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By James Pond
The COVID-19 Virus put most international travel on hold. Now, however, some countries are once again opening their borders to tourists. This newfound confidence comes after several lockdowns that attempted to isolate and eradicate the virus. These measures have resulted in fewer reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and thanks to a vigorous vaccination effort on both sides of the Atlantic, the EU is craving American travelers’ cash.
Not every EU country is allowing US citizens in yet, so your European vacation might have to start in lesser-known, but equally fascinating nations before landing in the more popular destinations that will open to Americans in June. Here are four places you can travel to make up for all the time you had to stay at home.
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This Baltic nation was once part of the Soviet Union but now welcomes tourists to explore its capital of Tallinn, many islands, and enchanted forests. Tallinn’s old city is so magnificent that is a UNESCO world heritage site. Wander through its cobblestone streets until you’ve worked up an appetite and then indulge in a snack of pickles, smoked fish, and rye bread. You may have never considered visiting Estonia, but the country is truly one of the hidden gems of Europe. Be sure to look for cruise deals.
Another of the less well-known European nations that you should visit is Croatia. This Balkan country has only existed in its current state since winning its war of independence against the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Although Croatia was once dangerous for tourists, the country is now perfectly safe.
The cosmopolitan beach town of Dubrovnik sits on the Adriatic coast waiting for you to visit. So go for a swim and then walk the walls of the old town. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may recognize Fort Lovrijenac from the TV series where it was the Red Keep in King’s Landing. End your day at a cliffside bar with a cool, refreshing drink while the sunsets.
The Greeks are credited with founding Western Civilization, and studying their philosophers is still mandatory at most universities. Therefore, you should definitely spend a few days in Athens taking in history. However, Greece is also a lot of fun, and you should hop on a ferry to visit the Greek Isles.
Mykonos is a perennial favorite among the young party crowd, with gorgeous beaches by day and wild parties every night. For a more laid-back scene, visit Santorini where you can sample the delicious local assyrtiko wine paired with freshly caught grilled fish, dressed in lemon and olive oil. For a more contemplative experience, stop off at Patmos to see where St. John The Theologian wrote the Book of Revelations.
The French fought a hard battle against COVID-19, but they have won and plan to open their country to US travelers in June. France is the most visited country in the world for good reason. From the chic capital of Paris to the sunny Riviera, there is so much to see, do and eat.
For wine lovers, consider taking a tour of the celebrated vineyards of Burgundy. Start in Dijon and work your way down to Lyon through the Cote D’Or where you can sample some of the finest pinot noir and chardonnay produced anywhere in the world.
If you chat with the winemakers, they will tell you that the land itself is responsible for the sublime wines grown there and that the winemaker’s role is just to coax out the masterpiece that was already in the grapes and soil.
ALSO READ: Tips For Safe Air Travel Amid Pandemic
After you’ve quenched your thirst with the local wines, go to the nearest bistro and eat two French culinary stalwarts: boeuf bourguignonne and coq au vin. Both of these dishes are made with wine and will satisfy even the most discriminating palate.
The coronavirus has made travel impossible for the past year and a half. Fortunately, due to the incredible effort of doctors, nurses, and scientists as well as the compliance of the general public, travel has once again become a reality. Don’t take the privilege of traveling for granted. Go now and see the world!
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence promotes some commercial links.)
He was 18 years old when he went missing from his home in the Mahmadpur village in Farrukhabad district. Brajpal returned to his house on Friday after more than ten years and his overjoyed parents could not believe their eyes. But a rival family informed the police as Brajpal's family had filed a kidnapping case against them. The police soon came and took away Brajpal for questioning.
According to the family, the boy went missing in 2012. His parents looked for him for nearly two years, and later approached the local police. It was when the local police allegedly refused to register their FIR, they went to the court and got an FIR registered at the Merapur police station against their neighbours, accusing them of kidnapping their son, following a land dispute.
Brajpal returned to his house on Friday after more than ten years | Unsplash
Anil Pal, the main accused in the kidnapping of the youth, died of illness last month, while his father had also spent one year in jail. Police are interrogating the man, who has not yet revealed anything before the investigators. According to police, Ganga Sahai Baheliya, the father of the missing youth, on the order of the court, had filed a case of kidnapping of his son Brajpal against his neighbour Anil Pal and his father Veere Pal and other aides, Rajkumar, Jaiveer, Shishram and Nanhe Lal, all natives of the village itself.
In his complaint, Baheliya alleged that the said people were having enmity with him over a piece of lease land. "Anil Pal, in connivance with other accused, took his 18-year-old son Brajpal on the pretext of getting a job on March 15, 2012. After that Brajpal could not be traced. When the then circle officer Kayamganj Ashok Kumar Rawat started the investigation, except Anil Pal and his father Veere Pal, the names of other accused were removed from the FIR.
Baheliya alleged that the said people were having enmity with him over a piece of lease land. | Wikimedia Commons
When the main accused Anil was found to be absconding, the police had sent his father, Veere Pal, to jail. After nearly a year in prison, Veere Pal was released on bail," said a police official. Later, the main accused Anil Pal died of illness. The case is pending in the court. Circle officer Kayamganj, Sohrab Alam, who is questioning Brajpal, said that the latter will be presented in the court with all possible details. Further action will be taken by the court. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: missing youth, brajpal, court, rival family, kidnapping, home, lease land, father, return home)
By Quaid Najmi
Junking an empty chips packet, a water bottle or a juice can make Haribaabu Naatesan scowl and perhaps even pick it up carefully -- for, it could be a future piece of 'artwork' in his creative mind. The Mumbai-based artist specialises in recycling all kinds of 'kabaad' (junk) -- organic, inorganic, metal, wood, plastic, e-wastes and even bird feathers -- to create some eye-popping masterpieces of artworks, stupefying the beholder.
Naatesan, 46, collects a staggering 6 tonnes -- or 500 kgs per month -- of all types of oddments as his cheap or virtually free raw material and then deploys his creative juices to convert them to treasured and coveted showpieces. The weird passion for the rejects came out of a dire need -- to secure admission to the prestigious NID, Ahmedabad, for a postgraduate course (2000 batch).
"I had no money for purchasing expensive raw materials to make an attractive art project, a prerequisite for the NID seat... So I just picked up some trash lying around, created a daddy long-legs (spider) and other creatures as my 'offering' for admission," chuckled Naatesan. Needless to say, the selectors were zapped - and 'wasted' no time in awarding a prized seat to the new-found genius on the campus - who promised to be a valuable future asset for 'Save the Planet' efforts.
Naatesan, 46, collects a staggering 6 tonnes -- or 500 kgs per month. | IANS
From January 25, Naatesan will unveil a major public exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, of a dozen stunning designs made entirely from e-waste -- already ranked as a major global nuisance. Titled "Irreversible 2.0 - Obsoleteness is Mukti" there are innovations, with certain interactive surprises in store for the unsuspecting visitors. "When any viewer approaches it, one or other static component springs alive and moves... Some have light sensors that glow when someone is close. In others, discarded CPU fans start rotating, and huge antique tape-recorder cassette wheels start churning if someone goes near," explained Naatesan with a glint.
The dozen arts to go on display are entirely created from e-scrap like motherboards, CPU cooling fans, CDs, floppy discs, laptop keyboards, tape-recorder cassettes, speakers, etc., 6x6 feet dimensions, around 50-60 kgs each, and took up to six months' tough labour to fructify. Some of his other mega-creations include a 800-kg Lord Ganesh idol made from alum, a Volkswagen's Think Blue campaign resulting in a Beetle car made totally from e-scrap.
From January 25, Naatesan will unveil a major public exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. | IANS
Then, there's the magnificent 'Make In India' logo of a 3-dimensional Lion -- commissioned by the Bombay Iron Merchant Association -- which stands on a pedestal at P.D'Mello Road, and a Golden Spiral for the Raheja Groups at Bandra Kurla Complex. There's his biggest creation from waste till date -- a stupendous 17-metre long, 6-metre-tall whale, born from 10 tonnes of automobile junk -- standing on the Gujarat Science City campus.
Fortunately for Naatesan, his wife, Dahlea H. -- a graphic designer -- did not 'junk' him after his love for the junkyard came to the fore, and now their 10-year-old daughter Neinyaa H. has taken the first steps to save the Earth by carefully disposing off even choco-wrappers -- as her Papa beams with pride. Contrary to perception that he goes hunting for 'kabaad', it's the reverse now, given his reputation for hoarding it -- all junk comes to him, even from his housing society, and he recycles it all into unrecognisable art-forms.
'Make In India' logo of a 3-dimensional Lion -- commissioned by the Bombay Iron Merchant Association. | IANS
"Once, the TV remote at home went missing... My wife suspiciously asked me whether I had 'junked' it... Well... I admitted the truth..." laughed Naatesan, explaining his obsession for any unwanted things lying around at home, garden, roadside, etc., and he devises ways to give it 'mukti' (salvation). "When I recycle any unloved junk into art, it ends the recycling and 'liberates' them in the sense that those pieces now find an eternal place for themselves," said Naatesan, summing up his cranky but eco-friendly and money-spinner profession. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Crores , Kabaad, Artworks , Creator, haribaabu-naatesan, junk, salvation eco-friendly, profession, make in india)
By Ganesh Bhatt
Lawyers are facing great difficulty in keeping client details organised during the pandemic. | Unsplash
"It was then that I conceived the idea of creating an app to find a solution to this problem. I decided to use my knowledge of coding and build an app so that my father and other lawyers like him could also handle and share their documents easily. Through 'E-Attorney', they can also keep clients informed. I first created a prototype for this app, which had the facility for lawyers to sign-in, enter client details, and store basic case related information."
However, what started as a small coding project, grew into a passion project when Kanishkar won a competition held by WhiteHat Jr, an online learning platform for children, and was awarded a scholarship to develop the app. The scholarship money helped Kanishkar's parents transform 'E-Attorney' into a full-fledged child-driven enterprise. To take their kid's idea further, they formed a company called PRK Online Solutions and hired a professional tech team to improve the app, so that it could be developed from a prototype to a web application that could be used by lawyers across the country.
Kanishkar started his entrepreneurial journey by testing the app with five lawyers to ensure everything runs smoothly. Currently, he is focusing with his tech team to fix bugs and glitches. Since this application will store sensitive information related to legal matters, it will require a number of security measures.
A lawyer, K. Mohan K., who is testing this app, while talking about the experience, said: "I have been using this web app for a few days now. The private chat feature between the lawyer and the client is very useful. Its second advantage is that many searches can be done in it. Lawyers can keep track of their cases easily through this app." (IANS/ MBI)
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