Tower bridge, London by Sagar Mukala

 Sunset at Tower Bridge, London

Sunset at Tower Bridge, London

London is an amazing city, filled with soccer (a.k.a football) frenetics, Harry Potter world, and great restaurants. The week before we landed, the city was hit by a snowstorm and most parts of the city were not accessible. Thankfully, the sun came out on the day we landed. A trip to London is incomplete without a trip to the tower bridge. Don’t miss out the crown jewels (which contains the Koh-I-Noor diamond) at the tower of london, when you visit the tower bridge.

Till next time,
Sagar

US Open Tennis '18 by Sagar Mukala

 Arthur Ashe stadium, east entrance

Arthur Ashe stadium, east entrance

The US Open is the biggest festival of tennis that happens in the US. We were lucky enough to get a chance to watch the round of 16 games this labor day. Located in Flushing, New York, the Arthur Ashe stadium boasts some of the best state of the art tennis facilities in the country. The luxury suites offer a perfect spot to watch the game, considering the crazy hot and humid conditions in New York. The suite offers air-conditioning as well as food and drinks, along with a great vantage point to watch the game.

 Luxury suites at the Arthur Ashe stadium

Luxury suites at the Arthur Ashe stadium

The round of 16 game between Nadal and Basilashvili was very entertaining. Basilashvili, although an underdog, provided great competition. In the end, the greatness of Nadal prevailed and he took the game in 4 sets.

 Nadal vs Basilashvili, round of 16 at the US Open

Nadal vs Basilashvili, round of 16 at the US Open

I packed my zoom lens and put it to action without fail.

 Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal in action

 Forehand

Forehand

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Game script

Nadal's game play was solid, he was defensively strong, his forehand and backhand are very strong as well. Basilashvili had a never say die attitude and came back to take the third set, after Nadal winning the first two sets comfortably. Nadal was frustrated when he lost the third set as the heat was taking a toll on him. He wanted to close out the game in three sets and rest for the next round. Both guys took a ten minute shower break after the third set and came back fresh to compete in the fourth. 

After the game, we stepped out of the Arthur Ashe stadium, to grab lunch. There were plenty of good food options available. On our way back to the next game, we spotted Nadal being interviewed by television.

 Nadal at the post match interview

Nadal at the post match interview

The next game at the Arthur Ashe was pretty exciting too. It was the women's round of 16 game which took place between Serena Williams and Kanepi (the lady who defeated number 1 seed Simona in the first round). It was a thrilling game that Serena won in three sets.

 Serena Williams in action at the round of 16, US Open

Serena Williams in action at the round of 16, US Open

Overall, watching the US Open live was an incredible experience. If you're a tennis fan, I highly recommend checking out the US Open if you get an opportunity.

Till next time,
Sagar

Mercati di Rialto, Venice by Sagar Mukala

 Rialto market

Rialto market

Located near the landmark and arched Rialto Bridge, this busy daily market stands in the commercial center of the city alongside the city’s famed Grand Canal. Venetian locals and international tourists alike frequent this centuries-old market for groceries, souvenirs, luxury goods. When you're in Venice, be sure to check this out.

Until next time,
Sagar

Leaning tower of Pisa by Sagar Mukala

 Tower of Pisa

Tower of Pisa

Located close to the city of Florence, Pisa is a must visit if you have a day to spare. It's a small city that hosts the miracle of architectures. The tower's tilt started in 12th century. It was stabilized later in the 20th century. 

Till next time,

Sagar

Gondola ride & Serenade, Venice by Sagar Mukala

 Beautiful winter morning in Venice

Beautiful winter morning in Venice

A visit to the floating city is incomplete without the gondola ride and serenade. We cruised across the small waterways into the Grand canal where we saw Peggy Guggenheim collection museum on the side. The highlight of the ride was one of the classic Italian romantic melody played by the musician at the back of the ride. We were thankful the weather permitted us to do the ride as per schedule!

Till next time,

Sagar

The Louvre, Paris by Sagar Mukala

 Night view of Louvre pyramid

Night view of Louvre pyramid

For many people all over the world, a visit to the Louvre is a major bucket list item during a trip to Paris. The most-visited museum in the world is also one of the largest—the total length of the facade measures nearly two miles—and one of the richest in artistic treasures (the Louvre exhibits 38,000 works and has an additional 422,000 in storage). Louis XIV was the last king to use the Louvre as a royal residence—he moved his court to Versailles in 1682. In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Musée Central des Arts opened to the public in the Grande Galerie. Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III both added to the Louvre, enhancing their own prestige. It wasn’t until 1993, however, that the whole building was used as a museum for the first time. The Mona Lisa may be the Louvre’s most famous painting, but many people don’t realize that the museum’s largest painting is actually in the same room. The Wedding Feast at Cana by Venetian Renaissance master Veronese is sometimes mistaken for the Last Supper, but actually depicts Christ’s first miracle of transforming water to wine. Don't forget to checkout my video compilation of Paris below.

 

Until next time,

Sagar

Opera Garnier, Paris by Sagar Mukala

 Opera Garnier

Opera Garnier

When in Paris, make sure you check out Opera Garnier (a.k.a Palais Garnier), named after it's architect Charles Garnier. The sense of grandiose you get once you enter the theater is incredible. I must commend how well this 1875 theater is maintained till date. The 2400 sqft ceiling painted on fresco by Chagall in 1964 must not be missed. 

 Grand entrance of the Opera

Grand entrance of the Opera

Till next time,

Sagar

City of Lights! by Sagar Mukala

 Sunset in Paris

Sunset in Paris

I was in Paris last month and witnessed a scintillating sunset. People always asked me why I was visiting Paris in winter? I think people should ask themselves why not visit Paris in winter? It's just beautiful no matter what time of the year you visit. It exhibits different personality in February than it does in August. I was freezing up on the Tour Montparnasse to get this shot, but it was well worth it. I must thank my wife for pushing me and sticking around with me in freezing temperature to get this shot. 

Till next time,

Sagar

Vancouver, British Columbia by Sagar Mukala

 Downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver

This week, I got a chance to return to one of my favorite cities of Northwest. Located in British Columbia province of Canada, Vancouver is one of the top cities of the world that offers little bit of everything. If you ask for nature, it offers you the snow capped peaks of Mount Baker. If you ask, for night life, it charms you with its downtown. Here's one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Till next time,

Sagar

Northstar California Resort, Truckee by Sagar Mukala

 Northstar on Christmas day!

Northstar on Christmas day!

Hi everyone,

I got a chance to visit one of the top ski resorts near Tahoe for Christmas, Northstar. It's an incredible place to visit in winter, specially if you're into skiing/snowboarding. Wishing you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Till next time,
Sagar

Ka'anapali beach, Maui by Sagar Mukala

 Ka'anapali coastal retreat

Ka'anapali coastal retreat

Last month, I got a chance to visit one of the islands in Hawaii, Maui. I was looking to get away from the busy bay area life for a week and relax/recharge, and Maui did precisely that. It has a very laid back environment and offered great food and wine. If you're into playing golf, some of the golf courses right by the beach are fantastic. In the picture you'll see the Hyatt Regency right by the Ka'anapali beach. You can also see corals underneath the clear ocean water in the picture too! The coast line is pretty busy with great resorts located side by side. A one mile walk on the coast towards north of the island would take you to a shopping mall right by the beach.

Mahalo,
Sagar 

Denali National Park (Part 2), Alaska by Sagar Mukala

 Grizzly bear

Grizzly bear

A trip to Denali National Park is incomplete without taking the shuttle to Kantishna. I got to see wildlife up close on this ride, and I could never forget my first encounter with a grizzly bear. It was incredible. The bus driver stopped all of a sudden and made a gesture to take a peek towards the left. I rolled down my window and put my zoom lens to good use. After few minutes, the grizzly approached the bus and heard the sound of my shutter and started walking towards my side of the bus. I had to roll down my window and get back to being silent. Did you spot any grizzly bears before? If yes, let me know when and where in the comments below?

With love,

Sagar

Talkeetna, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

 Talkeetna Air Taxi

Talkeetna Air Taxi

Driving north from Anchorage to Denali, I stumbled across a small town called Talkeetna. We stayed the night there, to get some amazing pizza and beer and had a great time. But the highlight of my Alaska trip was definetly flying the Talkeetna Air Taxi. Here's a click through my window using my wide angle lens. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Denali National Park, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

 Caribou spotted on the road to Kantishna

Caribou spotted on the road to Kantishna

I took the long road to Kantishna at Denali Natinonal Park - The Kantishna Experience tour which included a 12 hour bus trip to Kantishna, but it was well worth it. The bus driver is your tour guide and I happened to see some extremely passionate guys of nature who drive these busses. My tour guide was very knowledgable and he got us to some good vantage points. I happened to spot a caribou crossing the road and put my lens to work. Hope you like it!

With love,
Sagar

The Alaskan Range by Sagar Mukala

 Cloudy morning in the Alaskan Range

Cloudy morning in the Alaskan Range

The Alaskan range is best viewed from an aircraft, but it's a challenge scheduling an air taxi around here as the weather varies pretty rapidly. On this particular morning, the weather gods were kind on me and I was able to take off for an incredible experience. I got to see lots of glaciers and gigantic mountains up close. Sharing a couple of snaps from my air taxi. Hope you like it!

 Snow covered peak

Snow covered peak

Till next time,
Sagar

The Elusive Milky Way! by Sagar Mukala

 Milky way over San Francisco

Milky way over San Francisco

Summer time is the best time of the year to view Milky way in the Northern hemisphere. However it's impossible to spot the Galactic core (towards the right in the picture) after August. With days running out and last weekend being a new moon weekend, I decided to go on a chase for the elusive Milky way. I drove couple of hours up north to Mount Tam and was able to get a decent shot. Towards the left you can see the light pollution coming from San Francisco bay. For best results, you definitely need to be away from the city to avoid light pollution. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Hatcher Pass, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

 Little Susitna River

Little Susitna River

The Matanushka glacier is surrounded by two mountain ranges, the Talkeetna mountain range to the north and the Chugach mountain range to the south. After exploring the Chugach mountain range during the early parts of my trip, I decided to drive towards the Talkeetna mountains. While driving on the Glenn highway, I found signs on the road that guided me to Hatcher pass. It's kind of a detour but I'm glad I took it. I managed to arrive at a spot where I could experience the force of Little Susitna river up close. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Glacier adventures, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Alaska presents some really great opportunities to experience glaciers. While taking a glacier cruise seems to be a popular option, I tried some other exciting things. Hiking up Matanushka glacier was really cool. I encountered a climber on my way and put my zoom lens to good use.

 Matanushka Glacier, Sutton

Matanushka Glacier, Sutton

The next adventure involved kayaking 7 miles in Aialik bay. It rained a lot and the closer you got to the glacier the colder it got. I managed to throw in my wide angle lens into the dry bag and tied it to my kayak. When the Aialik glacier made it's appearance, I didn't miss the opportunity to click. It was absolutely serene. Witnessing glacier calving up close was unreal!
 

 Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

After taking a glacier cruise in Whittier to Prince William Sound, I figured I shouldn't leave the place without a hike to the Portage glacier. Once again weather gods weren't too kind on me that day as it was raining heavily. It was a pretty steep 2 mile hike up the hill to get to see the glacier but was well worth the effort. Below is Portage glacier on a rainy evening!

 Portage Glacier, Kenai Peninsula

Portage Glacier, Kenai Peninsula

With love,
Sagar

Denali, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

I got an opportunity to visit Alaska this week, and I really lucked out on the weather. The weather in Anchorage, Denali can vary very quickly. It can be sunny one moment, and rainy the next. If the clouds are out, there's nothing you can do about seeing the peak of Denali but to wait for days for them to clear. It rained the first couple of days I spent in Anchorage, but as soon as I drove to Denali the clouds cleared. It was as if nature opened itself for couple of days for me to capture it's beauty in full glory. It never gets dark around here in summer. To see absoulte darkness, you'll have to wait until August 17th. Here's a shot of the 4:30am rising sun over Denali Cabins. Hope you like it!

With love,

Sagar