Mountain calling – Summer ’18

Helloooo again. It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog, life has been pretty interesting. I finished my first year of master’s (a major relief) and then came the summer vacations followed by my internship and now back to school again. The summer vacations went exceptionally well. The perks of studying in Europe is that you can travel to a lot of beautiful destinations. I traveled to Slovakia this summer. I have a cousin who lives in Prague and we decided to take a trip to the beautiful Tatra mountains. The whole plan was to hike and explore the place. This last-minute plan lasted two nights and two days, and it was perfect.
I have traveled quite a few times to the mountains already back at home and I was still awestruck by this place. If you like visiting places, you’re either a beach person or a mountain person. And I am a mountain person. So this trip was just what I needed after the hectic year.
Day one, we hiked to a beautiful place called The Green Lake (Zelene Pleso). It took about half a day of climb uphill. En route all the way you’ll have the company of a beautiful stream flowing right by you giving you ample opportunities to click great pictures of it.

The stream en-route Zelene Pleso, High Tatras

The beautiful Green Lake (Zelene Pleso)

Day two, we woke up in the morning and we read through nearly all the hiking trails in the region to pick one of the difficult ones – Slovak Paradise. We based out of this place called Zdiar. To hike in Slovak Paradise, one would normally require to start as early as 7.30am. And there we were sitting at 9.15am contemplating if we should take the trail or not. We had to catch a train the same day too. After about fifteen mins of discussion. We decided to pack ALL our things, head to Slovak Paradise and then directly board our train saving ourselves a trip back to Zdiar. So we started with all our luggage and started the hike an hour and a half later. The weather wasn’t very promising. It was insanely cloudy and windy. As we started the trail, we saw nearly every kind of landscape one would expect – grasslands, forests, hills, rivers; name whatever you would like to see and you would have it.

Grasslands before starting the hike in Slovak Paradise

A stream flowing in Slovak Paradise before the clouds covered the sky

After hiking till about 2.30pm, we decided it was time to head back. Partly because of the weather and partly because of the trails. The weather forecast predicted heavy rains and there we were in the middle of a forest and hearing the thunders. There are so many trails in that one place. It is a national park and depending on your preference you can follow whatever trail you want. We even got lost quite a few times because we had to take detours as a result of fallen trees and landslides. Maybe if we had planned better, we’d know exactly what we wanted to see and do. But no regrets! It was an amazing experience. Someday I hope I get to take a couple of weeks off and discover the beautiful country – Slovakia 🙂

The calm after the storm – Post Q3

The blog couldn’t have a title any better than this. The best part of Q3 exams coming to an end were seven days of sun (20+ degrees). Believe me when I say that it is a privilege. 19th April 2018, marked the end of a strenuous quarter in all the three quarters I have seen at TU Delft. The shortest one with the most courses, I couldn’t be any more grateful that it was over. Me along with  my friends marked the date 21st April 2018. We were so sure we were going to utilize the weekend to the maximum and we did. A trip to Amsterdam- this was our silver lining. Something to look forward to during the exam week. Eight months in this country and this was my first visit to De Dam.

Iamsterdam, Museumplein

Wandering the streets of De Dam

The time came to plan the visit. After an endless discussion of “Let’s go, but I don’t know what to do in Amsterdam” we finally made it there. Spotted tulip fields on the way. It is a breath-taking sight. They’re definitely on my bucket list now. We finally reached Amsterdam, many of the things didn’t go as planned, but it didn’t matter. We were all together and we were having the best time wandering the streets(8-9 hours), enjoying the sun, feeling all touristy, cracking lame jokes and clicking a LOT of pictures!

Normally I am the kind of person who would rest for a week after a one-day outing. This time I decided to be more adventurous and planned a visit to the Delft center on King’s day. The crowd – different shades of orange. An endless sea of people partying, celebrating the King’s Birthday with music, drinks, and food. However, the celebrations are much bigger in Amsterdam, but I will make a trip next year. If you happen to be in Delft, I would highly recommend a walk to the Church Square in the city. Probably going to the top of the church would also be a great idea to see the city celebrating (unless you feel dizzy climbing the narrow spiral staircase for at least 10-15 mins; if you do, then you do need some recovery time when you get back on the flat ground).

Koningsdag Festival, Delft

The amazing View, Nieuwe Kerk

All in all, the two weekends out satisfied my appetite for a long time now. I won’t be heading out again soon.As usual, it has hardly been sunny this week. The weather can be best explained by the meme that follows.

Adios, until next time!