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Before Sunset!

Hello!

Our Emirati sojourns officially began yesterday with a short trip to Al Ain, the beautiful Garden City of UAE. It surely is a very pleasant surprise with more greenery around, hardly any high rise in sight and of course much lower decibel levels.

There’s so much to do here for  everyone- Museums, Forts, Zoo etc. It’s a family getaway for sure. All we had time for yesterday was the Al Ain zoo and a drive to the top of Jebel Hafeet to experience the spectacular sunset from the top.

Rising 1,240 metres, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second that stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//the Craggy Jebel Hafeet

The Craggy Jebel Hafeet

The ride to the top is not an easy one but the views of the craggy and beautifully weathered mountain all along surely are worth the trouble.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//Beautifully Weathered

Beautifully Weathered!

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//Our Way up

The Way up

Once on top, all you need to do is find the right place to stop and park ( many stopover points all along) and enjoy the view.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//Setting Sun

The Setting Sun

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//A Different Perspective

A Different Perspective

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//Half Way there..

Half Way there…

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//Before Sunset//Al Ain after dark

Al Ain after dark

We thoroughly enjoyed a few hours of bliss up there and will be going back soon again. If you are in and around Al Ain, surely take time out to enjoy this view from the top. I can assure you of an unforgettable experience.

Cheers & Joy, Always!

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The BRUGGE I fell for…

Hello!!!

Every few weeks I bring to you stories from my European Swirl. Today it’s all about my Love Affair with Brugge. It’s about what I saw and what I felt, making me fall totally and completely in love with it.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Bruuge I fell For//Market Square

The Market Square

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Colour Coordinated

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Sun Bathing

Brugge at first is a treat for your eyes. A trip here is like a walk through Medieval Europe. The Gothic structures all around in brick as well as multiple colours speak volumes of the architectural influences of Northern Europe & the Baltic here. The Cathedral, Belfry, Churches & Historical monuments are all worth seeing. Constructed as per the medieval street pattern where all lanes/streets lead you to the public squares, Brugge has a number of  crisscrossing lanes, confusing tourists as hell. The canals all around don’t make it easier either, but definitely beautify the town more.

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Beauty Every where

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Brugge I fell for//Canals galore

Canals galore

As you meander the streets, you witness the culture, the local way of life and appreciate the simple living. I can easily proclaim that Waffles & Frittes define a wholesome Belgium meal, paired with some fine local beers and of course exotic Belgian Chocolates. You have plenty of options throughout Brugge to try all of the above. If this doesn’t fill you enough, a mug full of Belgian Hot Chocolate will surely do.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Bruuge I fell For//Begijnhof

Begijnhof

Cooes N Cuddles photography//The Brugge that I fell for//All roads lead to BEER

All roads lead to BEERS

Cooes n Cuddles Photography//The Brugge I fell for//lanes Lanes Lanes

Lanes Bylanes and more

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Bruuge I fell For//Architectural wonder

Architechtural wonder

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Souvenirs

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The Whole world on a Teapot

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Bruuge I fell For//Chocolate Chocolate everywhere

Chocolate Chocolate everywhere

Even though I’ve said enough, my enough ain’t even close to enough. So to conclude, I feel the local handicrafts(Ceramics & Embroidered goods) need at least an honourable mention here. I spent only close to 10 hrs exploring Brugge and it still managed to make a mark on me and now occupies a special place in my heart.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//the Brugge I fell for// Ready to go

Ready to go

Till we meet again Brugge!

Cheers & Joy, Always!

 

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The Toddler Travel Diary!

Hello all!

They say traveling broadens your horizon. But what does traveling with a toddler do?

I know, I know!! It doesn’t look good huh!

Before this vacation, I had my doubts about it too, and I read my share of “How to”, “To Do” and of course “Dos & Don’ts” on vacationing with a toddler. My 2.5 yr old boy ain’t a fussy traveller, but he still is a toddler with his share of tantrums, mood swings, emotional outbursts etc. I got a lot of articles on how traveling / vacationing with a toddler is no vacation at all. Or on how to make it easy and all that jazz. I also found some great content on being prepared for everyday and for a rainy day. There was a lot more but I had run out of patience & time too.

Anyhow, we are back now & when I sit back and reminisce about our travels, I can only smile and say, “It ain’t that bad people!”. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. He/she can be the perfect travel-minder, making our vacation amazingly enjoyable. All we need to do is, shuffle between our needs to Travel & Explore and our child’s need to Explore & Play.

So, other than all we had read & absorbed and of course experienced from earlier trips, we also did all this to make it special for our sonny bunny.

To start with, whenever possible, we would indulge our little one with a trip to a nearby park/play area. He loves his swings/slides & looking at him play just made us happy. The Brussels Park, Amsterdam Vondel park, Cologne Zoo, Munich English Gardens all worked perfectly for us.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary/Brusselspark

Sand Play @ Brussels park

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary/Happiness in a Swing Amsterdam

Happiness in a Swing – Vondel park, Amsterdam

Well, both hubby & me do enjoy our bit of sightseeing and we did all we could to make it enjoyable for him too. Each day our itinerary would have one or more kid friendly attractions. Informing him about the places he would see, and what they were about, a day in advance kept him excited all along. The Atomium, Mini Europe & of course Auto World worked perfectly for all 3 of us in Brussels, & the BMW museum took the cake in Munich.

At times we selected sites preferable to each of us and visit those on our own.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Learning his Alphabets -Atomium, Brussels

Learning his Alphabets -Atomium, Brussels

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//The dream machine- Auto world, Brussels

The dream machine- Auto world, Brussels

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Yey I can Drive- Olympic Stadium, Munich

Yey- I can Drive- Olympic Stadium, Munich

We let him binge on ICE-CREAMs & WAFFLEs & CHIPs & CHOCOLATES whatever kind of food, whenever he wanted! Slurp!!!  It kept him happy & satisfied on the food front. No fuss about how many fruits or veggies or nutrients or blah blah blah. Just Eat what you like kinda thing.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Icecream Love

Ice-cream Love!

We went along and did his thing, like he did ours. Swinging in the park in Amsterdam, cooking Pizza in a playhouse in Munich, riding a toy train in Cologne & Climbing the staircase of the church a million times, we’ve done it all.  We went wild and crazy with him and I wouldn’t be lying if I say, ” WE LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT”.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Father & Son- Joy in Brussels

Father & Son- Joy in Brussels!

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Crazy Maqma & Sonny - Amsterdam

Crazy Mama & Sonny- Amsterdam

We helped him make a lot of new friends. He had a ton of fun interacting with them and learning from them.

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//New Girl Friend & Miffy- Amsterdam

New Girlfriend & Miffy – Amsterdam

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Hello Mr Goat- Zanse Schans

Hello Mr Goat- Zanse Schans

And most important of all, we just let him be. He was happy, just playing with his car or running about the streets.

Driving a matador on the streets of Brugges

Driving a matador on the streets of Brugges

Cooes N Cuddles Photography//The Toddler Travel Diary//Standing Tall

Standing Tall

20 days travelling with him was a breeze. There were momentary ups & downs, but I wouldn’t count them against the billion smiles we shared. All in all, it was about striking a balance between all our needs and demands on a day to day basis. Our plans changed everyday, but we kept going on and on.

Here’s all I have to say on this topic. Hope this will in someway be useful to you. Enjoy!

Cheers & Joy, Always!