Showing posts from 2020

Luxembourg city highlights in a day

Luxembourg city highlights in a day The city of Luxembourg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of Luxembourg, which happens to be the country with the highest GDP per capita in the world and seat of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Luxembourg cityscapes The beauty of the city is perhaps its steep rocky terrain connected through numerous beautiful bridges. The stone arch Adolphe Bridge is one of the finest examples built over the Pétrusse river. Adolphe Bridge Nearly one third of the surface of the city is shaped by beautifully landscaped green spaces Pétrusse Valley The city is small enough to explore within a day or can be stretched over a weekend to include the nearby Vianden Castle. A visit to the Casemates du Bock is a must, with its amazing 17th century fortifications and breathtaking views of the Alzette valley. It is indeed the most visited tourist attraction of Luxembourg. Canon inside the Casemates du bock Alzette valley A

Bavarian Fairytale castle!

Neuschwanstein castle: What was once termed as an eccentric dream of King Ludwig II, is now the most beautiful and one of the most visited castle in the world. Who would have imagined that his vision would become one of the iconic structure of the country. Neuschwanstein Castle as seen from Marienbrücke Positioned on top of a hill, surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of Bavarian alps overlooking the Alpsee and Pöllat waterfall. This legendary castle served as an inspiration to build the Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Neuschwanstein castle literally means New Swan Stone castle. It was occupied by King Ludwig II in 1886, though he never lived to see his vision fully realized. Located in southern most tip of Germany, near the Austrian border, and nestled within the Alps is this fictional village of Schwangau and it's beautiful castles. The Neuschwanstein castle can be reached by a 20min hike from the Schwangau village and another 15min hike furt

Birding in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a coastline of over 451 km, wide open to the north sea. Much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level, not surprisingly its coastal wetlands make up some of the best birding hotspots, apart from the inland nature reserves. Close to 500 bird species are recorded in the country, much of them are waders and water birds due to its geography. As a non-resident birdwatcher it was not an easy task to locate the right bird watching spots, whilst ebird helped considerably, the rest was on me to explore the Dutch lands. Nevertheless, the country is much safer to explore and the good facilities such as birding hides at the right places, easy access to most reserves makes it a birder friendly country. I have explored two of the birding hotspots, the Texel Island and Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve. Apart from these, I found bird watching and bird photography can be interesting in the neighborhood city parks and also tourist places such as Zaans

Seed dispersers of Dandeli

The diversity of tropical forest trees are predominantly  dependent on its natural seed dispersers. Perhaps this diversity among the trees is fairly maintained by the fructivorous birds and animals of the Dandeli forests. Four fruit-eating bird species, the hornbills, forest pigeons, barbets, parakeets and one fruit eating squirrel are collectively responsible for dispersing the seeds of many of the Dandeli's tree species. The giants including the near threatened Malabar pied hornbill, the vulnerable Great Indian hornbill, the Malabar gray hornbill, and Indian giant squirrel are often the unintentional farmers of the forest. The compelling story behind this is, after eating the fruits, the indigestible part such as seeds are regurgitated later. These seeds are dispersed by birds and animals beyond the fences raised by the mankind. This plays a vital role in the local ecosystem by dispersing the seeds and some of them sprout to later turn out to be trees. It is fascinating