September 26th, 2016 by Paramita Mukherjee

Eagle Roost

Who does not love colors??….and when it is the beautiful nature itself, we are bound to fall in love. Located at the junction of two rivers Mississippi and Illinois is the city Grafton. The oldest city in Jersey County, Illinois-Grafton is a must visit for the nature lover.Our group started from Saint Louis at around 8 am. It took almost 2 hours to reach there. Of course we halted in between at Alton to have breakfast. It was the first time I was about to see fall colors in USA. So no doubt I was very excited. The weather was perfect for driving and the road was super smooth. Till the time we reached Grafton I could not take my eyes from the beautiful road alongside Mississippi river with colorful flowering trees on both ends. The Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail which is a stretch of about 20 mile is a perfect place for biking with a perfect scenic view of river on one side. I could see lots of cyclists on the stretch. If you are a wine lover then this place is ideal for you. There were lot of winery shops and you can enjoy the art of preparing wine at the Grafton Winery & Brewhaus. We stopped at the Grafton Harbor which is an ideal place for boating experience. There were lot of boats which were available on rents. Also there were ample good restaurants to satisfy your hunger.

Grafton Road

It was the month of October and the weather was pretty chill. I was lucky to carry my jacket. So I would definitely suggest you guys to check the temperature for the day before starting your journey. After spending a quality time at the Grafton Harbor we headed for Pere Marquette State Park,which looks exceptionally colorful during the fall. The park has 10 about hiking trails and also provides horse riding. Once we reached there,the first thing I saw was a beautiful wooden house with colorful flowering trees in background. There was a beautiful water fountain in front of it. Until that moment i had seen such scenic beauty only in books. Of course i couldn’t resist myself from posing in front of camera. After spending a good amount of time here,we decided to have our lunch at the picnic spot. Lots of picnic areas are available through out the park. These areas are well equipped with tables,grills and trash containers. We were carrying our food from home. So without wasting any time we started our lunch. I couldn’t have asked myself for a better place to explore the fall. There were lot of camping opportunities provided by the park. There were also equestrian trails which is about 20 miles provided by the park with a parking area for visitors on Graham Hollow Road.

River Mississippi Grafton

After lunch we headed for “Eagle Roost Scenic Overlook”. The town is called “The Winter Home of The Bald Eagle”and i came to know that there are guided eagle watching tours from late December through mid-February. Of course I was not lucky to spot any eagle but definitely visiting during the right season would make you enjoy the guided eagle tours. After this we decided to go for a long drive around the park. The weather was pretty gloomy and it was an ideal driving place. Since we had just planned for a day, it was the time for us to start heading back to Saint Louis. Also if you love to do fishing,then this place is ideal for u. The town has lots of events such as Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair, Music in the Park, and Art in the Park,which makes this place a very popular tourist attraction. More then anything else I just couldn’t stop myself from admiring the mother nature. Its an ideal place to go for weekend vacation away from the noisy city and enjoy the scenic beauty.

Grafton

Traveling information:

Place: Grafton

County: Jersey County

State: Illinois

Country: USA

Tourist attraction spots:

Grafton Harbor
Pere Marquette State Park
Grafton Zip line Adventures
The Sam Vadalabene Trail near the Brussels Free Ferry
Hiking Trails at Pere Marquette State Park
Best time to visit for fall color: Late september-Mid october
September 21st, 2016 by admin

Durga Puja our biggest celebration is becoming a even more quieter celebration for me. This year I came to know about the date after my mom told me about it. These days in Bangalore, a number of public Durga puja celebrations takes place. This first time I went to one of the venue was on Ashtami to pickup my mother from there at night. However, I did not go inside (not sure why). On Navami, in the afternoon went to the 12th main, Defense colony, Indiranagar Durga puja venue for pushpanjali. This time their preparations seemed to be better in terms of people management and systems. In quick time I was able to perform pushpanjali. Most puja pandels have foods stalls and outside this venue some Lumbini women selling their artifacts. I was there for sometime and came back home.

In the evening around 5 pm went to the RBMNS ground Durga puja venue near Ulsoor lake. This is probably the biggest puja in Bangalore and is conducted by the Bengali association. Inside the venue went to the pandel. After offering a prayer, tried clicking snaps. But as usual it is very tricky to click a good shot at an event in India. A photowalk was also organized by the BLR Photowalk team there. Met some of the photowalk members there. This venue almost resembled like a mela (fair) with food stalls, product stalls and various people selling artifacts. The organizers should be able to retrieve a good percentage of the money they spend on the puja from these stalls as rent.

Without doubt the food stalls are good and is a hit. One can find some authentic Bengali food here. To start with I tried chicken momo and chicken lollipop from a stall run by a Nepali/Tibetian. The man was very enthusiastic in calling customers and he was doing so in Bengali. However, his helpers were slow in delivering and exchanging money. Nevertheless, the food stuffs at his stall was tasty. Then went to try prawn lollipop. 6 pieces for Rs 150. Tummy was almost full. So went around walking and smelling around food stalls. Finally around 7.30 pm left the venue with reminiscences of Durga puja at my native where the four days of the puja used to be a feast. Not even a single moment to spare.

Father son duo at venue

Balloon seller at the venue

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