During my short stay in Maldives we hopped to a resort island Fihalhohi, for a day. We were staying at the budget island of Maafushi- which is inhabited. The resort islands have nothing but the resort and the tourists. But whichever way you look at Maldives it is incredibly beautiful. Forget diving, even the snorkeling is amazing. In fact at Fihalhohi I could see fish with my eyes by the shore. The same was true for Maafushi.

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives #Lumia1020

This was a personal vacation that I took with my younger nephew, Sunil. He is a big fan of football, so we left Fihalhohi island around 3.00 pm so that he could play football with the locals in the evening at Maafushi. So, these pictures are just point and shoot effort from my cell phone in bright light, no tricks involved. Talking about my nephew again, he behaves like a piece of luggage on these trips, I have to do everything, fill every form for him! But he is so much fun.

The day we visited Fihalhohi, it was a hot day! And I forgot to put any sunscreen as we were getting late for our speedboat. By evening I was tanned beyond recognition!

Fihalhohi Island

The Beautiful Fihalhohi Island, Maldives #Lumia1020

I mean with water like this who could stay away from it, sun or no sun, tan or whatever! Now my skin is peeling off and my shoulders hurt like crazy! But then I am relying on the weekend to recover. I have had a really beautiful time in Maldives and even though there are so many places in this world to visit, Maldives is one place I will like to go back to. It helps that it is close by.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday, an awesome community of people who love watching skies.

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Flying Over Maldives

by Mridula on April 10, 2014

in Lumia 1020,Maldives,Videos

I knew Maldives was beautiful but I didn’t know it was this beautiful. So, if you live in India haul yourself to Maldives at the first opportunity with your dear ones. You will find flights from Kochi cheaper. Even from Delhi as I booked in advance I got 17 thousand Indian rupees as the return fare. It was the same for Lakshadweep, Andaman and Male. Though I have not been to Lakshadweep I would recommend Maldives over Andaman any day. As for my costs, I visited a budget island, Maafushi and for two people it was almost as expensive as my going to Andaman alone. I am smitten by Maldives. After South Africa this is the second country where I thought of applying as a college professor. Let me send my kid to college! Sigh, which is such a long time away.

In Maldives one of the most expensive expenditures is the speed boat transfer. And even though local ferries are incredible fun, they are very few and far between. Also every one accepts the US Dollar as currency on the islands. My nephew had local currency which we used for ferry and having coffee at Male.

Now there are a lot of pending stories, while I am really looking forward to not traveling for next two weeks. I never thought I would ever say these words but I am also looking forward to not seeing the insides of a plane for the next two weeks. There I said it.

It has been three weeks of continuous travel, first to Finland then to Rajasthan and now Maldives. Even though I know I am incredibly lucky as the first two trips were invitations, it  does take a toll. So while I try and recover a bit, you enjoy my video of flying over Maldives.

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My nephew Sunil and I arrived at Maafushi Maldives in the evening, feeling quite crumpled and tired. We were so knocked out, we couldn’t even enjoy our excellent surroundings. And then when we sat down for an early dinner we enjoyed the concept of service on the island. They really take it easy, we were really tired. It was a very frustrating first evening in spite of the excellent sky.

Maafushi, Maldives

Waiting for Dinner, Maafushi, Maldives #canon550D

Somehow we managed to get served and we stumbled back to our rooms to crash. We took the Spicejet flight at 5.50 from Delhi which touch down at Mumbai on route to Kochi. From Kochi we took another Spicejet flight to Male. From Male we took a speed boat to Maafushi Island. What a nation it is from where you have to take a boat from the airport!

Maafushi, Maldives

Maafushi, Maldives #Lumia1020

Maafushi is a budget island, it is an island where local people live. Otherwise many islands in Maldives are resort islands with no one living there. It is a small place, I can easily walk end to end in half an hour at a leisurely pace. However, I usually don’t do beyond the main beach.

Maafushi Beach, Maldives

Maafushi Beach, Maldives #Lumia1020

Maafushi has a nice beach but then I am sure this would be true of all the islands that make Maldives. It is a nice shallow beach, where the waves are mild. I have seen families with toddlers also enjoying the beach. Snorkeling starts just off the beach!

Maafushi Island, Maldives

Maafushi Island, Maldives #canon550D

There are two beaches in Maafushi, one frequented by the tourists and the other by the locals. It is not a hard and fast rule for we often venture on the local beach too. At the local beach I saw this couple enjoying a photo shoot! It was fun watching them from a distance. I could not resist taking a few shots myself, the lady in red looked gorgeous!

Sunset at Maafushi Island, Maldives

Sunset at Maafushi Island, Maldives #canon550D

And to cap it all was the beautiful sunset that I witnessed today. And this is just the start of the pictures from Maafushi, Maldives, straight from the location. I will do a more coherent post when I reach home.

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As you read this post, I would be in Maldives. However on this Lazy Sunday I leave you with a picture of the Chittorgarh City. I spent a short time at the Chittorgarh Fort. The view of the city from the fort was amazing.

Chittorgarh City, Rajasthan

Chittorgarh City, Rajasthan

And I sign off with a promise to bring in new tales from Maafushi, Maldives. I do have a wifi connection here but I wanted to take it easy while I was actually in Maldives.

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After -22 degree Celsius of Levi, Lapland, -2 of Helsinki felt comfortable. After arrival at the Helsinki Airport (with free wifi) the first thing we went in search for was food. All 4 of us were hungry. Between us there was a lot of luggage so I offered to guard it while others promised to get me some vegetarian stuff. It didn’t take them long to come back. Soon we boarded a taxi to go on a visit to the Nokia House Helsinki. I was in Finland attending the #lumiainlapland event.

The Reception at the Nokia House, Helsinki

The Reception at the Nokia House, Helsinki #Lumia1020

We registered our names at the reception but it was the lake beyond the reception that caught my eye. Imagine having a lake at the back of your office! I was told that in summer the office cafe puts out a few tables near the lake as well! I am sure they would be occupied almost all the time.

Lake by the Nokia House, Helsinki, Finland

Lake by the Nokia House, Helsinki #lumia1020

I was wondering what it would be like to get out of a team meeting and then go walk by a lake! or if you were not too thrilled about something at work, go walk by the lake till you clam down. I could build endless such scenarios but then I wonder if you get used to having a lake by your office in the end?

A Cafe at Nokia House, Helsinki

A Cafe at Nokia House, Helsinki #lumia1020

We were at the Nokia House Helsinki on a Friday evening and the cafe didn’t had too many people. But I could visualize it busy and bustling at certain times of the day! The place is huge with am ATM within the office! I am told in Finland most of the transactions are done via the card but the ATM is for those exceptional days when you needed cash due to some weird reason!

The Designers at Nokia

The Designers at Nokia #Lumia1020

I had a great time interacting with Joeske Schellen (on the left), Head of Colors and Material Design and Jonne Harju, Senior Design Manager, Smart Devices. When they told me about the thought process that went into making a phone it was only then I appreciated how much hard work goes into making something I completely take for granted!

I asked them where do they think the next generation of cell phones are headed and Jonne said that probably they will become wearable! But he added that people might feel too bogged down with the numerous features they get and may go for something simpler.  Joeske talked about the bright colors used in the Lumia series and how it sets it apart from others immediately.

First Nokia Mobile Phone

With the First Nokia Mobile Phone #lumia1020

We went around the impressive store where I managed to get my hands on the first Nokia mobile phone- the Mobira Talkman. I am only pretending to make a call. How small my Lumia 1020 looks next to it! After a beautiful evening at the Nokia House Helsinki we finally said bye to our hosts, it was time to hit the city center of Helsinki.

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There is something magical about sunsets and sunrises. The point was driven home when I went to the Monsoon Palace at sunset at Udaipur. I say sunsets first because I watch them more. A lot of sunrises I just sleep through. Have you noticed that many people seem to be oblivious to the beauty of the sunsets and the sunrises. I used to be one of them till I discovered Skywatch Friday a few years ago. I was actually one of those people who could just walk through some of the most amazing skies virtually unmoved. I am glad it is a thing of past now.

I recently visited the Monsoon Palace, Udaipur. It is the place to be at sunset in Udaipur. The view of the city is gorgeous as well. I am told that the view from the Karni Mata temple is also worth checking out but that is on my agenda for the next time. Have you been out on sunsets when the sky decides to go quiet on you? I can’t count the number of times it has happened to me. So, now when I go to watch sunsets I keep my expectations low.

Sunset at Udaipur, Rajasthan

Sunset at Udaipur, Rajasthan #Canon500D

Thankfully this time when I was there the sky was in a party mood and it put up a good show. The Monsoon Palace, Udaipur was formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh who got it constructed around 1884. As of now it is managed by the Forest Department of Rajasthan. It is open to public till sunset. It offers a stunning view of the city lakes, the city itself and the hills. It is a popular spot with the tourists to watch the sunset.

Sunset from Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Sunset from Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan #Canon550D

After spending an eternity clicking the view of the city, I finally walked inside the palace and went to the balcony to see the sunset. I then climbed up a flight of stairs too to see the view. All around it was gorgeous.

If you are in Udaipur, I will highly recommend visiting the Monsoon Palace at Sunset. It all depends on the nature’s mood on what kind of show it will put, but it is certainly worth a try. The palace is faraway from the entrance gate so it would be easier for you to go there in a vehicle.

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