I had a few days off and took the opportunity to go on a short getaway to snowy winter wonderland. The snow in Uppsala and most of Stockholm and southern Sweden is rubbish. To find some, good quality snow, one needs to drive 5 hours west to Norway. Regions north of Mora and places such as Sälen and Stöten seem to have a decent quality snow. I stayed at an STF hostel called Sälens Vandrarhem, close to Stöten. Nice, cozy place and the owner is a fun dude. At this time of the year, the hostel is literally empty and it was all mine. I drove a bit into Norway to the little town of Ljørdalen. The town centre is basically 2 houses, one of which is a supermarket and the other is a church. The snow in Norway is much nicer. Heavier and more consistent. The landscape is absolutely amazing.I also saw a whole herd of Moose wandering about. Unfortunately, they got away before I could get my camera. This place is excellent for winter photography.
I had this idea of using some of my travel photos to create a photo calendar. I would normally go about it using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. But, that would involve a lot of manual work placing dates and days for each month. I would also like to mark some public holidays and friend’s birthdays. So, I wondered if it might be possible to do it with R. After fiddling about with it over the weekend, I managed to make it work. It went better than I expected. And here I am recreating the calendar using some stock photos. All stock photos are royalty-free from Pexels. For the impatient ones, the whole code and images are available at this Github repository. For detailed guide, keep reading.
This was my first trip to the USA, mostly to attend a conference in Austin, Texas. And then I took a week to go around and explore the place. I managed to visit Houston and San Antonio as well.
Iceland is a nature lover’s paradise. Same goes for a landscape photographer. The nature in Iceland is just out of this world. It’s just remarkable how diverse the topography is, for a relatively small island. It’s also a great location if you want to get away from people. You could be driving for hours without meeting a single car. In this post I want to talk about some of the experience and some of the practicalities of travelling in Iceland.
I took a short vacation to Kerala, India to visit my family and to rejuvenate myself.
It was mostly visiting relatives, excessive eating and dealing with heat, humidity and traffic. On the bright side, the ayurvedic massages can be quite relaxing. This also presents opportunities to enjoy some local cuisine. I do enjoy Indian food, but South Indian food tend to be quite spicy and it can be challenging to find food that agrees with my taste buds. I usually eat a lot of non-veg, but here in Kerala, there is so much diversity in vegetarian food that I would happily become a vegetarian.
The mountainous regions of Kerala, such as Idukki district is one my favourite destinations to escape the heat and pollution of cities. The route is scenic and if you are lucky, you might even get to see some wildlife as a lot of Idukki is part of the Western ghats nature reserve and national parks. This is also an ideal location for stargazing as there is minimal light pollution. As a plus, there tends to be less mosquitoes in the mountains.