CHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ PARK :-“Cradle of Indian Cricket” and ” Political Gatherings”.

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Shivaji Park ground littered with garbage at its central locale..

Just happened to visit “Shivaji Park Ground” early in the morning  on Sunday(24/2/2019) between 0700 hrs -0800 hrs and was sad on seeing almost the entire historic playground littered with plastic waste, paper and plastic water bottles.

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Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Ground( 1925) is the cradle of Indian Cricket. Many “Cricket Pitches” with Nets are erected at various places on this sprawling ground.

A political rally organised by Mr Prakash Ambedkar and Mr Asaduddin Owaisi’s was held the previous night on Saturday(23/2/2019) and hence the litter the day after this massive political rally. Shivaji Park was established in 1925 as the “Mahim Park” until its name was changed to “Shivaji Park” in 1927 and over the decades has been the venue for the Indian Freedom movement during British rule and post Independence the venue for various political parties most notable the “Shiv Sena”.

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Notice the litter of waste in the middle of the ground which is in the process of being cleaned.

Beside’s being the “CRADLE” of “Indian Cricket” having nurtured some of India’s house-hold cricket names Shivaji park is also famous for its large political rallies like the one held yesterday.The cleaning of the park was identical to cleaning Prabhadevi sea beach at low tide as such was the amount of waste litter on this large beautiful playground.

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.Young budding cricketers undergoing their daily grueling fitness training exercises.

      Local budding cricketers were practicing at the “Nets wickets ” nurtured at certain spots on this large  27.9 acres ground, the largest ground within Mumbai city.Came across “Achrekar Sports Club”  training nets on one end of the ground where Cricket Coach Mr Vivek.Todankar was guiding young girl’s and boy’s in the skill’s of the game.

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“Gulli Cricket(Tennis Ball Cricket)” being played on the periphery parts of the ground.Playing on the “Net Pitches” is charged while “Gully Cricket” is free and popular amongst those not able to afford attending a “Cricket Coaching Institution” or hiring a cricket pitch for a few hours. Shivaji Park accommodates all types of games with football being popular during the Monsoon season.  Player’s from various economic strata’s of society get a chance to use this ground throughout the year .Who know’s ? One of these “Gully Cricketer’s” could become the next State level or International level cricketer.

Aspiring cricketers were practicing at the Nets which cost a hire rate of Rs 800 for  2 to 3 Hrs. The tuition charges for the cricket classes  were  Rs 1000/ month with a entrance fee of Rs 6000.                                                                                                                                       

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“Achrekar Cricket Coaching” classes being conducted on a section of the ground.Coach Mr Vivek.Tondankar  coaching the young girls and boy’s on different “Net Pitches”.Here the Girl’s are being coached.

Holding large rallies is normal as has been since the formation of this park  but we Indians attending these rallies should observe some civic sense and see that plastic bottles, eatable wrappers and other waste is thrown into a rubbish bin and not onto this large sprawling ground.

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“Big Boy’s” practicing at the net’s on a section of the ground.Charges for renting a part of the ground for a day’s cricket game range from Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000. 

 Why are we Indian’s so callous in observing basic civic sense in our own country but would avoid the same when touring outside India where in some country’s it’s a punishable crime to throw litter on the streets.I am not trying to change India and my own city Mumbai but hope to create some awareness about basic civic cleanliness .

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“HOME GALA- 2019” :-Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Pool Swimming Competitions.

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Spectators encouraging the competitors most of whom were parents cheering their young children.SWIMMING SHOULD BE MADE A MANDATORY COURSE IN SCHOOLS

Sunday (24/2/2019) :- Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool(M.G.M.O) in Mumbai held its annual “Home Gala -2019” swimming competition at its majestic pool complex .

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Traditional inauguration of the start of the “HOME GALA-2019” Swimming competition.

Definitely one of the largest public municipal pool in India having 4 different pools within its complex .Only member’s of the pool which consists of approximately 15,000 members were allowed to participate. 50 meters(One Length of the main 50 meter Olympic pool) races were held in this Olympic size pool for various age groups of boy’s and girls,men and women beginning with the age group of 7 years which had 25 meters maximum distance while the rest age groups of upto 60 Years of age had 50 meters as the maximum distance.

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EVENTS FOR THE “HOME GALA -2019” swimming competitions.

25 meters Freestyle and Breast Stroke races were also held for Men and Women above the age of 60 years.Hence every age group swimming member got a opportunity for competing in a regular race.Competitive races were held in the disciplines of “Butterfly Stroke”, “Breast Stroke”, “Back Stroke” and the ” Freestyle Stroke”.

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Just arrived at the swimming pool for the competition.A normal daily casual routine if not in competition.

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First race of the competition. “Under 7 Years Butterfly” stroke

Here i am competing in the 50 meters freestyle for “50-60 Years” age group.Placed 4th out of 6 swimmers while swimming in lane N0 5.I am basically a long distance swimmer averaging a daily swim of 2 Kms ++ at this pool during my normal daily fitness cycling and swimming workouts.

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Swimming Coach Mr Percy.Hakim seen talking with the competition officials is synonymous with “M.G.M.O” pool and its alma mater of National and State level swimmers .In fact when I first applied for membership in the 20th century(Read 1990’s) he took my swimming test of swimming 30 meters in the small pool.Today I leisurely swim 3 Kms ++.Jai Ho

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A photo-shoot after the 50 meters freestyle competition in which i placed 4th out of 6 competitors in the “50-60 Years” age Group.

 

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Placed 4th out of 6 competitors.

This was the first time in my life that i participated in a swimming competition and as the saying goes you are never too young or old to achieve or do anything in life.

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Lifeguards and “Timekeepers” at the shallow end(Finish line) of the Olympic size 50 meters pool

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The “GRAND STAND” of “M.G.M.O” pool. Strangely photography is prohibited inside the pool premises.Have visited pools outside India where photography is allowed.

Proud to have participated and completed the race as i learned swimming at a very late age in my life always a outdoors Terra- firma sportsman and athlete but never a water baby during my formative growing years although later in life spent 23 years onn/off in sailing the seas’s in my profession as a “Marine Engineer”.Its strange but true that you need not know swimming to be a “Scuba Diver” and similar i am sure that many hard core sailors might be clumsy swimmers. Jai Ho.. :- Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado

KALA GHODA FESTIVAL -2019 .STAND-UP-COMEDY AT IRISH HOUSE.

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Host Jeeya.Sethi introducing each “Stand Up Comedian” for their time slot on stage.

Thursday(7/2/2019) KALA GHODA ARTS FESTIVAL (Stand-Up Comedy at the IRISH HOUSE) :- 2019 is the 20th anniversary of Mumbai’s famed “KALA GHODA FESTIVAL’ in the historic Fort locality of Bombay now Mumbai.Over the decades have seen every facet of this festival with my favourite rendezvous obviously being the classic heritage “Literature/Writer Discourses” on the David Sassoon library lawns”. This year decided to visit the “STAND-UP COMEDY” enacted at the “Irish Pub” .

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Packed Audience inside Irish House for the “Stand Up Comedy” shows.

Had to wait for one and a half hour in the queue for a “Front Row” seat next to the performers.The ambiance inside the “Irish Pub” reminded me of the pubs of London and Europe, a replica of the European watering holes and naturally voted the best bar in Town.The “Stand-Up -Comedy” acts started at 1615 hrs with the host being Jeeya.Sethi.

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The “Narrator” in the crowd in Irish House.

As a Marine Engineer Sailor with 23 years onn/Off sea sailing under my belt having sailed during the hey day’s of shipping port stay’s where the proverb was,quote, “A sailor has a wife in every Port” was blushing like a girl on hearing the “Sex jokes” by this talented young group of “Adult Men and Women Comedians”.Remember that unlike we sailors on ship’s which was a total “Male Complement” during my era of sailing this small pub auditorium had a mix of men and women besides women stand-up comedian performers . Bizarrely, besides a gentleman of 76 years of age i could have been the next oldest with the entire pub packed with college teenagers .Photography or videography was strictly prohibited and the reasons were obvious as the ‘CENSOR BOARD” would come into the picture.This was the last day of the “STAND UP COMEDY” show and i definitely didn’t waste my time or thirst for knowledge. Came out of Irish House sexually educated on the sexual thinking and manners of the average milennial collegian of happening city Mumbai. As a former sailor i felt “OLD FASHIONED” in the sexual permissiveness of 21st century Mumbai. Jai Ho.

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IRISH HOUSE on Rampart Row in Kala Ghoda locality of Mumbai.One of Mumbai’s best pub’s for its ambiance and locale.

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The performing “STAND UP COMEDIANS” sitting in a corner of the Irish House .

Jeeya Sethi (Host) Jeeya believes if you are fat once (by fat she means FAAAAT) you are fat forever.
Mentally you never become thin even after losing all the weight. She has made
entertainment her new life’s mission since nothing else is going for her!
Raunaq Rajani A pure-bred Bombay boy, Raunaq Rajani has been in the comedy scene for a little
more than half a decade. Insightful perspectives, honest observations and sarcastic wit
make Raunaq an act that you shoudn’t miss!
Prashasti Singh Prashasti Singh is yet another IIM graduate searching for meaning outside academic
excellence and material achievement. She has found space for expressing her smalltown sensibilities in this big town hustle.
Ashish Dash Amongst the few things we know about Ashish Dash are the fact that he is from the
great state of Odisha and that he is fond of monkeys. Dash’s act is more confession
than comedy and can be memorably disturbing, This is why he is not popular at house
parties. A very jolly fellow, Ashish plans to make friends in the future.
Sonali Thakker Sonali’s stand-up is powerful, always funny and sometimes scary. The other big love
of her life is travelling, as it gives her great material and is the only way she can escape
from people cracking sad Gujju jokes.
Siddharth Gopinath A very, very tall person from Chennai.
Anand Reghu Published reports say that Anand Reghu has been on the Mumbai stand-up scene for
seven long years since its very inception. This cannot be proved or disproved but it is
ok. Reghu claims to be a Parsi with a bad case of sun burn but we have our doubts.
Masoom Rajwani Masoom Rajwani is one the youngest and most promising stand-up acts on the scene
and one of the few Sindhis who refuses to do a Sindhi joke.
Sumit Anand Sumit Anand has a YouTube Channel containing stand-up videos, you can check it out
and dont have to read below then.
Manik Mahna Manik Mahna is an Indian comedian from Delhi. His style of dry, almost offensive
but in a funny sort of way comedy is what he’s loved for. Manik is an Ultimate Street
Dance battle champion.
Curator: Jeeya Sethi Team: Dhruv Sanghvi & Masoom Rajwani

Obituary to Jockey/Trainer B.Prakash.

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Jockey B.Prakash on favourite “Secret Memory” at Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai.

Friday(11/1/2019 ) :- “BETTER LATE THAN TOO LATE,A OBITUARY TO JOCKEY.B.PRAKASH”.
I first entered Mahalaxmi racecourse on INDIAN DERBY-1979 as a 18 year old to see “Mohawk” win the Derby.The rest of the decades until as recently as 2017 was a passion of punting on horses having successfully completed a “SILVER JUBILEE HORSE PUNTING” without going bankrupt and a unofficial degree in “M.B.A Speculation” which today helps me in “INVESTMENT SPECULATION”.Jockey B.Prakash who rode for the one and only late racing baron Dr M.A.M Ramaswamy was one of my favourite jockeys on whom i won and lost the maximum of my “Speculation Money” also enjoying the passion that is Horse Racing.I still remember as vividly as yesterday my visit to the Mysore racecourse along with my late mother during a tour of the city . I had bet the princely sum of Rs 5000/place on a B.Prakash horse for the last race of the day.The punter behind me at the betting counter was shocked at my big bet as Mysore was not a “Big Bettors” centre unlike Mumbai and thankfully B.Prakash didn’t disappoint and squeezed the horse into third place paying me dividends.Rest was racing history in Mumbai my home turf where chants of “Pakya,Pakya(B.prakash’s pet name)” was as common at Mahalaxmi racecourse as a Tendulkar chant at Wankhede Stadium.Most of the “Wikepedia Horseracing photo’s” is my labour of horse racing love and my photo of “Pakya” astride “Secret Memory” graces the Wikepedia encyclopedia which i have also partly edited. In 2018 i retired from “HORSE RACE BETTING” making only the annual Indian Derby pilgrimage to Mahalaxmi racecourse and hence was not in touch with day to day khabbar and action at racetracks across India, a multi crore Industry. Was shocked to read in January about the sudden demise of Jockey/Trainer B.Prakash in Mumbai at the young age of 40 due to a massive heart attack .As a regular at the racetracks upto 2017 have seen some of the World’s house-hold name jockey’s ride at “Mahalaxmi Racecourse” and among them Jockey B.Prakash is forever etched in my memory for various reasons as he rode during the hey day’s of horse racing in India.May his soul rest in peace and his prowess as a successful jockey is and will be a part of Indian Horse racing history.Goodbye ” Pakya ” and thanks for the excitement and suspense you gave to your fan’s and detractors.

https://www.racingworldindia.com/index.php/2019/01/07/a-tribute-to-jockey-b-prakash/

A EVENING IN THE “BAZZAR” OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IN MUMBAI

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DSCN1775“Cirque Du Soliel” which means “Circus of the Sun” was entering India for the first time with their World theatrical premiere of “BAZZAR”.”BAZZAR” is the touring wing of the company which has a permanant show in Las Vegas and will be visiting 400 city’s but the “BONNY SHOW(Hindi slang for FIRST)” was in Mumbai.A first outside premier for the company as all the previous premiers  were held in Montreal , the city in which “Cirque Du Soliel” was formed in 1984 by two street performers  Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. The rest is Showbiz history with the company now being the largest theatrical producer in the World.  Having visited 76 Country’s to date and entire India barring the Lakshwadeep Islands it would be sacrilegious for me to miss a once in a lifetime World class 21st century circus.Booked my tickets  for Thursday(22/11/2018) a month in advance through “Bookmyshow.com” costing a princely Rs 1850 for the cheapest last row seats  .Grew up on circus’s as a child unlike 21st century kid’s on smart-phone games  with memories of having seen the “Great Royal Circus” in Mombasa an up-teen number of times along with my parents in the mid 1960’s.After migrating to India the Circus craze continued until the total demise of the “Circus Industry” due to the ban on animal performer’s and the invention of the “INTERNET” and “SMARTPHONE” that revolutionized entertainment for kid’s and grown-up’s.The death knell to traditional circuses was the ultimate closure of  “RINGLING BROS CIRCUS(Greatest Show on Earth) ” in U.S.A on 21May 2017.Change is permanent and same applies to the Showbiz Industry.Hindi film “Mera Naam Joker” about a Circus joker’s autobiography  till date remains one of my favourite films and honestly i was the definition of a “Film Addict” until the “Internet Revolution” diverted my mind from films. .On Thursday(22/11/2018) on a Full Moon twilight drove my “Bajaj Wind-125” to M.M.R.D.A  grounds in Bandra and here is my personal opinion and pictorial essay of  the “BAZZAR” i witnessed .

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Big Top Tent of Cirque Du Soleil at MMRDA grounds in Bandra , which is 62 feet high and 135 feet in diameter with seating capacity for more than 1500 guests.Total white in colour in contrast to the colourful large tents of  bygone Circus’s when animals were also part of the performing troupe.No i didn’t see any elephant’s or horses tethered outside a normal circus tent.

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Internal view of the “BIG TOP” with the performing stage.A “HOUSE-FULL” circus and a pleasing sight for the performers as well as the coffers .A sight i never saw in any of the normal circus in India although ticket prices could be afforded even by the poor sections of Indian society.Brought back memories of the  “Great Royal Circus” in Mombasa of the 1960’s where a advance booking was a formality for entry into a circus and as crowded as “Cirque Du Soliel” was today in 2018. THE CIRCUS AND CLOCK  HAD COME A FULL CIRCLE  AND THE SHOW BEGAN AT 2000 HRS.

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Mind-blowing acts of skill on display.

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Throughout the display of skills akin to a live Rock/Pop opera there was a lady musician singing .In this photograph another musician is seeing playing the trumpet while the artists are performing normal circus stunts but at a higher level compared to normal circus’s i have seen in my lifetime.Remember that a few of these circus performing stars are ex Olympic athletes and hence the higher stock value of the performers beside’s the combination of rock/pop live background music.

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Your’s truly Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado during the intermission of the Circus acts.Very well organized with clean air conditioned portable toilets although the eatables and liquor prices were beyond the purchasing power of the average middle-class Mumbai circus enthusiast. There are 2 economic Mumbai’s and India’s  and “CIRCUS DU SOLIEL” is for the  wealthy and high income individuals akin to visiting 5- star hotels .Save your earnings and see what “Circus Du Soliel” is all about if in the lower income bracket. As a “CIRCUS VETERAN” and daredevil adventurer myself guarantee that you wouldn’t feel bored watching a total human circus devoid of animal artists.Good entertainment comes at a premium.

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“Citibank” are one of the sponsors and they had a complimentary photo-shoot for the enthusiastic audience .Camera’s and flash photography with smartphones was prohibited. Here i am trying to impersonate one of my ageless rock hero’s. Guess who ? You are as old or as young as you think ? Got a complimentary Rs 200 gift coupon for posing for this photo and the “miser” saved money on the purchase of a ice-cream.Tell me to jump from a plane for “Tandem para-diving” then i would spend in thousands but definitely not for highly inflated eatables. 

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The “MAESTRO” (Standing Tall on the glass box) is the master of ceremonies humorously guiding and conducting the circus.”BAZZAR” is all about the MAESTRO and his gang of performers. Not a boring moment with the vocal music on par with some of the household names of English pop/rock culture  and  no abnormal dwarf clown or midget as was in the normal circuses.”MALLAKHAMB” was the Indian flavour to “Bazzar” with a unbelievable amazing display by Indian artist Rajesh.Mudki and his partner also known by the same name Rajesh. A pure display of human endurance, skills and mime comedy defined “Cirque Du Soliel”..

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End of the grand “BAZZAR” show and a standing ovation from the house-full audience.Susan Gaudreau is  the director and writer of the show and the entire cast and crew consists of 62 people of whom 22 are acrobats.Over a dozen different languages are spoken by the troupe of “Cirque Du Solel” To date “Cirque Du Soliel” has toured 450 cities in 60 Country’s.

 

 

 

 

POSTOJNA CAVES AND PREDJAMA CASTLE IN SLOVENIA. A PICTORIAL ESSAY.

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On  Tuesday(21/8/2018) at 0815 h boarded the bus to  Postojnska Jama from Ljubljana bus terminus.IMG20180821154352It was a long beautiful early morning drive through Slovenian countryside with the final drive being a uphill climb negotiating steep bends on the mountain roads.At 0930 hrs we arrived at Postojnska Jama centre which is  the entrance for tourists  to the World famous “Postojna Caves” with  our public  bus being  the first arrival of  the day with most tourists arriving in private tour buses or cars. Purchased a combination ticket for sightseeing “Postjona Cave and Predjama Castle “costing Euro  38.5 Only.

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Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado at the entrance of Postojna Caves

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A view of the Tourist center and the “ENTRANCE MOUTH” of POSTOJNA CAVES

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At 1000 hrs the first batch of tourists awaiting entrance into Postojna Caves.Tourist batches were formed according to languages and here i am in the queue for the “ENGLISH LANGUAGE TOURISTS”.

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“ENGLISH LANGUAGE TOURISTS” in the “MINI TRAIN” for the 3.2 Kms underground tour of Postojna Caves.World’s only underground cave train ride in Postojna caves.

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Partial view View of the 3.2 Km Train journey through Postojna caves

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A View of a walk inside the caves and the brilliance of the Stalactites and Stalagmites.

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Our Group of “ENGLISH LANGUAGE TOURISTS” being given a guided tour inside the caves .

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A walk inside Postojna Caves and its brilliance is visible.

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A walk through Postojna caves and one for the “Bucket List” of “Been Here,Seen That and Done That” !

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Exploring the wondrous dark caves of Postojna.

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Crossing the “RUSSIAN BRIDGE” inside Postojna Caves.

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“STALAGMITE BRILLIANT ” , the star attraction inside Postojna caves

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Our walking tour inside Postojna Caves finally came to a end in the “Concert Hall” which is the largest space in the cave complex and can accommodate 10,000 people for musical concerts.performances. From here we boarded the train back to the entrance with the entire Cave sightseeing  tour lasting one and a half hour.

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Predjama castle is the World’s largest “CAVE CASTLE” listed in the “Guinness book of World records”.This castle is perched on a 125 meter high cliff for over 800 years and was destroyed and rebuilt a few times.The present castle was built in the Renaissance style in 1570 and after World War II was nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities who turned it into a museum .Ranks among the 10 most fascinating castles in the World. Inside the Cave castle is a network of secret cave tunnels. POPULAR CULTURE :- “Armour of God” movie featuring Jackie.Chan was filmed in this castle with Jackie.Chan almost dying due to a serious injury during the shooting which enhanced the superstition that this castle is “HAUNTED”. In 2008 the Sci-Fi Channel “Ghost Hunters International” investigated the castle for paranormal activity .Numerous other films have been shot in this miracle of nature castle.

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SELFIE VIEW FROM PREDJAMA CASTLE :- Boarded the “Shuttle Bus” from Postojna Caves to Predjama Castle with the journey being approximately twenty minutes.Was given a set of guide ear-phones and began the tour of this unbelievable cave castle.

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A ROYAL ROOM INSIDE PREDJAMA CASTLE :-Over the centuries many Royal families stayed in the castle but the castle is most remembered and famous as the seat of the knight ERAZEM. LUEGER(LUEGGER),Lord of the castle in the 15th century and a robber baron.According to legend Erazem came into conflict with the Habsburgs on a murder charge and had to flee to his family castle of Predjama to evade the wrath of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III.The Emperor commissioned governor of Trieste Gaspar. Ravbar to either capture or kill Erazem. Although besieged by Gaspar’s forces Erazem avoided capture and starvation by means of communicating and transporting food through this castle’s secret cave tunnel. A vertical natural shaft which Erazem ordered to be enlarged leads out of the castle to the exit located on top of the cliff about 25 meters from the cliff’s edge.This tunnel allowed Erazem to get his food supply as well as continue his plunders He avoided capture for over a year and was finally killed in his own castle while using the toilet.He was betrayed by one of his men and a cannon shot blasted through the castle toilet killing Erazem.

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“COAT OF ARMS” of one of the Royal families that resided in PREDJAMA CASTLE.

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A Portrait of Erazem.Lueger, legend of Predjama Castle.

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View of “TORTURE CHAMBER” inside one of the caves of the castle.

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Exploring the passageways and caves inside Predjama castle.

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“CANNON” with a “BIRD’S EYE VIEW” of the entire countryside from the Ramparts of Predjama Cave Castle.

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A Bridge inside the Cave Castle.A marvel of architecture and also scary to tourists.

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Stairways inside the cave castle.

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Opening to the atmosphere from one of the Cave Rooms inside the Cave Castle.

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Royal Sarcophagus in Predjama Castle in Slovenia.

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CLOSE UP VIEW OF THE ONE AND ONLY LARGEST CAVE CASTLE IN THE WORLD :- PREDJAMA CASTLE.

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End of the tour of PREDJAMA CASTLE.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE :- To read my entire travel please read the blog :-  https://athensberlin.blogspot.com/

A WALK ALONG THE “Fortified walls of Dubrovnik” IN CROATIA.PICTORIAL ESSAY.

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Walking along the Fortified walls of Dubrovnik Old Town in Croatia on Friday(17-8-2018).Dubrovnik City walls are the most important feature of Dubrovnik and a world renowned iconic symbol of the white stone beauty, therefore the main reason why Dubrovnik is now known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik City walls run uninterrupted for 1940 meters (6365 feet) encircling the City..In addition to these strong and prominent fortifications, the city walls are protected additionally with 2 round towers, 12 quadrilateral forts, 5 bastions and 2 corner towers, while the scarp wall is flanked by one large and 9 small semicircular bastions.

NOTE :- To read the entire travelogue :- https://athensberlin.blogspot.com/

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“Bird’s Eye View” of Dubrovnik Old Tow and the FORTIFIED WALLS encircling the Town

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View of the “FORTIFIED WALL : while walking around it.Approximately a 2 Kms long circular walk

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Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado on a discovery walk along the historic fortified walls of Dubrovnik Old Town in Croatia.Start of my 2 Kms walk along the walls that encircle Dubrovnik Old Town,Dubrovnik  was formerly known as the “Republic of Ragusa”  from 1358 to 1808 and was a prosperous maritime Republic until annexed by Napoleon’s army.Today’s intact city walls mainly constructed between the 12th  and 17th centuries run a uninterrupted course of  1,940 meters  encircling most of the Old city and is the most complete fortified intact wall in entire Europe.This wall protected the citizens of Ragusa for five centuries and have never ever been breached by a enemy.

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View of Old Town rooftops and buildings from the Fortified City wall

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Tourists walking along the length of the “FORTIFIED WALLS”.Entrance ticket in 2018 was 150 Kuna.

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Not a walk along the “Great wall of China” but the “Fortified walls of Dubrovnik” with a amazing view of the Adriatic sea .Its a tough strenuous uneven walk that goes steeply uphill at a certain section as seen in this photo.Kayaking is a popular sport in the Adriatic sea along the coast of Dubrovnil Old Port.

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A cafe along the route of the “FORTIFIED WALLS” for tourist refreshments and rest.

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Normal housing within the Old Town surrounded by the “FORTIFIED WALLS”. .Washing and drying of linen

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Scenic view from the “FORTIFIED WALLS” and notice the basketball court on a building touching the walls.

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Tourist demonstration of a museum Cannon placed along a opening along the “FORTIFIED WALLS”.

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View of leisure luxury sail boats parked in Dubrovnik Old Port.

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View of the modern  21st century Dubrovnik City situated outside the boundary of the “FORTIFIED WALLS”.

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MINCETI TOWER built in 1463 is the highest point on the Fortified walls of Dubrovnik offering one of the best views of the city.

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View from Minceti Tower.

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A view of a part of the “FORTIFIED WALLS” with its towers.

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View of Dubrovnik Bell Tower from the “FORTIFIED WALLS”.

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Walking along the uneven “FORTIFIED WALLS” of Dubrovnik Old Town is a strenuous long 2 Kms walk.

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Tourist Selfie along the Fortified walls of Dubrovnik Old Town. The popular telivision series “GAME OF THRONES” was filmed in the Old Town as well as a popular Hindi film “FAN”.VISIT DUBROVNIK OLD TOWN ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME.

RESCUING A FRUIT BAT IN VAIBHAV APARTMENTS IN OLD PRABHADEVI AND THE ACCIDENTAL REGROWTH OF A MINIATURE BONSAI TREE.

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On Wednesday(4-5-2016)  while going for my early morning “Cycling /Free Hand Exercises” to Worli Seaface in Mumbai spotted this tiny fruit bat lying on the lobby just outside our building lift. I was just in time to rescue it before our building cat “Champa” was about to devour it as a breakfast snack.Brought the tiny bat home and kept it on my garden balcony Bonsai tree.Seems to be either sick or injured.It is now resting in my balcony and hope it flies off tonight. A few large “Flying Foxes” live on the large banyan tree of our building which also has squirrels and koels. Old Prabhadevi is a well forested locality despite skyscraper buildings.Once before decades ago in the 1990’s a fruit bat had stayed into our flat and i had caught and later released it.Any suggestions on how to care for it.I had  left it on

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The Tiny Fruit bat picked up from the floor of the apartment just near the entrance to the elevator.Looks very sick and i thought it wouldn’t survive.

my bonsai tree with the 2 cats, “Matahari” and “Matata”  totally unaware of its presence.What is the name of this bat species ? Later realized it was a “Common Fruit bat”.

Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado

Can you spot the tiny “FRUIT BAT” ? Its on the leaf above my head.

A few photo’s of the tiny bat and my own selfie with it.The next day on Thursday it was still in my balcony garden not “Taking Off” to the skies akin to “Kingfisher Airlines”, the latest business fiasco in Indian economic history named after the Kingfisher bird, Went to the Vet Dr Shivani Tandel(Avian Specialist) who was out on leave and hence came back home and did some consultation on the Internet.

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The Tiny fruit bat now clearly visible on my “Bonsai Tree” located in the house gallery

Thanks to “Facebook” that this bat was the topic of a heated rescue debate and finally Mrs Gayatri.Sarang , a bat specialist gave me advice on the “Internet” on method of feeding this tiny fruit bat.In this video i am feeding the bat “Alphonso Mango Pulp” after it has been rooted onto this bonsai tree for the last 30 hrs .Thanks to advice from Mrs Gayatri Sarang.

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This “Banyan Bonsai Tree” was a gift from “I.C.I.C.I Bank” but sadly it expired after a year.Have personally tried growing Bonsai tree’s for decades but always unsuccessful with the tree’s dying premature deaths.Was only successful with the tiny sapling transported from Maputo by ship and today a large tree in my tiny balcony.

The fruit bat was finally collected from my house at 1615 hrs on Thursday by Mrs Gayatri.Sarang’s driver for further treatment at her residence..It was a miracle of destiny that i came across this helpless tiny creature on Wednesday morning and hope it recovers and survives under specialist care.Bats are associated with a lot of superstition in Western Culture and most people are scared of them after the terrible “Blood sucker” tag attached to a species of the bats known as “Blood sucker bats”.Rocker “Meat Loaf” produced a hit rock album titled “Bat out of hell” and once Hard metal rocker Ozzie Osborne bit the head of a bat during a live rock performance.

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This was how the tall “Bonsai Tree” on which the fruit bat was rested looked after it broke and i chopped it to a stump to create a new regrowth grafting.

Akin to “Black Cats” its bats also that fascinate and scare the human race.In Mumbai and many city’s bat colonies are disappearing due to rapid habitat destruction and my locality in Old Prabhadevi is one of the few localities still having a small colony of migratory bats.This tiny fruit bat is travelling places besides creating awareness on bat care and conservation.and hope it finally gets wings and flies a free bird.Tragically and bizarrely the bat was rescued but the “Bonsai” tree on which i had kept it broke mysteriously in the night.

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Miraculous regrowth of the tiny stump into a miniature “Bonsai Tree” sprouting its first shoo and photographed on my house balcony overlooking the tall coconut trees

It was a emotional loss as this tree stood in my gallery for 18 years and it was as if a member of my house had expired akin to the death of late Alexandrine Parakeet “Mittoo”.I had nick-named this tree “The Leaning Tower of Pisa” as it had grown crooked, tilting dangerously at a acute angle. Took a chance of converting it into a “BONSAI” rather then throwing away the barren stump. I cut of the entire tree trunk of this tall Bonsai tree which is now a excellent strong wooden baton that can be used for self-defence. I cut the tree just approximately 5 inches from the base of the pot hoping it would grow into a “ACCIDENTAL BONSAI TREE “.

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RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT :- The “STUMP” that is a beautiful miniature Bonsai tree in 2018 .The “Offshoot Sapling” of the original 1988 Bonsai from Maputo.

After 3 months in July 2016 a green  shoot sprang out from the side of the barren tree stump and a little later another tiny shoot from the opposite side of the stump.I have posted photographs of the development and growth of this tiny tree .The rebirth of this tree has fascinated my enthusiasm for “BONSAI”..The Sea shell with the money-plant is “Interior Green Decor””. I had become a “ACCIDENTAL BONSAI” aficionado after receiving a tiny Banyan tree shoot as a “Diwali Gift” from “I.C.I.C.I” bank (Mumbai).Without any knowledge on “BONSAI” this Banyan tree has blossomed into a beautiful miniature Banyan specimen with my own “Mineral recipe formula”.Sadly this Banyan Bonsai tree expired after a year and since then i have the two original Bonsai’s in my galley.One is the  “ACCIDENTAL FRUIT BAT BONSAI TREE” and the other a tiny sapling imported from Maputo in Mozambique in 1988 and now almost touching the balcony ceiling.

Tuesday(19/2/2019) :- A view of the regeneration of the leaf shoots from the chopped stump.

“ACCIDENTAL FRUIT BAT BONSAI TREE ” breaks for the second time and its regrowth :-   One fine day in December 2018 suddenly noticed that this beautiful tiny Bonsai tree had broken off from its main tree trunk .I presumed that this was the final death knell of this accidental Bonsai tree that morphed from its main parent plant transported from Maputo in 1988 into a separate offshoot tree nicknamed “Leaning Tower of Pisa” and finally into the “Accidental Fruit bat Bonsai”.”Practice maketh a man perfect ” and decided to try one last time to regenerate this tree by chopping off its main shoot head which had sheared off from the crown of leaves.After a few weeks in January observed a tiny off-shoot springing from the side of the main chopped tree stump.Eureka ! Unbelievable that this tree was regrowing for the third time from a barren stump of wood.A few weeks later the shoot grew larger on the barren stump forming a tiny umbrella style leaf fan.                                                                                                                                                         :- Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph.A.Furtado..