• Goa,  India,  Travel

    The Loja by the Water: A Genuine Goan Getaway

    Seema Misra Our first brush with Goan beaches was at Arambol back in 2012, which was a typical Goa holiday of beaches, beer, and buzzing party atmosphere. This year we returned to the sunshine state in search of a different experience – a quieter one – which we found at the beautiful Loja by the Water. What the Loja felt like The Loja is an intimate cabin just right for a couple or a single traveler. Slanting red tiled roof, a wall painting on one corner, and cool red-peroxide floor as you step in – I loved the earthy feel. The cabin is divided into a living area and a kitchenette with…

  • India,  Karnataka,  South India,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Urban Sketching,  Visual Journal

    Cantonment Railway Station – An Illustrated Travel Story

    Seema Misra Urban Sketching At Cantonment Railway Station Last weekend, our Urban Sketchers meet was at the Cantonment Railway Station, Bangalore (BNC). While most of us were geared up to sketch amidst the bustle and chaos of a typical Indian railway station, what we found was a place of astonishing stillness. The arched walls and green rooftops look as though they simply stood still and refused to move to make way for Bengaluru! A group of Railways employees was conducting a Swachh Bharat survey. They asked us a few questions and moved on to complete their round of the station. A train with a vivid red engine stood by the platform the…

  • Travel,  Urban Sketching,  Vietnam,  Watercolors

    Food Trails in Hanoi Old Quarter

    Seema Misra 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.…

  • Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Vietnam

    See You At Lily’s – Artsy Hostel in Hanoi, Old Quarter

    Seema Misra There is something about places with quirky names. While planning our Vietnam travel, we were looking for cheaper hostels and came across Lily’s. We instantly liked it. The high ratings helped us to go for it too. Since it was our first stop, we had a lot of questions on Hanoi, food, tours, our itinerary in general. We wrote to them and got an instant reply from Snowy, one of the staff at the hostel. She was super helpful and addressed our long queries on WhatsApp. We were reassured that Vietnam is a friendly place and a right choice. See You At Lily’s Hostel When we reached Hanoi,…

  • India,  Karnataka,  South India,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Uncategorized

    Hampiness – Beyond the Ruins

    Seema Misra Heritage Trails in Hampi An overnight drive from Bangalore, Hampi is a heritage town in Karnataka, India. About 600 years ago, it was among the richest places in the world, ruled by the powerful Vijayanagara Empire. This city is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River. It is identified with Pampa, a princess who performed tapasya for Lord Shiva. Pleased, he married her and took the name Pampapati. The Vijayanagara Empire was built around the Shiva temple, Virupaksha. My first glimpse was of a granite boulder-strewn landscape, in shades of grey, pink, ocher, and light blue. All around were ridges and hills (huge rock piles) dotted with ancient…