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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

For a long time I’ve been attracted to destinations in Earnest Hemingway‘s novels and poetry. He isn’t considered a travel writer but he has a way of presenting a destination and really being able to show what it’s like to the reader without neglecting character development or plot. His characters actually add to the destination itself, making me believe that I would meet people like the characters in his books in those places. But seriously, this isn’t English Literature Class, so I will stop right there.

The point of it all is that I’m reading Islands in the Stream right now by Hemingway and I am very close to just outright buying some cheap flights to Cuba so that I can walk in his footsteps and see the places he describes in this novel with my own eyes.

One destination in particular has my attention, Bimini Island, the smallest island in the Bahamas. In the novel the main character has a delightful little beach house there where he paints all day, goes fishing with his three sons, drinking like a rummy and really just enjoys life. (I’ll admit it, I’m a romantic… especially when it comes to sitting around and making art all day) It’s just 50 miles from Miami, Florida and is arguably the most beautiful island in the stream.

Of course when Hemingway was living there, it wasn’t that popular but today it’s full of tourist resorts offering flashy fishing packages. This is an angler’s paradise! The island’s history though doesn’t begin or end with Hemingway. If you cosy up to the bar at one of the locals joints, you’re sure to hear stories of pirates, rum runs and other famous folk that have been here at some point or another.

Some interesting facts about Bimini:

  • Ponce de Leon believed that the “Fountain of Youth” was located somewhere on the island
  • Plato believed the lost city of Atlantis was hidden somewhere beneath Bimini’s North Island in 300 BC
  • There is a path off the coast underwater made of 8×2 foot solid rock slabs, called the Bimini Road, and no one knows when or how it got there (although most date it back at least 8000 years)
  • In 1933 someone caught a 502 lb. blue marlin off the coast of Bimini
  • Hemingway is responsible for bringing the sport of boxing to the island

BY THE WAY, I finally updated the “About Eva” section of the blog, check it out when you have a chance!

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Delhi street (sxc)

Delhi is a city for the senses, all of them. It can be overwhelming and exciting, new flavours and new sights, everything is unfamiliar and even what seems familiar also seems to be completely Indian. The streets are loud and fragrant, spices filling the streets all day long from little restaurants and street-level houses. The women pass wearing scarves of every colour of the rainbow, embroidered with silver and gold threads, little gems and beads.

This city can have an overpowering effect on travellers that have just arrived. Take it easy, take it slow. Get to know this city one district at a time. The main streets are overcrowded with donkeys, carts, cars, bicycles, rickshaws and people. Duck into a side street and you’ll be surprised at the gorgeous and glittering monuments you’ll find off the beaten tourist path. I’ve always dreamed of India, travelling through the countryside and cities picking up phrases of Hindi and Punjabi, getting by with English. It’s an extremely romantic idea I guess but there is something so intriguing about this land of spices and culture that has attracted Western travellers since the 1950s. All of the great world explorers went to India, visiting the East and coming home with stories that were more exciting than the ones in books.

Maybe one of the most attracting things about travelling to India right now are the cheap flights to Delhi. It is a great place to start a trip to India from. Delhi is a city of division, like many other capitals and it’s well worth exploring New Delhi and Old Delhi. New Delhi was built up by the British and is much more spacious than the Islamic counterpart. Take a tour of both to experience the contacts which make up this great destination. I think it’s easy for anyone to experience culture shock and a sense of time travelling once you hit the medieval-style bazaars and market places.

Curry spices (sxc)

What everyone is really raving about in Delhi though, is the food. It is the gastronomic travellers dream destination. Flavours from all over the world, thanks to global trading (or unthanks?), come together in this city to create a unique fusion of tastes and styles. You can find regional foods from all over India including delicious curries and rice paddies, influences from other cultures are welcomes, creating pizzas and Italian classics like you’ve never tasted. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’ve even heard that McDonalds sells all of the classics, but in Indian style! It’s crazy but actually makes me curious…

You can find little bits of the entire country in this city, handcrafts included. Some even suggest saving your shopping until Delhi, where you can find it all in once place and you don’t have to worry about trekking around with it your entire trip. Sounds good to me. I’m taking a look more at some of the holiday offers in Delhi and there are so many more places I’d love to go than just Delhi: Mumbai, Goa, Bengalore, Madras…

Have you ever been to India? I’d love to hear back from you about some of your favourite places or some travel advice. Leave me a comment, I promise I’ll get back to you!

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