• India,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Coffee, Cardamom, Campfire, and Calmness at Hema Koota

    Hema Koota is an authentic homestay that offers the simple pleasures of life (delicious food, friendly people, and nature) making for a perfect weekend getaway. Every year, the onset of Christmas vacations heralds an exodus in Bangalore. Some companies shut down for the year-end. IT employees try to use up their remaining leaves. Everyone has a reason to head out for their last travel of the year. We too decided to drive to the hills to enjoy the winter chill and the coffee harvest season. While scrolling through listings on travel websites I came across Hema Koota in Hassan. Their website had a gallery of beautiful photos, with one of…

  • Travel,  Urban Sketching,  Vietnam,  Watercolors

    Food Trails in Hanoi Old Quarter

    As we hit the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, it was like entering a magical world. Being Indian, we found the noise and chaos quite familiar and non-threatening. Tiny food vendors on the pavements, the fragrance from each corner, the array of small seats with locals munching on sunflower seeds and sipping never-ending cups of ice tea created an atmosphere quite unique. Some of the roads were packed with backpacker abodes. Millions of things and lives coexist on these tiny lanes, enjoying the coexistence, enjoying the cacophony.   Food is an integral part of Vietnam travel. In Hanoi, like all other Vietnam cities, there are very few billboards. ¬†What catches…