Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pune and Cycling

What could be a better place to flag off a cycle rally to bring in awareness among people regarding the benefits of cycling. S.P. College which was built exactly a century ago has been a mute witness to the transformation of this city from the “City of Cycles” to two wheelers and four wheelers. 

I reached there at 6.15 am and found this huge crowd in front of me waiting to get their names ticked off (against the online registration) 

Noticed people from all age groups. I was told that the eldest guy was 82 years old (and the youngest was 6) About 1200 citizens took part. 

The organizers made all the necessary announcements and the guys who opted for the 22 kms cycling was waved off first. 

There were other shorter Cyclothon tracks of 12 kms and 8 kms.
I could not snap pictures en route as I was a participant in the 22 km rally. The route was from S P college, Tilak Rd, FC Rd, University Rd, Pashan, Bavdhan, Chandani Chowk, Paud Rd, Karve Rd and back to S P College.
It was nice to see early morning Sunday joggers on the way. It was also nice to see very young boys and girls taking part in the cycle rally. They were later felicitated on completion. 

On the whole there was a sense of happiness and camaradeire among all the participants with the feeling that they have accomplished something. 

Have made a one minute video on the complete event.

While clicking S P College, my cycle decided to make its appearance in the foreground, participant number PC 118   :-)   

Friday, September 15, 2017

Irish Dance at Dublin

On 3rd of August we had been to the Taylors Three Rock in Dublin, Ireland. The food was sort of OK, but the show was good. 

The show starts into an hour after the food is served. 

The chunk of the entertainment was Irish Dance and some solo singing. 

The co ordinated tap dance was good and variety was added in the form of dancing on the table top.

To make the show lively some audience were roped in to join in the music. 

But the one who stole the show was Noel V Ginnity. Looks like he had years and years of experience as an entertainer and kept the audience in splits. Some of the jokes were repeats from the internet but it was worth it. 

As I had a good seat, managed to capture some of the action and shaved it down to a video of 18  minutes.  I think the video will speak for itself.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the oldest and the largest occupied castle in the world, whose outer walls are still those constructed by William the conqueror during his reign in the 11th century. 

On the way to the castle from the main public entrance, you pass through the Windsor Railway Station (now known as Windsor and Eton Central Railway Stn) In 1849 when the station opened, there was considerable opposition from the Eton College who were convinced that the proximity of a railway station would lead the Eton boys astray.
A locomotive is on display, which is a full scale replica of the GWR Achilles class 4-2-2-locomotive No. 3041 It was renamed “The Queen” especially to pull the six new carriages of the Royal Train. 

The Windsor Royal shopping and the train station are connected. Most of shops were yet to open as we were there early. 

The Castle itself is a photographer’s delight. This delivery girl also was tempted to take a quick shot of the tower. 

On the way to the castle, we stumbled upon this Ancient well.  

As people assume that many must have used this well as a wishing well, a special board has been put on the well 

As we walked on our friend Melvyn nodded his head to a small alley on the left and said “that is the shortest street”  I had a look at the street and indeed it was. Queen Charlotte Street is the shortest street in Britain measuring only 622 inches. 

And this is the street 

Finally we reached that part of the Castle from where we could see “The Long Walk” which is about three mile long starting at George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle and ending at the magnificent copper Horse statue. 

All thought that it was an ideal place for a group photo with the castle as the background.

On the way back we found this cute Pub on Park Street by the name of The Two Brewers which is Windsor’s smallest pub with only nine tables inside.

Earlier in the day we just about managed to cross the city before the London Cycle Race got into full swing. Did see some of the cyclists as we left the city. You can see it in the video. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2017

Got a good shot of these sailors who were smartly dressed for the parade. 

Had been to the Military Tattoo this year at Edinburgh. This happens to be on the  bucket list for many and so was it for us. We were there well in advance and it was nice to see the stands getting filled up slowly. 

While walking up the Royal Mile towards the castle, I turned back and clicked the sea of humanity who were all going in the same direction. 

The lineup of participants included 250 pipers and drummers, and contingents from Japan, India, UK and US .  You could see the flags of all the participating nations fluttering around the Esplanade. 

I learned later that the stands at the Esplanade can be assembled or dismantled within a month.  The seats were quite comfortable but some liked to have additional cushions, which were available on hire at a cost of one pound.
The Tattoo starts off with the ceremony of theGaelic Toast, where the Piper and the Salute taker have a Quaich (Scottish drinking cup) of whisky. The Piper recites the Gaelic Toast (welcoming the Salute taker to the castle, wishing him, the Queen and everyone present the best) and then they drink together. They have to then kiss the bottom of the Quaich as a sign that no whisky is left behind and wasted.  

The Marines stand at ease while the ceremony goes on. 

 As the night progressed there were projections on the castle which were mostly related to the story enacted or the parade. 

The Indian Naval band appeared with Commander Vijay Charles and 65 musician sailors. There was an array of colourful dancers who danced to Vande Matram. Later, to my surprise they started playing Bollywood numbers.  

As for the Japanese, they had the Ground Self Defence Force Central Band with some special performance on the drums. 

The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland told the story of the Jacobites through the breathtaking piece “Ambush in the Glen”

The Royal Navy towed in a Helicopter to add to the effect of a search and destroy operation. 

I think the light and the sound effect played a major role in the whole show.    

We were lucky to get our seats in row K section 5 from where I could capture some of the action with my point and shoot camera. 

After editing / splicing and joining the snippets, it runs for about 41 minutes. It will give you a glimpse of the actual performance which ran for about 100 minutes. At the end of the Tattoo, all the participants come on to the Esplanade and they march out through the Royal Mile.