Review: Squisito

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Ok ... Its not a movie ... Its a restaurant.

It was Janani's birthday yesterday and as a part of the celebrations we decided to dine-out. After a long time me and Janani were going to try a new restaurant - instead of repeating our regular favourite's Malaka Spice etc .. So it was Squisito in Koregaon Park.

What I specially liked is that it was exclusively Vegetarian. Apart from its speciality Italian it also had some Lebanese and Mexican options sprinkled onto the menu. The place was smaller than what i had expected but had a nice ambiance. We had couple of starters - oven baked crispy mushrooms and falafel - both of which I really liked. The quantity of the starter was also really filling ... it actually made us a bit nervous because we had ordered 3 more items for the main course - A Pizza (thin crust with spicy toppings), a tortellini pasta and a Mexican rice dish. Fortunately for us all of us were hungry so we were able to finish all of that above. The pasta was especially creamy and out-of-the-world. To top it up all, we had a Chocolate Bomb for dessert. :)

All in all - I was thrilled with the food and was overjoyed to see the many options available to us vegetarian mortals. My mind filled with all the flavours of the food, my taste buds were thanking me for the Squisite food that they had received that evening.

A must experience - I give it a 4.5 / 5 ...

The Acid Test: Tikona Fort Trek

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Its been frustrating last 6 months recovering from my ankle injury that I got in Nov 2010. I have been wanting to get back to my normal "active" self. After lots of patience and physiotherapy, finally I decided to test myself to a trek to see if I am really back to normal. Thanks to Subbu with whom I have been planning this trek for sometime now, finally happened today. It was Tikona Fort. The verdict: I did very well :) ... I am there ... about 95% there !! :)

The Goal - Tikona Fort

The detailed information about how to get to Tikona Fort has been covered so well in this blog entry here by Rajaram (a really awesome blogger), which has been a primary reason for us to choose this fort.

Rajaram so frivolously mentioned "This is an easy trek" ... either he is more active than me !! or he is a regular on treks. I wouldn't classify this as a easy trek by any means. This would be a medium difficulty trek in my perspective. Being the first trek of my life, this did take a toll on my stamina.

Since it was just me and Subbu we managed to start pretty early and get to Tikona by 8:00 in the morning. Thanks to the rain last night and the over cast weather, it was a perfect setting for a nice trek. Precise directions given by Rajaram made sure that we reached exactly at the same place where they had also started their trek. First 10-15 mins of climbing made both me and Subbu realise that we have been out of action for a long time and that our stamina had taken a hit. So we decided to take it a bit slowly. Small steps at a time, we were slowly but surely getting there. What looked like an audacious goal at first, now slowly looked achievable as we were climbing. The wonderful scenery was adding towards us forgetting our tiredness and enjoying the beauty and sounds of nature.

We did pass through 3 temples on the way to the top. First one was Chapetdan Maruti ... named because of Lord Hanuman's pose to slap the devil who is at his feet. Pretty interesting !! Next one was Tuljadevi Mandir. At this temple there was a rishi muni  residing there, was also responsible for maintaining the temple. The final Tryambakeshwar temple was on the top of the fort.

Temples on the way to the top

When I reached the top, the view from the top was truly a worthy trophy of our effort. It also gave me back my confidence that I could get back to my "active" past. So I look forward to many more such treks in the future.

I did take lots of snaps. Here are a few good ones that I am sharing. Mostly Panoramic views.

On the way back we decided to "chill out" by taking bath in a river stream. It was so refreshing and cool that it took out all the tiredness of the trek we just finished and we were ready to head back to Pune fresh and fine. We stopped by for a delicious Gujarati Thali lunch at Lonavla and we were on our way back to Pune.

At the end, a day well spent, reminiscent with fond memories.

More Birds !!

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While the viewers may be tired with the monotony of the photos in my blog ... but I am not tired at all "shooting" birds around my apartment .. so here's some more ... different perspective this time ... different activities .... and also in pairs !! :)

I am loving it !!