Steps to glory!


We all know travelling is hard work.

Sometimes, it involves waking at 3 am to get ready for morning safaris.Other times jostling with 100 more likeminded people as you try to glimpse a painting .And of course it means walking a lot ,especially in Europe.

But these tortures were of my own making.

I confess. I planned the whole trip ,zeroed on the  attractions we must visit.I made the bookings too where prompt flashes to let you know that these activities don't suit everyone.Of course I ignored those . I confess I even read  reviews about the hard ascent to the marvellous scene that awaits us .But in the flurry of logistic planning I forgot all.

Well, in retrospect I really deserved the near heart attacks I almost had.

Photo of Steps to glory! 1/4 by pragati09
Pragati in Paris!!

1665 stairs of Eiffel Tower.

As a proud Indian, I felt that once your have seen the architectural marvels of India, nothing in the world is at par with those. Then I saw Eiffel Tower. I never thought that anything made with IRON RODS will impress me, so much so that I lost my mind. Now, I had booked elevator ride up and was planning to walk down.Easy hey! Grazing up like lovelorn teen,I foolishly agreed to the boys' plan to climb all those 1665 stairs. The tower is open from all side so at least there was enough air to breathe, even though I was using the air meant for atleast 10 people. And best of all, there are enough stops after couple of hundred stairs, with shops selling ice creams and drinks. Yes, the cost was exorbitant, but my mind was too tired to convert it into the currency I understand. At least, I recovered enough wit to spend good amount of time up on the  top observation tower inspite of the boys loud protest. I came down on elevators and the boys used stairs again.Where do kids get their energy from?

The sunset, though after 8 pm was worth all that panting and huffing puffing.

Photo of Steps to glory! 2/4 by pragati09
Firenze or Florence as we call it!

463 stairs of Duomo, Florence Italy.

Picture walking all day long in blazing August sun in Italy ,gobbling cheese dripping pizza, then climbing all these stairs at 4 pm.Honestly ,what was I thinking? Oh yes, I am the conqueror of 1665 stairs . But I did not take into account the narrow, almost void of air climb up. The boys raced up as usual and hubby dear stayed behind me, encouraging but after my constant panting and grabbing my side, I think he got worried. ' It is okay if you want to go back!’ I was indignant but secretly wanted to take his advice. Then some Greek ladies behind my hubby encouraged me ’You can do it.’ How hard it is to give up on a stranger? Very hard apparently. We are world sisters after all. With oxygen starved brain, I recalled all those judgment day fresco some steps down. Really, they must have made the artist go up and down couple of times for him to paint such nasty pictures.

Somehow, I reach the top but was worried that if I have a heart attack here the paramedics won’t even be able to reach me. So decided to do pranayama to calm myself. Few tourist mistook me for some renewed yoga teacher and started taking pictures too, though the boys said it was to remind themselves not to get so out of shape ever.

The view of the city  from the top  was  marvelous but not worth near death(my opinion).

Photo of Steps to glory! 3/4 by pragati09

257 stairs up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

After the experience of climbing up the narrow close stairs of Duomo, I wasn’t sure if I will be able to endure this one and that too just after 2 days. Still,I decided to give it a try, vowing to conquer ego and turn back if I feel suffocated as in Duomo. Surprisingly, the stairs are okay and quite airy. Yes, slippery at places because of all those tourist going up and down.I can do it!

And the view from the  top is ,as everyone says, breathtaking.

Photo of Steps to glory! 4/4 by pragati09

Uncounted stairs of Atomium-Brussels.

By now I was pretty confident of my stairs climbing skills so never even ckecked the number of stairs.Probably as treat for my endurance there was a mix of stairs, elevators and even lift. Thankyou travelling God!All the 5 spheres done , dusted and the breathing still very much in control. To celebrate this victory I had the scrumptious waffles in additions to all those free chocolates during the evening chocolate tour.

The moral of the article ’Travel now’ .Yes yes keep in mind the covid enforced travelling restrictions.If you postpond it when you have more time, more money,less responsibilities ,the body may not be willing to take all this stress.