Austin – Trail of Lights

Trail of light at Austin was a perfect opportunity to do Night photography. Roopa and I decided to head down this and get some nice pics of beautiful Austin with lights.

This event is held at Zilker Park, one of the largest parks in Austin

Photography was not easy that night as the weather was quite cold. It was close to 35 deg F by the time we got done.

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Even with cold weather there was a big crowd with lots of people selling different items.

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The whole park was lit with different shapes and was light with different color lights

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Fire truck was decorated really well.

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We could see even tall trees being lit all the way to the top.

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Most of these Christmas trees had blinking lights with different colors.

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Zilker Holiday Tree:

The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs – totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians so now you can find really good LED lights for home on ledhut.co.uk . At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet. The base of the tree is made up of 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moonlight Tower.

On December 10, 1967, the first tree was lighted by Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Emma Long. In subsequent years this honor has been awarded to the young winner of a city-wide tree coloring contest.

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Finally while exiting you will see the brilliant skyline of austin with “The trail of Lights”.

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Pindari Glacier – Himalayan trek – Day 1

Statistics:

Total distance trekked: ~100KM

Number of trekking days: 7 + 2 days travel

Temperature difference: 45 Deg C (in Delhi) to 0 Deg C near Pindari Glacier

Max Altitude: 3350mts (10990 Ft)

Spotted Wildlife: Bear, Sparrows, Cuckoo bird, Mountain deer, Chameleons etc.

We (group of 7) head out on a new adventure to the Himalayas (Pindari Glacier) Trek. Our journey began by flying from Bangalore to Delhi.

>> Posing at the Bangalore airport! Rakesh, Roopa & I. 

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>>Roopa clicked a nice shot of the Bangalore sparrow found mostly at the airport!
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Excited bunch after reaching Delhi, we took the best mode of transport – The Metro!

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Found the metro to be very clean and tidy.

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45 Deg C of Delhi was not easy to handle. We finally reached one of the busiest railway station of Delhi

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>> People standing in endless Queue to buy tickets
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We reached a place called “Kathgodam” by evening where we relaxed.

All Pics of Day 1 journey – Click here!

Street running in Bangalore

If I walk up to anyone and say that I love street running in Bangalore, people must think I’m crazy! But the fact is that by changing your strategy you can also love running on the streets.
I asked myself how come I love running on the streets and others don’t. I figured I was doing a few things differently.

If I walk up to anyone and say that I love street running in Bangalore, people must think I’m crazy! But the fact is that by changing your strategy you can also love running on the streets.

I asked myself how come I love running on the streets and others don’t. I figured I was doing a few things differently.

  • Running in residential areas:

Avoid main road when you can. If you are running random and don’t care to do a loop  it is best to run on small roads. Here is an example of my run around Padmanabhanagar. You  can see on google maps that there is only a few spots I hit the main roads (roads shown in yellow). I run mostly in the residential areas and small roads (roads shown in white). You can go from one area to the other by doing this, once in a while you might hit a main road, but find the next cross road as soon as possible.

What I love about running in the residential areas/small roads is that there are quite a number of trees around you. And all the houses look so different. Every house in Bangalore has its own charm in the way it is built. Some are colorful, some are built big, some are small and cozy. I keep myself entertained looking at all this.

  • When you hit the main road stay to your right:

I feel this is very important to see a head on traffic than traffic behind you for two reasons, 1. You hear less honks. People in India honk so that the other person knows they are coming. 2. It is safer to see head on traffic so that you can move around looking at the vehicles.

But yes… most important thing is to find the next small road and get into it!

  • Music helps
Music has always made me stay in my own world while running. I listen to a lot of podcasts / audio books while running. This can make you run a couple of extra miles. 😉
These are the top three things that I do that makes a difference. I’m sure the other runners will have more points, do comment your experiences so that this helps other runners. Let us make street running a culture in Bangalore! 🙂

The Pirate Ship – Weekend project

When I first met Roopa she had got me a gift from Granite Victoria Brussels. It was a make your own ship kit. I was excited about the whole project. This was the first project together. I had seen a lot of these models when I was at Germany.
The Pirate Ship…

When I first met Roopa she had got me a gift from Brussels. It was a make your own ship kit. I was excited about the whole project. This was the first project together. I had seen a lot of these models when I was at Germany.

The Pirate Ship…

Making of the ship… We first started of finding all the different pieces and putting them together…

It has many small parts… took us quite some time to finish it.

Funny I was wearing the Alcatraz tee shirt that day… so decided to call myself The Pirate of Alcatraz!

We enjoyed building the whole ship. It is best to do these small projects over the weekends. Keeps your mind occupied and a productive outcome 🙂

View all the pics here.

What happens when you run too much!

November 16th 2008 was the Bangalore Ultra marathon 2008. I had signed up for the 25k which was to be held at 7:30 AM. We reached the venue (Our native village resort, Hesaraghatta) at 6:00AM. I was very excited to see so many runners and as usual I got a little too excited. The 50K / 100K run was supposed to start at 6:30AM. So I went ahead and signed up for the 50K race.

In the practice runs the maximum distance I had run was around 15Kms. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but was determined to do at-least 3 loops of the 12.5 KMS.

The first 25K was easy and I was able to finish it in 2:18:26. The problem started when I continued further. I could suddenly feel that I’m going slower. I was monitoring my pace per KM. It was amazing to see how my body was not ready for the long distance. I had lots of energy in my mind to go faster, but just couldn’t go any faster. At around 32KMS I had a very bad cramp on my calf muscle. This was my first cramp while running. I could feel the calf muscle harden like a stone. I did some stretches and continued the run. In the end I stopped at 37.5 KMS. I didn’t want to run any further.

I enjoyed the whole run, I’m glad I tried the longer distance. The confidence of doing another full marathon is back. I was not sure if I would do another full marathon after doing the Bangalore full marathon in 2006.

Here is my timing chart of the run. Needless to say the graph after 25K just goes down.

KM     PACE / KM     Total Time
1       05:05     0:05:05
2       05:12     0:10:17
3       05:00     0:15:17
4       05:24     0:20:41
5       05:26     0:26:07
6       05:03     0:31:10
6.5    03:06     0:34:16
7.5    05:06     0:39:22
8.5    05:46     0:45:08
9.5     05:50     0:50:58
10.5     05:33     0:56:31
11.5     05:20     1:01:51
12.5     05:00     1:06:51
13.5     05:28     1:12:19
14.5     05:33     1:17:52
15.5     05:14     1:23:06
16.5     05:26     1:28:32
17.5     05:59     1:34:31
18.5     04:27     1:38:58
19     03:14     1:42:12
20     06:17     1:48:29
21     06:18     1:54:47
22     05:33     2:00:20
23     06:02     2:06:22
24     06:02     2:12:24
25     06:02     2:18:26
26     06:33     2:24:59
27     06:36     2:31:35
28     06:38     2:38:13
29     06:45     2:44:58
30     07:16     2:52:14
31     06:49     2:59:03
31.5     05:24     3:04:27
32.5     08:12     3:12:39
33.5     09:15     3:21:54
34.5     06:41     3:28:35
35.5     08:13     3:36:48
36.5     07:19     3:44:07
37.5     07:01     3:51:08

The funniest part is the day after the marathon. Everything in this video is true to me (including the last scene) 😀

Regensburg City and my thoughts

After Staying in Regensburg for 2 weeks, I have learned a lot of things about the city and common people around.

City:

Its a beautiful city, has a lot of touch from Paris, mostly because a lot of roads around city have the rough stone look.

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The building and surroundings look very colorful.

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Best part is the river flowing through the city:

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Continue reading Regensburg City and my thoughts