Legendary Llandudno

“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli 

After spending a great time  exploring Cardiff, we called it a day . We had a train at 5 am and were well aware of the fact that our breakfast and half of our sleep would have to be continued in the train. After bidding goodbye to Cardiff,  we decided to take a quick nap to greet Llandudno with high spirits and enthusiasm. It was a long train journey – almost four hours and I stayed awake only to take some photographs of the sunrise (probably my second sunrise in the UK 😛 ) and a sneak peek of the beautiful Tintern Abbey. Of course, the main Abbey was far from the train station but the fact that I got to see the land on which William Wordsworth composed Tintern Abbey , even from a distance, is an honour in its own way. 

“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. “- Lao Tzu 

Unlike the day before, where most of the time was spent travelling , today we reached before 10 am and had the whole day to explore the seaside and the city. Llandudno is a very small city consumed by the beach and the pier. Most of the economy runs by through the hostels, lodges, restaurants and tourist curio shops. It was impossible to roam around with our luggage thus we requested our hostel (Llandudno Hostel) to let us keep the baggage and set out to explore the city on foot. It is best to acquire a map of the city but even if you don’t have one, it would not be very difficult to navigate your way . 

We headed to the beach to soak in the essence of the beautiful day and some sunlight (which is rare). This photograph was taken at the Llandudno Promenade. Most of the buildings in the photograph are hostels and hotels for the tourists. Notice, how they are all painted in pastel shades. It is because by the rule of the Government they are to stick to the pastel shades. Further, the houses are not very tall – at a glance around three storeys.  Again by the Rule of the Government the houses were not to exceed the breadth of the adjoining streets and thus they are not very high. 

This is the Llandudno pier. It hosts many curio shops, restaurants and activity centres for the children. I would highly recommend stopping by to enjoy a nice scoop of flavoured clotted cream ice cream. In fact, you might often find a nice nook and corner saving yourself from the prowling eyes of the seagulls and enjoy the ice cream. Oh yes Seagulls eat ice cream too and they do enjoy it 😛 . 

We had not planned our day at all. After walking for a while we figured out that hourly Hop- On Hop- Off buses leave from the Promenade and so we hopped on one of them. It takes a nominal fee of £7 -£10 and tickets can be purchased on spot. The running commentary on the bus gave various historical information about the place and introduced those customs and stories which are not even found in the hundreds of internet pages. Below, is a photograph of the West Shore of the city.

This structure was the erstwhile tram/train station. After the introduction of the bus in the city, it was closed down. Interestingly, it is assumed that the last tram/train driver became the first bus driver .

This play park and the adjoining residential area hints of Romanian architecture. This is because the, then Queen was close to the Romanian Royal family and thus Llandudno has  glimpses of Romanian architecture in certain parts of the city like this.

Llandudno and its adjoining lands were owned by the elite Mostyn family. This particular grave is the family grave of the Mostyn family.

The great Conwy Castle is a must when in Llandudno. The Hop -on Hop- Off bus has a stop in the Conwy Castle and those who wish to explore it more closely are welcome to get down here and board the next bus to continue  their journey. Apart from the castle itself, one can take some time out and explore the town of Conwy. Let me be honest, the grand architecture of the Conwy Castle was what attracted me  in the first place. Due to non availability of accommodation in Conwy we decided to stay in Llandudno and pay this castle a visit.

This is a skyline shot of the narrowest doorway in the world. I had seen the tallest doorway in Fatehpur Sikhri, India and then I saw the narrowest one in Wales. In fact, just before this doorway approaches, the audio guide mentions safety precautions as it is indeed difficult for the bus  to go through this narrow doorway without making frequent stops .

One must not forget that Llandudno was being developed in a patriarchal society. Thus when the Lady of the Mostyn Family, referred to as Lady Mostyn, decided to build a hotel and maintain it, most men laughed at her. Interestingly, today decades later this hotel (below) is the most luxurious and sought after hotel in Llandudno and the rooms are booked months in advance .

This is a view of the city centre/ market street of the city.

The entire city tour takes around an hour for a full ride. It takes you through the towns of Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Deganwy Village and Conwy . It was almost noon when we came back to the Promenade and thought of strolling around the pier. If you want , you can settle for a nice live show of the Codeman’s Punch and Judy and spend an hour laughing your heart out. 

While most of us who have read Alice in Wonderland have known that Lewis Carroll composed this famous prose in Oxford, but not many know that the inspiration was taken from this quiet seaside resort of Llandudno. In fact, when you take the tour of the Great Orme the commentary includes the ruins of the house Carroll stayed in and befriended the owners daughter who was the inspiration behind Alice. Throughout the city, you would find sculptures dedicated to Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland including the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts. You can walk around the city and follow the Alice Trail and uncover many hidden stories about it. This photograph was taken in the Llandudno Station. 

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

This is a photograph of the Great Orme from the pier. ‘Orme’ means sea monster and the way the rock juts out of the land and into the sea it has found an apt name for itself; being called a monster which engulfs the sea. On the other side of the city near the West Shore, lies the Little Orme. You can actually opt to trek all the way up to the Great Orme or take a nice tram ride (like we did). Again, tickets can be purchased on  spot for a minimum of £5-£7. This ride takes around an hour and a half with a twenty minutes halt at halfway point for refreshments. 

The Great Orme has some beautiful caves which are open to the public for self exploration (free of cost). It also has a fully functional church . This is the oldest in the area and is made by clearing the rocks from the Orme. 

This photograph  was taken at the Halfway point.  This place has a little restaurant and parking space wherein those driving all the way up can take some rest and click beautiful photographs . We took up most of our time climbing the Great Orme and taking photographs . It is said that a pair of Kashmiri goats were presented to the then British Queen but since she had many goats , she presented them to her friend in Llandudno . Thus in the Great Orme if you spot Kashmiri Goats, do not be shocked. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any ! 

“It is not down in any map; true places never are. “- Herman Melville 

As we continued our journey forward from the halfway point, the beautiful outline of the Snowdon Mountains emerged in the horizon. According to our commentator, the Snowdonia mountains host many rare species of flora and fauna “and if you are lucky enough you might spot some rare species of Pokemon hiding in there. ” 😛 . 

“Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness. ” – Ray Bradbury 

After descending from the Great Orme and having a bite we relaxed at the hostel before going out again to explore the promenade. This time, it was nearing sunset and most of the people were getting ready to leave. Many tourists had come for a day trip to the sea and were making their way to the train station. The Promenade guards were vigilant about the tourists clearing the area for Coast Guard practice sessions. We took a walk around the shore and settled for some nice Welsh Orchestra which was being played by the Town band. 

Thereafter we had an early dinner and went out for our customary night walk. This photograph was shot during the walk at the promenade . It was interesting to see how a place which was full of activities had become so quiet. The pier , although lighted was closed and locked . The shoreline was made inaccessible in parts due to the approaching high tides. We wandered around the town for a little longer and saw most of the hotels were having karaoke dinners and dancing in their common rooms. Soon, we called it quits as well and went back to our hostel . We grabbed a movie ‘ Out of Africa’ and went ahead to watch it, thus ending a beautiful day. 

I have a habit of trying to explore the early morning hours whenever I am travelling. Usually, at home, no one sees me wake up before 9 -10 am.  This photograph of the sunrise (below) from the Promenade was taken around 6:30 ish. Not many people were present and those who were there had come to walk their dogs . I spent almost an hour here witnessing the beauty of this place before catching my homeward bound train . Though I was happy to go back home, I was also disheartened that this experience came to a close so soon. 

Taking a vacation for the first time on my own with friends had opened me up and in the true sense made me a traveller. To imbibe the various customs, cultures, traditions that the people of Cardiff and Llandudno had to offer was an experience in itself. And I think it has made me more confident as a person to handle life in a way I want to without being a slave to the dictates of the world. 

“Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey . “- Pat Conroy 

I would leave you with this beautiful quote and sunrise till I come back to share my next adventure. 

 

British Museum: Memories of Ancient and Modern History

I was awakened early in the morning by what I thought was a bird singing. It was only when I saw my friend getting up to switch off the alarm on her phone that I realised it was  time to get up. I checked the time. . . .It was 7 AM. . . . and we had settled down to meet our parents at 9:15 AM. Gleamy eyed I woke up , took a bath and got ready. 

British Museum dekhtei ekta puro din lagbe . . .Bujhli. . . .Okhane ato kichu dekhar ache je ekbar giye dekhe utthe para jai na” (It will take one full day to visit the British Museum. There is so much to see that one day is also not enough), I was told repeatedly by my father who had been to London and the Museum before but was still fascinated every time he went. This got me excited to see the museum. 

Interestingly, on normal days I take the liberty to stretch the time but that day, I was spot on time.  9:15 AM it was and my mother’s phone rang to inform her of our arrival. We took sometime off from the prepared schedule and booked tickets to Madame Tussaud’s for the following day before hitting the roads. After taking a bus, walking for sometime , asking few people around and spotting a gothic looking building which (in my opinion was the museum); we finally found the museum. . . . . .Well one of the entrances of the museum. . 

According to the http://www.britishmuseum.org ” The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning it granted free admission to all ‘studious and curious persons’. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million today.” . . . .It further states that ” The origins of the British Museum lie in the will of the physician, naturalist and collector, Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753). Over his lifetime, Sloane collected more than 71,000 objects which he wanted to be preserved intact after his death. So he bequeathed the whole collection to King George II for the nation in return for a payment of £20,000 to his heirs. The gift was accepted and on 7 June 1753, an Act of Parliament established the British Museum.

IMG_1584
British Museum, London
IMG_1585
Entrance to the Museum
IMG_1586
Dragon Tiles, China Shanxi Province Ming Dynasty, 1400-1600 Lead Glazed Stoneware “Dragons are associated with good fortune, rain and water; and offered symbolic protection against fire”

After going through a mandatory bag checking and climbing a flight of stairs which reminded me of the Titanic stairs, I chanced upon this. This beautiful dragon tiles was so elaborately and intricately designed. It gives the perfect charm and effect of the Chinese culture; properly preserved centuries after it was actually made.  

IMG_1596
Man’s Cloth by El Anatsui Ghana , 1998-2001 Recycled Metal Foil bottle Neck Wrappers “Erosion of cultural values through unchecked consumerism here symbolised by the bottle necked wrappers.”

I next entered the Afrikaans Gallery which had objects curated from various parts of Africa. This gallery does not have the Egyptian displays as a separate gallery is dedicated to it. 

IMG_1599
Idols on Display

These idols from the display in the African Gallery reflected the tribal culture and handiwork very closely. 

IMG_1601
A Display of pots and jars

Pots. . . Jugs. . . Jars. . . however you name them the objective of these items were the same . . . almost. But their look and design were so different from each other. 

IMG_1604
A display from the Museum

This fish sculpture resembled the flying fish so closely. 

IMG_1606
Idols in the African Brasscasting Section

The Brasscasting section was given a separate space in the museum display. According to the http://www.zyama.com, “The art of bronze casting was introduced around the year 1280. The kingdom reached its maximum size and artistic splendor in the 15th and 16th century. For a long time the Benin bronze sculptures were the only historical evidence dating back several centuries into the West African past, and both the level of technical accomplishment attained in bronze casting, as well as the monumental vigor of the figures represented, were the object of great admiration.” Similarly, “The numerous commemorative brass heads, free-standing figures and groups, plaques in relief, bells and rattle-staffs, small expressive masks and plaquettes worn on the belt as emblem of offices; chests in the shape of palaces, animals, cult stands, jewelry, etc. cast by Benin metalworkers were created for the royal palace.” This is how brasscasting came into existence. 

IMG_1598
Chair made of rifles

One glance at the sculpture and you will notice that  it is a chair which is nothing unusual. But on a closer look you would find that this chair if made of rifles .

IMG_1614
Inca Civilization Idols

I remember reading about the Inca civilisation in the South Americas for the first time in Tintin and the Prisoners of the Sun. The second time they came up was in the British Museum. According to the Ancient History Encyclopaedia, “The Inca civilization flourished in ancient Peru between c. 1400 and 1533 CE, and their empire eventually extended across western South America from Quito in the north to Santiago in the south, making it the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time.” The civilisation was “Famed for their unique art and architecture, they constructed finely built and imposing buildings wherever they conquered, and their spectacular adaptation of natural landscapes with terracing, highways, and mountaintop settlements continues to impress modern visitors at such world-famous sites as Machu Picchu.Regarding the downfall of the civilisation, it has been said that , ” It was this combination of factors – a perfect storm of rebellion, disease, and invasion – which brought the downfall of the mighty Inca Empire, the largest and richest ever seen in the Americas. The Inca language Quechua lives on today and is still spoken by some eight million people. There are also a good number of buildings, artefacts, and written accounts which have survived the ravages of conquerors, looters, and time.”

IMG_1641
Great Hall/ Reading Room (Sculpture, Displays, Library)

Our next destination in the museum was the Great reading room. It had a long passage in the centre with seats to sit . There were sculptures, bust figures, and displays on both side of the path. Running the entire length of the hall on each side were shelves containing books, scriptures or artefacts. It would probably be a 0.3 mile walk from one end of the room to the other. In fact, I remember that standing at the entrance I could not see the exit on the other end. 

IMG_1637
Krishna

There were various displays in the Reading Room, From Ptolemy to Cupids and Rosetta Stone but what caught my attention the most was the beautiful sculptures of Lord Krishna from Hindu Mythology. 

IMG_1643
Museum Display

This sculpture was at the entrance of an amazing gallery. immediately it reminded me of Indian women. Women sitting in front of their doorsteps and making rangoli (patterned designs with colours ) during festivals; women giving alpana (patterned designs made of fabric colors or  rice paste) ; Women in helplessness and it would have gone on and on if someone hadn’t bumped into me by mistake and reminded me of the time. I chose to come out of my dreamland and move on further inside the gallery. 

The objects on display were beautifully made and intricate details were carved to perfection. I need not say anything more; the photos will talk for themselves. 

IMG_1646
Display from the Museum
IMG_1650
Display from the Museum
After seeing the gallery we found ourselves on the portico. This place had the museum shops along with restaurants. A flight of stairs led the visitors to another gallery, this time my favourite-The Egyptian Gallery. Below is a photograph from the portico to the roof of the library. this place has been previously photographed by many in colour and B&W; I tried to follow in their footsteps. 
IMG_1656
View of the roof from the portico

For some strange reason, mummies have attracted me since I was a child. Well, this is not a mummy but a pharaoh would do as well. I usually avoid putting in my photos in the post; but I could not but put this one. 

IMG-20160421-WA0004
Me with Ancient Pharaoh Head in Egyptian Display Section Photo: Dimple Meera Jom

Our last stop was the museum gift shop. As usual postcards was what I ran after. I also saw this huge teddy who probably had ‘eaten’  lots of other smaller teddies. Thus a photo with him was a must. 

IMG-20160421-WA0002
Me with Big Bear in the Museum Shop Photo: Dimple Meera Jom

And lastly, I leave you with a collage of some other displays from the museum. But my adventures are far from over. . . Do come back next week for an exciting adventure ahead. 

papa museum
Photos by Kalyan Sen
mummy folder
Photos by : Shakuntala Sen

Some useful information:

Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB

Opening Times: Mon-Thurs (9:30 AM- 8 PM)

                                Fri- (9:30 AM- 6 PM)

                                Sat- (9:30 AM- 5 PM) 

                                Sun- (11 AM- 5 PM) 

Entry Free

Website: http://www.bl.uk/

London: The First Glimpse . . .

In my previous post I had promised to take you along with me on a journey to London; and I have returned to keep that promise. My train reached the Euston station around 12:35 ish in the noon. The signs in the station were clearly marked and in no time, we found our way out. Before leaving the station we purchased our Oyester cards and Hop-on Hop-Off Bus cards making it valid for a certain date. 

With Oyester Cards, one needs to pay a minimum amount of money to purchase the card, and a minimum top-up for travelling. Thereafter, these cards can be topped up with pay-as-you-go balance whenever required. Also, it is to be kept in mind that Oyester cards are valid for a lifetime; and if you want to return them, then you can demand for a refund.

Leaving the station the first sight that hit me, was the harsh sun bringing a frown to every face. I was decked up in my coat , muffler and caps; but the heat was so strong that they were of no use to me. All I needed was sunglasses and unfortunately of my hypermetropia, I cannot wear glasses save if they have powers in them. We hired a cab to our hotels. My friend and I got off at the YMCA London, Fitzroy Street while my parents got off at the Holiday Inn in Carburton Street. Both the lodgings were a walking distance from each other. We had planned to have lunch and meet at the Holiday Inn. 

During our check in to the YMCA, I was so happy to see many Indian faces around. I even met a Bengali lady with whom I chatted for a while before hurrying off to the room to freshen up. After lunch, we decided to set out for some casual sightseeing. 

IMG_1418
“Zara Hatke, Zara Bachke, Yeh Hai London Meri Jaan” 

As we were nearing the main street, I could hear music being played somewhere. It was then that I saw this gentleman playing a lovely tune. That tune was almost nostalgic. It was a blend of modernity and age-old traditions, much like the city itself. I thought to myself that this was the perfect welcome to the modern city of ancient history. 

IMG_1429
St Mary Magdalene Church 

“Life is filled with secrets. You can’t learn them all at once.” Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

While we were walking, we came across this church, St Mary Magdalene Church. Instantly, it invoked in me the feelings that I had while reading the Da Vinci Code. I remembered , so many secrets and histories that lie unearthed in the world. But soon I realised that I was drifting off to the philosophical side, and had to focus on enjoying every moment of my vacation. The Church unfortunately was closed and so we just walked across the circumference. 

IMG_1432
Open Air Seating Arrangement in the Church 

A level below the street, I found this beautiful seating arrangement. This was part of the church’s recreational activities. There was a table tennis room, a study room and even an open air sitting porch. 

Since, the church was closed and time was running out, we decided not to waste time and head to someplace and When in London , it has to be the Thames. To be honest, we were budget travellers and also wanted to ride the local buses, so we decided to figure out our way from the bus route. We got up on a 88 and soon realised we had gone the other way round. Nevertheless we stayed on the bus and toured around a major part of the city until the bus stopped at the Vauxhall Bus station. A short walk from the station was the Vauxhall Bridge and the river Thames. 

In case you are wondering, or will wonder later, Vauxhall Bridge runs across the southern part of the River Thames and the Tower of London and Tower Bridge is way up ahead North. This was a slightly different part of the river, however, the Tower Bridge will also be covered in the subsequent posts. 

IMG_1472
Vauxhall Bridge

This is a view of the Vauxhall Bridge from its right bank. From where I was standing while shooting this photograph, to my right was the River Thames and the London Eye, to my left was a thinning strip of the river with boats . Behind me were large complex buildings and in front of me was the city. 

IMG_1483
Bathing in the Summer Sun

And yes, some lovely seagulls and ducks were taking a much-needed summer bath in the middle of the river. 

IMG_1487
Streamers ruling the river

Streamers and ferries were passing by. I have always wondered what their purposes are. Especially when I see no one inside them. 

IMG_1488
The First Glance of London Eye

Though very far away, the London Eye still looked Grand and over powering. This intimidating structure reminded me of an eagle. An Eagle is mighty, powerful, a symbol of royalty and keeps a watch over everything much like the London Eye isn’t it? Though it appeared to be still, the Eye was in motion and rotating with people inside its numerous compartments. 

IMG_1503
The Magestic Buildings

Did I not mention of huge complex buildings before? Well, I was talking of these. On a closer look these buildings do not look as technical as they look here. There are beautiful fountains and rows of planted flowers inside the huge gates. 

Interestingly, since summer time has started in Manchester and (in London as well), I saw the bright sunlight stayed on till 8 pm or later. Thus, when time flew by no one knew. We decided to call it a day and head to our lodgings. There was a time for dinner service in our hostel and we certainly did not want to miss it. Further, we were all quite tired and exhausted after a long  journey and sightseeing. 

However, young blood prevails in my friend and me ; and we made our own little plan of roaming the streets at night. Well just a little walk, to be honest ! And it would be unfair to see such a beautiful city by the day and not enjoy its essence by the night as well.

So, Next Week Sunday, do come back for my adventures in the City Which Never Sleeps. 

John Rylands Library

A recent visit to the Spinningfields Market ultimately ended up in, me visiting the John Rylands Library which was not even 100 m away from the markets. I have travelled past this library on numerous occasions earlier, but never really had  enough time to stop by and take a look at it. So, this time when I had some spare hours at my disposal, I decided to take a quick look inside (Interestingly, the ‘quick look’ lasted for more than an hour. Here, let me inform you that photography inside the library is restricted. While taking  photos of the interiors are allowed, the exhibitions and the enormous collection of books are beyond the scope of photography.

Being a library, such rules are fair enough and should be respected. Due to this, I would describe the library as much as possible trusting my memory to aid me .

IMG_0971
Entrance to the Display Rooms

From the main entrance, you need to take the stairs or the elevator to the first level . This is the corridor which runs along the length of the exhibition halls. The corridor is lighted by beautiful yellow lights and has glass painted windows. Interestingly, there are folding chairs which can be used by those who need it. Further, since the roof is very high and might give you sore necks, there are mirrors kept in the corridors which can be used to explore the beautiful high ceilings. 

This corridor leads to the Spencer and Crawford Rooms which houses the collection of Earl Spencer’s early printed books and Earl Crawford’s manuscript collections. It also boasts of the Tregaskis and Anthony Dowd collections of fine bindings. 

Further on is the Temporary Exhibition Space. Exhibitions here keep on changing, so it is better to check with the reception first. I personally saw an exhibition on Magic, Witches and Devils in the Early Modern World. Photography is prohibited. However, if you do want some photographs you would have to contact the administration. 

IMG_0962

This doorway is opposite the Main staircase. The light filtering through the windows and the artificial lights yellow lights merge together to give a different light effect.
IMG_0961
View of the Roof from the Main Staircase

The serpentine built of the main staircase, in the first instance reminded me of the elaborate stairs of Hogwarts. After climbing half a flight of stairs , if you look up you would see the elaborately decorated roof. This beautiful light, at the base of the stairs enhances the effects of the old staircase even more. 

IMG_0959-001
Handle with Care: They are over 100 years old

On reaching the next level, you would see this beautiful chair and table set welcoming you. But this is more than a hundred years old and thus care needs to be taken if you want to sit on it or click selfies on it. 

The statues of Mr and Mrs Rylands grace each end of the Main Reading Room. 

IMG_0955-001
Main Reading Room

This is a quiet and comfortable section fo the main reading room. In case you do not want to take a seat in the aisle , you can retire with your book to one of these lovely sections. Silence is to be maintained at all times ; even though visitors are allowed it is still a library and one must not forget that. Food and drinks are strictly not allowed; however bottled water can be brought in . It is advisable to either keep your mobile phones switched off or in the silent mode during your visit so as to not break the decorum of this place.

IMG_0954
High Walls of the Main Reading Room

I have tried to capture the entire feel of the library in this photo. The entrance to the Main Reading room is from the far right. Thereafter, the long aisle starts on both sides. After a section of beautiful displays of books, scriptures and handmade drawing and paintings (which cannot be photographed), there is place for the visitors to sit and do some reading. The hollowed sections in between the pillars are reading corners (one of which has been photographed above). The windows have paintings and designs on them. And while you are in this room, do not forget to look up 😛 ! The room uniquely resembles a cathedral with gothic architecture. 

IMG_0952
Intricate Glass works 

This is one of the two glass works in the main reading room.

IMG_0956
Main Reading Room

A view of the reading room from its entrance. To be honest the length of this place and the space it occupies cannot be gauged looking at this photograph.

IMG_0974
Cute Dino Poster

With me, there has to be some really crazy photo everywhere.Thus, even in the midst of a library I found a cute Dino (Well a mix between a dino and a dragon really) poster.

IMG_0969

At the end, I would leave you with one of my favourite parts of the library. This sculpture. This is present at the base of the main staircase and captures your attention the moment you lay eyes on it. It is beautiful, elegant , medieval- ish and I liked it a lot, so captured it. Jokes apart, it represents Theology Directing the Labours of Science and the Arts and are by John Cassidy.

Now, the library has its own sets of donors and trustees but mainly works on visitor donations. If you would want to donate you are most welcome. alternately, you can have a look at their amazing collections of souvenirs in the library shop or take a break and grab a bite at the cafe. The proceeds of the food and shopping goes into the maintenance of the library.If you are a student, teacher or someone who loves books and libraries, you can contact them for membership. It is a working library and people do take benefits of the more than 1.4 million literary resources kept safely within its walls.

Here are some useful information about the Library:

Address: 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH

How to Reach? The free Metroshuttle goes straight past the library. Alternately, you can take First Bus 8 , 67 or 100 and get down at Deansgate and walk your way through.  

Nearest Landmark: Albert Hall, City Council, Manchester.

Opening Times: Tues-Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Sun and Mon 12 noon – 5 pm

Entrance Fee: The Library is free for every visitor .

 

Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

The Whitworth Art Gallery, is everything that a modern , contemporary art gallery would look like. It is interactive, educational, innovative, mind-boggling and aesthetically beautiful. What is more interesting is that, the Gallery is set in a park- The Whitworth Park. So, on a Sunday afternoon I set out on the search of this innovative gallery amidst the greens (that is what I like to call it). 

IMG_9539

On entering the park, I saw lots of people . A group of young boys went by laughing and smiling with cans of soda in their hands. An elderly couple were taking a nice evning stroll. A cute Shi Tzu (puppy) was trying very hard to sniff and find something (I wonder what it was trying to find out though) and then there were some people who were (like me) on their way to the Gallery.Above is a photograph of the Whitworth Park.  

IMG_9541

This is the entrance to the Gallery. What looked like a beautiful colonial mansion with arched balconies and pillars now housed a variety of art exhibitions, educational space, cafe  and a library. what more, the Gallery also has its own Sculpture Garden. It holds regular debates and seminars in the cafe area . Below are some of the artworks at display.

IMG_9549

This abstract mural which takes up an entire wall almost, sparks of vibrant colours. Some the amalgamation of so many bright colours in one work of art cheers me up. 

IMG_9558-001

The traditional items of every art gallery in the world- Medieval Paintings.

IMG_9567

This gigantic textile display positioned right in the middle of the exhibition room catches your eyes the moment you enter the room. 

IMG_9551-001

A very simple concept, to illuminate the writings from inside so that they can be read by the people outside. 

IMG_9550

This piantings caught my eyes. Somehow, I could interpret it as the presence of many themes in one single frame. From bondage, childhood, rage, misery, fear, rivalry -all these themes could be seen when you look closely at the painting.

IMG_9562

To be honest, this is my favourite sculpture in the whole gallery. The beautiful over-extending gown with hair dangling from the woman’s hand is spooky but elegant to look at. (Yes, the hair is real.  . . .)

IMG_9561

A number of paintings depicting everyday life is displayed in the photography section. It is really difficult to photograph them due to the strong lights and heavy reflections on the glass. But even then i managed to take a photo of this cute baby held by (maybe) his father. 

IMG_9578Lastly, but not the least, the beautiful patterns of this dress needed to be captured by my camera. 

Whitworth Art Gallery, is a Gallery with a cause and for a cause. It aims to welcome people of all social class into its walls (and gardens)  and educate them , for art is everywhere. Every academics can be explained by means of art. In fact, contemporary art uses a lot of science in it as well. Thus, it truly uphelds the age-long saying that Science and art are two sides of the same coin. 

Furthermore, this gallery runs mostly on charity, donations and revenues earned from the Gallery cafe and shop. Here are some essential details about the Gallery.

Address: The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER

How to Go?

Bus:  42, 18

Train: Regular trains run from the Victoria Station, Piccadilly Station and Crescent to Oxford Road. 

Opening Times:Everyday  10 AM- 5 PM (Thursdays 10 AM- 9 PM)

 

 

Photo Feature: Instapics

Having a Social Media presence on a variety of platforms is the ‘in thing’ in contemporary digital world. Thus, I too have an Instagram account, where I share some of my photographs . Here are some of my favourite photographs, from Instagram. I believe, every photo has a story in it and a story behind it. While the story inside the photographs are quite visible, this is the first time, I would probably explain the stories behind it. 

8. https://www.instagram.com/p/_z2AczOwSu/?taken-by=subhadrika007

This was taken in Albert Square Manchester during the Christmas Lights Switch on. There were around thousands of people gathered in the Manchester Council to see the big Santa being lighted.

You can have a look at the entire event at https://trekkersoftheeast.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/city-council-comes-alive-with-the-lights-of-christmas/ 

7. https://www.instagram.com/p/yEpXA6OwSX/?taken-by=subhadrika007

It is not that I am an avid fan of cats, but I like them. They are sweet and cute. My college is technically incomplete without cats. There have been times when they have actually entered classrooms and sat down as additional students. This cat was taking a nice winter afternoon sun bath amongst the bushes when I clicked him. This photo was taken by my mobile as I did not take my camera to college.

6. https://www.instagram.com/p/BAdLPuiOwSD/?taken-by=subhadrika007

China Town, Manchester is a lovely place. It is just off the corner from Manchester Piccadilly. This huge ornamental gate is almost like a symbol to this ancient culture. Chinatown is flooded with amazing Chinese and Thai restaurants and takeaways. This is one place that cannot be missed in your bucket list for Manchester Sightseeing.

5. https://www.instagram.com/p/BAa5Jcauwcy/?taken-by=subhadrika007%20

The very first cup of Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows that I made myself. I don’t usually cook or mix a drink, maybe because I am not very good at either. but when it came to making a cup of Hot Chocolate, I did give it a shot. P.S It was not very bad either 😛 , but not something that I would make ever so often .

4. https://www.instagram.com/p/_t1udvuwXC/?taken-by=subhadrika007

A bit too late to put up Christmas Photographs isn’t it? Well, I completely agree. But I just like the look of the photo. It was taken during a very cold and freezing evening. It gives me chills, when I think of how I removed my gloves to shoot this photo. 

3. https://www.instagram.com/p/8G3nxSOwYr/?taken-by=subhadrika007%20

Taken during one of my rare vacations in Jaipur, Rajasthan, this is a photo of the beautiful palace in the Amer Fort. Built by the fierce Rajput rulers of this state, the Amer Fort and the structural construction within it draw heavily from both Hindu and Mughal architecture. Though this place is a must visit in Jaipur, I would advise you to take the trip in Winters and not in the scorching summer sun. 

2. https://www.instagram.com/p/8G3PDVuwXy/?taken-by=subhadrika007%20

This too has been taken inside the Amer Fort. This is the entrance to one of the temples in the fort. Interestingly, I have often tried to count the number of steps but have lost myself somewhere in the middle. Have you been successful in counting the total number of steps? 

1. https://www.instagram.com/p/74xJ3wuwY9/?taken-by=subhadrika007

This photo is my most favourite one out of the whole lot. It was taken in Burra Bazaar, North Kolkata while I was out on a heritage tour to some of the nearby Synagogues and a Temple. It was during a small food break that we took in between our sightseeing, that a friend wanted to enjoy juicy oranges under the warm winter sun. This photo was taken when she was purchasing the oranges from the seller.

Which one is your favourite photo? Do comment and let me know why? I would also appreciate if you do find faults in them and would like to let  me know how I could improve on my skills in the comment section below. Thanks. 🙂 

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, commonly called the MSI or the MOSI (I have referred to it has MOSI hereafter) focuses mostly on the development of Science and the contribution of this city in such developments. Time and again it has been repeated that Manchester is a city, which has preserved its age-old customs and traditions and yet has embraced development whole-heartedly. The Museum, is situated on Liverpool Road which boasts of being the location of the World’s First Railway Network which opened in 1830. The Museum offers Steam Train Rides during the weekends . 

Opened as the North Western Museum of Science and Industry in 1969, the Museum has undergone expansion, restoration, additions to its displays and other wide scale changes in all these years. In 2007, the Manchester Science Festival was organised by this Institution.In 1983, the Museum included the former Railway station in its boundaries and re-opened with added attractions for its audiences.

I have been to this Museum thrice and I bring to you glimpses of some of the major attractions of this place.

IMG_7731

This is the first technical stuff which greets you when you enter the Museum. You have to take a photograph from the photo booths below and wait for 10-20 seconds. Voila! Your photo appears on this rotating frame and stays for a very long time. That is a photo my friend with me BTW, at the bottom of this photo chain. 

IMG_9663

IMG_9661

IMG_9664

These  are some of the displays that  you see, when you enter the Air and Space Hall display of the MOSI. 

IMG_9711

Ah the good old Steam engine days! While today, trains run on electric power and other modern technologies, the history of steam engines cannot be forgotten and should not be forgotten either. Wonder why this engine reminds me so much Thomas the Steam Engine! 

IMG_7744 - Copy

A really pretty wall painting that is outside the Train Display section. I love the beauty of the paintings and also that it depicts the day-to-day works which went on in the station during the times of the Steam Engine. 

IMG_9708

This has been taken inside the, well what seemed like the drivers compartment to me. There were restrictions in getting inside the place. But I liked the empty chair ‘Standing in spotlight’ , that is why I captured the frame. 

IMG_9710

I was trying to get a full view of the place from an elevated platform. But it was very difficult as there were no elevated platforms and everywhere you look there were engines, trains and mechanics. Finally I found one staircase and took this photograph. Although it does not give a sense of the complete display, at least a wide-angle view of the Display section would do no harm for this post.

IMG_7732 - Copy

This aeroplane greets you at the entrance. Encircling this plane are displays of the evolution of Computers and the evolution of the MOSI buildings. 

IMG_9683

This  was taken in the fabric display section of the Museum. the main highlight of that section is the cotton mills. The machines and processes of cotton extraction, spinning, weaving and ultimately creating a beautiful cotton garment are all explained with the help of machines, displays and audio-video narratives. 

IMG_9703

This is a general view of the machines used in manufacturing cotton garments.

IMG_9705

Cotton Spindles 

IMG_9691

And finally, a cotton dress. 

IMG_9697

This type writer, I have seen fascinates many people into taking a selfie. In fact, I have taken photos of my friend and mum on both my visits here, in this exact spot. It is indeed quite harmless to sit on the chair and pretend to be working on a type writer. 

At the end of your visit, do not forget to have a look at the shop. The proceeds made from this shop goes in the maintenance of the Museum. There is also a cafe, The Warehouse Cafe, where you can enjoy a cup of hot drink while you gaze at the beautiful surroundings of the Museum. 

Just a little tip, if you are interested in having a good look at the Museum, I suggest you keep aside a day just for the Museum and Castlefield. Right beside the Museum is the Mamucium (https://trekkersoftheeast.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/mamucium-the-lost-roman-fortress/ ); some great restaurants and Castlefield which has most of Manchester’s Canal Systems. Thus, if you would come all the way to have a look at the Museum, then you might as well take some time out to cover the adjoining areas.

For further enquiries about the Museum, you must have a look at their website http://msimanchester.org.uk/ . Some important details about the Museum are given below:

Address: Museum of Science and Industry,
                  Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP

Opening Times : 10AM- 5PM (Everyday); Except 24th to 26th December and 1st January.                                       (Entry Free )

Attractions: Air and Space Hall, Textile Hall, Locomotives, Railways, Workshops for children.