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Getting High Sweetly

Alternately titled: weed jamuns, pot jamuns, how to infuse marijuana in Indian desserts

I had a much cooler name for my last experiment where I combined different flavours and chemicals that I liked. The result, vodka and coffee, also known as Vodka+- (Copyright pending) was received with mixed reviews by the test audience (myself).

Along similar lines and after having discovered that I could actually make Gulab Jamuns that are good (they have not caused any known casualties) I decided to add a little something-something, a little oomph, a little afterburner, a little more kick to this sweet Indian delicacy. The rest of this post talks about the first ever attempt at combining an Indian sweet (a very delicious Indian sweet – one of my favourites) with a chemical that causes some very pleasant effects. This post is slightly more scientific than my previous post (though nowhere approaching the rigour that I would have liked) and used a brave and hungry classmate as the test subject.

I do not really know when I first got this idea and the experiment happened at oBelIX pace. The theory behind the idea is fairly sound. The active ingredient in weed is THC, a chemical that is poorly soluble in water but has high solubility in fat, oil. Wikipedia states:

THC has a very low solubility in water, but good solubility in most organic solvents, specifically lipids and alcohols

Based on this, and given that ghee, the binding agent for the batter that makes the jamuns is a fat, it should be possible to infuse weed in Gulab Jamuns (infact, by extension it should be possible to make weed-egg-fry and so on).

 

Getting Started

You will need:

  • Everything you need to make Gulab Jamuns
  • Weed

[Note: This post assumes some familiarity with how to make Gulab Jamuns]

 

How Long does it take to make: A couple of hours

 

How do I make it:

  1. Infuse a little ghee with THC
  2. Make the balls
  3. Make the syrup
  4. Fry the balls
  5. Put the balls in the syrup

For steps b, c, d, e please use a search engine of your choice or alternately this link.

 

Step A: Infuse a little Ghee with THC

The key step and deciding factor in your experience is how much THC you get in your ghee. The quantities below are enough to make about 10 Gulab Jamuns and get one person sweetly high. YMMV.

 

Finely grind the plant material

This is a rather important step. The finer you grind, the more surface area that is exposed and the more oomph that your jamuns will pack.

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Melt the ghee in a pan

When melting the ghee, make sure to use the quantities that make sense for the amount of Jamuns you are going to make. The solubility of THC should not be a concern


 

Add the plant material to the ghee

This is where the THC is going out of the plant and into the oil


 

Stir for about 40 minutes


Wait and stir. It is important to use very low heat – the aim is to not set the house on fire or burn the plant material but to extract, slowly, gently. Patience is a virtue. So is soothing music. It is working well when the apartment has a certain smell to it.


 

Drain


Once done, the ghee should be less clear and more brown. It will also taste slightly off.

 

Once you have this infused ghee, proceed to make the batter as usual and everything else stays the same. Important things to note:

  • The raw balls have a slightly incorrect taste. This gets significantly reduced as the Gulab Jamuns absorb the sugar in the final step
  • Make sure the oil you fry the balls in is warm. I did the intelligent thing of putting on the incorrect stovetop and waiting for the oil to heat up

 

Observations

The key one: it worked. This can be corroborated by two independent observers (one was me) and the test subject in question. He was hungry enough to have all nine of these and did exhibit classic symptoms of being high such as:

  • My head feels like there is liquid in there
  • Everything is so slow
  • Etc etc etc

 

The taste of the Gulab Jamuns was not perfect. There is still more refinement needed. The weed infused ghee doesn’t behave the same as normal ghee and the balls don’t hold together as much.

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PS1: Yes, I am a long way away from my own blog about cooking

PS2: More experiments are needed

PS3: Since THC is soluble in alcohol, pasta in the kind of sauce cooked with wine or vodka!

oBelIX in Ottawa – I

This post comes to you from a fairly comfortable, inexpensive room, ten minutes away from downtown Ottawa. I happen to be here because of a rather important need to get a visa renewed. I will not deliberate on the ridiculousness of this ridonculous requirement (yet another
example of how to improperly break up the flow of a sentence). Anyway, since I am here, for a good long time, I will chit-chat, write about Ottawa.

 

Part I: United and Chicago

I flew United airlines once again, not out of choice or desire, but more because this-is-the-cheapest-flight. I slept soundly through the first flight out of Seattle which left at the ungodly hour of 6AM. I woke up only twice through the entire flight, and both times it was because the dude in the seat next to me had to pee. Anyway, I landed at Chicago airport, around lunchtime, hungry and decaffienated. There was a Starbucks so I popped over and picked up one of their sandwiches. The lady, broad and of a very southern accent said, “Those are 9 dollars.” I looked down at the sandwich in my hand, it was two slices of bread with some turkey and cheese and lettuce and tomato and onion. Nine dollars, I thought to myself. I got the coffee and mosey-ed over to “Johnny Rockets” fast food where I promptly got a far more affordable and value for money meal.

 

Part 2: The US Embassy in Ottawa or Applying for a US visa in Ottawa

This part is actually useful information so readers looking for bc/timepass should skip this section. Anyway, the important things to keep in mind for the US Embassy in Ottawa are:

  • Do not carry any bags with you – they will not let you in past the first door
  • Do not arrive more than half an hour before your appointment – they will not let you in
  • Ensure that the photograph is current – people were sent away for this
  • No cell phones
  • Be prepared to wait a long time
  • There is no food inside

Just to make sure that this is not a totally useful section, I will add this rather interesting piece of trivia that the consular officer told me: “Ottawa is the second coldest capital in the world”

 

Part 3: Ottawa

I like Ottawa. I like most places where walking is easy and encouraged. Ottawa seems to be such a city. It is small. It is well-defined. I understand how it is laid out. It takes about five kilometers of walking to understand a neighbourhood and by now, I’ve walked around far more than that – I count approximately sixteen kilometers. My fairly comfortable, inexpensive room is in the city of Gatineau, about a kilometer and a river away from Ottawa itself. Crossing this river puts me in Byward Market, an upscale set of restaurants, bars and shops which I shall investigate over the course of the next few weeks. Past the market the neighbourhood grows a touch less posh. There are homeless gentlemen, one of whom was very convinced I was from Russia and kept asking me for change or whether I wanted some Vodka.

I had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant called “The horn of Africa.” It was a shabby run-down place and I walked three kilometers to get there. Upon entering, I was greeted by the glummest gent on the planet. He led me, dourly, to a table and got me a menu. I asked for the Shiro Wot which was not available. I asked for the Kik Wot. I asked for it spicy. It came, arranged rather unflatteringly on three injeras that did not really feel like they wanted to be eaten. It took me ten minutes to get through the food which I attribute to me being cold and hungry and not to the quality of the food. Tl;dr: Do not go to the horn of Africa for Ethiopian food. Tomorrow, I plan to try out one of the cheap shawarma restaurants: Shawarma King or Castle Shawarma. There is also a Café India King which sounds interesting and a pub called that offers Husband Daycare!

The weather in Ottawa is cold, hovering around 5 degrees Celsius in the day and 0 at night. The cold is tolerable, it is the wind that is a bitch. Suffice to say, my current pair of gloves will not cut it and I am very glad I got my Russian cap and overcoat along.

 

The parliament atop its hill

Alternately Titled: Please excuse the trees in the bottom left

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Sunset on the river

Alternately Titled: I should have left fifteen minutes earlier

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Rent-A-Bike

Alternately Titled: Stand farther back when you take a picture you idiot

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Ottawa At Night

Alternately Titled: You should have cropped out that tree

Day 4: Antelope Canyon

Part 3: Zion National Park

Part 2: From Idaho to Page

Part 1: From Seattle to Idaho
Total Distance: 1611 miles

Part 1: The absence of a prologue

In my head, each of these posts was supposed to have a prologue. Nothing significant, some random thought or quotation to get the ball rolling. Usually, completed unrelated to the topic at hand. However, I cannot think of one for Antelope Canyon. Actually, hold that thought. I just thought of one.

Antelope. Ant-Elope. –CeG <oBelIX>

Part 2: Upper Antelope Canyon

It was a sunny day, the only day in the first five days of my vacation where a desert would behave like a desert and not display weather patterns similar to Seattle. The canyon was open and in all honesty was a total disappointment. This is because:

  • There is no time to stare at the canyon walls themselves
  • There is no peace
  • One is being constantly pushed around by the system (I say system because I have listened to a lot of Zen today)
  • There are too many people
  • It costs 40 usd and feels like a money making scam

Bottom line: Go to ZNP – the Antelope Canyons make for great photographs but should you ever be planning a trip out into Southern Utah, Antelope had better not be the reason for it. There are great pictures to be had. The canyons are beautiful. The experience leaves far too much to be desired. There are many other places in the world that will leave you feeling cheerier and happier, deep down inside than Antelope.

Part 3: Lake Powell

A nice-looking lake? I did not jump into it. The best I can say from personal experience is that one of the gentlemen who work at the Marina was kind enough to mail a postcard for me. This, to me, is a rather big thing, postcards are important but in the grand scheme of things – this may not be relevant at all.

Part 4: Horseshoe Bend

Arizona saved its best for last. –CeG <oBelIX>

I have a predeliciton for sunsets. Sunsets rarely disappoint. Even cloudy sunsets, as long as there is either a vast open space or the absence of people, the silence that accompanies most sunsets makes them worth going for. In Arizona, the Colorado got lazy at a certain point. Instead of making a hole through the rock it decided to take its own sweet time and go around it. I suspect it lost a bet becaue immediately after going around this big rock it turned back on itself rather than going further somewhere else. The result of all this though is perhaps the most beautiful sight I saw. A sunset. A vast sagebrush desert. A bend in a canyon. Tranquility.

Part 5: Utah-20

After the sunset, I headed back towards Seattle (the fact that I am writing this from Wyoming is another story which I shall write about tomorrow). This was the fourth time I drove towards Kanab (at a very sane speed I will add, I did not cross more than 30 above the limit at any point). I then took US-89 which for the part upto Zion is okay and the part after that is decent enough. Nothing much to complain about, not too much traffic, rather straight. Somewhere near Bryce though, I needed to go faster. At that point, the plan was still to make it to Seattle which required me to get atleast 350 miles or so in so that I’d have only 900 miles to do on Monday and be back to work on Tuesday. I decided to move on to the Interstate. I do maintain that state highways provide for the more entertaining drives. Interstates are faster though and safer and easier to drive, especially late at night. UT-20 is a state highway that goes from US-89 to I-15. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a gem of a road. If I was a touch sleepy before, this woke me up. It was late at night so I have no idea about what I actually drove through. The road is very very good. It twists and turns and is nicely banked. I stayed in a combination of second and third which is always good. There are lots of signs that warn about deer that wish to cross the road (along with other assorted wildlife) but I found none. I guess the deer were fast asleep then.

Going To The Sun

Long overdue, this is the post about Glacier National Park which is, I have to grudgingly admit a better place than Olympic National Park in quite a few ways. There are some common themes/undertones to this post that I will list out below:

  • The mountains
  • The waters
  • The U’s
  • The roads and the drives

Also, useful information is summarized below:

  • It is 500 miles from Seattle to East Glacier, about a 12 hour drive with breaks (and a crap car)
  • East Glacier has better access to the park. West Glacier has better facilities
  • Skip Two Medicine, Many Glacier is a must see
  • Hike. Hike. Hike.
  • Sunrises FTW/

Photo Credits go to several people, TK, Suma, Madhav, Urja, Muru etc.

The Drive

Glacier is about 500 odd miles away and easily-easily drivable. The drive is due east of here, I-90 and then a bunch of Montana Highways. The going to GNP was at night so not much of the scenery was visible. I will say though that the Montana state roads have speed limits of eighty and well, lets be honest, there is nothing there so in a competent car it would be challenging to keep to 80. Stay alert though, deer frolic about for no good reason and I do think that hitting a deer is not the most intelligent thing in the world.

The place we stayed at was a vacation rental from vrbo.com. The lady in charge had a gazillion questions to ask but did provide us with a very luxurious house in the middle of Whitefish (which has a lake which I did not see). Courtesy pictures below:

the view of the lake from the house

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Glacier National Park

The park itself is a rectangle. There are several entrances but the two prominent ones are the ones on the East (at Apgar) also known as East Glacier and the one on the West (at St. Mary’s) also known as West Glacier. The Going-To-The-Sun-Road (GTSR) connects these two and there is a whole section on this very nice road. US-2 runs East-West across the southern boundary of the park and I believe US-91 and US-89 run North-South parallel to the edges of the park passing through East and West Glacier respectively. We stayed near the entrance at East Glacier. I would recommend staying at West Glacier because it provides more convenient access to the park.

 

Going To The Sun

Lake McDonald

Leaving Whitefish, the drive towards Glacier is fairly pleasant after escaping the towns and the cities and other such things. There is a portion that has magnificent views, a mountain to the left, a windy road in front, a river to your right and a railroad on a hillside beyond. The railroad I am told goes from Seattle to GNP and is very scenic. It certainly looks so. The first stop on GTSR is the Apgar Visitor Center (where the gelato stand is rather nice). It is right next to the first big lake, Lake McDonald and should provide ample opportunities for you to sing OldMcDonaldHadAFarmEEYaEEYaOOOOO. Do not seek solitude on the Apgar side of this lake, it’s a bustling center of activity. There’s a motel, a Kayak rental place and many infants and children and bigger specimens of the human population milling around.

Lake McDonald at Apgar

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To find Solitude, drive on GTSR and head east. GTSR goes along the lake to the very end of the lake and there are many spots to just pull out. Choose a spot where you don’t see any people and walk down to the lake. It is a nice lake and I’d give this four out of five stars (I am rather spoilt for lakes because I can afford to give this a 4 out of 5 stars). It is worthwhile to just focus first on the waves and then at a point on the horizon and then back again on the waves.

Mesmerizing waves

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And crystal clear water

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Avalanche Lake

As a quick warm up, there’s a short four mile hike to nearby Avalanche Lake. As far as hikes go, it is very dissimilar to the hikes in the Pacific Northwest. The hike follows Avalanche creek which as you go further becomes a roaring collection of little eddies, rapids and waterfalls. The flowers here are different too.

Water in motion

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White Flowers

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The other thing which must be mentioned is the difference in the landscape. I am not a botanist but I notice that the trees are not the same. And then there are the mountains. These are big, proper mountains, very dissimilar to the mountains in Washington. The only time I’ve ever felt awed, mildly so, was at Navaho Pass, where the continuity of the Stuart range took my breath away. At Glacier, the mountains are bigger, imposing. They feel like the mountains atop Moria. They feel solemn. Majestic. The hike itself continues on, climbing a little, falling a little; nothing too strenuous. There is a lot of vegetation and some bugs as you get closer to the lake, just mosey on through that patch. The lake itself has a greenish tinge. It does not feel quiet by the lake; there are far too many people to enjoy solitude in the evening. It is still a sight to behold, set amidst mountains that are peppered with countless glacier-melt waterfalls.

Avalanche Lake

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GTSR

GTSR continues. It follows a stream for a few miles. There are beautiful sights to the right (if heading east). There are also mountains behind and stopping at the pull-outs or scenic views is recommended. The road soon leaves the stream and starts winding its way up a mountain-side, heading towards Logan’s pass, across the Rockies. This portion of the road is beautiful to drive. It is twisty and bendy and incredibly smooth. However, during the day, GNP is overcrowded. Stuffed. Packed. There will be no scope to enjoy just the drive so accept it and look at the views. Also, do get a car that drives well, driving a hundred-ton-SUV-with-an-insipid-automatic-transmission will only serve to exacerbate your irritation. The only remedy, stop often, enjoy the views.

Glomp. If that doesn’t do it for you then look at the next one

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All right, I lied, the picture above is better, but there is something about this …

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How about this for a view eh? That is the portion of GTSR going along the stream.

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Like I said, take a nice car …

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Logans Pass

GTSR climbs on relentlessly until it reaches Logan’s Pass. This is very obvious, there is a big sign that says, “Logan’s Pass” and a turn after which there is no more elevation gain. At Logan’s Pass is a visitor center, a crowded parking lot, a snowfield and more mountains. Lots more mountains. There are hikes here and in July, on the 4th, give or take, there were wildflowers blooming. There are quite a few people here who do add a little bit to the entertainment, especially the underprepared ones who walk on the snow in sneakers. The proper way to travel on snow is on top of your behind, sliding. For the nitpickers, the use-the-right-word-instead-of-a-whole-sentence-so-that-you-can-get-to-the-point-quicker, the word is glissade. Also, binoculars or a mighty zoom lens (which if you are a guy makes me suspect you are overcompensating) is a good idea. There are those weird goat-like-mountainous-creatures, no wait, I mean, mountain-like-goat-creatures, well, the things in the picture below.

Mgs

Wildflowers. If you are a teenage girl, this is a great place to get a profile picture to make your girlfriends jealous.

At this point, I will yammer on for a little while on the topic of those goatlike-creatures-for-whom-I-am-too-lazy-to-look-up-the-appropriate-name. I had the misfortune/luxury of meeting them up close. From the confines of a car in a parking lot. From the confines of a car with the engine running in a parking lot. From the confines of a car with the engine running and someone not at all afraid of running over these unnamed-horny-beasts behind the wheel in a parking lot. Anyway, after that bit of butchering of the language, I will get back to the point and don’t you dare, not for a moment think that the entire purpose of this paragraph was to butcher the language and just ramble. On. There is a point and I am getting to it. Slowly. These, I will use the word, things, to get to the point quicker, are rather disgusting. There was a flock of them in the parking lot at Logan’s Pass one fine morning. My friend was enamoured clicking away. It is interesting to observe them for a minute or ten but not much longer. They do not seem interested in humans, they seemed fairly content with licking the tarmac for any food. They are yucky as well, peeing everywhere and preferring to expose their behinds to humans with cameras. The class hierarchy in this species is also very hard to gauge. They are sprightly though and look built to gander up the mountain slopes like Chintu.

 

St. Mary’s Lake

Heading further east on GTSR the road starts going downhill. It’s a nice drive plagued by traffic during the day. There are far too many motorized means of locomotion to make the drive enjoyable. There are also these ancient red people carriers, made if I recall correctly by Ford. They are used as taxis, free transport from one end of the park to another. It’s a sensible idea and I would recommend doing this if it is possible to plan around it. The car does offer a lot of freedom though, so it’s a tradeoff like with most things in life. These, apparently are very expensive to maintain.

People Carriers used since a long time ago

The next big attraction on GTSR after a little while is St. Mary’s Lake at the eastern edge of the park. It is a long lake, stretching east to west. It is flanked by mountains. It’s also a nice azure (forgive the nomenclature here) and a good place to stop and get your tripod out and take a photograph.

St. Marys

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At the east entrance to St. Mary’s is a lodge where there is a gift-shop, a concierge that is kind enough to send out stamped mail for you – you can send postcards from here – and a restaurant that has rather nice food. The beef stroganoff was not up to the mark (based on feedback from a friend, I don’t eat beef) but the rest of the food was some of the best we had on the trip. The bread was fresh and very soft and it is sad that there are no pictures of the food.

 

Two Medicine

South of St. Mary’s is another entrance to GNP. Getting there involves a short drive on US-89 and US-89 is marvelous. The scenery is one of huge mountains with U-shaped valleys on the right (if you are heading south) and rolling hills, pastures, meadows on the left. The occasional bovine (yes, I used it as a noun) will cross your path. There are signs which proclaim that the shop or restaurant in question has the best blueberry or hickenberry or some-other-berry pancakes. The road twists and turns and is beautifully graded. The name of the area in question is “Two Medicine” and having not paid much attention to the ranger lady I do not know why it is called so. This is a valley, tucked away with a lake. It is quiet, peaceful and serene. This area is also not very popular, there was just one more group there when we arrived. It is nice but in my opinion, not a must do.

u-shaped valleys, the view from US-89 S

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Rendu-aushadii

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US-2 runs east-west along the southern edge of the park. It is parallel to GTSR and a much quicker drive back. There are portions of US-2 that are also very enjoyable to drive. Especially in a thunderstorm. There is, once again, a river, mountains and a twisty road. A little bit of music, some half-decent company and most of the drive will be spent with a smile.

 

Sunset

On the topic of sunsets I have a little bit to say. I’ve seen some very nice ones before. There was one somewhere in Arizona/Nevada, the in December, I called these lilac-fire, violet-burn, as we were driving West towards the Los Angeles (a city that I think has far too much sprawl). There were many in Oregon that we simply mind-boggling, where the Sun’s rays reflected on top of the clouds, setting them alight in Gold. There was one in Olympic which I remember more for the conversation. Chasing the Sun at Glacier National Park is a lot of fun. The trick is to start off at the East entrance to the park. The Sun will set over the west so when you are at St. Mary’s you see it play with the mountain tops. They were a very brilliant orange.

Sunset at St. Mary’s

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Twilight West of Logan’s Pass, the Sun setting behind the mountains

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Many Glacier and Iceberg Lake

Many Glacier is another entrance to GNP, situated North of St. Mary’s. There is not much to write about the drive from St. Mary’s to Many Glacier, think of Many Glacier as the starting point for spectacular scenery. There’s a hotel and a lodge there where there is food (pizza, reasonably nice pizza). There’s also multiple lakes and the opportunity to Kayak and you can hop from lake to lake in your kayak! Iceberg lake is a very delightful trail, it is like a five mile walk in the park. The elevation gain is minimal, the trail climbs a little at the start but levels out and is mostly flat, walking along a ridge. It is not a disappointing walk, there is much beauty to behold. The first perhaps mile or so is through forest and the next couple of miles are along a ridge on a side of a U-shaped valley. The mountain side had wildflowers, not a large number of them but a significant few and it is interesting to see the variety of the different wildflowers and that particular picture happens to have been misplaced. Halfway through the trek is a bridge over a river, a nice place to take a break along with the rest of the crowd. There is wildlife nearby, squirrels and such, and feeding them is perhaps not the most intelligent thing to do. Further on, as you climb higher and head up the U-shaped valley, to the very heart of the Glacier, the foliage starts to thin, just a little bit. There are chilly streams and ice-cold waterfalls of snowmelt gurgling and ready to provide refreshment. The first major water body is an un-name-able-blue. It’s not Iceberg Lake though, Iceberg Lake lies a few hundred meters farther on. It comes into view suddenly and is surprising – a mess of broken icebergs, a harmonious disarray.

Random beautiful shot

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U-Shaped valleys, Iceberg Lake lies at the foot of those mountains

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Looking back, if nothing else, I have a very clear understanding of what a valley carved by a Glacier looks like

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The Bridge and the stream halfway through the hike

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The un-name-able-blues

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Iceberg lake

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The sun and the clouds, reflected in the lake

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Sunrise

St. Marys is a very nice spot to see the sunrise at GNP. And seeing a sunrise at GNP is worth the effort of waking up in the morning. GTSR is empty so you can enjoy the drive. There is a silence. Quiet. There is a chilly breeze so make sure to pack a cap. And after watching the sun rise, stop by downtown Whitefish for breakfast!

Spectacle

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I do not need to caption this.

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To say that I thoroughly enjoyed GNP is an understatement. There is pristine beauty there, especially when you are away from all the crowds in the parking lots and near the visitor centers.

20,000

Image

a few tens of miles south of olympia

The Picture Of Dorian Gray

The Picture Of Dorian Gray

This is an old book, written by Oscar Wilde and given the lack of things going on to the blog I figured I’d write about this book. What is below is my opinion J. The premise of the book is what if a man who has everything is allowed to explore and challenge the rules of society especially if he has the guarantee that no consequence of what he does would be visible on his visage.

The book is very well written and flows nicely. You need to be a bit patient though, Oscar Wilde wrote in an era when people had more time and would read verbose (but beautiful) descriptions of things and places. The end is as expected but getting to the end is a journey in itself.

The protagonist is Dorian Gray, a young socialite in London, rich, beautiful. The kind of man who has the world at his feet. Lord Henry is the intellectual who has the ability to influence people with his ideas – he is the cause for Dorian Gray experimenting with the fabric of society. A painter, a friend of Dorian’s paints a picture of him and Dorian makes a wish – he wishes that any sin he commits is reflected on the painting but not on his face or his body.

The rest of this post is excerpts of things that I liked and let’s be honest, Oscar Wilde is much more fun to read than I.

Knock your head with the heel of your hand. One side has a flabby echo. Cock your head to the side and hop—sudden heat in your ear, delicious, and brain-warmed water turns cold on the nautilus of your ear’s outside. You can hear harder tinnier music, closer shouts, much movement in much water.

I like this for the way it captures a very common feeling – the feeling of water being stuck in your ear when you step out of a pool …

burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs

Describing the branch of a tree that is holding onto numerous flowers

Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.

Probably true. It was surprising how much of this book I agreed with. It was surprising how much of this book I disagreed with as well.

There, of course, I stumbled against Lady Brandon. ‘You are not going to run away so soon, Mr. Hallward?’ she screamed out. You know her curiously shrill voice?” “Yes; she is a peacock in everything but beauty,” said Lord Henry, pulling the daisy to bits with his long nervous fingers.

I’m going to hold on to this. There will be a time when I will find someone for who this incredibly delicious insult would work.

“Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one,” said the young lord, plucking another daisy.

You could take this many ways. Perhaps when the friendship ends something bigger and better begins. You can already tell that Dorian Gray, while he becomes a portege of Lord Henry at first he will grow to become far greater a personality because while Lord Henry has the intellectuality but Dorian Gray will talk of these with experience and experience always trumps intellectuality.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.

I do not have that luxury.

It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.

Lord Henry says this. He recognizes at this point the futility of argument, especially with the painter who is fixated on his views.

Some day you will look at your friend, and he will seem to you to be a little out of drawing, or you won’t like his tone of colour, or something. You will bitterly reproach him in your own heart, and seriously think that he has behaved very badly to you. The next time he calls, you will be perfectly cold and indifferent. It will be a great pity, for it will alter you. What you have told me is quite a romance, a romance of art one might call it, and the worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic.

A little bit of foreshadowing here. The end of all relationships is like this.

Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.

Have you ever been faithless? I like that faithless here can mean that you were faithless in the loving …

Lord Henry looked at him. Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold hair. There was something in his face that made one trust him at once. All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth’s passionate purity.

I just like this. It is pretty.

Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.

Words to live by. Like I said, there is quite a bit of this book that makes you think.

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

The underlying theme of the book – or one of its facets atleast.

Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.

The emphasis is mine. Those words only serve to make you grimace – drill the point home.

And beauty is a form of genius– is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.

This book has many eloquently stated truisms.

He watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that we try to develop when things of high import make us afraid, or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which we cannot find expression, or when some thought that terrifies us lays sudden siege to the brain and calls on us to yield.

Quantifying, putting down, yet another incredibly common sensation.

“Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last for ever.

There is a lot of ngynam given about the fairer sex in this book.

Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity.

A panegyric is a story or a tirade or a dialogue. I like the flow of this sentence – it has a nice rhyming cadence.

made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver

delicate – it completely makes that phrase. Without that delicate that sentence would not be nice to read.

Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.

The finality.

Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic

Apply this to an aspect of beauty in your life and see. The results will surprise you.

Opposite was the Duchess of Harley, a lady of admirable good-nature and good temper, much liked by every one who knew her, and of those ample architectural proportions that in women who are not duchesses are described by contemporary historians as stoutness.

Trademark Oscar Wilde humour.

“They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris,” chuckled Sir Thomas, who had a large wardrobe of Humour’s cast-off clothes.

Oscar Wilde (or his narrator) loves taking apart the rich.

To get back one’s youth, one has merely to repeat one’s follies.

Is youth wasted if you haven’t done stupid things?

He played with the idea and grew wilful; tossed it into the air and transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent with fancy and winged it with paradox.

Ideas are ethereal just like this sentence.

Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him, but sat like one under a spell, smiles chasing each other over his lips and wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes.

More beautiful writing.

She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest.

How to use a description to tell you about the person.

If one hears bad music, it is one’s duty to drown it in conversation.

More of Lord Henry’s pontification.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

And some more.

Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.

and

My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.

I find this quaint. More so because I know so many people who would go ballistic upon this definition.

My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect–simply a confession of failure.

Per Lord Henry, you should not have faithfulness. Or, you could potentially be faithful to a multitude of things.

When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.

Hey. No one’s ever come up with a  good definition for romance. This one is as good as any.

You, who know all the secrets of life, tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.

Dorian Gray says this to Lord Henry. There’s a touch of anger, a little bit of force in the finale of that paragraph – it just goes to show a tiny glimpse of the depths he will descend to.

Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

Indeed. The biggest of our mistakes teach us the most valuable lessons and give us the best stories.

The waving of crooked, false-jewelled fingers gave grotesqueness to the words.

Language!

Thin-lipped wisdom spoke at her from the worn chair, hinted at prudence, quoted from that book of cowardice whose author apes the name of common sense.

Sibyl Vane, a teenage actress, in love with Dorian Gray who is an aristocrat has just told her mother about Dorian and his offer to take her away from wretched poverty. These are her mother’s thoughts.

Then wisdom altered its method and spoke of espial and discovery. This young man might be rich. If so, marriage should be thought of. Against the shell of her ear broke the waves of worldly cunning. The arrows of craft shot by her.

Continuation of her thinking.

Women defend themselves by attacking, just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders.

Women are strange. Period.

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Yep. Very true. Also known as “how hard can it be?”, “the fuck with it”, “CHAARGE!”

Women, as some witty Frenchman once put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.

No comment.

She crouched on the floor like a wounded thing, and Dorian Gray, with his beautiful eyes, looked down at her, and his chiselled lips curled in exquisite disdain.

Dorian Gray to use a now-common vernacular dumps Sibyl Vane – his first love. He dumps her while looking down at her with his chiseled lips (we need to be reminded that he is stunning) curled in exquisite disdain … His disdain is exquisite.

They had been plucked at midnight, and the coldness of the moon had entered into them.

Beautiful. Morosely so.

There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. They affect us just as vulgarity affects us. They give us an impression of sheer brute force, and we revolt against that. Sometimes, however, a tragedy that possesses artistic elements of beauty crosses our lives. If these elements of beauty are real, the whole thing simply appeals to our sense of dramatic effect.

zomg!

That awful memory of woman! What a fearful thing it is! And what an utter intellectual stagnation it reveals! One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.

But women never know when the curtain has fallen. They always want a sixth act, and as soon as the interest of the play is entirely over, they propose to continue it. If they were allowed their own way, every comedy would have a tragic ending, and every tragedy would culminate in a farce. They are charmingly artificial, but they have no sense of art.

Ordinary women always console themselves. Some of them do it by going in for sentimental colours. Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they have a history. Others find a great consolation in suddenly discovering the good qualities of their husbands. They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one’s face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins. Religion consoles some. Its mysteries have all the charm of a flirtation, a woman once told me, and I can quite understand it.

More pontification on women. This just underscores that at that time the world view was very very different. It was like reading “Heart of Darkness” and the descriptions of the slaves in there. It’s interesting to see how opinions of the world change and even more interesting to think whether what we accept as well-balanced sensibilities would be considered by the future.

I do like that sentence though – “They are charmingly artificial but they have no sense of art.”

What has the actual lapse of time got to do with it? It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

It would be a very cool superpower.

The mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated, produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter, a form of reverie, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of the falling day and creeping shadows.

Dorian Gray is reading a book here. There are paragraphs, indeed entire sections of this book for which this is applicable.

It was to have its service of the intellect, certainly, yet it was never to accept any theory or system that would involve the sacrifice of any mode of passionate experience. Its aim, indeed, was to be experience itself, and not the fruits of experience, sweet or bitter as they might be. Of the asceticism that deadens the senses, as of the vulgar profligacy that dulls them, it was to know nothing. But it was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is itself but a moment.

He felt keenly conscious of how barren all intellectual speculation is when separated from action and experiment.

Perhaps this is why when you’re drunk you do stupid things

He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life.

I want a list. Anyway, this is repeated throughout the book – the connection between what you experience in the real world and what you can imagine in your mind.

He had the mysterious juruparis of the Rio Negro Indians, that women are not allowed to look at and that even youths may not see till they have been subjected to fasting and scourging, and the earthen jars of the Peruvians that have the shrill cries of birds, and flutes of human bones such as Alfonso de Ovalle heard in Chile, and the sonorous green jaspers that are found near Cuzco and give forth a note of singular sweetness. He had painted gourds filled with pebbles that rattled when they were shaken; the long clarin of the Mexicans, into which the performer does not blow, but through which he inhales the air; the harsh ture of the Amazon tribes, that is sounded by the sentinels who sit all day long in high trees, and can be heard, it is said, at a distance of three leagues; the teponaztli, that has two vibrating tongues of wood and is beaten with sticks that are smeared with an elastic gum obtained from the milky juice of plants; the yotl-bells of the Aztecs, that are hung in clusters like grapes; and a huge cylindrical drum, covered with the skins of great serpents, like the one that Bernal Diaz saw when he went with Cortes into the Mexican temple, and of whose doleful sound he has left us so vivid a description.

such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by lamplight, the cymophane with its wirelike line of silver, the pistachio-coloured peridot, rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes, carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous, four-rayed stars, flame-red cinnamon-stones, orange and violet spinels, and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby and sapphire. He loved the red gold of the sunstone, and the moonstone’s pearly whiteness, and the broken rainbow of the milky opal. He procured from Amsterdam three emeralds of extraordinary size and richness of colour, and had a turquoise de la vieille roche that was the envy of all the connoisseurs.

In Alphonso’s Clericalis Disciplina a serpent was mentioned with eyes of real jacinth, and in the romantic history of Alexander, the Conqueror of Emathia was said to have found in the vale of Jordan snakes “with collars of real emeralds growing on their backs.” There was a gem in the brain of the dragon, Philostratus told us, and “by the exhibition of golden letters and a scarlet robe” the monster could be thrown into a magical sleep and slain. According to the great alchemist, Pierre de Boniface, the diamond rendered a man invisible, and the agate of India made him eloquent. The cornelian appeased anger, and the hyacinth provoked sleep, and the amethyst drove away the fumes of wine. The garnet cast out demons, and the hydropicus deprived the moon of her colour. The selenite waxed and waned with the moon, and the meloceus, that discovers thieves, could be affected only by the blood of kids. Leonardus Camillus had seen a white stone taken from the brain of a newly killed toad, that was a certain antidote against poison. The bezoar, that was found in the heart of the Arabian deer, was a charm that could cure the plague. In the nests of Arabian birds was the aspilates, that, according to Democritus, kept the wearer from any danger by fire.

This book was written at a time when verbosity was allowed, appreciated even. A more modern book would not have so many examples yet it is the multiplicity of the examples that tend to make me believe in Dorian Gray’s dog-minded-ness towards pursuing this idea of experiencing the world, living in each and every luxury and committing every heinous sin.

The middle classes air their moral prejudices over their gross dinner-tables, and whisper about what they call the profligacies of their betters in order to try and pretend that they are in smart society and on intimate terms with the people they slander.

Would we ever think like that? No. The world was so different then. It seems obvious but sometimes you need reminders of the scale on which changes take place.

There was the madness of pride in every word he uttered. He stamped his foot upon the ground in his boyish insolent manner. He felt a terrible joy at the thought that some one else was to share his secret, and that the man who had painted the portrait that was the origin of all his shame was to be burdened for the rest of his life with the hideous memory of what he had done.

Dorian Gray was about to show Basil Howard, the painter his painting. The painting by this time has seen the effects of all the crimes that Dorian Gray has committed. Dorian Gray himself looks like he has not aged a day.

He passed out of the room and began the ascent, Basil Hallward following close behind. They walked softly, as men do instinctively at night. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle.

They are going up to the room where the painting is locked and stored. I love the way this sentence sets up mood … foreboding … shit is going down (and Oscar Wilde would never do that … he’d have probably said something else)

There was a stifled groan and the horrible sound of some one choking with blood.

Dorian Gray has just stabbed his friend, the artist in the neck. The phrase “the horrible sound of someone choking with blood” brings to mind such a vivid sound despite me never having heard that sound.

Time seemed to him to be crawling with feet of lead, while he by monstrous winds was being swept towards the jagged edge of some black cleft of precipice.

Dorian Gray is contemplating how he will survive, how he will hide the body. There may be no mark upon him but the fact is that he has committed murder and there is a body upstairs.

Then, suddenly, time stopped for him. Yes: that blind, slow-breathing thing crawled no more, and horrible thoughts, time being dead, raced nimbly on in front, and dragged a hideous future from its grave, and showed it to him. He stared at it. Its very horror made him stone.

wow.

The ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece seemed to him to be dividing time into separate atoms of agony, each of which was too terrible to be borne.

and more wow. Still with Dorian Gray, contemplating what to do after murder. It is at this time Dorian Gray still feels human, infact it is these very contemplations that make him still human.

a red-cheeked, white-whiskered creature who, like so many of his class, was under the impression that inordinate joviality can atone for an entire lack of ideas.

Oscar Wilde ripping on the aristorcracy.

An alliterative prefix served as an ornament of oratory.

Delectable.

From time to time a huge misshapen cloud stretched a long arm across and hid it.

The moon.

He knew in what strange heavens they were suffering, and what dull hells were teaching them the secret of some new joy. They were better off than he was. He was prisoned in thought. Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away.

Dorian Gray is in an opium den. He sees all the rather high people. He is twisted and it hurts. Oscar Wilde draws the line at murder – the murder of a friend was an excess he wasn’t able to wrap himself around.

The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.

Elitism?

Somewhere here there is a great dialogue, perhaps the only dialogue of notice, most of the book is in summary between Lord Henry and a cousin of his (I think). She is the only woman in the story who has half a brain and actually takes Lord Henry down.

Out of the black cave of time, terrible and swathed in scarlet, rose the image of his sin.

This is how you describe a nightmare.

Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.

That part was too deep for me to interpret sober.

A woman will flirt with anybody in the world as long as other people are looking on.”

🙂

Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.

True. A mist does make things wonderful. Of all the lakes I’ve been to I think this one was the most beautiful – and that was only because of the mist.

All crime is vulgar, just as all vulgarity is crime.

The best one-liner in the book. It’s beauty lies in that it sums up such complexity in such few words.

Murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.

Huh. Like really. Captain Obvious.

a broken roof of dripping umbrellas

I just like this for the image.

Art has no influence upon action. It annihilates the desire to act. It is superbly sterile. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

The rest of my notes would probably give away parts of the ending. FWIW, read the book. Its a good read.

Espana–Granada

Some days-weeks-months ago yours truly along with a couple of other gentlemen embarked upon a tour of Espana. This is what happened.

Give him a coin, woman, for there is nothing worse in this life than to be blind in Granada. -Francisco Alarcón

Our car journey, devoid of any incident of note came to an end in Granada where it took us a very long time in finding the train station and returning the car. The traffic in Granada is like that in India, chaotic, uncontrolled, roads dug up, under construction. But, like Toledo, traffic into the historic district is regulated. Our Hotel, a cheap two star place (comfortable, clean beds, clean bathrooms) was in the middle of the city at the central square.

That evening, we walked into the old district, the Albayzín, with its narrow hilly cobblestone roads and staircases and smell of countless people having gone number-1 on the walls. Our destination was St. Nichols viewpoint from where you can see across to the Alhambra at night. It was a cool night, there were lots of tourists and a smattering of tongues and the best part was this dude playing instrumental melodies on an upturned pot. We walked around, got ice-creams and contemplated the world.

The Alhambra

the alhambra

all that walking, ice-creaming, contemplating and observing people tired me out


I don’t think I’ve yet written about breakfasts in Spain. In most places you can get a Zuma de Naranjas (orange juice), a café Con leche and a sandwich for 3-6 Euros which is a pretty good way to start the day.

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coffee in Granada


The walk up to Alhambra was about a mile or so and the ticket line was neither short nor long, somewhere in the middle … average. The Alhambra is the castle of the Moorish kings and is totally must-see. The views of Granada are spectacular. Each window, each door tells a story. The gardens are vast and magnificent and the Generalife is indescribable. Oh, and the audioguide while useful is narrated by an insolent arrogant prick.

gardens and walls

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white flower – there are more to come

we had a “whose-camera-is-better” competition. this was the competitor to the windows phone above.

more lilac

the audioguide rambled on about this for a bit. I forget

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the windows are beautiful, each room has different windows, each form different patterns of shade

patterns within patterns … fractals

the generalife – the gardens where the princess’ sat and mused


A complete tour of the Alhambra takes a while. Also, it’s hot. And tiring. Post the tour we ate and I had what I think was easily my best lunch in Spain. Pro-tip: If you eat meat then at most places the Menu Del Dia (the menu of the day) is the way to go. You’ll get a cheap three course meal (soup, entrée, dessert) and a glass of wine. The wine I had was delicious cold white wine. The Gazpacho, I’d never had Gazpacho before, was cold and cucumberry (tasted of cucumber and not a new kind of berry). The fish though was delicious, cooked to perfection and covered in a very creamy white sauce.

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gazpacho – I do not like this – it is cold and cucumberry

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excellent fishie


The rest of the day was spent walking around the non-historic district of Granada. A church, a cathedral, a store that sold spice.

tl;dr – Granada is magical

Espana–Madrid

Some days-weeks-months ago yours truly along with a couple of other gentlemen embarked upon a tour of Espana. This is what happened.

We flew from the Americas to Madrid on some of the worst flights ever. C’est la vie, let us not dilly-dally on such things and get this cracking …

The view from the bus that ferries one from the airport to the city. It is not rather impressive but the thing to note is that it was bright and sunny and coming from Seattle it was a refreshing change.


The first meal in Spain was a Tortilla Espana, ordered at a café with great difficulty. Having no idea of what most of the words meant this was accomplished by looking at the items on display and pointing. Once pointed at fingers were used to indicate the quantity of items we wanted. The cashier first said out the total in Spanish and seeing the look of blank incomprehension at the faces of two Indian gentlemen who had been in airplanes for the last 20 odd hours was at a loss until I proffered my wallet. She took out a ten euro note and returned back four euros and change. I did know Café Con Leche – coffee with milk.

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the very first meal, tortilla espana or something which was basically a potato omlette. very nice, inexpensive and with a cup of coffee that was actually rather good.


The Royal Palace is definitely worth seeing. There are policemen on horses (which seems very antiquated), Spanish Mom’s trying to control their kids and chinese gentlemen selling foot massages (very insistently). The gist of one conversation with one of them (well, a conversation is too strong a word) was that I really needed a massage and I would do well to heed their advice and choose from a menu that was a set of illustrations on cardboard on the areas of my foot that would be impacted by a massage.

the royal palace. its slightly not-aligned to the horizon and the photographer is not at fault here

there are these chilled out artistes near the palace – they thrive on the ability of tourists such as us to be easily amused and want to take photos with them


Walking around Madrid is a great idea. Walking around any foreign city is a great idea. You never know what all you will see …

funky windmill

hamara bajaj

Autos espana

autos in Espana

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salmon on bread. to put it more eloquently, a salmon bocadillo


At night, we walked around Puerta Del Sol and the historic district of Madrid. This is when the city comes to life (it was either a Friday or a Saturday). There are people outside cafes, restaurants, sitting, chilling, eating, drinking. It’s cool, calm.

Lilac

An infusion of lilac

Fountain at night

the windows phone does take very good pictures

another fountain …

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there are people in Spain. You see hub-hub and activity …

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we ended the night at another café, eating churros dipped in chocolate (it’s not exactly a breadstick in chocolate but something like that)


The next day we drove to El Escoreal. Now, getting out of Madrid is not as simple as it looks. We rented a car with a GPS. Programmed El Escoreal into the GPS. It told us to take the A-<some number> which we proceeded to. The A-<some number> then became a tunnel under the city. Infact every big road in Madrid became a tunnel under the city. Upon entering this tunnel the GPS lost signal. We then proceeded to spend the next half hour roaming underground in Spain doing nothing. Finally surfaced we found where we had to go and then headed there.

The Valley of the Fallen is a monument to those who died in the Spanish Civil War. It is grand and imposing, a cross on a hillside visible from far away. I think it is remarkable that the Spanish have built such a memorial. Inside, is a basilica, hewn into the mountain itself, the entrance to which has gates that are three-of-me-tall. The tunnel that leads into the main hall has stories from Christianity inscribed on it’s walls, in between giant tapestries that hang from the ceiling to the floor.

El Escoreal itself is nothing much to write about.

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our ride, a Peugeot, the crappiest car I’ve ever driven, slow, very slow, the only car I’ve ever red-lined, this piece of goop only served to exacerbate a really bad ache in the neck.

in quiet contemplation … a severe neck-ache … at El Escoreal

the valley of the fallen

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to give you a better idea of the scale


Being jetlagged in Spain does mean that you get to eat some interesting breakfasts. The first morning in Spain I wandered down Puerta Del Sol and stepped into a café and ordered a sandwich. I also needed to buy glue which was a fairly interesting exercise in itself – pointing to a stamp and a postcard and trying to bring them together is not the best way to tell an old shopkeeper that you want to buy a fevistick.

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A spanish footlong!


The next day was a longer more involved brunch.

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Paella, something which I don’t very much care for, it’s a little on the sweet side which I think is weird for rice to be (unless it’s payasam or kheer)

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I forget what this is – but it sure looks good right now

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Oh and I’d had another sandwich

Contentment


We also went to the Reina Sofia – the modern art museum. Well, I had to drag my compatriots out there. It was an illuminating visit, I don’t think any of us grokked the hidden meaning behind any of the art. Don’t get me wrong, it was impressive, technically very difficult and it is possible for the layman to parse parts but it is not possible to understand the bigger picture.

Picasso’s Guernica deserves it’s own separate mention with a vague description (your narrator is not accountable to any standards of quality and can do as he pleases which is very liberating). It is huge. It is very interesting to read about. It cannot be photographed.

this one is very famous

these weren’t at the museum per se but we weren’t able to fathom their exact purpose

why Calvin and Hobbes?

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10000 miles

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In Oregon – 17 miles from the junction of Oregon 26 and Oregon 47 in the evening.