Tag Archives: Beach

New England Trip Continued…

Sand Beach… a pretty little beach located in the Newport Cove. The proximity of steep rocky cliffs to perfect white sand, makes this beach so picturesque. And the water… I’ve seen such blue waters only in the Caribbean.


The Park Loop Road runs parallel to the shoreline. As you climb along the rocky pathway going up from Sand Beach, you get an awesome view with cliffs rising right off the churning ocean waters. Lots of comfortable rocks to sit on and enjoy the view.


Further along the coast, off the park Loops Road, is Thunder Hole. It is an extremely narrow cove between high cliffs which makes a sound like thunder when a wave rolls into it. The noise is produced because of a cavern below the surface of the water in the cove. The way the water bursts up in high sprays as tall as 40 feet is striking.


Even as you approach it from far, you will see trekkers on Cadillac Mountain. There are many hiking trails going up the mountain, of differing lengths and difficulties. And some of our group wanted to climb up one of the trails, but the rest wanted to drive up. Of course, the lazy majority won and we drove up. 🙂


Cadillac Mountain is named after French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Mount Desert Island, the territory where Cadillac Mountain is located, was part of New France, the area colonized by France in North America, between 1534 and 1763. De Cadillac received the land grant for Mount Desert Island from the Governor of New France in 1688.

Before being renamed in 1918, the mountain was called Green Mountain. Topping at 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States.


The views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain is awesome to say the least. You see far off mountains and islands shrouded in mist, giving them a aura of mystery. Really worth spending some time at the top.
During the fall and winter, many tourists go to the mountain summit to see the nation’s first sunrise.


There used to be a cog railway running up the mountain, from 1883 until 1893. Guess where it was moved in 1895? To Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which we had visited the previous day!

We had decided to spend Independence Day in Bar Harbor. In addition to being a tourist center, in the late 19th century Bar Harbor was home to the rich and famous, who maintained luxurious estates with landscaped gardens. Among the town’s claim to fame is the fact that it is the birthplace of vice-president Nelson Rockefeller on July 8, 1908.


The view on a walk along the Shore Path gives meaning to the native American name to the area, Pemetic – ‘range of mountains’ or ‘mountains seen at a distance’. The current name of the town comes from the sand and gravel bar, visible at low tide, at the rear of the harbour. The numerous ships – from large sailing ships to tiny boats – seemingly floating in the mist of the harbour render the view an ethereal quality.


The coastline of Maine in this area is extremely rocky. You will see very many interesting rock formations around here.

We had dinner at a lovely place in downtown Bar Harbor. Though the waterside walk was crowded with people out to watch the fireworks, the weather was great and the walk very pleasant.


Another encounter with the lobsters for a July 4th dinner… watching fireworks over the bay. A perfect end to a perfect trip!




04 Jul 2014

Sunset at Kappad Beach

Global awareness, global warming, global politics, global citizen, global governance… the word ‘global’ has become part of our daily conversations. It is hard to imagine a world where you cannot pick and choose goods and products from all over the globe. We are truly enjoying the fruits of globalisation. I was reminded of a significant historical incident on the route to this globalisation, when I visited Kappad, a beach on the Malabar coast on the south western shore of India.kappad-beach2
In 1453 Ottoman Turks, under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed II, conquered the city of Constantinople, after a siege that lasted 50 days. With the fall of Constantinople (the city was renamed Istanbul), the Ottoman Turks cut off the overland caravan routes that were essential to the spice trade between Europe and countries in Asia that produced spices like cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric.
Meanwhile, the demand for spices which were scarce and costly kept growing in Europe. In addition to flavouring food, spices were valued for their medicinal qualities and as a status symbol.
Finding a sea route to India became an immediate need. Tales carried by travellers, of the fabulous wealth of the East, also fuelled the quest. It was under these circumstances that King Manuel of Portugal commissioned an expedition to India under Captain-Major Vasco da Gama, who set out with four ships on July 8, 1497. After much hardship, Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad near Calicut (of Calico fame) on May 20, 1498. Thus was started an era of strife and competition and warfare among the European nations for mastery over the land and wealth of the East. At the same time, it also was the beginning of cultural and commercial interactions on a global scale.kappad-beach1
Calm, serene, peaceful… these are the words that best describe Kappad beach today.
The place is very beautiful and quite. Rocky formations extending into the ocean on either side of the sandy beach add an extra charm. The huge rocks can easily be climbed and provide wonderful views.
On a regular day, the beach is not crowded at all.
It is glorious to sit on the rocks and watch the sun setting in the Arabian Sea.

The old temple on one of the rocky formations is quite charming.temple
If you are an early bird and get to the beach, in the morning when the fishermen’s boats land, you can buy almost live fish, including the fabulous pearl spots.

Pearl spots taken through their natural progression (unfortunately, not from Kappad)

Pearl spots taken through their natural progression (unfortunately, not from Kappad)

A pillar near the beach commemorates Vasco da Gama’s landing at the Kappad, which used to be known locally as Kappakadavu. pillar



Interesting note
The early stories about the mysterious East were so full of fantasy… In the 7th century, Europeans believed that pepper grew on trees guarded by serpents. The only way it could be harvested was by setting the trees on fire, which would frighten the serpents away. May be that would have explained why pepper was black… 🙂divider-recipe-end

07 Feb 2014