Monday, December 28, 2009

'Bose' Speaks !!!!

Well, Athma is not the only person speaking... Got a new BOSE headset and experiencing sounds that i have never heard before.

BOSE rules !!

You got to listen to BOSE when it speaks... And you would !!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

MontMorency Falls & Quebec City

And again, the weekend travails continue...

Saturday, 19th December 2009

This time it is the turn of Mont Morency falls followed by Quebec city in temperatures less than -20 Degree celsius.

We started the day early at Montreal - only to find that we had been alloted the last row in the bus which was similar to the one that features in the famous Fevicol Ad (Of course, we were not hanging from the bus as in the ad). Thanks to the well made roads, we had a pretty smooth journey. And a pretty cute one too...

<< One of those cute passengers with us >>

What came as surprise was that it was the same guide who had shown us Niagra falls. The same one who derives enormous pleasure in cracking jokes which are beyond the comprehension of normal human beings.. We decided to have some fun this time. And we were not alone in this effort - we were supported by a Florida university grad(Remember 'One of those cute passengers' !!!) who was also travelling with us in the last row.

We started laughing every time he laughed - be it in Chinese, French or English. And we were the only ones apart from him who laughed !!! This really made our journey easy. Each of his laughs were followed by a burst of laughter from the last row of the bus... This blog is a tribute to him !!!

We finally reached MontMorency without the knowledge of freezing temperatures on top. We were certainly aware that it could be cold, but the intensity was something which not anticipated by anyone. But it turned out to be a really pleasant encounter with the typical Canadian winter.

Time for some photos at the falls.

MontMorency falls is relatively unknown outside Canada but is much higher than even Niagara falls (Niagara is known for its width, whereas this one is for its height).
Though we could not see it in full flow as it would have been during summer, it certainly was a pleasant surprise for us.

Here is how it would have looked in summer:

Source: Wikipedia

However, here is how it looked like when we went:

Then it was time for some photographs...

And some poses which can easily fit in any bollywood movie...

Haresh in one of those poses:

This one is dedicated to Southern India where i belong !!! Suppper South Indian stunt...

Some more followed:

Now it was time for us to leave for Quebec city.

It is one of those very few cities in Canada with a strong history behind. It is the capital of Province of Quebec (Montreal too is a part of the same province). The details of all the battles that were fought on this land can be found at Wikipidia.

We went to a tower to get an aerial view of city and its walls (it is the only walled city in Canada). We got a decent view of the city from the top...

We were almost frozen by the time we reached Quebec and hence were not in a position to enjoy its beauty to the fullest. There was not just cold which bothered us, but also the bus which we thought had skipped us and left. There was quite a bit of drama as we were waiting for it at temperatures below -20 degree celsius. We could not see a single fellow passenger leave alone the cuter ones...
But we were relieved totally when we saw one passenger who came to the spot where we were waiting. We had come too early as we were not told the time to return and hence all the ensuing drama - We should not have made so much fun of our guide !!!

Finally the bus arrives after a gruelling half an hour wait and we depart for Montreal...

All in all a lovely first hand experience of the Canadian winter and History...

Sunrise in Montreal !!

Some clicks from our Montreal office early in the morning... YENJOY !!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mount St Bruno - My First Ski !!!

And the weekend travails continue...

Skiing has never been on my to-do list and hence came across as a really pleasant experience.

Saturday, 12th Dec 09

We tried to reserve our place on friday, but unfortunately there was only french lessons available for saturday. But we decided to give it a try - just in
case we might find somebody who is able to coach us in english.

We start off.. Two changes of metro line, then a bus for forty mins and followed by taxi for about ten mins - We reach Mount St Bruno. The temperature is sub zero. We are informed what we had heard the other day - no coach available in english. So we decided to go around the place and click some snaps. All the while, i have been mentioning "We" - it stands for me and a colleague Prasad.

Now came the decision that taught us something really important.

<-- We decided to walk our back to the bus stop. -->

There are always assumptions behind every decision that you take in life and this one too had some - "We could walk this distance in 15-20 mins if it took
ten mins for the taxi", "It is not as chilly as the thermometer may show", "The frequency of buses would be just like what we have in Montreal" etc.
Unfortunately for us, none of them held true. The weather was more chilly than what was shown, walking in such a weather for an hour (YES, that is not a
typo) is certainly NOT easy, bus frequency may not be as good in remote areas (what a silly assumption we had earlier...).

So, we walked for an hour and waited for 45mins for the bus that would take us back to where we came from - all this in temperatures below freezing
temperature of water.

Finally, the bus arrives - after the long arduous wait - and brings with it enormous amount of relief to our chilled-out souls(YES, the chill had penetrated IN). We could not believe how a bus, that would have been negelected under normal circumstances can bring this much relief.

At that very moment, i remembered something that is taught in all B-Schools - "IT DEPENDS" - Every experience depends on the circumstances and a whole bunch of variables that define the time that we call "present".

Finally, we reach home - tired and exhausted but looking forward to the next day which would give be one of those "firsts" - We always remember the first
experience of all kinds for a long time in our lives and this excitement was in anticipation of the experience that we were to have the next day...

Sunday 13th Dec 09

The D-day arrives and we plan it better this time. Right from clothing to bus timings to taxi timings to lunch. Everything was meticulously listed down and
we left with a feeling that nothing could go wrong.

Things were going exactly as per plan. We took the metro and then the bus and then the taxi and reached just on time at the resort. We were welcomed a 17yr
old Birtish accented kid who was our coach. It was a pleasant surprise as it is first of all difficult find somebody who is fluently speaking in english,
getting a British accented guy was a bonus..

We start our lessons and realy enjoy being on snow. This is something we had only seen in Bollywood movies earlier.

We enjoyed each of those moments we spent skiing (and also those when we fell). Suddenly, we see snow fall and we got to ski in snow fall too.. We could not have asked for more. And just as Paulo Coelho says in 'The Alchemist' - "When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen".

It was a lovey trip and one of those 'firsts' which you would like to keep in your memories for a long long time...