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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 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

Madrid 1

  Madrid - the Royal Spanish Capital Nico and Eva. A lovely Spanish couple from Madrid. Nico is a banker and takes care of their apartment in Madrid. His wife Eva mostly takes care of their apartment at Tenerife Island, but she is impeccably superb as a hostess. Unfortunately, we could not meet her during our visit to Madrid. But she made it a point to coordinate our visit and stay from her WhatsApp handles. After receiving our arrival details, she sent a carefully worded text which included a way to the public transport terminus after alighting from the ALSA bus at its terminal station.   Many a time  I fall prey to my impatient nature. In this case, I overlooked the word ‘escalators’ mentioned by Eva. We took the escalator which connected the platform to the concourse. Once at the concourse we felt lost, not knowing where to get our bus from. Since my wife knows Spanish, she got help from the locals. At the opposite end, there were a series of ‘escalators’ as well as a l

Fishy Affair

  A Delectable Tale for Fish Lovers by Rajat Sarkar,Hamburg Some days back a friend told me that the ‘fish’ in ‘some’ restaurant was good. She got to know about it from her brother. She is herself not a fish eater. I said to her, “Never say anything to a Bengali about fish and their quality. Leave the Bengali alone! Fish exists in the Bengali psyche from the womb to the tomb! Satyajit Ray even made use of fish scales in one of his movies.  The world, including Hamburg, may boast about its fish but none can match the Bengali’s affairs, both licit and illicit, with fish. While the EU and Britain may continue to fight over fishing rights on the North Sea, Bengalis handle fish with care so that there is no real culture clash, domestic disharmony, marriage mistrust, relationship rupture, and sport strife. Fish exists in the everyday existence of a Bengali. Fishy politics ensure pride of Bengaliness. And a Bengali eats fish with his/her hands – not with cutlery or chopstic


A YouTube presentation on Budapest

Pandemic Pandemonium

Rajat Sarkar of Hamburg, Germany briefly expressed his opinion on the WhatsApp page. What impressed me is his satiric style and the crispiness in looking at a dreaded virus that has suddenly taken mankind by storm. Read on : Pandemic Pandemonium - Tracking the Virus  by Rajat Sarkar  Tracking the virus and the actions of the medical institutions have so far come a cropper. Many experts have been giving their ‘invaluable’ opinion since the beginning of the pandemic. People have been arguing which vaccine works better. ‘Research papers’ are floating all around. Without knowing what they are, we have been using jargon like antibodies, mRNA, mutations…. Treatment protocols are being constantly upgraded – serious business! As early as May/June of last year, a vaccine scientist told me there would be vaccines available by the end of the year 2020 and that companies are working round the clock. All would be okay. It has been amusing, to say the least, to listen to the weighted