National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.

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March and April are two of my favorite months. This is when the excruciatingly long winters come to an end, and new life springs in every corner and crevice. After seeing nothing but grey, snow white, and the bare skeletons of trees, it is a welcome change to see life sprouting, as buds, colorful flowers, and green leaves. Have you ever noticed the fresh greenness of the baby leaves in spring? The temperature has risen, but not enough to make you uncomfortable.

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Ghumakkar Insights – Camera-derie

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Browsing through old albums is one of those things that bring unalloyed joy. Be it the wedding pictures of my parents, the pictures from my birthdays and rice ceremony, the pictures of us as we grew up, or the pictures from that first trip to Puri and Vizag, I could spend hours browsing through memories left decades back in some forgotten alleys of time.

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Discovering Fried Eggs at Luray Caverns

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The caves resulted from the accumulation of layers of limestone over millions of years. The caves are confined to a 100 feet thick zone. Rain water trickles, dissolving the carbon dioxide to make a mildly acidic solution of carbonic acid (secondary school chemistry, people). The acidic water percolates through the limestone, eroding layers and carving out shapes in the cave. A precipitate of lime forms, making stalactites from the ceiling and stalagmites from the ground join together to form limestone pillars. It is like witnessing a chapter out of a Geography textbook right in front of you. This is an active cave and new deposits are formed @ one cubic inch in 120 years.

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A Day in Sintra

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An offshoot of the trip to Lisbon, one can easily spend 2-3 days marveling at the enormous palaces, forts, castles, and much more that Sintra is. Located about 30 km west of Lisbon, the trains that take you from the Rossio station in Lisbon to Sintra are frequent (every 15-20 minutes), cheap (was free with my Lisboa card), and extremely convenient. Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its cityscape dominated by many mountains, palaces, and forts.

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Review: Hotel Residential Roxi (Lisbon, Portugal)

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Whenever I visit a place, the quality of my stay location remains a lasting association along with the destination itself. I have some wonderful things to say about my backpacking trip to Lisbon. Of the many good things about Lisbon, one of them would be Residencial Roxi, the hostel I stayed at. I have always wanted to write a review for them, and perhaps this is a great way to do it.

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“Fall”ing in Love

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One of the many abstract joys of traveling is discovering your fascination for specific things you learn to seek in your journeys. For example, I have an amazing fascination for sunrises and sunsets I never knew of before. I have difficulty waking up for my 9 am classes, but I will have no difficulty waking up at 5 on a cold, wintry morning to take a walk by the sea, hearing the waves roar and the birdies fly by as the sun comes up and says hi. Similarly, I have a fascination for trains.

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Niagara Falls: Inspiring Awe

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For the longest time of my stay in the US, I waited for an opportunity to visit Niagara Falls. When a friend from Rochester invited me, I gladly jumped at the opportunity. Niagara Falls is accessible (with a valid visa of course) both from the American side, and from the Canadian side. I had to stick to the American side, for the lack of a Canadian visa. I had previously heard everyone tell me how the Canadian view of Niagara was way prettier than then American view. I never understood why.

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