Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Here are a few shots for this weeks ‘The Daily Post’ photo challenge ‘Focus’. I love creating pictures with varied focus as it gives so much more depth to the actual subject in the image.

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To see other entries to this challenge, visit:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/weekly-photo-challenge-focus/?blogsub=confirming#blog_subscription-3

 

 

Golden sand, Turquoise water, Blue sky…Paradise!

A dream came true last October when we booked our Holiday to the Maldives. It was our anniversary and I wanted to surprise Vin with an out of this world vacation that would leave us with memories forever! So after a lot of researching and reading reviews I settled on LUX* Maldives- http://www.luxresorts.com/en/hotel-maldives/luxmaldives

We flew to Male from Heathrow where we were greeted by the resort representative and transferred to their waiting lounge by bus. The lounge was cozy and well-appointed with drinks and snacks. After a wait of around 40 minutes for other passengers to turn up we settled in the sea plane which would fly us to our resort in the South Ari Atoll. When on the sea plane I couldn’t stop myself from looking out even for a second as the views were so mesmerizing! The sea plane ride lasted for around 40 minutes and we crossed many small islands dotted along the Indian ocean before reaching our destination -the Dhidhoofinolhu island.

The LUX waiting lounge and the lovely views from the Sea Plan

The LUX waiting lounge for the sea plane transfer

The views and the arrival jetty @ LUX*

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We arrived on the beautiful island and were warmly greeted by the resort staff and were taken to our beach villa by our guest relationship manager. Yes, there is a GRM for each of the guest that arrive here! We absolutely loved the beach villa which had huge sliding doors opening up to the beach so you literally had the beach at your doorstep! Wow, as I am writing this I want to go again 🙂 We also had an outdoor bathroom which I found really amusing. Took me a while to get used to it to be honest but hey! that is the USP of a Maldivian vacation.

The Beach Villa

The Beach Villa

The room was well appointment with everything you can think of as a necessity and we also got 2 bottles of water which was complimentary. I think was a good touch as many resorts in the Maldives charge a few dollars for each bottle of water. To add to it the bottles were replenished twice a day! Thanks to this we didn’t have to think about paying for water or dinner as we went for the half board plan. We hardly ate more than a sandwich for lunch anyway as the breakfast choice was excellent and we usually never felt hungry until almost evening…

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Some hints on the things you can do when on the island:

  • Lie on the beach loungers There are beach loungers scattered all over the island which you can use to chill out on the beach. Take in the sound of the waves and the fresh cool breeze of the ocean. It does get really hot so don’t forget the sun block if you don’t want to get roasted!

The nights are even more beautiful – imagine sipping a drink by the beach or for that matter on a deck on the beach 🙂

  • Walk or Ride a bike around the island and take a buggy ride from one end of the island to the other- The island has bikes that you can just pick up at a particular spot which is a great way to explore the island. Trust me it was such a relaxing experience to ride the bike a midst all the greenery and sound of the birds chirping. They had these little bottles of drinks hidden away in various spots of the island which was a nice touch…especially when you are tired and thirsty! And when we were lazy, we used the buggy which keeps shuttling from one end of the island to the other.

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  • Snorkeling/ Scuba diving- This was our first time snorkeling and it was such a fantastic experience. We hired snorkeling gear for free and enjoyed chasing fish in the blue lagoon surrounding the island. The resort doesn’t have a house reef like some others do but the variety of fish in the lagoon was huge and we enjoyed it nevertheless. I wish I had a waterproof camera to capture the beautiful underwater sights! So if you fancy snorkeling or scuba diving in the nearby reefs, they also do a boat trip which takes to the reef for some extra charge. There is also a PADI diving school where you can take diving courses and if you are comfortable, go on a diving tour. We did take a beginners diving lesson along the lagoon but we didn’t think we were ready yet for the actual reef diving- next time!

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  • Watch Manta Ray & Shark feeding- The resort has got a timetable of activities that happen on the island and they have manta ray & shark feeding in the evenings. We watched both of different days and it is just amazing to see these creatures up close. The baby sharks were quite big actually!

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  • Must see- Gorgeous sunset & sunrise. The resort has 2 infinity pools and they are the best way to enjoy the sunset. We spent an evening each in both the pools and what a fabulous sight it was! I felt the gorgeous pinks, purples and reds just drain away all the stress from mind and felt refreshed & rejuvenated. Although we would wake up late each day, we decided on waking up early one day just to enjoy the sunrise whilst we were there. I must admit it was hard but well worth it! If you are in a water villa (like we were for 3 nights) I would highly recommend watching the sunrise.
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Sunset

View of the sunrise from the Water villa

View of the sunrise from the Water villa

 

  • Enjoy the Scrumptious Food and the divine mocktails- LUX has some restaurants that cooks up some delicious food. The restaurants are scattered around the island and we had Indian, Italian, Japanese, Asian, Cafes, bars and pizza joints! So you really do have a massive task of choosing which one to try 🙂 We tried most of them except for the Japanese restaurant. The food was lip smacking and we were never disappointed. Two of the restaurants offered breakfast and the variety was amazing- Continental, Asian- you name it, they have go it! I must add that I enjoyed the mocktails a lot…a perfect balance of being a thirst quencher and taste. A life savior in the tropical heat!

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The Island map

The Island map

 

  • Get a relaxing massage in the LUX Me Spa- we went for a couples full body massage and I thought it was brilliant!
  • Do nothing and be one with Nature- This is best place to let go of all the worries & stress. Get away from technology (we never carried our phone with us, just checked for any messages once a day) and enjoy mother nature. We took a lot back from this trip when compared to any other and would it every year if it didn’t cost as much! lol!

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For the last 3 nights we were upgraded to a water villa complimentary by the resort. We were thrilled as we had mentioned it our GRM when we arrived that at the time of booking all the water villas were fully booked and we wanted to upgrade if there were any available. And voila! We got a free upgrade for 3 nights! We couldn’t ask for anything more as this made our holiday perfect. We enjoyed the water villa more than the beach villa as it was more private and you could just jump into the blue lagoon- talk about easy access!  The water villa was top class- we had a 4 poster bed and also had the bath ready and made up for us one morning! Luxury and indulgence at its best!

Water Villa

Water Villa

 

This was a dream that came true and how! Can you ask for more from a holiday? I don’t think so! Maldives & LUX* you rock!

London Olympics 2012

We got tickets!!

We got tickets!!

I know I am late in writing this post…but hey! Better late than never! This time I do not want to say I am back and stuff like that as no resolutions work for me- ever! My last post was a year ago and I have nothing else to blame other than my laziness…:( No excuses this time.

Anyway, I am back and what more interesting than the London Olympics. It was highly celebrated event of 2012 and through out the summer there was nothing else on people’s minds. After a lot of moaning and cursing the organizers for the poor way of ticket sales, I think we were the most loyal visitors to the official games website everyday. It took a lot of patience, perseverance and refreshing the page to finally get tickets!! yaeee- high-point of the summer for me:)

So on the 1st of Aug 2012, we disembarked the tube and walked towards the Wembley Arena for our session of Badminton. With a huge crowd walking in either direction and games volunteers cheering everyone up we knew we were in for a good time.

 

The badminton courts in Wembley Arena

Badminton courts in the Wembley Arena

As we were hoping to watch Saina in action when we bought the tickets we were on cloud nine when it actually came true 🙂 And to add to it she won that game with a lot of support from the Indian crowd that had come to watch her play!

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The Indian Star!

Go Saina go!!

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Chakde India!!

When the session was finally over, we waited outside the players exit door to try our luck hoping to meet some of them. But that didn’t happen and we were on our way back to the station to get home and who do we bump into!! Pullela Gopichand! He was such a sweet person who readily obliged for a photo and autograph.

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Autograph please…:)

Next, it was round 2! Time to get to the London OLYMPIC PARK. And this time for Paralympics. With the Olympics being a huge huge hit with GB fans and many of the team GB players winning medals there was no doubt that the Paralympics tickets will sell like hot cakes as well.

Again, lucky as we were got 2 tickets to see the athletics in action on the 5th of September in Stratford. The Olympic park was huge and spread over quite a few miles. Involved a lot of walking but was worth all the effort! Long jump, high jump, 400m, 100m, 4*100m relay was all on display and was spectacular to watch. The olympic flame burning in the centre of the stadium truly made us feel like we were a part of the Olympic spirit.

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The OLYMPIC STADIUM

 

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Team GB Fans!

 

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Athletics in action!

 

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Night lights…

A Life time Experience!!