortly before sunrise, cruise randomly along narrow lanes through ancient fields of lavender, sunflowers, wheat, apricots, and more.  I concluded each of my outings with a stop at the Boulangerie in the village, arriving home with fresh-baked pastries and bread.  Not a bad way to start the day.  Read on for more – and don’t miss the photo gallery.Church in the center of Maillane, Provence. Continue reading “Provence”

Cancun, Mexico

A short visit to a beach resort in Cancun allowed us time to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itzá.

Beach resorts are not really my style, so I was surprised to find myself disembarking among the crowds of beach-worshipping American snowbirds in the airport near Cancun, Mexico.  Cancun’s barrier island is a thin strip of land on the eastern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula, with wall-to-wall mega-hotels lining a pretty beach and crystal-blue waters.  Still, the 80-degree weather was a nice respite from the cold and snow of New England, if only for three days.  And a nice opportunity for photography and touring historic sites.Sunrise on the beach in Cancun.

Continue reading “Cancun, Mexico”

Hong Kong

A brief stop in Hong Kong to visit the Chinese University of Hong Kong and to hike above the city at Lions Head.

View of Hong Kong from the top of Lion's Rock.

When I was invited to visit a colleague at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), to present a lecture about my research, I jumped at the chance.  I have visited Hong Kong once before, briefly, almost 20 years ago(!).  So on this two-and-a-half day visit I was pleased to experience a bit more of this lovely city, listed as #44 on the New York Times’ list of 52 Places to Go in 2019.  Read on, and check out the photo gallery. Continue reading “Hong Kong”

Hampi, India

An exploration of the ruins of historic Vijayanagara civilization, once one of the largest and richest cities in the world.

On my very first visit to India in 2007 I learned about an amazing historic site called Hampi.  Although we lived in Bangalore for much of the following year, and Hampi is in the same state, we never managed to find the time for a visit.  (Even today, with a new four-lane highway almost completed, it is a 6-8 hour drive from Bangalore to Hampi.)  So I’ve kept it on my mental to-do list.  And now, it seems, the New York Times has listed it as #2 on its list of “52 places to go in 2019”.

Last week I was in Bangalore to speak at a conference, and next week I need to be in Hong Kong to visit a university, so I had this weekend free.  I finally had my chance to visit Hampi!   I spent two and a half days exploring this incredible place.  Read on, and check out the photo gallery.2019-01-12-62808.jpg Continue reading “Hampi, India”

Back to Bangalore

A return to Bangalore and my discovery of what has changed over four years.

Brigade Road - always a bustling place in the evening.Every time I return to Bangalore it feels a little like returning home.  My family and I lived at IISc in Bangalore for a year, back in 2008-09, and I came to think of its streets and sounds and smells as my home.  I had the good fortune to return every January for six years (2010 through 2015), but hadn’t been back for four years.  Although my visit was short – not quite three days – it was fun to walk the streets of the city and the paths of the campus and see what’s new.  Read on. Continue reading “Back to Bangalore”