Monday, September 27, 2010

Glen Eyrie Castle (Part 2)

In my last post you saw some pictures of the castle. The estate has great rock formations too.

Rock formations
 A rock resembling Garden of the Gods kissing camels
Around the castle

Monday, September 20, 2010

Glen Eyrie Castle (Part 1)

Glen Eyrie is a 67-room, 24-fireplace, English Tudor-style castle, in a 800-acre (3.2 square KM) estate, built by General William Jackson Palmer (founder of Colorado Springs) and his wife Mary (Queen) Mellen. This 1881 remodeled house was his dream home and is hidden on the north-west foothills of the Garden of the Gods park.

The castle was well advanced for its time, featuring a primitive telephone and intercom system, electric elevators, fire sprinkler system, a pasteurization plant, and a chimney system that would hold the smoke until the wind was blowing in the right direction to take the smoke out of the valley.

The castle is now owned by The Navigators ( The general public is allowed on its grounds Monday through Thursday (9-4) to visit its bookstore, located at the Carriage House, or to hike its many trails. Tours of Glen Eyrie Castle are available to the public and require an advance reservation. Here are some pictures of the Glen Eyrie castle.

A window in the horse carriage house, now converted to a library.

A long tunnel from the horse cart house to the castle, used to transport luggage when the guests arrive.

A stream and bridge in front of the castle.
Pictures of the castle from outside.

The Chimney.

One of the 24 fireplaces inside. This is believed to have built in Europe back in the 1500s.

A view from one of the bedrooms.

After the tour my family decided to play :-).

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Trip to Pikes Peak

If you visited Colorado Springs, two land marks would come to your mind. The Garden of the Gods Park and the Pikes Peak. The Air Force Academy and NORAD would be next.

Pikes Peak (named after Zebulon Pike, an explorer who led an expedition to the southern Colorado area in 1806) is one of the 54 fourteeners in Rocky mountain range with a height of 14110 ft (4300 meters) above the sea level. To reach the top, you can leisurely take the cog railway from Manitou Springs or drive the Pikes Peak highway(19 miles one way) or hike (like my wife) to enjoy the sheer pleasure of unending physical torture.

The hike to Pikes Peak is by Barr trail, approximately 13 miles long with a 7300ft (2225 meters) elevation gain. The last three miles above the tree line are treacherous with rocks, frequent thunderstorms and lightning.

Last weekend, I drove to the top to pick up my wife after her hike. Here are some pictures.

Cog rail and the train
Crystal Lake from top
Garden of the Gods park from top of the peak
A brave hiker, my wife
On our way back, a lone fox stayed staring at its shadow, blocking the traffic
And later, it got bored and decided to leave

Thursday, September 2, 2010

India Trip (part 5)

Kerala (where I am from) is on the south west tip of India. Kerala means “land of coconuts” and the language we speak is Malayalam (the only language name that is a palindrome if written in English) means "speech from the mountains". It is interesting to note that India has more than 25 languages and 2500 dialects.

Kerala has a tropical climate with greenery everywhere. The long nine summer months are difficult with temperatures reaching 36 degree C (97 deg F) and relative humidity more than 90%. At the end of summer in March/April all  trees have their fruits fall so that the seeds are ready. By then, everyone is longing for the rain. 

But once it begins, it doesn't stop. It is the land of south west and north east monsoons, dumping an yearly average rainfall of 311 cm (122 inches) mainly  in the months of Jun, Jul and Aug (info taken from

During my last visit, the monsoon started when we were in the Malampuzha reservoir.

Partly dried reservoir

We even rode our bikes deep inside the reservoir

Monsoon clouds building up above the mountains

After raining cats and dogs we had visitors from down under