Friday, November 26, 2021

Baranti tour


19.11.2021(Friday)  Kolkata – Asansol – Baranti (Muraddi or Muradi Lake or Baranti Lake)

Normally I hate to miss any extended week-end. Since 19th November is Guru Nanak’s birthday (national holiday, on Friday), I planned to go to Baranti or Boronti. There are various ways you can reach Baranti.

Bus :  I took Volvo bus (Greeline – quite good) from Esplanade at 700 hrs (few also leave from Karunamoyee Salt Lake) by booking ticket from Redbus website. I paid around Rs 500 and got down at Cheliadanga, Asansol at 1130 hrs. You can call your Resort / hotel to send a car  for Rs 1200/1500 , depending upon the size of the car. But the cheapest and interesting option is to take an auto rickshaw (my driver was Paul Francis - 70015 60952 ) after getting down at Asansol (last stop Cheliadanga). I paid Rs 700 for little more than 1.30 hours journey. Other drivers were asking more than Rs 1000 !

Train : Nearest Railway station to Baranti is Muradi, which is well connected by local trains from both Asansol and Adra. But Asansol has more options than Adra to reach Muradi.  Black Diamond /Rupashi Bangla Express etc leaves from Kolkata/Satragachi for Asansol/Adra. From Muradi the auto will take Rs 150 approx to reach your hotel.

Car :  One can drive down from Kolkata (around 263 km, 5–6 hours). You can read to know the details.


The main tourist attraction of Baranti or Boronoti is Baranti Lake, which is also sometimes referred to as the Muradi or Muraddi Lake. It is a man-made lake – which apparently came up in the year 1975, I am told, to store water for agriculture. Baranti is surrounded by Hillocks and Forest. It has all the right ingredients to be considered an ideal retreat. It checks all the boxes ! You can come here with your family as well as friends. Not only is the place quiet and secluded, can you indulge in fishing, bird watching too. The place is yet to become another Digha ! There is a 1 km long irrigation project dam, between two small hillocks, Muradi Hill and Baranti Hill. Baranti is in the vicinity of Ramchandrapur Irrigation System (RIS).


The North Eastern side of the Lake is called Manpur – where there are only two resorts – Palash Kunja (I stayed here) and Megh Roddur. They are around 350 metres from the sun set point, where people congregate during sunset. These two resorts are nearest to the sunset point.  Sunset point is the centre of activity of Baranti. But you won’t be able to see the Lake from these resorts, since they are in a low lying area. But you can see the hill.

Most of the resorts are in the  South Eastern side. This side is called Baranti ! Lake Hill Resort offers the best view of the Lake. Other resorts (except Baranti Village resort and Spangle Wings Resort) do not have any Lake view. Some of them do have view of the Hill. But not the Lake, except Palash queen, to some extent. Most of the pictures given in various websites are not actually correct !

The other side (North West) of the dam/lake is Muradi, There are 4 resorts - Allure de Baranti  and Baranti Eco Tourism  Government accommodation, but privately run –),  both are having very good view of the Lake. This side is nearer to the Muradi rail station and other facilities. There are some other resorts also in this side, without the view of the Lake , but has a good view of the Hill/ forest – Mahulban Resort and Green Park Resort.

Apparently the oldest resort, was a residence of a Doctor – Akashmoni – whose view is now guarded by Lake Hill Resort

The Attractions of Baranti , apart from the Lake


The Village - You go to a tribal village. As you interact with them, you discover rural lifestyle and its closeness to nature. As you walk along the red roads, you’ll see the mud houses, some of them are painted beautifully.

Forest - The deep green forest is home to several trees and shrubs. These include Bamboo shrubs, Sal, Piyal, Amloki, Bahra, Haritoki, Neem, Palash, Teak and Mahua. Apart from that, the forest is home to several animals which include wild boars, foxes, rabbits, wolves, porcupines, deer and plenty of birds. You’ll also find butterflies in several bright colours. I have seen Rufous Treepie, Bee eater, Dove and white breasted Kingfisher.

 Hills - Baranti  Hill is one of the hills among the hilly ranges in Purulia. There are some small hillocks around the Muradi lake, including the Muradi hill or Gorongi Hill and the Ramchandrapur Hill. The place is, in fact, part of very hilly terrain of Purulia.

The Panchakot hill is clearly visible behind Muradi hil/Gorongi hill on a clear day. A few miles apart lies the Biharinath Hill, which falls in the Bankura district of West Bengal and is the highest hill of that district.

The Joychandi Hill is also a prominent tourist spot (the auspicious Joychandi temple is located on the top of this hill) which is situated at a distance of 21 kilometres from Baranti. 



On the first day, I reached the resort after 1330 hours. I was tired and went to see the sunset and roam around Baranti, to have a feel of the place. I saw there is a Shack - which sells Palm juice from 6.30 am in the morning. It is just opposite Palash Queen resort, near the lake.



20.11.2021 Baranti (Muraddi Lake) – Biharinath- Saltora- Baranti

You can do a Trip to Susunia Hill and Biharinath Temple by hiring an Alto/any small car for Rs 1800 from the resort.  Normally people do this trip on the first day, after taking lunch and leave by 2 pm . Susunia Hill is 45 Km from Baranti. The drive to Susunia Hill through the village roads with mud houses on both the sides will give you a feel of  life there. It will take around 1 hour to reach there. From Susunia one  can go to Biharinath Temple and come back to the Resort. Since I have more time, I decided to do it on the second day.

 One of my friends in-laws stays near Baranti (Saltora). His brother in Law (Mejda) came to pick me up and take me to Biharinath temple and then to their village The best thing was the picturesque route to Biharinath. We spent some time over there, clicking some pictures and visiting the temple. There are some shops nearby selling Khaja, Samosa etc. The hygiene factor is questionable. We did eat a Khaja – which is of course nothing great.

If you’re energetic, you can enjoy a 9 km trek from Baranti to Biharinath hills and enjoy the panoramic view of the hills. The Murardi lake has a grand view from the top. We trekked for around 10 minutes from Biharinath temple and returned back.

Then we went to see the Biharinath Eco Tourism Resort nearby – where Mejda has an acquaintance – who is the key person of this resort.. The resort, I must say, is really impressive with Biharinath Hill at the back drop.

But it is quite expensive. The minimum tariff is Rs 4000 + extra for food. . We went inside the resort and chatted with Maheswar Babu. Since he was limping, I recommended a very good Orthopedic Doctor (our family friend) who is with Bankura Medical Hospital. He went to Vellore without any benefit. (update : He went to meet the doctor on Monday). This resort is near Burpur and nearest train station is Asansol.

 Then we went to my friend’s in laws house and had lunch there. Since Rash festival is going on in their village (Saltora) , we went to see two Puja Pandals.

After that we left for Baranti and reached in25 min , just in time, at 4.25 pm to see the sun set. People come between 4-4.30 pm to see the sunset. Today being Sunday, I saw lot more people, then yesterday. Most of them are from Kolkata. Not local, for sure. There is literally traffic jam at the sun set point.

My resort (Palash Kunja Resort)is located in a very peaceful location. Recommendable. Some of the rooms have Hill view. But you cannot see the lake from the resort, because of the high embankment. The rates are Rs 1500 + Food (Rs 450/-). The owner is from Barrackpore and most of the residents are from Barrackpore. They have recently bought the hotel.

Our Resort
                                                                               Our Resort
The owner was also present during my visit. I met a nice person from Barrackpore - who owns one of  most popular hotels in Barrackpore – Trident Hotel. They  went to Ayodhya Hills. It took almost 3.5 hours for them to reach there, I was told. Baranti  Hill is one of the hills among the hilly ranges in Purulia. One of them is Ayodhya Hills. Ayodhya hills is one of the most popular destinations, in the entire district of Purulia.


21.11.2021  Baranti (Muraddi Lake) – Joychandi Hill- Garh-panchoko- Panchet- Asansol

In the morning at around 7 am, I went to the lake side to buy some Palm juice or Khejure tosh @ Rs 20 for a full glass and @ Rs 10 for half a glass. The first one seemed to be bit diluted. But the second one was quite good (just came fresh from the tree). I bought some palm leaf from a child, who in no time transformed a palm leaf to a work of art (for Rs 20).


Today being my checkout, I had  already had planned to explore Panchet Dam, Garpanchkot, Joychandi Hills. My bus is at 4.10 pm from Asansol. After having breakfast, I left for the Joychandi hills at 9.45 am. I booked the car for Rs 2100.


1. Joychandi Pahar – 25 km

2. Garh Panchkot - 20 Km,

3 Panchet Dam - 27 Km

3. Maithon - 58 Km

4. Raghunathpur – 20 km [It is famous for beautiful Tasar shari]


I skipped the first popular destination , Kalyaneswari Temple, after reading the blog of    “ Truly speaking, it seemed more of a Business Hub instead of a Temple. At every step there’s one person asking for money (so called donation) to allow us proceed further. Although we skipped through them and finally went inside for Darshan. The business is stronger there, and they would demand more money (more donation) for offering your prayers. Believe me, this is the only reason, I avoid going to temples and putting in money to these Businesses out there.”

Joychandi Hills


Only 25 km from Baranti, this beautiful spot is famous for the shooting of  Hirak Rajar Deshe, by Satyajit Ray. The main attractions of this place are the Chandi temple and the Semaphore tower.  The hills around Joychandi Hills have lot of character. No wonder, Ray chose this as his location for shooting. Semaphore, popularly known as visual telegraph or optical telegraph, was a most popular communication technology in the pre –  telegram days. It is a system of conveying information by means of visual signals, using towers with pivoting shutters, also known as blades or paddles. The signals were observed from the next tower by means of telescope and relayed on to the next tower.(

 You have to climb around 500 steps to reach the top. The steps are nice. If you take it easy with some halts. then it is not be at all difficult. There is a wonderful view from the top.

Anyway, after Joychandi Hills, we left for Garpanchkot (or  Garh Panchkot).There is a wonderful WBFDC Lodge at Garpanchkot. The place is actually the ruins of Panchkot Palace - resulting in from Bargi attack. The way to Garpanchkot was splendid ! After reaching Garpanchkot, I went for trekking towards the Panchet hills. It is a very steep trek. There is no stair case, unlike Joychandi Hills. There is a chance you might get lost. I saw some old tribal woman, who seemed to me to be a guide. According to the blogger Krishnendu ( ) ,  “ Then we proceeded towards exploring the area. Two aged grandmothers approached us for helping us explore the place and being guiding us. Though we well understood their intention, but didn’t resist keeping in mind their age and scope of employment at such region. Not only that, the positive side is their enthusiasm at such age and believe me, Bong Grandmothers are an expert on telling stories. They really walked us through each and every spot around the ruins and explained things in details. The simplicity and personal touch in them really fascinated us. We happily handed over a note of Rs. 50/- to each of them, although we never discussed any amount beforehand. You see, I personally feel, paying them (whatever the amount is), is much worthy over paying the same amount at such temples like Kalyaneswari. “


 After some time, I decided to come back, because of dearth of time. Then I had much lunch near the Terracotta temple. There are 2-3 shops which serves lunch. The WBFD bungalow also serves lunch (even for outsiders) at an exorbitant price.  I must tell you, this place has completely transformed in last 12 years. I came here in the year 2009.There are, now,  shops all around the temple. The serenity of the place has completely lost. Most of the pictures you see of Garhpanchokot are old pictures. To me the place has lost, lot of its charm. This is what mass tourism does to a place.

 After finishing my lunch there, we proceeded towards Panchet Dam. The famous Panchet dam is at a distance of 27 km from Baranti. Panchet Dam was the last of the four multi-purpose dams included in the first phase of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC). It was constructed across the Damodar River at Panchet in Dhanbad district


I did not have time to go to Maithon Dam. It is around 15 Km from Panchet Dam. Maithon Dam is more interesting, without any doubt. It takes around 1 hour to reach Asansol at top speed from Panchet. We were almost missing the bus !



It typically ranges between Rs 800—Rs 2500

Lake Hill Resort :  Tel: 95649-25872 /  94322-96178/99325-42601/ 8372-875617 .  According to blogger Krishnendu ( ) “ I’d give it a 5* eyes closed. Out of all the options available, this is the best considering the location and view it offers…. …The place itself is very clean and well maintained. Needless to say, one can spend whole day sitting in the balcony, gazing at the breathtaking view.”

 Mr. Pulak - owner (For Booking) –94322-96178, Email – |

Mr. Birbal (Manager cum Caretaker) –99325-42601 / 8372-875617 / 95649 25872


Rabin (Driver who picked us up from Asansol, arranged by Lake Hill Resort) : -91-83487-29426
Lakkhikanta (Driver who took us for Sightseeings on both days, arranged by Lake Hill Resort) : 



( )


Akashmoni Resort :  Tel: 8017215958. Akashmoni, has positive reviews . However the Lake Hill Resort has come up in front of Akashmoni, blocking the view. Now Lake Hill Resort offers the best view.  ( )

This is also a very popular resort at Baranti. Similar to Palash Bari, this resort also offers basic cottages. However, a basic rustic accommodation does not appear to be misfit amidst the virgin nature of Baranti. This resort is also very close to the lake so if you prefer staying near the lake you may opt for this hotel near the Baranti dam. The resort is surrounded by Sal and Segun trees. There are three semi-deluxe cottages in this resort. Also, there are two deluxe cottages. All the cottages are fitted with a double bed and an attached washroom. The deluxe cottages also have geysers.

Phone: 8017215958 (9:00 AM to 9:PM), Email:


Palashbari Ecological Resort :  Tel: 9831507644 /90516 16012 Email address:

This one is the  iconic resort of Baranti. I have personally stayed here for 2 nights and quite liked it. The Palashbari resort at Baranti is situated over a vast area of 7 bighas. The property has nearly 1600 Palash trees (Butea Monosperma) in its compound, hence the name ('bari' means house in Bengali, so literally the name of the resort means 'House of Palash'). So it is kind of a mini forest itself. In the month of March, when the Palash flowers bloom all around, the entire resort becomes red which is surely a great sight to behold. If you want to see the Palash flowers in full bloom, I would recommend this resort. However please note that you cannot have a view of the lake. The lake/dam is located at about 10  minutes walking distance from this property. It has basic rooms fitted with vitrified tiles with attached toilets. There are 10 rooms in the Palashbari Ecological Resort, Baranti. These rooms are fitted with geysers and water purifiers.

Check-in time is 11 am and check out time is 9 am. Their registered office is at Baguiati, Kolkata, near the Baguiati Big Bazaar Bus Stop.


My input: The rates here quite reasonable and the resort is quite organized and quick to reply your queries over whatsapp

Ankhaibari Resort : Tel: 9818827720. Considering the merits of the Ankhaibari resort at Baranti, location is, of course, a plus point. This resort is located at a prime location surrounded by tranquil mother nature. They have an in-house restaurant where Indian and Chinese foods are available. There are air-conditioned lake/dam facing rooms. If you are looking for AC Hotel in Baranti, the Ankhaibari resort is a great option. All rooms have attached bathrooms with geyser facilities. Fooding and lodging come as a package.

The check-in time for Rooms is 10.15 a.m. and Check-Out Time is 9.30 a.m. For tents, the check-in time is 9 am and check out time is 8 am. Mobile: 9433304643, 9609811544, 9800420013 , Email:

Spangle Wings Resort Tel: 9830341377.
Megh O Roddur.  Tel: 9932611915.
The Palash Kunja. Tel: 9051302925.
Baranti Wildlife and Nature Study Hut. Tel: 9830085483, 9239060292
Banabithi Baranti. Tel: 8296730165.
Mahulban. Tariff: Tel: 9830312333.
Monpalash Resort. Tel: 9732038397, 9062768434.
Album Resort. Tel: 8768008689
Allure de Baranti :   This one is the closest to the dam. If you are coming from Muradi, this is the first hotel you will come across.


Source :  The words in italics are taken from one of these blogs or sources mentioned below.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

 Flamenco in Spain - draft (Draft - read only the one, without highlight)








Day 0

CCU to Delhi



Day  1

Del-Barcelona (BCN) reached at 1250 pm (noon) +  BCN ½ day exploration 



Day 2

Full day city highlights of BCN



Day 3

Costa Brava Tour : BCN- Blanes-LLoret Del Mar- Tossa Del Mar-BCN



Day 4

BCN -Montserrat- BCN



Day 4

BCN to Granada (by Train+Bus)



Day 5

Granada city tour



Day 6




Day 7

Granada–Ronda (3 hrs by Train)



Day 8

Ronda > Seville  ( 4 hrs by train ) > city tour  



Day 9

Seville city tour



Day 10

Seville–Cadiz (1.45 hrs by  Train) at 6.40 am



Day 11

Cadiz -Jerez de la Frontera



Day 12

Cadiz > Cordoba (2.15 hrs by train) at 7.55 am

Left luggage at Cordoba


Day 13

Cordoba to Madrid by at 1.00 am



Day 14

Madrid-Toledo (city of El Greco)



Day 15

Madrid-Cuenca Tour



Day 16




Day 17

Madrid (at 8.30 am ) >Frankfurt> Delhi



Day 18

Delhi > CCU




Six of us were supposed to travel to Spain during Durga Puja. But none of them could go, except me ! One of them lost his passport. A family of 3 could not go, since their mother was sick. Another person did not get the visa. It was rejected on 8.10.22. By mistake he showed Current Account of Bank, though he is going on a tourist visa. However I got to know from my Spanish teacher (Bengali), that Spain 's visa is rejected quite often. Even my visa came quite late. Please remember VFS does not process visa for Spain. It is BLS International (BLS INTERNATIONAL SERVICES LTD, Spain Visa Application Centre, 61, Panchkuian Marg, Paharganj, New Delhi – 110055, Near R.K. Ashram Marg Metro station,  Next to metro pole No. 5).  Their Kolkata office at Camac Street has closed down.

Since I am one of the very first travelers doing international tour, after the covid, I had to travel without any forex card. It was not available anywhere. Even after frantic search in Axis Bank or HDFC Bank office in Kolkata and New Town, I could not get one. I had to use my Indian International Credit card. I was bit scared, whether I would be able to use it in Spain. Thankfully there was no problem.

My flight was at 1346 hours by Go First airlines from CCU and reached Delhi at 1600 hours. I left home at 1040 hours from my home. It did not take too much time to reach airport, since the road was empty. After reaching Delhi (T-1), I left for my uncle's house at Vasant Kunj by bus/auto. I chatted with them and had dinner and finally they dropped  me at the airport - T3. I can carry maximum 8 Kg as hand luggage. That is, as per rule, you are allowed upto 8.9 Kg (it should be less than 9). Plus a laptop bag is allowed. 

My flight was at 2.50 hrs next day. 


The plane left at least 30 minutes late from Delhi. I got down at Frankfurt airport at 820 hours (instead of scheduled 750 hours) . I was supposed to leave Frankfurt at 0945 hours and reach Barcelona at 1115 hours. Spain is 3.30 hours behind India.  The transit time between two flights was only 1.55 hours – got reduced to 1 hr 25 minutes ! But there was a huge line for baggage checking and immigration control. I decided to change the wrist watch time, after reaching Barcelona - which was a mistake. I should have changed it at Frankfurt and then again at Barcelona. I missed the connecting flight at 9.45 hours, though I tried to go faster, skipping part of the queue. Had the time displayed right time, I would have acted little earlier. But I was not the only one who missed the flight. There was another flight at 1105 hours. They (Lufthansa) re-booked a ticket without any charge. You have to tell at the counter “please re-book it”. Then they will not charge anything.

Later I learnt it is very common for people to miss the fight at Frankfurt. There are not many staffs at the airport to guide us, unlike India, presumably because labour cost is very expensive.

Finally I reached Barcelona at  1250 hours. It takes 1.30 minutes to reach Barcelona from Frankfurt. I took an airport express Bus for standard 5.9 Euro and finally got down at the heart of Barcelona at Plaça de Catalunya in 30-35 minutes. It is like Esplanade of Barcelona. But by mistake, I got down at Espanya, due to communication gap - which is 1 stop before Plaça de Catalunya. They told me to take a bus initially. But later they told me to take another airport express bus, since I came by that bus. The old ticket is still valid apparently. I took the airport express bus from the Red light at Espanya. Though the next airport bus did not let me in, the second bus allowed me - since I told them, I got down here by mistake. You cannot use airport express bus twice.

Anyways I walked for 10 minutes from Placa de Catalunya to reach my hotel at La Rambla or Les Rambles.  I am staying at La Rambla. It was somewhat like the old Boulevard of Gariahat. The car plies in two sides of La Rambla.  This is a very important location. Though crowded with tourists, Les Rambles is tree-lined and beautifully laid out. All along the way, you will meet with interesting street performers, some of them doing stunts, some of them costumed and some of them offering to do pencil sketches. All the important places of interest are nearby -  within walking distance.

The manager of the hotel is a Pakistani from Punjab. So he talks just like a Punjabi. He told me I am giving you a better room since you are from India. It is small, but cute room.


Know Spain

The history of Spain is oldest in Europe - it has the oldest human settlement – 42,000 year ago. Even in Egypt the ancient period is 5000 BC.

We all knew about the cave art of Altamira. The people who drew the pictures at Altamira cave , went to North Spain from Africa through the strait of Gibraltar in 3000-8000 BC. Gibraltar is still under British. Morocco is very near Gibraltar.They were called Iberians.The Iberians were an ancient people who lived on the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula (south western Europe. ). They were descendants of North Africans, Mediterranean cultures, and local native groups. North Africans were followed by Celtics, Phoenicians (Lebanon), Greek, Carthage and finally Romans. Iberia Peninsula means Spain and Portugal. Iberian food means food from Spain and Portugal.

The name of Spain (España) comes from Hispania, the name used by the Romans for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces during the Roman Empire. The etymological origin of the term Hispania is uncertain, although the Phoenicians referred to the region as Spania (meaning "Land of rabbits"), therefore the most accepted theory is the Phoenician one.

In those days, just like Middle East of today, Spain is the place where you get oil. Even today, around 50% of olive oil comes from Spain. A road went straight from Spain to Rome. Germanic tribe (Vandals) who conquered Western Roman Empire, conquered Spain after 40 years, around 400 AD. Germanic tribe does not mean German people only.

Muslim Berbers and Arabic people collectively called Moor, conquered Spain after another 300 years i.e. 700 AD.  In the early 8th century, most of the Iberian peninsula was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate, and during early Islamic rule, Al-Andalus became a dominant peninsular power centered in Córdoba. This period is the dark age of Europe , but that is the golden age of Spain - when Moors controlled South Spain or Al-Andalus. The Moors controlled Spain for 700 years. They made a huge library. People all over the Europe came to Spain in those days to study. Nalanda of those days was in Muslim Spain. Many Arabic term was incorporated in Spanish ie Kamiza, Pijama , Pagar. 

Muhammad al-Khwarizmi, known as the “father of algebra”, a word derived from the title of his book, polymath Al Biruni were all most learned people of that era.  Unani was evolved during this period. Southern Spain has a distinct culture – since Moors ruled that part of Spain.

Several Christian kingdoms emerged in Northern Iberia, chief among them León, Castile, Aragon, Portugal, and Navarre made an intermittent southward military expansion, known as Reconquista, repelling the Islamic rule in Southern Iberia, which culminated with the Christian seizure of the Emirate of Granada in 1492.

In 1469 marriage took place between Isabella I, Queen of Castile and of  Ferdinand II or Fernando King of Aragon :  between the Castile region  and Aragon region (two regions sharing the border). They got united by matrimonial alliance.

The dynastic union of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon in 1479, often considered the formation of Spain as a country, was followed by the annexation of Navarre and the incorporation of Portugal during the Iberian Union. The Spanish king, through the Spanish Inquisition, forced the Jewish and Muslim minorities to choose between conversion to Catholicism or expulsion, and eventually most of the converts were expelled from Iberia through different royal decrees.

In 1492 the last Muslim king of Granada surrendered to the Christian king. In fact 1492 is a very important year, when Columbus reached Bahamas and thought this is America.  They bought gold from Peru, Guatemala, Mexico.

Anyways reconquest or reconquista was completed in 1492 (started from 800 AD).The expulsion of the Moriscos was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9, 1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spain's Muslim population who had been forced to convert to Christianity.Between 1492 and 1610 alone, some 3,000,000 Muslims left or were expelled from Spain

After, another 700 years, from 1469 onwards, it was under the Catholic King. In 1898 there was a disastrous battle between America and Spain. That was the beginning of the end of Spanish empire.

However in 1936 Spanish civil war started Eventually in 1939 under the Dictator Francesco or Franco, civil war ended, after Franco’s victory. He was supported by Fascists and Nazi and those who were defeated, were supported by Russians and Communists. Around 3.5 Lakh Spanish was killed by Franco. He died in 1975.

Franco bombed the Guernica in North Spain in autonomous Basque country near Bilbao. It is like Kashmir of Spain. Atletico Bilbao is part of this region. They do not think of them as Spanish. They have a distinct language. North West of Spain is Galicia region. They too have a distinct language. Catalonian language (spoken in Barcelona) is somewhat similar to Spanish and French. The region of Catalonia has two official languages.The Catalan independence movement seeks the independence of Catalonia from Spain. Rest of Spain speak Castilian i.e. what is known as Spanish language. There is nothing called Spanish language actually!  

Bilbao was conquered by Franco after bombing and killing lot of people in Guernica. Then Picasso drew Guernica after that event as a mark of protest against war. I saw Guernica in Madrid ( before that I saw it during Durga Puja inside a Pandal, Behala Nutan Sangha (opposite to Behala Nutan Dal !!).  It is Monalisa of the modern art. It is a huge canvas – 11.5 ft in length and 30 ft in width.  Famous painters like Goya , El Greco (of Toledo – who was born in Greece , but spent last 37 years in Spain :  is the architect of the Spanish Renaissance) are from Spain. Apart from that there is Picasso, Miro, Salvador Dali (Figueres) - all part of Catalonia. Miro drew the logo of world cup football in 1982. The most famous architect of the world is probably Gaudi (1852-1926) – his Modernista style in Barcelona draws many tourists to Barcelona.  Spain made lot of money during the time of Gaudi because of looting around the world. With that money, the rich asked Gaudi to make their building.  However the artistic style Art Nouveau was developed in and around Madrid around 1900.

Due to Franco's declining health, Juan Carlos began periodically acting as Spain's head of state in the summer of 1974. In 1975 Juan Carlos was given succession by Franco. Carlos was able to recover Spain and in 1977 after election, Spain became republic again. Carlos was present during 1982 world cup.

In 1977 Spain became part of NATO. Though during the Iraq war, they refused to join NATO. The area of Spain is 5 Lakh sq km ie 5.5 times West Bengal and 1/7th of India and population is 4.72 Crore , vis a vis 5.9 Crore of Italy and  6.8 Crore of France.

There is 15% unemployment rate in Spain. Its per capita income (nominal) is much lower than Germany,England or Scandinavian countries or even France (44,000 USD) at 31,000 USD approx.


I planned to go to Cathedral first. I asked the Pakistani Manager how to reach the Cathedral. Surprisingly he does not know this, though he is staying in Barcelona for quite some time . Bangladeshis are much smarter. Cathedral is not very far from here. Basically he has no interest in these things.

After I got down from the hotel, I saw a restaurant "Raja" owned by a Pakistani just beside our hostel. Apart from Indian food, you also get Falafel, Durum. I was quite  hungry. I had both Durum and Falafel.  By that time, it was almost 2 pm. Most of the super markets are manned by Pakistani. I saw few Bangladeshis too. They are from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Just like Italy, I saw many people from Indian sub continent. But the only difference is they are not Bangladeshis, but Pakistanis from Punjab (Pakistani part) - they look like Indians. I was told there are some Indians too - though I could not find them. 

Not many people are wearing mask. They are wearing once they are inside a Museum. Today I mostly walked  in nearby areas - part of old Barcelona. I started with Cathedral- Cathedral de Barcelona, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Do not confuse Barcelona Cathedral with the La Sagrada Família Basilica. It is a Catholic church located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona

It was built in the 13th  century on the ruins of an old Romanesque church. Barcelona Cathedral has impressive Gothic architecture. It also houses many treasures, including paintings, sculptures, and ancient manuscripts. But it was closed, when I went there. I saw it from outside. But I have seen many cathedrals like this in  Vienna, Austria. So it is nothing new to me. But it is nice for a first time tourist. Nearby is Museo de Historia. The aim of the History Museum of Barcelona is to preserve the rich heritage of Barcelona. That was also closed. Is it probably because of corona ? The nearby Placa del Rei or King’s square, is nothing very special.

Then I went to Picasso Museum or Museo de Picasso. The Picasso Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The Museum houses a vast collection of the artist's work, including paintings, drawings, and engravings. Its highlights include an extensive collection of his early works. It is allowing people by batches due to Covid, I guess. Since it had its quota of guests for the day, no further tourists were allowed. There is a nice park called Parc de la Ciutadella, where there is a lake. It is a very idyllic and probably the greenest oasis in Barcelona. It invites you to relax and to go for long walks as well as for a picnic. You can also use a rowing boat on the lake.  In the lake there are many ducks . There is a Catalan parliament beside the park.

When I reached Basilica de Santa Maria Del Mar - which is probably better than the Cathedral, it was already dark.

Then I saw Mercat de la Boqueria on La Rambla, while walking. It is a popular food market. I did not go inside. It is very near my hotel. Tomorrow I plan to go to Costa Brava, which is French Riviera.

Today I had Paella de Valencia from an Indian restaurant. Paella is from Valencia region. Typically it costs 16 Euro. There is an offer in the restaurant for 9.90 Euro and I had one espresso coffee for 1.5 Euro. ie. 11.40 in total. I had sea food Paella. but they did not give/have Calamari. The typical Indian attitude of not informing the clients that they do not have Calamari - though I asked about the ingredients. 


I must also tell you that Italy is relatively cheaper than Barcelona. But coffee is generally cheaper at 1.5 Euro. Paella is typically 10-16 Euro. But for budget traveller one can have Salami. I had Salami  for 1 Euro (60 gms) - very good taste. I also bought white chocolate from another super market.

I planned to see Antoni Gaudi’s creations. The fact that Barcelona is unique is because of Gaudi’s architecture. There is a place/district called  L'Eixample (pronounced 'lay-sham-pluh') is a showcase for Modernista architecture. Gaudi was born in 1852 and died in 1926. He was a devout Catholic. Gaudí put his imagination and talent at the service of the Catholic faith.  The most famous one is La Sagrada Familia.

 My initial plan was to go to Costa Brava. But all the shops were closed (or at least did not see any shop). Only Govt tourism office runs tours to Costa Brava. They have their office at the basement of Plaça de Catalunya. I went to their office running, since I was late -  to start the train tour at 8.00 am.  Even the information counter was closed. Then I planned to use the service of other private tour companies. But I could not find any such Company. Is it possible that they do the tour through the Govt run company only ? I wandered at Plaça de Catalunya twice. Finally the office opened at  8.30 am.  Later I was told that due to Covid there is no Costa Brava tour. I bought one tour of Montserrat tour for 50 Euro on 13th. I bought one ticket of La Sagrada Familia for 28 Euro.

I learnt at the information counter that one train leaves from Plaça de Catalunya itself and stops at Blanes – which is a station in Costa Brava region. This tour will be taken by local train, (not part of any guided tour).  From there one can go to Tosa De Mar by bus.

 After this information, I left for Casa Batlló.   It is located on the Passeig de Gràcia . This is a unique house – made by Gaudi. The owner, Josep Batlló , did not like the existing style. Originally, the building was built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés (one of Gaudí’s architecture professors). In 1903 it was purchased by Mr Josep Batlló y Casanovas. Mr Josep Batlló granted full creative freedom to Antoni Gaudí, putting him in charge of a project that initially entailed demolishing the building. However, thanks to the courage shown by Gaudí, the demolition of the house was ruled out, and it was fully reformed between 1904 and 1906. The architect completely changed the façade, redistributing the internal partitioning and converting the inside into a true work of art. This signature style is copied everywhere in Barcelona. At the same time, prominent architects were also reforming other houses that, at the time, were competing for the urban awards convened by the Barcelona City Council. These houses are also in the modernist style and along with Casa Batlló, they are currently part of a unique group formed by Casa Amatller ( by the architect Josep Cadafalch), Museu del Perfum (which is in between Casa Amatller and  Casa Mulleras), Casa Mulleras (Enric Sagnier) and Casa Morera (by Lluís Domènech i Montaner) .These 4 houses are joined together like the houses in Delhi and is called "Block of Discord” , since they have no common  pattern. As the four architects' styles were very different, the buildings clash with each other and the neighboring buildings.

The entre fee of Casa Batillo is 39 Euro ! The most expensive entry ticket I have ever bought for a house. But the house is unique. There is no option to go inside Casa Amatller or Casa Morera . The audio guide is made wonderfully, almost seamlessly. The moment you reach a certain spot, audio will start talking !  Then I followed the walking tour given by another travel book.

There are many interesting houses on the way. Then fell on the way Casa Mila (nick named La Pedrera (stone quarry) because it resembles an open quarry ) - a building designed by Gaudi and commissioned by Pere Milà. The name, ‘Casa Milà’ comes from the fact that it was the new home of the Milà family. Casa Mila is Antoni Gaudi’s most iconic work of civic architecture due to both its constructional and functional innovations. It was Gaudi’s last work of civic architecture and represented a break with the conventions of his day. Due to Covid they are not allowing any person at that point of time. But I was told to come at 1 pm, which is not possible for me !

So I proceeded towards La Sagrada Familia. There is a time of entry at 1.30 pm. On the way falls a very nice Hospital Sant Pau - founded around 600 years ago. I reached there at 1.10 pm. But I had no time to go inside the Hospital. I heard, if I am late by 10 minutes then the ticket will be cancelled. So I had to skip the hospital. So I left for La Sagrada Familia. It is a unique church. It is still under construction for nearly 140 years, and has become one of the most visited monuments in Spain, receiving 4.7 million visitors in 2019. There will be 18 towers – height according to the importance. The towers are dedicated to important biblical figures: 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, 1 Virgin Mary, 1 Tower of Jesus.  Jesus Christ’s tower is the tallest, followed by Mary. I have not seen anything like this. Initially intended to be a simple Roman Catholic church, the church ultimately became the most prominent example of Catalan Modernism. Pope Benedict XVI declared it a basilica in 2010. The Basilica exemplifies Gaudí’s philosophy that nature is the work of God. Gaudí sought to combine biblical allegories with complex natural symbols like organic, geometric shapes which are prominent in every column, pinnacle and stained glass window of the basilica. The "Belgium glass" inside the church is very different. The play of light on this glass is very unique. At the time, Gaudí was also working on Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and when that was completed in 1912, he focused exclusively on the construction of the Sagrada Família. Gaudí realized that the construction of the Sagrada Família was such an ambitious project that he certainly would not see its completion in his lifetime. In fear of the project being stopped after his death and once the church acquired its worship function, Gaudí decided that, instead of building the central nave, he would start on the external part of the church.

I had seen similarly interesting and differentiated church in Brasilia by Oscar Niemeyer. But it is more of a geometrical pattern. What Niemeyer has done for Brasila , Gaudi has  done it for Barcelona. Niemeyer said, who said a  church should look like other churches.

Then I went running to the Hospital Sant Pau. But it was already closed . On Mon - Fri the hospital is closed at 2.30 pm. I saw it from outside , and is very interesting. I took pictures from outside.

So I planned to go to Camp Nou, since I saved some time here. It is the famous stadium of Barcelona. I am told it is the most visited place in Barcelona. The Yellow line of metro - L3 line takes you to last station, Palau Reial .From the metro station you have walk for 7-8 minutes to reach Camp Nuo. In the metro, I met a Bangladeshi (Mamun Khan) who was going to Plaça de Catalunya (or Esplanade of Spain). He told me, if you stay here for  3 years, then they give you residential card. He told me that Spanish people are very generally very nice. He has opened a restaurant nearby and gave his email id and phone no. He told me near Las Ramblas there is a Bengali neighbourhood. They are either from Dhaka or Sylhet. There are 3 mosques. Even there is one mosque at La Ramblas. But there are many Punjabis from Pakistan in La Ramblas.

Anyways, the museum is very nice, needless to say. It made me sad that why we could not make anything like this. Barcelona was started probably by a Swiss person, Joan  Gamper in 1899, along with 5-6 Catalans and rest from some other countries. So Mohan Bagan is even older! Everything was displayed very artistically. I saw the pictures of La Masia Academy. La Masia Academy is near Camp Nou. Previously the stadium was in  Les Corts . Later it was shifted to Camp Nou, when there was a need for a bigger stadium. But they do not practice in Nou Camp. Only the matches are played here. We went inside the ground. Since they do not practice here , it helps to protect the pitch. They were selling grass of the pitch inside the Nou Camp ground, apart from some other memorabilia. They sell lot of souvenirs   - which is very expensive. The entry fee is very high - 29 Euro. A cap costs 25 Euro. Basically they are exploiting the sentiments of fans. The souvenir shop is huge, in two tiers - jersey, T shirt, key ring, mug, pencil, pen - you name it, it is there. They have fan clubs in 80 countries - Cuba, Kosovo, New Calendula etc.

After that I took the metro and got down at Liceu Metro station. Actually Las Ramblas or La Rambla boulevard connects Plaça De Catalunya (where there is Plaça de Catalunya  Metro [like Esplanade] and train station called Estacion de Nord [like  our Sealdah, for local trains], nearby) with the Port. I think the boulevard is around 800 metres. There is a metro train in the middle of boulevard (somewhere between Plaça de Catalunya and Port). It is called Liceu. 

Now there is a major train station called Sants Estació - which is like Howrah station of Kolkata.  At the boulevard, I met a Bengali (Bhaben) from Kalyani. He is here for nearly 10 years and stays with 4 people in a flat. He also told me after 3 years they get a temporary resident card. They pay a Rent of 200 Euro per head i.e. 800 Euro for 4 people i.e. Rs  70,000/- + Electricity bill of Rs 10,000. He has his wife and son in Kalyani. He used to work in Restaurant in the boulevard of La Rambla. Now he got a better job in a Super market. Since one of his friends has taken a leave, that is why he is substituting him today in La Rambla. I also learnt that car here is not very expensive. You can get a car for around 4,000 Euro or Rs 350,000. A bike will cost 1500 Euro. The cost of  petrol is around 1 Euro. There are 3 varieties of Petrol :    (-) 1 Euro, 1 Euro and (+) 1 Euro. So it is quite cheap, compared to average earning. That is why hiring a car in Spain is not expensive. But since I am only left with 1 member, out of this 6 person group, I did not think of hiring a car.

Today I had Paella and 3 types of Tapas in an offer for 12 Euro - Patatas Bravas (Aloo Tikki), Pimenta (Chilli), bread with Tomato (which they changed on my request to Olive). I had sea food Paella. Bangladeshis are working here as chef. He told me the Spaniards own typically 4-5 shops, but it is mostly manned by Bangladeshis, like Italy ! 


Today I left for Costa Brava, which is French Riviera or Côte d'Azur of France. In the tourism Deptt at Plaça De Catalunya, they told me to buy ticket upto Tossa De Mar, instead of buying the ticket upto Blanes. There is a metro station as well as train station at Plaça De Catalunya. The local train stopped at least 20 stations - it is like  local train stations. The distance is only 70 Km. On the right hand side of the train is Mediterranean. But unlike French Riviera there is no marriage of sea and mountain. The mountain is somewhat far away. We saw mostly the beach. So it is not as stunning as French Riviera. I reached Blanes by train. Then I got a bus from the Blanes station, which took me to Lloret de Mar.  On the way to   Lloret de Mar, I saw marriage of mountain and sea. So the view here is much better than Barcelona to Blanes. I reached Lloret de Mar at 11.10 hrs. From Lloret  De Mar , the bus will leave for Tossa de Mar at 1150 hours, which is our final destination. At the Lloret de Mar, I saw a shop called Ganeshay (or Ganapati ?) - it is run by a person from Jaipur. He told me there are many Indians here, especially from Agra. They are speaking in Hindi. But they all know Spanish. Mar means Sea side. eg Playa means beach in Portuguese. Lloret de Mar has a nude beach - which I did not know. When I went to the beach, I saw a lady sunbathing.

Since it was time for the bus to Tossa De Maar at 1150 am, I could not explore the city much. At the bus stop they gave me a map of the city. There are many shops like Sorrento of Italy.

The history of Tossa is around 500 years old. There is a nice light house. While going to the old part of the city, I found it similar to Positano. There is a nice view point at Tossa de Mar at the old part of the city. From there the sea looks like Azure. I had a wonderful Mixed fruit juice for 3.5 Euro (mind it, the Euro costs 86 Euro now !). The bigger one costs 4.5 Euro. I had a gelato also for 2 Euro. Normally it is 2.5 Euro elsewhere. I also had a cup of coffee for 1 Euro, which is cheaper than other places. I also had a big sausage. I had to skip lunch. I spent around 3.5 hours here.

On the way back, I went to Blanes via Lloret de Mar and from their I took train to reach Barcelona. Since I could not find the train ticket in my pocket, I had to buy the ticket again for 7 Euro. Later I found the ticket in my bag !

On the way to my hotel, a lady asked me , if I want to have massage and spend some time with her. I said no. Tomorrow I had a Montserrat tour. I went to the Information centre to get the information (once again), since I have some time in my hand. I was told near Arc de Triomphe there is a train station called Estació NordFrom there the bus to Montserrat will leave.

Today I had sea food Paella once again. I also had the famous cocktail - Sangria for 5.5 Euro. I had some Pasta and Patatas Bravas. They give Mayonnaise and tomato sauce in Patatas Bravas.


My bus to Montserrat would leave at 10 am. So I had some time. I left my hotel at 8 am  to see the Port Vell, which is towards right from our hotel (towards left is Plaça de Catalunya), where there is a very big statue of Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus. The height is around 5 storied building. Just after that is Port Vell. I saw in the map it is possible to go to Arc de Triomphe from this side too, instead of going back to Placa de Catalunya. On the way I saw Santa Maria Del Mar. It  is one of the most perfect examples of Gothic style architecture . It was built in just 55 years, from 1329 to 1384, and is the only surviving church in the pure Catalan Gothic style.

Finally I reached Arc de Triomphe, little late. Somehow I had to rush to reach the Estació de Nord at the nick of time. It is around 150 metres from Arc De Tromp. I reached exactly at 10 am. The bus left just after that. The bus is not full, probably because of Covid effect. There are people from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina. The guide spoke in Spanish and English simultaneously. Normally I have seen the guide talk in English. But since Spanish in national language of 21 countries - so it is different. Invariably there will be some Spanish speaking tourists. Normally any sign board in Barcelona is written in 3 languages - Spanish, Catalan and English. It appeared to me there is not much of difference between Spanish and Catalan.

Montserrat  is around 50 km from Barcelona. Within 1 hour we reached Montserrat. Here the patron saint  of the Basilica is   Sant Jordi (in Catalan) or St George (e.g. Jordi Alba of Spanish Football team). The guide said Napoleon came here and stolen everything from the Basilica. So everything was destroyed. It was constructed in 1592, 100 yrs after Columbus reached Bahamas in 1492.

We reached here (Basilica) by funicular train - which is free. It is used only for short distance. Then there is another steep funicular, by which you can go to the further top, by paying 12.5 Euro.

When we reached the Basilica ,  a program was going on , so we could not enter there. Guide said we can go to the Museum - which is nice. It is a small museum. - entry fee is 6.5 Euro. In the museum cum art gallery, I saw pictures of some very famous artists like Monet, Manet, El Greco, Pissarro, Degas - but only 1 or 2. After seeing the museum it was already 1 pm. The basilica has opened. The frontal part of the Basilica is not very special. But inside the basilica is interesting. Here the virgin Mary is unique - black in colour - which is a specialty. It is called Black Merry. It is very important for Catalonians.

The Basilica is surrounded by sedimentary rock, somewhat like Morocco in Dades Valley. When referring to Montserrat, people consider that it is more than just a Monastery - Montserrat is a whole mountain.The setting of the church is very unique.

I took the funicular to go to the top. This funicular is called Sant Joan Funicular (it is St John in English). It is very steep - around 80 storied building - 250 metres. There is a great view from the top. You can walk for 15 minutes from the top to go to the church of St Joan and there is another church called Sant Jeroni,  which is another 15 min walk. I did not go there till the end, for want of time, since the next funicular will come after 30 minutes and I would have missed the bus.

We left for Barcelona at 3 pm. After reaching Barcelona, I left for Museu Picasso de Barcelona, almost running, since I have to take the train at 9.30 pm. On 10th I could not enter the museum due to some restrictions as a result of Covid.

There are 15000 pictures of Picasso, I am told in this museum. There are pictures during various period starting from young age to old age: cubism, blue period, rose period, dove series in Cannes. He spent some time in Barcelona also. The Picasso in this museum is very different from what we know. It starts when he was only 15 years. He was born in the year 1881 in Malaga and died in 1973. His paintings,  when he was very young, was very different. In fact there is an impressionist style art also, and if it is not told that it was drawn by Picasso, you will think it was drawn by Van Gogh. Before he adopted his avant-garde style, he was like any other good painter and one of his paintings at the age of 15 (1897) is astonishing - like Raja Ravi Varma ! He also made some jewellery when he was young. The entry fee of the museum is only 12.5 Euro, which is much less than other museums. The reason is, the most famous ones are not here. This is more about how he evolved. .

My bags were already packed (and checked out in the morning) and went to the guest house just to collect my luggage. I told the Pakistani manager, that I want to go to Estación de Sans. But he misguided me again, by telling me to go to a wrong Station. It was very surprising that while Bangladeshis are very smart and invariably give right direction, Pakistanis generally give wrong information ! I told him, probably it is better to take the metro from Liceu. I took same L3, from Liceu - which I took to go to Camp Neu last time, to go towards Tarragona (but I have to get down at Estación de Sans  or Sant Estacion railway station, after Tarragona). Sant Estacion is just like an airport. Anyways I Took the train at 910 pm and got down at Madrid Atocha Rail Station at 1200 pm, late at night. The bus station to go to Granada is around 1.9 Km. There are not too many trains which goes to Granada. In fact I bought a ticket from Barcelona to Granada - but the ticket I got is a combo of Train and Bus. So I took the metro, again at Madrid Atocha,  to go to the bus station; for that I took blue line to get down at Pacifico metro station after 1 stop and then took a circular line (ash line) of metro to go to Estacion de Sur (South), unlike Sud in Belgium. The card at Madrid metro costs 1.5 Euro and ticket costs 2.5 Euro. This card will be useful, when I go back to Madrid. 

The bus station is nearby from Estacion de Sur. Here I met a couple. They went to Palermo (Sicily) and  are coming back from a conference. They took me to La Para de Autobus or bus stop


I reached Granda at 6.30 am. They guided me to take 33 no. bus . The fare is 1.4 Euro. It was more or less dark, when I got down at Constitution Centre - 7. I met a person from Kerala, who helped me to find my hotel. I did not have much time to chat with him. But the hotel was closed. Thankfully an Argentinian girl came out of the hotel. I got to know from her (she understands little Englsih) the wifi password and entered the hotel. Then using google translate I chatted with her and asked her to contact the receptionist of the hotel - who told me you can keep the luggage , but you can check in only at 3 pm. I told her, I will come at 10 am. But she insisted that I cannot check in at 10 am. Inside the hotel I met a Moroccan. He does not know English. I used google transalate to talk to him in Arabic. I showed my blog to him and told him how much I liked Morocco. I told him about Said Ouita - famous athlete and Bouderbala - famous footballer. I was able to touch his heart. He offered me tea and banana ! He stays in Belgium. He has come here to travel. I went to the toilet at the bus stop. It was very clean. Then I bought some snacks. I had it in the hotel and in the meantime, got I my mobile/ Camera charged at the airport. I left for the city at around 9.30 am. 

There is a wonderful kitchen in this hostel.

Granada is city where the Moors (Arabic and Barbers came to Spain via Rock of Gibraltar) resided last before finally leaving Spain. The Christian Kings recaptured , as a result of Reconquista, Granada last of all. As a result this bears the Moorish culture  and architecture best of all the places in Spain. This region is called Al Andalus or Andalusia. Granada is probably the most interesting region in all of Andalusian region. This place is very different from anything I have ever seen in rest of Europe.

First Iberians came to Spain in around 5000-8000 BC through Rock of Gibraltar (very near Morocco) . It is under British and British Pound is used in Rock of Gibraltar. Similarly in Morocco in the Ceuta region is under Spanish. From Cadiz you can hear the Azan from Morocco, I read ! 

After Iberians, came Romans whose stayed till the 4th Century AD approx. After that Germanic tribe occupied Western part of Roman empire (except Constantinople). 

After another 300 years , around 700 AD almost whole of Spain came under the Moors. Apart from this Tunisians/ Carthage, Celtics, Phoenicians, , Greeks also went to this region. During Roman empire all the oils used to go from Spain. During that time Spain was like today's Middle East. But after 100 years from 700 AD the Christians started attacking Moors called Reconquista. Finally in 1236 Cordoba came under Catholics or Castilian king. After another 12 years Seville came under Castillian King. It took another 250 years before Granada fell under Castilians. Roughly between 1250 to another 250 years ie till approx 1500 was the golden period of Moors in Granada under Md Ibn Yousuf Naser or Nasirid empire- became an independent emirate - resulting into construction of Alhambara, Al Cabza.  A civil war took place in 1482 -  who will sit in the throne for Nasisrids. Then soon after wards Christians took over Moors. Castilinas thrown Jews, Moors and Moriscos (Muslim  converted into  Christians) by 1492/1509 ??.  There fore this 700 yrs of dark age of Europe is Golden age of Spain. Specifically last 250 years was golden age, when People used to come to Spain from all over the world - for Education from Europe.

Granada is the country of Garcia Lorca. Probably he was murdered during the time of Franco by his men for his anti government propaganda.

Today there was some confusion regarding which bus to take to go to Alhambara. Nobody was able to guide me initially. I took bus C32 to go to Alhambra.It is possible to walk also - that will take long time. It is situated on a hill. C32 is bigger that Tempo Traveller, but smaller than  a mini bus.The roads to go to Alhambra was very narrow. So a normal bus cannot go.After this bus, there is not enough space even for a bike in the road. That is why this special bus. It is somewhat similar to Lapa region of Rio or Sirinc of Izimir. People stay along the hills, like our hilly states. 

Just like Rio's favela's location in the mountain/hill ,here also the Moorish white (white is considered good/ pobitro ) houses are in Albasin region in and around the mountain. You will Albasin along the road.

The entry fee is 16 Euro. I under estimated Granada since I have been to Morocco. But here it is really grander than Morocco.  Al Hambra is a big area divided into 3 parts - Al Cabza, Generalife (Jinan Al Arif - garden of God , like Mughal Garden of Kashmir) and Al Hambra.  The Reconquista's made a flat hoist at Al Cabza. 

First I went to Generalife, then I went to Alcabza and finally Al Hamra. Generalife and Alcabza is not exceptional.  There is a specific time to reach Al Hamra at 1630 hours.Since I had some time,  I went to see the statute of Carlos and the Palace. It was made in 1527.  It is beside Al Hambra. There is a wonderful reflection of the Palace on the water. 
But one thing is very annoying here - they were asking for Passport and Ticket (I bought tickets for all zones), every now and then.  Here the audio guide is not that good like Casa Batillo in Barcelona. Here you will not be allowed to enter before 1630 hours by the system. There is full of Zali work. There are numerous houses.  The workmanship is amazing. The basic style is same. There is Portico and Thakur Dalan. The mosaic work is amazing.

The mosaic work found here is reflected in every restaurant and hotel in Granada.

Then I had to rush to the hotel before 8 pm, otherwise the receptionists will leave and I wont be able to keep my luggage in the room. Then I went to see the nearby places, after keeping my luggage. Here check in time is either at 2 pm or 3 pm generally. I went to see very nice Cathedral de Granada nearby. There is a madrasa nearby. But the madrasa here has not been converted into  a Church/Cathedral, unlike other places. But the madrasa has become an office. I saw the madrasa/ office also. There is   Real  Catalicos (or Royal Chapel ) nearby . Real Madrid means Royal Madrid. (O Rei means King Pele in Portuguese) Reis Catalicos or Catholic Monarch is the resting place of  Fernando and Isabel. 

There is a market nearby - St Augustine  - mini version of Grand Bazar of Istanbul or Souk of Morocco/ Egypt. There is a Plaza De Rambla also where you get very nice Chorizo at the famous Cafeteria Al Hambara. Then I went to see Flamenco Dance. Though the most famous one is in Jerez de Fronterra But it has already started.  So I could not see it. So I went to have the famous Tapas as Calle El Vira. There are numerous Tapas Shops. With 1 Beer they give 1 Tapas. There are various types - Grande - Large, Media - Medium and Picolo ? Small . I had small one for 9 Euro. There are assortment of 6 items in it - Iberian Ham, Salmon, Tuna, Sausage etc . They also give a Garlic bread (kind of thing).  Then I had Sangria at another place " much cheaper for 2.4 Euro , unlike 6.5 Euro in Barcelona. Intially they did not give any Tapas . When I pointed out, they also gave a Tapas (with Potato, Boiled egg and chicken) free. Here bus fare is cheaper than Barcelona (2.4 Euro : for 10 rides together it is 11.5 Euro)  - it is 1.4 Euro here. Another thing like Barcelona water is good here. So there is no need to buy water here. It is safe to have tap water.

It is very important to learn the numbers from 1-12, if you are travelling a foreign country since time of the watch is till 12. If you know upto 10, then it is very good. But upto 12 is even more useful. (uno, do, tres, quatro, sinco, sies, siete, ocho, nueve, dieze, once, dos.  Fifty is also very imp : sinquenta ie tres sincquenta. Also it is important to know the place you want to visit : Quero ir Al Hambra - I want to go to Al Hambra. Similarly it is important to know : Where is the bus stop : Donde esta La Parada Autobus. When will the shop open / close : Open is Abierta, close is .....  . Many a time when we reach we find something is closed. So it is important to know when it is open. Name of the week is very imporant - Domingo - Sunday, Lunes - Monday, Saturday - Sabado : especially these 3 days are very important. Train Station - Quero ir Train estacion. Not  expensive - No Caro. Big -  Grande, Very big - Mas Grande,  Small - Picolo or No Mas Grande,  Set meal all inclusive - Todos/All , Ticket - Billet (In Portuguese it is probably Billeta. Probably same in Italian or French). Super Market is also very important , because food and water is very cheap there - Super Marcato (Donde esta Marcato - where is market ?) yes - Si, No - No. Thanks - Gracias, Por favour - excuse me,  before asking somebody, Sorry/ - Perdon, Derecha   - Right, Left is Iquerda, straight - Todo Recto, Time table - Horario (Donde Esta Horario - where is time table) . Water is Agua. Good Morning - Buenos Dias, Good evening - Buenos Tardes - evening and good Night - Buenos Noche (Notte in Italian). Mr is Senor (Monseur in French), Mrs is Senora. Very good is Muy Bien. Bien is good. While eating - Bebita - Drinks, Comer - Food. No Bebita is no drinks. Ham, Salami is same . Chicken is Pollo (spelling Poyo), Mutton is Carne de vaca, Fish is Pescada, Potato is Pata, Patata Brava is French Fries, ATM is Cajero. But everybody understands ATM. Quenta Custo - what is the price, similar to Portuguese. If it is closed today, people will say Manyana ie come Tomorrow. Another very important thing is Habla Ingles - do you know English ? I do not know spanish - (Yo) No hablo Espanyol. Do you (Tu) know Spanish - Tu hablo Espanyol. I normally say Hablo poco Espanyol (I know little Espanyol). (Many people know Amor is love, Friend is Amigo - but these are not of much use !) . Usted is formal of "You". Como Esta Usted - How are you ? This is very common. 

Hola - Hello is very very common. Beer is Cerveza and Wine is Vino. Toilet is Los Servicios or Asios. Normally it is Los Servicios , but in my hostel is written Asios. . Normally in Europe you have to pay for toilet - typically 50 Cents or even 1 Euro. Here in Spain it is normally free. I have not paid till date. Age is also very important. In Monteserrat they were asking a French person - Anos ? ie. age  ? But could not understand. Since if you are above 65 in Monteserrat it is  concessional. In Brazil for example , there is no ticket required in metro if you are above 60. Small road is called Calle. Important or long road is Carretara. 

Here they are following masks strictly in enclosed area. They are showing in sign lanaguages whenever mask falls below the mouth. Here sanitizer quality is good. But smell is like Spirit before they apply injection. But in public places nobody is using Mask.


Yesterday I have seen the most important things of Granada. But due to Covid, many tours were cancelled - Olive oil tours , Al Puzaara : This is near Sierra Nevada mountain range. So I decided the see the town even more closely. I went to the place , which is famous for Bull fight. It was also closed. I saw some Churches, Monastery. In the meantime , the memory card of my phone was exhausted, so I came back to my hotel to replace it and then I left for Albacin. This is an old Moorish quarter. Before it was recaptured by the Reconquistas, the ordinary Ordinary Moorish people used to stay here. They are all white washed. The location of the houses make it even more interesting - it is on the mountain, some are of them stay  in a cave. (somewhat like Cappadocia). I went to a place called, Sacramento - where are many cave houses , where Flamenco Dance takes place.  you have to walk some time to reach here. Most of them will start at 9.30 pm. Probably it will end at 1130 pm. It is not safe as per LP to be so late. Mugging take place. It is completely deserted place at night. It is somewhat deserted even in the day time. There are many Arabic people here. So I dropped the idea. While going to Albacin, I saw a place at the base of Alacin, where Flamenco dance will take place. I saw Flamenco later there @ 17 Euro. While coming back I read in my guide book that there is a place called Mirador San Nicolas, where there is a church and there is a wonderful view of Al Hambra. Alhambra is on the other side of the mountain. After reaching I saw many people waiting here for the sunset and the wonderful view. I would have missed unless I read it LP at the last moment. Some Arabic people were singing a song - Habibi , from this Moorish quarter. There is a cafe also.

Before the Flamenco dance starts,I had to buy  some Boomerang at the nearby market. So I went there running. While   I was going to the market, I saw a  plaza nearby, where 3 young guy (one is singing, another one is playing guitar and the other one is dancing) and 2 girl are doing Flamenco Dance.  Lot of people gathered to see it. When I came back from the market,  I saw another group singing and doing Flamenco dance. So even if you do not want to pay, if you sit here , you will be able to Flamenco Dance. The place where I saw Flamenco dance has been recommended by Tripadivsor. I have to go little early so that I sit in the front sit. The dance takes place on a wooden Floor. It is meant for Flamenco dance only. When somebody is dancing on the street , they carry a wooden plank for the dance. The Reconquista (Isabel and Ferdinand) was shown through Flamenco. The music is similar to Arabic. The dance took place for 1 hour. I found it quite interesting.

Today I went to another Tapas bar and paid 8 Euros - combinado or combination of any 6 Tapas items you can choose. They also served sweet red wine. I enjoyed red wine. When I came back to hotel, I saw the Moroccan guy. I chatted for some time with him. Tomorrow I will take train in the morning.


Today I reached Ronda at 11 am. I had to change the train at Antequera Santa Maria. Since the check in is at 2 pm, so I kept the luggage at the hotel and left to the city. First I went to Plaza de Toro. Toro means bull. Ronda is the birthplace of modern Bull Fight or spiritual capital of bull fight. The Bull ring is from 1785. Bull fight no longer takes place here. It is important for documentation purpose. It is used for an important public function.  What I learnt is bull fight did not start in a day. It started initially as a game. The Moors were attacked , the King said people must have horse. In the bull ring Horse has a place in history. The Spanish horse is world famous for its good breed. The King Philip in the 16th Century told everybody, if you have power maintain the horse and he stressed on proper  horse  maintenance. He also ensured proper breeding. That is why the best horse today comes from Spain. The Second oldest horse school for equestrian is in Ronda. He introduced horse training and breeding. One or two years before it started in Austria. Previously a person was in horse and fought with bull. The fact that the matador is on the ground is a relatively new thing. 

Even Assyrians also had bull fight. The previous bull fight used to between a person riding a horse and a bull. The king of Hafsburg dynasty, Austria was a great fan of bull fight. Apart from him, Ernest Hemingway, Orson Wells used to like bull fight a lot. Their statute is there in Ronda. The main theme or logo of Ronda is bull fight. It is projected as a bull fighting city. I saw the Plaza de Toro and there is a museum where everything is displayed very nicely. As per the museum, this bull fight existed for time immemorial. There is a video of horse training, bull rearing up, history of bull fighting etc. There is "still picture" exhibition also.  The bull fighting does not take place in Barcelona any more due to public protest. The last bull fight takes place on 12th October every year. This bull fight is basically culture of Southern Spain/ Andalucia. There is bull fight in Madrid also. The bull meant for bull fight, is given complete freedom and allowed to roam for 3 years . Whereas the beef is kept in captivity before they are killed. The person who is pro bull fight says that till the bull is ready for fight , the bull is given freedom, unlike beef which kept in captivity before killing.  If  matador dies from the bull fight then the bull is freed. und openly.  The pictures of bull fight is everywhere. The picture/ advertisement of first bull fight is also displayed. 

Ronda is also very famous for a bridge. Many people come to just to see the bridge. It is Bridge over El Tajo gorge - 120 Metres/360 ft tall. It is very unique. The gorge divides the city into 2 parts - old city and old  city. My hotel is in new city. ( But in reality everything is old city.) The bridge is called Punte Nuevo or New Bridge. In Italian also bridge is called Ponte. It took 40 years to construct the bridge. The water flows below 120 metres. It is quite interesting. There is a church called Santa Maria da Mayor. previously it was a mosque. Then Christians ( or called Catholic Kings) started reconquesta. First they captured North. The Moors were then in South. Slowly the South also got recaptured :  Ronda, Seville and finally Granada.

In Indian context,say, only Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala (not even AP) was left to be recaptured. In 1492 when Granada came under Catholic Church, few years before that Ronda was captured. After Ronda only Granada was left to be recaptured. There was a water source. The Moors deployed Christian slaves to get water from water mine. To get the water from the gorge below, they made a tunnel. The water is of very great importance. Similarly in Fatehpur Sikri Akbar abandoned the place for want of adequate water. Similarly, here also, the Catholic monarchs captured the water source form the Moors during the reconquista. 

Then I went to Banos Arabes. I had to 4.5 Euro enter - quite expensive. It is nothing but Hammam. The Arabs learnt about Hamam from the Romans. There were 3 chambers - hot water, cold water and steam bath. The Arabs constructed it in 13-14th Century. There is a video on that Hammam which is free with the Banos Arabes. After Banos Arabes, I went to see Santa Maria de Mayor Church which was converted from Mosque. 

Then I went to see the Old city or La Ciudad. It is also an area of white washed house. Then I went down to  till the bottom of the gorge/ bridge. By the time, I reached the bottom, it was dusk/twilight. I had to pay 8 Euro to go down. The view is very nice. Ronda is an important historic city and is located on a strategic location. However the Church and Cathedral's are mostly free. But otherwise entry fee is on the higher side.

The tail of bull killed after bull fight is a delicacy. It is called Robo de Toro.  I had it today. The mutton is quite soft. It tasted quite nice. The restaurant was also recommended in Trip Advisor. It is on the same road as Plaza de Torros. There is a wonderful picture of Bull Ring inside the restaurant.Large portion is 14 Euro. I had small portion - for which I paid only 3.5 Euro. I was almost full with the small portion. There are many places where they make Orange Juice . It seems it is widely available. In Barcelona (La Rambala) I had fresh Orange Juice (in a bottle) in a shop for 2 Euro. 

There is hardly any Indian tourist.I met a Sikh, who is from Canada. I met one Bangladeshi from New Jersey  and one Sri Lankan - New York. Only in Granda on the last day I saw some young Indian. But I did not have the chance to talk to them. It seemed to me they are probably working in IT. In any case in Europe there is hardly any Indian tourist. The hotels here are mostly on Al Andulus style.

Tomorrow I have train at 7.58 am.


I had breakfast at the Ronda station. I had Orange juice and Bocadillo or sandwich (not exactly like our sandwich. Probably our sandwich is called Tostada). Bocadillo looks like the oval shaped garlic bread , which we get in Kolkata. There are lot of stuffings inside sandwich/Bocadillo - there is Ham inside. I am having lot of Porks here. The place where I had breakfast inside the station is so wonderfully decorated that you will be left speechless. There are lot of pictures of bull fights or matador and painting by famous artists like Picasso depicting bull fight.But all of them are themed on Bull Fight.

Today the train was late by 5-7 minutes. I had to change the train at Santa Maria. On the way to Seville , I saw Olive Plantation all around. 

I reached Seville little after 12 pm. The hotel is not very far. So I walked all the way to the hotel.There is a tourist information centre at the train station. They gave me a map and gave direction of my hotel in the map. Seville is an amazing place to say the least . For some reason it is not very well known in India. People only talk about Vienna, Rome, London. Seville is at par with them. It has a very old history. 

As per folklore it was founded by Hercules. During the time of Iberian, it was a very important city. Later it was under Roman. At that time it used to be called Hispanic ??. The real development started during Islamic era in the 11th century. First it was Abbasid dynasty (11th century), then  came Almohad (12th Century). 

But by 1248 Seville came under Castilian king Fernando. After another 250 years, when Columbus in 1492 found New World and lot of expeditions were made in South America, then Seville was given monopoly by the king for this Spanish trade, because of its strategic location. 

Unfortunately half of people died in the year 1649 ? and river Rio Gaudalquiver got silted, and as a resulted the capital was shifted to Cadiz in 1717. Seville is the capital of Al Andalus. 

The Church in Seville is the largest Gothic Church in the world, it is the largest I have ever seen. The Church was constructed between 1434-1517 ie it took almost 83 yrs.  It was closed today. But you can see everything outside. The Giralda or Bell Tower is  huge - 104 m tall. It was the minaret of the mosque. The mosque was made by Almohad Ruler. When it came under Fernando in 1248 , it was converted into Church. There is hardly anything left of the mosque. It is said the grave of Columbus is here. 

The Greek ? Pattern decoration of the Bell tower is apparently the perfect Islamic architecture of Spain. Some local people went inside during the Church. I was not allowed to go inside since I have camera with me. Basically they are not allowing the tourists. 

There is orange trees all over Spain.Even in the old city where there is little space ,still there is  a orange tree. Even the oranges are lying on the road - nobody is picking it up ! I have seen same things in Morocco. In Morocco orange juices are really cheap - say around Rs 40. Here it is 2- 2.5 Euro (1 Euro @86 INR). 

Then I went to see the Alcazar. The entry fee is 13.5 Euro. The word Alcazar means Fort. All I knew is there is an Alcazar show in Pattaya, Thailand. Just like, there is nothing called Kremlin. There is Kremlin in each big city of Russia. It is somewhat similar here. It was started in the year 913 AD under Muslim rulers and it was changed/renovated number of times. Then it used to be called Al Mubarak.In 12th Century Almohad dynasty further increased / expanded it. It was later captured by Fernando III in 1248 and converted it into a residential building.At different point of time different kings extended it . This Alcazar and Al Hambra Palace has lot of similarity. Both are equally stunning. There is similar kind of work. In fact in some rooms , Fernando accomodated the workman/craftsman from Al Hambra during construction. The Cordoban Governor used it during 10th Century. In 11th extended under Abbasid ruler - they called it Al Mubarak. Although Fernando captured it, it was actually Pedro who really added value and beautified it. One of the rooms had Gothic architecture thanks to the Alphonso, son of Fernando . So it has lot of architectural styles or mishmash. So there is a marriage between Christian and Mudejar (or Moorish architecture). One of the kings was very modern and hired craftsman  (Al Hambra) from the king of Granada , Mohammad Said ??. Md Said is mostly responsible for decoration of AlHambra. Apart from that he brought craftsman from Seville also. The most beautiful room is called Palacio de don Pedro. In some places of the Alcazar it is written Allah is great . In some places Pedro almost converted himself to God and written accordingly, similar to the Pharaos of Egypt.

After this I had some time in hand. Here also there is a bull ring called   Plaza de Toro de Real (or Royal) Mestanza. The bull fighting here in this arena is the ultimate for a matador. Though Ronda is oldest. It started around the same time of Ronda. There are lot of Barroc architecture. The bull ring is based on Baroque architecture.  

There is a Gua del quiver river nearby where cruise which takes place here. I did not have time to do it. There is a Toro de Del Oro, beside the place where the cruise starts.  Torre means Tower. Oro means Gold. It means Golden Tower. It is similar in Portuguese and French. Apparently the molten Gold brought from plundered Peru (Inca) and Mexico (Aztech) or Guatemala (Maya) is kept here.  Concerts take place here. There was a concert going on, so I could not enter. It is just beside the river. 

The cathedral here is located in Santa (Santa means female and San means male) Cruz Barrio. Barrio means neighbourhood. The Santa Cruz Barrio is a Jewish quarter. The lanes are narrow, similar to Ronda. They are white washed. There are lot of Baroque architecture here. The tile/ceramic work / plaster work of Alcazar is displayed throughout the city, inspired by Alcazar. There is not only tile or ceramic work, there is wonderful work of plaster too. Almost every house has been inspired by Alcazar of Seville. So every city has retained its unique signature style of its main landmark. We have seen it in Jaipur, somewhat. There is a restaurant here which sells different kinds of fish. I opted for combinado or combination of fish - anchovies, Gambas (Prawn), squid, Calamari etc - which were marinated with corn flour and then fried . I asked for some Chilli or Pimento with Pollo (Chicken).  They served in a conical paper plate - similar to our jhalmuri in local train ! They charged 7.5 Euro for the fish and 3.5 Euro for the fist. This was for my dinner.


I had a good nights sleep after some time, since I do not have lot of activity. Yesterday I have seen more or less important places in Seville. Since the Cathedral was closed yesterday , I could have gone there again. But I skipped it. Normally the interior of the Churches follow certain pattern, except probably the church in Barcelona by Gaudi or church in Brasilia by Oscar Niemeyer or Belgium glass church in Paris. Rather I decided to see those places , which normally I would not have seen. 

I could not find Hospital de Los Venerables in map. Probably it is closed. I went to a place to buy stamps for my friend. Partha. Even that was closed. I went to see Parca de Maria Lucia near South of Centre.The park is quite nice. There are lot of birds - especially Duck. It is very near to Plaza de Espana. 

Then I went to see Plaza de Espana. There are lot of Govt offices here. I saw many people, immigrants, waiting in Govt offices for long term visa. It is around 100 years old. But the whole area looks grand. The coat of arms of all the districts (?) of Spain is painted on ceramic tiles on the walls of Plaza de Espana. It is more than a Plaza. Somewhat like our Parliament Bhaban - but this is semi circular.  I bought 2 paintings from a Peruvian artist at Plaza de Espana. Two paintings are very common - Matador and Bailar (Flamenco dancer). I bought one pencil sketch also from another person.

We saw a Flamenco Dance here  in Plaza de Espana. The girl you did the Flamenco dance asked me to send the video at . We all gave donation in their donation box. Lot of people gathered to see the dance.

If you do not want to spend money on Flamenco show, you can see it in the street and in many touristic places. I do not think you will miss out anything if you do not see the Flamenco dance on the street. They are quite good. In a typical Flamenco show one person will sing. one person will play guitar and normally a boy and a girl will dance. So it is typically a team of 4 person. Apparently Plaza de Espana is famous for  impromptu Flamenco dance . 

I sat there and spent some time there. Since I had time I could spend some time in a slow pace. Ideally one should spend 3 days in each place. On first day you acclimatise with a city and  its localities and on the second day, you can plan some organized tour or travel in slow pace and third day you can leave the city. But time is always a constraint !

Interestingly I did not see any Bangladeshi or Pakistani here (and Ronda and Granada) unlike Barcelona. Rather I saw Arabs, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon. Moorish and Mudejar is same. Mudejar means those Muslims who stayed back in Spain. I met a Moroccan guy near Plaza de Espana. I bought a bag made of cork from him.

Then I went to see the Flamenco dance museum. It was not very easy to find , since the lanes in old town are very narrow - which makes it even more difficult. It seemed to me that probably a local sim would have been handy. In the museum I learnt that Flamenco dance was influenced partly by Cuban (?) /Mexican (?)/Caribbean dance form and partly from Oriental dance form and also African drum beat. A very famous Flamenco dancer made this museum. There are many schools of Flamenco dance like Benaras Gharana, Maihar Gharana, Bishnupur Gharana, Jaipur Gharana, Punjab Gharana, Gwalior Gharana. There is hardly any crowd today. I asked a person in the museum that the person who sings with Flamenco dance, does not seem to sing in Spanish. It seems they are singing in Arabic. He said they are singing in Andalusian dialect - which is not vastly different from Castilian. The pronunciation is different. But apparently Andalusian dialect has more Arabic words compared to Castilian. The song during Flamenco dance will be seem like you are in Morocco or Syria, for example. 

Then I went to a place called Metrapol Parasol. It looks like Mushroom .It has a very interesting architecture like Mushroom and honey comb. Today I had food at a very nice restaurant chain - Coffee for 1 Euro, Sangria for 1.5 Euro Euro and Morcia or blood sausage (similar to the one in Manipur) for 1 Euro and Salami or Sachillon. Every day I had Pork. I bought the famous Iberico Ham on the way to the museum for 3.5 Euro - quite expensive. But it was not that good. Since Iberico Ham is famous, I tried it number of places. 

This is all about Seville. The old town can easily be covered by foot. I did not  travel by bus even for one day. There are two main road - Avenue Menandes de Palayo and the other one is Avenue de la Constitucion. These two (parallel) roads are inter connected by Calle San Fernando. (Calle means small road). It is like an U. If you know these 3 roads, then you can understand the city routes of Seville very clearly. You can reach any place if you know these roads. 


The train is at 6.40 am to Cadiz. The train station is little less than 15 minutes walk from the hotel. The name of the weeks are on the basis of planet e.g. Thursday or Brihospoti is Jupiter. If you think logically then it is not very difficult to understand. ok ok is bale bale.  for is por. aqui is here. Ued is short for Used or formal you .   It is useful in maps - where they write Ued es aqui ie you are here. In Italy grocery shop is alimentary , in Spanish it is alimentacion. They use Pronto a lot.  If you know this then it will be easy to travel. Some part of Morocco is exactly like Spain. In fact there are two territories which is controlled by Spain.

Cadiz has a very interesting city with lot of history. z is pronounced like c. Circus is Zirkus and Churroz is Zurros ! It is located just beside the sea. It is located very strategically near Morocco. In 1717 it was one of the most important cities of the world. When the capital was shifted from Seville to Cadiz its importance grew even more. Columbus did 2 expeditions (he did many more) from here - one of them being to the New World. It is at the confluence of Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean ocean. The good were transported to North America Central and South America from here. The people of Cadiz were very modern, since they interacted with many people. They even travelled upto Philippines. That is why Philippines was a colony of Spain. 

There is a tall tower (Torre Tavira) from there the merchants used to look around if any trouble is brewing and there is a wonderful 360 degree view. I went to the top of the tower for the view (paid 8 Euro).

In those days, the ground floor was used as office , 1st floor was for residence and top floor was for servants. The roads are very narrow in Cadiz. There is a nice Baroque cum Neo Classical Cathedral  here. It is quite big.

There is a museum here. A Lot of artefacts were discovered here. The Iberians came to Cadiz from Africa in the year 8000 BC. The Phoenicians ( or People from Lebanon, who are very good at Seafare)  came here even earlier. Even Romans came here. 

So all the artefacts from Iberian, Phoenicians, Roman period were found in and around Cadiz (ceramic plates, cups were found) .  Many Roman sculptures were found. Even some Egyptians artefacts were also found.  There is a Roman Theatre also. However I could not go there. The oil used to go to Rome from here. Since here most of the places are closed at 1 pm due to Siesta. 

There are 4 walking tours here. I did 2 tours here. I could not do another 2, since it is very difficult to find the routes, since the roads are too narrow. I walked around the same road again and again. 


In the morning in the Pension they serve Coffee and muffin. Then I went to Jerez  (pronounced Kherez) da Fronterra. It took 40 minutes by local train. I left by train at 8.20 am. It is very nice. There is a bathroom even inside the local train. The only thing point mentioning is that chair can't be reclined. There is no family space, with table in the local train, unlike long distance train. I paid 4.25 Euro for one way.

After getting down, I had Spanish Omelette or Tortilla de Patata (Oueva means Egg and Patata means potato) at a restaurant near the station for 1.6 Euro. They make it beforehand and cut a portion of it to the clients.  I also had coffee (1 Euro), Orange juice for 1.2  Euro . I paid 3.8 Euro in total.

I also tried Processed Pork in Jerez. It is quite expensive. Nothing exceptional.

I went to a market which falls on the way. I normally like to go to a market and see menu card of a restaurant. The price and items tells you a lot about the economy. 

Orange is not expensive. It is Rs 130 per kg : quite cheap compared to their purchasing power. Most of the vegetables are within 2-3 Euro. Pomegranate and Apple is within 2 Euro. Pollo or chicken in around Rs 300- 350. Octopus is within Rs 350-450 Kg. Tigre or Tiger Prawn is 8 Euro , Anchovies is 5 Euro. They are even selling fish egg for 7 Euro. Sardine is 2.5 Euro. Puntelitas is baby squid - which is 10 Euro. Fish Fillet is 6.8 Euro.

Here people do not say Buenos Dias or Buenos Tardes unlike Bon Jiorno etc in Italy . Everybody says Hola only, instead of Buenos Dias or Buenos Tardes. I have seen hardly anybody using camera for taking picture. Everybody is using phone camera.

Jerez is part of Seville. Seville is capital of Andalusia. This region is called Andalusia or Andalusian region - which is written everywhere - including on the bus.

Jerez is famous for 3 reason - horse , Sherry (a kind of wine) and spiritual capital of Flamenco. But if you ask somebody where is Jerez , nobody will understand. If you say Cathedral, then also they wont understand, you have to say Kherez, Lacatedral. No th of Cathedral !

There is a nice Gothic Cathedral here. I saw it from outside. Similarly there is a Bodega (Sherry Cellar) and Alcazar just beside it. I did not go to this Alcazar , after 2 Alcazars in Granada and Seville. Otherwise it would have been repetitive. 

First I saw the cathedral and then I went for the Bodega tour just before the start of the tour. The tour takes place every house or so. The bodega shows that Ayrton Senna, Omar Sharif, Milton Friedman has visited this Bodega (wine cellar). The guide was continuously spoke in German, Spanish and English. We learnt that Sherry does not have its age, written on it. since new and old wine is blended to make wine. We saw 4 cellar. One of the visitors said he has 1000 wines in his house. He has a company too. I met a German lady, around 62,  who is alone. She is an architect cum Interior designer. We had Sherry together. Her boyfriend is doing bike tour in  Tarifa (very near to Morocco - apparently Azan can be heard from Morocco) , which is famous for kite surfing. They are staying at Tarifa. Jerez is also known for Kite surfing. We were taught how Sherry is made. It is a 200 year old tradition. The cheapest entry ticket is 18 Euro - with which you can visit 3 cellars. It is 24 Euro, if you want to visit 4 cellars and taste sherry from all the 4 cellars. I opted for the second one and tried 4 different sherries. They served snacks - akhrot, Khamon or Ham, Sausage and salami with the sherry. The ham sometimes look like Salami. Sometimes Sausage looks like Salami. I have to ask my my friend Belen from Cuenta about this. Without a local people it is risky to be too experimental. It is often difficult to understand if any pork item  is ready to eat or not. She has sent me a ticket for Cuenta by whatsapp, so that I can visit her place. I have to ask her about it.

Two sherries were sweet - which I liked it. Other two were not so interesting. The whole presentation during sherry tasting is very nice. 

After that I went to Alcazar and saw it from outside. Then I went to a Flamenco museum. It is also closed due to Siesta at 1400 hours. This is a very big problem here Jerez and Granada. I did not find this problem in Barcelona. I went to the information centre at 2.30 pm. for map Even then it was closed. It is open between 0900-1430 hours. So it was difficult to reach the horse location without map. So I skipped it. This small town is quite charming. 

I also planned to go to Arcos de la Frontera. My friend Dodi Fog told me I should go there to see the white town or Pueblo Blanco. Moorish people considered white very sacred. There are many pueblo blancos in Spain. Arcos is very beautiful. The train and bus station is co-located. I reached bus station at 4.30 am. The bus will leave for Arcos at 5 pm and then 7 pm. It takes 30-40 minutes. There is no train to go to Arcos. The last bus will leave Arcos at 8.30 pm from Arcos. So  I had to drop it. Initially we planned to go there by Car. Since I went alone, it is not feasible. 

So I went back to Cadiz reluctantly.  There are 4 walking tours in Cadiz. I did not only 2. But there is no white town here, unlike Granada/ Ronda. Today I took the route along the sea. 

Most of the houses are Baroque architecture. Some of them are Rococo too. The architecture of Church here is different. Then I went to Flores Plaza. The fish is very famous in Cadiz. Fritueria de Pescada - Fish Fry. I had Orange juice , Tapas and Sangria ( for 2.2 Euro). In most of the places they are not giving Tapas invariably with Sangria. This is not very clear to me. Here with Sangria they gave a salted cookies. I had to buy Tapas separately.  I am having wine with the expectation that they will serve Tapas - but that is not the case most of the time. There are 3 types of rates - It is 1.5 Euro for Tapas or small quantity. It is half racion - 4.5 Euro and Racion is 10 Euro.  I also had Sortida or assortment of Fish for 5.05 Euro. I would not say very expensive. I did not try Pizza here - since it is not local. However I had to buy Durum once or twice - since it is like a roll and easy to carry in train and you can eat while you walk.

Cadiz is very important in maritime trade. Just like Greenwich Mean time , there is Cadiz Maritime time - since 1717 when the capital was shifted from Seville to Cadiz to trade with America. Wherenver a ship goes,  you have to tell its position relative to Cadiz. 

I could not go to  "Copacabana beach" of Cadiz for want of time.Otherwise it is not famous for beach.


Today I left for Codoba by train. Since I will not stay in Cordoba, I kept the luggage at the left luggage facility in the bus station. There is no left luggage facility in the train station. The bus station is just beside the train station. There was apparently no free space in the  automatic left luggage of the bus station. They thankfully accommodated for me in the only manual left luggage facility available there.

First I went to mosque or Mesquita in Cordoba. The double horse shoe shaped arch are there inside the Mequita. There are pictures of Jesus and Mary inside the Mesquita. It looks really nice. I underestimated it. Now it is called Lacatedral. Since it now Siesta time, we were requested to leave politely. I had to finish the last part faster. If you say Gracias, they will say Nada (da nada) ie no mention. The entry fee is 13.5/12.5 Euro. The Alcazar is just behind it. Only 5.5 Euro. But it is very ordinary. Some Roman tiles were there in the Alcazar. It was once the Capital of Moors and also capital of Roman Province in Spain. So the place has great significance. It was re-captured in and around 1250 by Isabel and Fernando captured it. So its history is 250 years older than Granada. It is quite different from Granada. I liked Cordoba a lot. Initially I was in 2 minds about coming to Cordoba. There is an equestrian show here. I bought ticket for the show. It is quite expensive - 16.5 Euro. It is an historic place. There is one show per day. There is a Synagogue in Toledo and Cordoba. Rest of the synagogues were destroyed. There is a jewish quarter. There is a house visit tour - Patio tour. I did not have time for that. There are also white towns and old town here also.

I went to a Flamenco museum, but it was closed. The place where Flamenco show used to take place before Covid, there is a place called Thieves den. In Don Quixote Thieves den has been mentioned. Cervantes used to come here and mentioned Thieves den in his iconic book - which is located here. There is a Bella Art museum at this place. I took pictures from outside. I have to reach Equestrian show 15 minutes before the start. The show is nothing exceptional. After the show I reached the bus station and took my luggage and had dinner in the bus station.


I left for Madrid by bus. The bus left little late at 2 am instead of 100 am. It was good for me. I reached in the early morning at 8 am. I made a metro card for 12.5 Euro for 10 rides. My hotel is near Metro Puetro de Sole or Sole.  It is the most important station. It is considered as ground Zero of Madrid. Everything is measured from here. It is like our Esplanade. The hotel is  near to this metro station. They allowed me to check in early probably because there is less rush. After checking in I immediately left for Segovia and Toledo tour. But I found the tour bus has already left. Again I came back to hotel and got freshened up. The term Madrid came from Arabic term Magrit or water channel ? Madrid was a swamp. There is not much of history. Moors tried to capture it without success. Then they left for South.  Nobody knew it before 1309 . When Philipe II sat in Spanish throne in  1556,  he made Madrid its capital in 1561 due to its central location. Muslims used it as Garrison. It is like any nice city of Europe. There is Palasio Real or Royal Palace (entry fee is 12 Euro) or Kings palace. You are not allowed to take picture. It is comparable to Hafsburg Palace or Versailles. There are around 50 rooms. There is a picture of Goya. 

Unlike signature cathedrals of other cities , here the cathedral is nothing special - not like Cadiz or Seville or Granada. I learnt even inside the Church is not very grand. So I skipped it.

Then I did the walking tour starting from Plaza de orient, Palacio Real, Cathedral, Garrison. The Moors created a wall for their Garrison. There is a market called Marcado San Miguel. This is food court basically . It really looks nice and grand. There is a Tapas Bar too.  Then I went to Plaza Mayor. There is food all around that. Then I went to Chocoloreria San Gines equivalent of our Flurys. I had their famous Churoz with Chocolate sauce. They gave one extra churoz to me free cost, since I had finished it , before finishing the Chocoloate. They normally give 3 Churroz. I paid 4 Euro for the Churroz. Then I went to see the San Gines Church. The walking tour ended at Convent de la des caisus Reales. It was closed due to Siesta at 2 pm. Then I went to see the museum. There are 2 famous museums here - Picasso Museum and Museo Del Prado (Flemish collection, Velasquez etc). I did not go to Del Prado, since I have been to the best ones. So I decided to go to the other museum - museum of Picasso at Centro de Arte Rene Sofia.  The picture of Guernica is there. Some pictures of Dalis is there. The length is at least 11 ft and breadth is huge. The entry fee is 10 Euro. 

When Germans  bombed the Guernica of Basque country in 1936 (?),  at the instance of Franco, many people died. Picasso drew it as a protest against war. It is the Mona Lisa of Modern Art.  There is only 2nd and 4th Floor. You cannot take picture in Picasso museum's 2nd floor. You can be taken picture only in 4th Floor - there is not much in 4th Floor. I complained to a lady in the tourism office. She agreed to me. 

Then  I went by metro to Parque del Beun Retiro near Prado museum. It is somewhat like our Dhakuria Lake. Boating is done here.

Then I went to La Latina - where you get Tapas. But I could not find it and I was short of time. Then I saw a Bangladeshi Alimancion or marcado or Super Marcado. There I met a person from Comilla, Bangladesh. He has a restaurant Kebab nearby. The son has passed MBA. He knows Dharmasagar of Comilla. His father has alimentary shop / restaurant for quite some time. The Manager is from Dhaka.  I bought roasted chicken and had it in my home.

You can cover Madrid in one day. There is an interesting observation as night grows, around 10 pm onwards Africans come and sell their items on the main square - like Rambala of Barcelona. I saw similar thing in Sole. They place a bed cover and sell jersey, hat, bet. There are ropes at the end of the bed sheet. If Police comes they will run within seconds , like a Runner of Sukanta Bhattacharya ! The Bangladeshis said they do not like to work or nobody like to take them unlike Bangladeshis - such is there reputation. They are on high alert the moment they see a Police.


I left for Cuenca.  This is home town of Belen. She is right now in England.Belen has bought the train ticket for me. It falls within Castilia la Mancha region. It is a very fertile region. It is a Saffron growing area. It is also famous for wines. Maximum qunatity of wine is grown here. The highest quantity of wine is grown here. The fictional journey of Miguel Cervantes - Don Quixote starts from here. There are lot of wind mills here - which I could not see for lack of time.

It has similar Reconquista story. Here also church was constructed above the mosque. There was some Jewish settlement also. Since it is in the North, it went under Catholic Monarch much earlier in 1150s, than the Reconquista  took place in South.. Not many tourists comes here , though it is a world heritage site. It tooks over 2 hours to reach..  The city is the meeting point of deep river gorge . The river flows at the bottom.  The partner (Alberto) of Belen's (she is from this city)  sister came to receive me with a pram. They have a 2 yr old baby. Since her sister is appearing for an important exam, that is why she could not come. Alberto took me to the old city. Belen bought the bus ticket for me. When I was having coffee with him, Belen's mother also came and took the pram from him. 

He had shown the old city to me. He took me to a museum which is famous for abstract art. He also took me to Casa col Gadas -  the most famous picture post card spot - the house is hanging along the cliff. He took me to a restaurant and told me that Belen has booked a meal for you (14.5 Euro).You don't have to pay. This is the first full course meal (I had Plate of the day - Plata del dia), of this tour and that too during lunch time ! The restaurant is beautiful. Since he had some work , he bid me farewell. Then I then saw the whole city on my own. Belen said there is a famous food, which is found only in this city only. But unfortunately that was not there in this restaurant. When I was waiting in the tourist information centre for a map (they explained me everything nicely), he bought a tinned food for me, speciality of this place (which Belen told me), which was not available in my restaurant.My bus was at 8 pm and fare was 31 Euro with return fare. I returned home late at 1030 pm.


There is a major problem due to reschedulement of train. I had to check out of my hotel with my luggage ,since they will not keep the luggage in the left luggage  facility of the hotel till 7 pm when I come back (more so since the shift will also change). I was not allowed to keep the luggage in the new hotel so early at 9.30 am (check in is at 2-3 pm), So I took the luggage with me desperately, otherwise I will be stuck. I had plan to go to Segovia and Toledo.  I learnt that  the twin city tour is not available on this date.  So I opted for Toledo -which is more interesting and it is part of Castilla La Mancha. This region is famous for the novel Don Quixote.  I was told while buying the ticket, that you cannot keep the suitcase in the bus, whiele doing the tour. So this is a major crisis. I had no option but to take the luggage in the bus and carry it with me during the tour and will face the consequences - Que sera sera !

Thankfully I met a person from Peru, they were also carrying a luggage. That made my life easier - since they know Spanish. Ultimately we were allowed to keep my luggage.

Toldeo is famous for Synagogue (one of the two places where is a synagogue), Islamic or Moorish architecture (Mudejar) and Church . Moreover it is also famous for La Pancha. This tour is quit cheap - only 25 Euro.Though distance is not much.It took only 1 hour to reach. They stopped us at the right place so that we can take some photos.

First we went to see the cathedral. It is quite nice. It is very nice. Toledo was capital till 1561. This church was also constructed on a mosque.There is also a fort/Alcazar. We saw church with Mudejar architecture. By 1.10 we were free and the lady guide told us, we had time till 4.30 pm - which is free time.I got a map from the tourism office and my book has a route for walking tour. It is always better to follow the organized/walking tour. You get to see the town in a short time, without backtracking. The importance of Toledo lost importance gradually.

There are two food items in Toledo which is very popular. One of them is a sweet.I tried the sweet. I did not have time for Khusma-sus ??. since, I have to be back to the bus by 4.30 pm. In fact I skipped the lunch. There is a nice gorge here also and there is a great view from the gorge. I had time to see it,  thanks to the walking tour. 

When I reached the new hotel, I saw the hotel has been shifted ! So I had to shift to the new hotel with lot of difficulty.  They told me they tried to contact me. I met an Argentinian guy. He has a plan to catch the flight. He is from Buenos Aires, but works  in a Pharmacy company's administration department in Germany. My initial plan was to go straight to the airport, by checking out of the hotel at 12 pm at night. My flight is early in the morning. Since I met him and he speaks Spanish, I decided to tag with him.he has to catch an early morning flight at 7.10 am and my flight is at 0830 am.

There is a place called Cibeles, from where you will get bus 2330 hours onwards, for the whole night, every 30 minutes. The bus leaves from Atocha train station (our Howrah station) and goes to airport via Cibeles (around 5 minutes from Atocha) after every 20-25 minutes. However after 2330 hours, the bus leaves only from Cibeles. It reaches airport in 30-40 minutes time.

Today I had Chinese for the first time, from a Filipino restaurant. Philippines was their colony previously. There are some Filipino here. The price is really cheap. By paying 3.9 Euro I had my dinner. On the way back, I saw a Bangladeshi mini Market. The owner is from Sylhet. He has the tone still today. He was in Kuwait for 23 years. He is now lamenting for coming to Spain. He said his shop's rent is relatively cheap @2000 Euro. The width of the shop is around 6-7 ft but  it is quite long. There is another Bangladeshi shop nearby whose rent is even higher. He said in Madrid there are many Bangladeshis than in Barcelona. Most of them stay near La Latina. There are around 50,000 Bangladeshis in Spain. There is even a Bengali newspaper in Spain. His son is staying with him and studying Spanish from College for 2 hours. He plans to study Bachelor degree in Technology.He has not taken admission yet.  A typical Bangladeshi earns around 1200-1300 Euro here. This is the standard rate. He is quite old.

Today I bought some Pan/bread (looks like Hodt dog) and some Iberio Pork (Cerdo) for tomorrow. Then I went back to the hotel for taking some rest. We will catch the bus early in the morning.

In Carrefour (second or 3rd largest French retailer after Walmart) they make very nice orange juice in a bottle for 1.5 Euro. Here people are awake up till 3-4 pm. On Friday or Saturday they are awake till 5-5.30 pm. It is mayhem. There are broken bottles all over the place. Thankfully the glass did not pierce my shoe ! The garbage basket is over flowing. In the morning a water jet is used to clean the street and move the broken glass and packets ahead, so that they are accumulated in one place. A simple broom will not do. It seems to me they are into too much into partying. The way they shout in the Friday and Saturday night , is something to be seen to be believed.   If you are so undisciplined it is difficult to progress. It is difficult to believe how some desolate streets in day time are converted into part zone. They place table all over the place.The Spanish people own lot of property and employ Bangladeshi for the shop /and take rent at the end of the month.



Cibeles in a huge place. It is a huge plaza.There is a metro station here called Banco Espana. I left little early with my Argentinian friend. We took the bus together from Cibeles.Then I was standing in the queue at the airport, when they asked for my RTPCR test.  I told them, I have done full vaccination in India and done my RTPCR test on 8th october 2021. It is negative. They said without RTPCR you wont be allowed to board the plane. You have to do it again.I could have fainted. It was very  very stressful. Somehow I recovered and sat on a chair. I was not allowed to board. Thankfully since it Lufthansa , they rescheduled it free, next day . When I reached airport it is 4 am. Vaccination will start at 7.30 am. After waiting for some time, they said those who have done it online will be done first. But online is difficult for me, since everything is written in Spanish. If there is small mistake then you might lose 100 Euro for the fees. So I decided to do it off line. Thankfully there was not much delay. 

If you want the report after 12 hours, then you have to pay only 56 Euro. Otherwise you have to pay 100 Euro. You have to register in suvidha portal - So you cannot afford to wait too long for the report. 

After I finished everything there is a phone call from office today (Monday, 25.10.2021). The Board meeting will be held on Friday (29.10.2021). I called my PA and did everything over whatsapp from the airport and sent the notice to the Directors. There wont be any internet once I am out of the airport. I have to book a hotel again. The Bangladeshi person owning the minimarket told me before leaving for airport that there is a small place to stay and sleep in his shop, so you can come anytime. That turned out to be of great help. I bought an airport express bus ticket to go to Cibeles , by paying 5 Euro. I took Granvia and went back to the shop by taking Calle Ottazella ?. They received me warmly on learning everything and allowed me to keep the luggage and chatted with them for a long time and got to know their life story. I learnt how much they spend here per month to survive. The house rent is 300 Euro, Food is 150 Euro and Electricity bill is 100 Euro etc. In total they spend 650 Euro per month. They put sticker on everything. It is  sold on a reasonably high mark up. Almost nobody checks the real price or nobody bargains . Though there is a Carrefour nearby, many people do not go there for one or two items - otherwise they have to stand in the queue. Since this is mostly a hotel zone, most of the customers are not repeat customers. The keep the shop till 3-4 am. It is not easy life for them. The Spaniards give it for rent to these Bangladeshis. I learnt many things from them. Since he was a legal immigrant for initial few years, so he has lost out on Pension front. Now he earns a Pension of 500 Euro. In fact I saw his son has learnt Spanish reasonably good. The standard dialogue in the shop with the cusomter is Algo Mas (anything more). The anwser is nada mas (not any more).

I had lunch from the same chinese shop.  When I came back it is 4 pm (1600 hrs). The shop was closed by that time. I was completely petrified - what will happen to my luggage ? Bad things came to my mind. Did they vanish after talking nice things. May be they have gone for lunch -since they take lunch little late. The mental condition was such that I did not feel like going out to see the city today. I do not even feel like eating those , which i could not eat till date. I just roamed some placed nearby. But my mind was in a different place.

Internationally travellers would be required to upload lot of information (Passport copy, RTPCR test report, full vaccination etc).  There are lot of critical information to be filled up - for which it is possible to have two different interpretations and there is space constraints too and it has to be done in pdf - not so easy to do it in phone. The size cannot be more than 1 MB. After lot of effort , we could not do it.  The son of Bangladeshi owner also tried to do it for me. Even he could not do it.


Finally I had to wake up Mohua at 02 00 am in India to do it for me from India. I was told I have to do RTPCR again in Delhi. I was scared, since I will miss the plane again in Delhi. 

I did not want to be late. I left for airport little early. Everything went well. From Madrid I reached Frankfurt in time. When I was in Frankfurt, there is another call from my office, which said that the Board meeting has been postponed and will be held . My PA said,our MD was looking for me. Our JMD called over whatsapp and told me that the meeting was pre-poned from Friday to Thursday (28.10.2021). Again I had to call my PA and do the needful and send the notice to the Directors. For that I had to allow the passenger behind me in the boarding line to go ahead and I was probably the last one to enter the Plane. Once I enter the plane there will be no wifi.


From Frankfurt I reached Delhi at 1 am. I had already booked my slot between 0200-0300 hours , by paying Rs 500. I was suppose to catch the plane at 8.30 am. But I learnt it is not required, since I have full vaccination. Othwerwise it would have been difficult.

I reached Kolkata in time and went to the office straight from airport.

Chronological order