Featured Post


FLORENCE     Florence –  the capital of the Tuscany region and the cradle of Renaissance   We opted for Flix Bus while traveling from Venice to Florence. The road journey takes about three and a half-hour. In Florence, it terminates at the rear end of Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station. One of Italy’s busiest stations, it got its name from Santa Maria Novella Church just across the plaza from the main entrance. We debarked at the station and refreshed ourselves at McDonald's before hiring a cab for our hotel. Florence, popularly known as ‘Firenze’ by the Italians, is located in central Italy. This dreamy city with a romantic name is the regional capital of the lovely Tuscany region.   Columbus Hotel, where we stayed, is located in Lugarno District. We always prefer to book our hotels through Booking.com as we always land up getting good hotels at good locations. Despite being a little away from the heart of the city and Santa Maria Novella station

A Caledonian Experience

Scotland - Part 1

King’s Cross Station, London. One of the oldest and busiest railway stations of Europe, located in central London. During the inaugural period(1851) Queen Victoria travelled to Scotland from this station. We took the morning high speed train from here on our journey to Caledonia. Caledonia is the Latin name given by the Romans in early first century AD for area north of their province Britannia. The train sped through the rolling English countryside. And from Newcastle upon Tyne the scene was more breathtaking, as the train ran almost along the North Sea, its beaches and cliffs.  Before coming to Scotland I personally carried an impression that Edinburgh is a quaint little Scottish town, and its rail station is small and compact, like any other wayside stations in England. But as we stepped down on the platform I was stupefied to find a vast complex teeming with people. The station is well connected to the North Bridge, which runs over the station and bridges the new town with the old town. The old town belongs to the Georgian era whereas the new town came up during the Victorian era. The entire Edinburgh, in fact, is steeped in history. If you walk along the main thoroughfare of the city you will find tall buildings on both sides of the street, all around 300 to 400 years old and all of chocolate shades. They are strong and sturdy, impervious of the ravages of time. All these skyscraper type buildings came up when Cromwell’s men filled up the city and had to be accommodated. In fact Edinburgh is considered one of the forerunners of modern day skyscraper. What is appealing is that these buildings are utilized for commercial spaces, hotels, restaurants and even private residences. In other words the modern utilities and furnishings have been subtly integrated in the interiors while retaining the old look on the exterior. Like London, Edinburgh also has a very efficient fleet of double decker buses. Only the colour, instead of red it is chocolate brown. Scottish boasts of sandwiches and there are a lot of sandwich shops in the city. One such shop was right across the street where our hotel was located. I enjoyed cheese and ham sandwich with beer over there. A big poster inside the shop momentarily tempted me for a trip to the Real Mary King’s Close located in Royal Mile, Old town near the station and quite close to our hotel. Real Mary King’s Close happens to be streets found deep beneath Royal Mile, and tourists are taken through a guided tour to explore the past lives of people living there. Unfortunately the vertigo in me made me opt out of this . Next morning was exclusively for conducted trip to Scottish Highlands, Loch and Whiskey. Early next morning we reached Nero’s Caffé, near Edinburgh Castle, for our Scottish Highlands tour. It’s a warm little café with refreshing coffee aroma dominating the space. While waiting for our bus we had cakes and coffee. A small, around 20 seated bus, with proper audio arrangements, so that the driver cum tour guide can narrate while driving on various sites on our way to Scottish Highlands..The first stopover was Forth Rail Bridge, about 10 km from Edinburgh.. One of the first cantilever bridge, built in 1890, after the original Tay bridge collapsed when a train was passing over it resulting in heavy casualty. It is a technological marvel. This two and a half kilometer Iron Bridge across Firth of Forth estuary is one of the safest and heaviest bridges on earth. The dark red iconic bridge has a very strange and complex look .We were also lucky to see a train passing over it.


Concourse of King's Cross main station

An exterior view of King's Cross rail station

Virgin East Coast Train

View from train

View from train

Along the North Sea after Newcastle upon Tyne



The Bridge connecting new town to old town of Edinburgh  
Nero's Cafe

Edinburgh Castle

Forth Rail Bridge

Photographs : Arundhati Sengupta

Plan your trip to Scotland

If you are planning a short trip for a day or two from London, the most recommended option is by train. There are some comfortable, high speed trains run by Virgin East Coast. These trains start from Kings Cross station in Central London and takes around four and a half hour to reach Edinburgh. Since demand is pretty high for these trains, it is suggested to book tickets in advance, which can be done online from any part of the globe through the site www.thetrainline.com.   For a comfortable stay while in Scotland book through the link: 

Plan your Stay in UK with



Indranil Maiti said…
R.Balasubramaniam said…
Very Pretty
Rajat Sarkar said…
Are you planning to publish your travelogue? Bangla te bolle - lekha khub antorik. I have read your other writings and the best part what I feel about the way you write is that you write as you feel. This absolutely essential-the human touch. I look forward to reading the second part.

Popular posts from this blog


Phnom Penh - from Killing Fields to a Humane City

A Roman Holiday

Italy's Floating City