India Day 2 – The Spice Plantation

I had read mixed reviews about the spice plantation but thought it would be a good site to add to my tour.  Some called it a tourist trap but, hey, I’m a tourist so…When you enter the plantation you are greeted with a lei of flowers, a dot of red powder on your forehead and a glass of hot spiced tea.  The tour took us from plant to plant explaining what each spice was and how it was used.  We were past the harvest season so not every spice was available to see.  They had a demonstration of how the black Betel nut is harvested.  I was familiar with this nut only because of the movie South Pacific in which the sailors sing about Bloody Mary who chews Betel nuts but doesn’t use Pepsodent.

The tour ended with a hot buffet which, truth be told, I did not feel comfortable eating.  When I read up on how to stay healthy while visiting India it was repeatedly stated not to eat lukewarm food from buffets.  This food had been sitting out in the sun so I opted for a Sprite.  Given the heat and the big breakfast,

I had eaten this was perfect.


India Day Two – Shri Manguesh Temple

My driver dropped me off at the bottom of the walkway that leads up to this temple.  The walkway is lined with stalls selling lots of souvenirs

, hats to protect from the sun (I was already wearing one) freshly made sugar cane juice, and flowers to give once inside the temple.  It was a long hot walk with lots of people yelling for my attention.  Once inside the area of the temple building you were instructed to remove your shoes.  I did so and then quickly stepped to a shady area – yikes it was burning hot on my feet!

I was wearing a skort and a woman appeared to help me wrap my cotton scarf around my legs so that only the bottom part of my legs showed.  Once you walk through the silver doors of the temple you are not allowed to take photos.  I wish someone had been along to tell me what was happening.  There were multiple priests behind the railing at the front of the temple.  They would take flowers from the worshiper, along with cash, and then dump the flowers into a large bowl.  You could see that there was another ro0m behind these priests where there were lit candles and more people sitting.  In the front, where I was, there was an area where people knelt, in a line, on the floor.  The woman knelt on one side and the men on the other.

India day two – The Old Goa Church

Today I hired a taxi to show me some of the sights of Goa. Our first stop was the Old Goa Church - also known as the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the remains of St. Frances Xavier are displayed. The church has an amazing amount of gilded surfaces … [Continue reading]

My son and I arrived in Goa India at 2:30 in the morning after having flown a total of about 19 hours.  It is a small manageable airport with just 2 luggage carousels so did not feel overwhelmed.  It took awhile to find our luggage but when we did it … [Continue reading]

Klaradal closes after 14 years

I made the decision this January that I needed to close Klaradal.  It's been a labor of love but, unfortunately, not a big money maker.  The past few years saw declining sales and the past two years we lost money. was the only choice.  I … [Continue reading]

Back to Stockholm

Friday it was time to check out of Akerblads hotel and head back to Stockholm.  I didn't want to leave that beautiful oasis so I lingered.  First I did a walk down to the lake (It was a straight shot so no fear of getting lost again!)  and then I … [Continue reading]

Thursday shopping near Leksand

Woke up to another beautiful morning in Tallberg.  Take a look at my view from breakfast.  I put on my shoe grippers to keep me upright on the snowy driveway and sidewalks and headed out shopping.  I Visited a number of my favorite sites and took … [Continue reading]

A Snowy Wednesday in Rattvik

I awoke after a great night's sleep on my Swedish Hastens mattress to discover it had snowed overnight!  My little balcony was filling up with snow, and the swirling flurries made it impossible to see any distance.  I must admit, made my … [Continue reading]

First night in Tallberg, Sweden.

              I am staying at my favorite historic hotel in Tallberg,  Sweden:  Akerblads. This family run hotel goes back centuries and each room is decorated in a unique way.  This time I … [Continue reading]

My Farewell Tour

I made the decision to close my brick and mortar store, Klaradal, in early January which was after I had already booked an early winter shopping trip. I decided to go ahead with the trip since I also had art, which I had purchased at Swedish auction … [Continue reading]