Our main attraction during our 10 day road trip across Florida was to experience the Everglades National Park.
Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. To me it appeared to be a vast sea of grass and water.
There are four visitor centers which give access to sections of this National Park, we could only visit one.
When at Everglades you must indulge in an Aeroboat ride, its a thrilling experience.
You are sure to spot alligators while at the everglades.
The images above and below were taken by Shruti my daughter with her iPhone. The Alligators get pretty close when you are in the Aeroboat.
Boardwalks lead into the swamps, take a walk on these to spot alligators and other reptiles and birds.
If you are interested in watching wildlife then you must stay here for at least a week and visit all visitor centers of the park.
Shruti my elder daughter took us for a 10 day road trip across Florida which turned out to be a thrilling experience. The first location which we visited was St. Augustine. It took us about 06 hours to get there by road from Atlanta. We stayed at Southern Oaks Inn which gave us a vintage experience.
St. Augustine is a city on the northeast coast of Florida. It lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish this city is known for its Spanish colonial architecture.
The fort named, Castillo De San Marcos,Stands tall along the bay. You just cant miss it. It is believed to have been constucted to protect St. Augustine from the pirates.
Well preserved colonial buildings are beauty to watch and walk around.
If you are on a short tour and want to see everything then I suggest you take hop on and off trolley tour.
For a colonial experince take a walk in St Georges and adjacent streets post sunset.
Another building worth having a look at is the Lightner Museum. The front portion is the city hall and the museum is at the rear.
When here do make it a point to walk around the Flagler College and soak in its splendour.
The Light House Museum is another place worth visiting.
The best place to spend some time here in the evening is the Riveria. Take a ride on the horse carraiges too.
Three generations at the oldest house in the USA.
While here do make it a point to visit the Cathedral Basillica, the oldest church in town, the intereiors are beautiful.
There is much more to St. Augustine and I plan to make another visit.
Within two days of arrival at Atlanta, US we were off on a trip to Savannah. Savannah is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia . Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War,Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia’s fifth-largest city, with a 2018 estimated population of 145,862.
On arrival we checked into Marriot Resort and Spa which had been booked by my daughter. This resort is seperated from Savannah by the Savannah River and you need to take a ferry to get into Savannah Downtown.
The skyline looks beautiful from Marriot side of the river. We had arrived late so we had our dinner and went to sleep. Exploring the town began the next morning.
Each year Savannah attracts millions of visitors to its cobblestone streets, parks, and notable historic buildings.
Savannah’s downtown area, which includes the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District, and 22 parklike squares, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States . Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.
This quaint historic town has much to offer to a discerning visitor. Take a hop on hop off bus if you are short of time. The bus stops at all attractions worth visiting.
You can also take a carraige ride if you want to see the attractions at a leisurely pace.
Almost everybody makes a beeline for the Forsyth Park right in the centre of the city.
You may consider visiting many museums and art centres which you will find all across the town.
A visit to the market city is a must. The quaint shops have some unique stuff to offer.
The town also has many restaurants which can satiate your hunger with their culinary delights.
This historic city provides some excellent opportunity for street and people photography.
It will be worth your while to end the day with a river Cruise and watch the sunset.
We visited Mahabalipuram some time back but some how missed on putting the details in my blog. While returning from Andaman in 2016 we had a day halt at Chennai and this is when we made a trip to Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram is famous for its monuments which are now a world heritage site.
Built during the Pallava dynasty, the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram are a collection of 7th and 8th century CE religious buildings in the coastal town of Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu.
The site has 400 ancient monuments and Hindu temples, including one of the largest open-air rock reliefs in the world: The Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna’s Penance.
There are Ratha temples with monolithic processional chariots, built between 630 and 668; mandapa viharas (cave temples) with narratives from the Mahabharata and Shaivic, Shakti and Vaishna inscriptions in a number of Indian languages and scripts; rock reliefs; stone-cut temples built between 695 and 722, and archaeological excavations dated to the 6th century and earlier.
Sharing few photographs taken during the trip.
Krishna’s Butterball (above) is a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline in the historical town of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. The boulder is approximately 6 meters high and 5 meters wide and weighs around 250 tons.
Varaha Cave Temple
Mahabalipuram lighthouse is the oldest Light House in India and was commissioned here in 1887.
A view from Mahabalipuram Light House.
Mahishasuramardhini Mandapa is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, of the Pallava dynasty. It is a rock-cut cave temple located on a hill, near a lighthouse, along with other caves in Mamallapuram. It is the one of the finest testimonials of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis. [Wikipedia].
Coconut Water is something you will find at every corner here. Do buy and drink this to keep yourself hydrated as it gets very hot here.
The Shore Temple is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. At the time of its creation, the site was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty. ( Wikipedia).
Bhima Ratha is the most massive of the five rathas.
Nakula Sahadeva Ratha and its standing elephant
A must visit destination, give you a sense of India’s past splendor.
Few days back my wife showed me a write up about Olive Ridley Turtles Conservation Festival at Anjarle Beach. This beach is about about 215 kilometers from Pune. I found the idea of being there for the festival quite interesting so we booked a room at Whistling Waves at Anjarle and made a visit there on 23 to 25 March 2019. We arrived at the beach late afternoon and were told that the volunteers would be checking if the turtles had hatched or not at about 6 pm. There was lot of anticipation in the air.
I talked to the volunteers who were conducting the festival and was informed that this was an yearly affair. The mother turtle comes late in the night and lays eggs on the beach. Volunteers collect the eggs and keep it at a safe place on the beach, well protected. When the eggs are hatched, the baby turtles are left near the sea who are attracted by reflected light and home on towards the sea. This festival draws quite a crowd and many photographers too.
No turltles hatched that evening so we walked along the beach and took some candid shots.
The sunset was amazing.
Next morning we got up early and headed for the beach as we were informed that possibility of turtles hatching was there this morning. Hundreds had gathered at the beach to witness this event.
Our hopes were not belied, we did get to see the baby turtles crawling towards the sea.
Having had our fill of the baby turtles we took a walk along the beach and managed to capture few shots of the Sea Gulls.
When at Anjarle do visit areas around the beach, specially the Harne fishing village. You will be able to take some nice photos, specially of sunrise and sunset.
Venture a bit away towards Dapoli and you may be able to site the white breasted Sea Eagles and other birds.
This was a great trip specially since I love photographing nature and landscapes.