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Sandeep Jethwa Travels to Antigua Before Christmas 2009
21st March 2016
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The Caribbean has always conjured up a vision of adventure. The region comprises of 700 islands Pirates and hidden treasure. Although most of this has been derived from the tales of long john silver and immortalized through Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

treasure box

 

My trip to Antigua (also known as Walladi) with my wife was a spur of the moment adventure as she was expecting our first child so it was her last chance to fly before giving birth. I wanted to make it special so we decided to spend time in this Island and get  our minds refreshed.

antigua

 

We left from Gatwick airport leaving the cold frosty morning of a UK winter and 9 hours later touched down at Antigua airport. As soon as you stepped out of the Airplane you  can feel the warm  steady wind blow across your face.

antigua airport

We stayed at the Veranda Hotel which was a nice secluded 4 star hotel tucked away with nice access to the clear Caribbean sea and beach. The hotel was an all inclusive and served a gorgeous array of delicious food during our stay there.

verandah hotel in antigua

 

I have never heard Christmas music playing in 80 degrees heat so it was a nice experience I must say.

We visited Shirley Heights  a great viewpoint to see the island and enjoy a Caribbean sunset.

Late night at the beach hut we were having a drink, our bartender suggested us a place to visit which is known as The Devils Bridge. Having heard so much about this from the locals we decided to head that way the next morning, Devil’s Bridge is a natural rock arch in eastern Antigua, offers a stunning glimpse into Antigua’s natural formation.  Composed of limestone rock, the rugged terrain of Devil’s Bridge is the result of millions of years of ancient reef formation. Located on the Atlantic coast, the surroundings feature natural blowholes which shoot up water sprays.

At the southeastern end of Antigua, tranquil Half Moon Bay is fringed by one of Antigua’s best beaches. Protected by a reef, this idyllic crescent of fine white sand and azure sea, backed by natural foliage, offers excellent snorkeling on calm days. When the wind is up, the surf can be rough and tough. A small cafe serves snacks just off the beach.

half moon point

Crab point is next to Half Hide Bay and is located in Saint Mary found a lovely restaurant on the beach and had some tasty traditional food.

We hired a jeep to explore the island one word of warning there are not a lot of streetlamps at night!!

We returned to the freezing weather of the UK on Christmas day just in time for the annual family Christmas meal and I would definitely return to Antigua if i can get the opportunity.

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Sandeep Jethwa Revisits Paris After the Deadly Attacks
15th June 2014
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Sandeep Jethwa reports on the mood of the city that was known for its world renowned culinary and luxury with people flooding cafes on road sides and terraces making it one of the liveliest cities in the world.

Sandeep Jethwa visits Paris after a few days of the Brutal terrorist attacks that had been carried out in the city. A country where he was welcomed is now performing one of the most intense security checks in airports, outside museums. What you see around are security guarding streets, monuments and museums, Security blocks on almost every road and sniffing dogs smelling each compartment of your car all of this sums up a scary atmosphere. All the festal lights had faded away. Street side vendors and the Christmas market house no one in them after the brutal terrorist attacks that had spread a spell of silence all over the city.

The city which was once renown as the city of lights, with people pouring in from all continents, city which was called as the city of Romance now holds a curse of silence all around it, all the love and lights have been gathered around at the Place de la République which has become a living memorial just steps from where the terrorists attacked.  The statue of Marianne which was long neglected by Parisians and tourists is now a place where people gather to light candles, to drop of flower bouquets and cry; as this is the last choice they are left with after losing their loved ones.

A series of seven terrorist attacks were carried out in Paris on the 13th of November by militants claiming to be from the Islamic Rebel organization ISIS/ISIL killing at least 130 people.The First attack was simultaneously carried out near the Paris stadium Stade de France four miles away at around 9.20pm local time. The first explosion carried out in the Stade de France where a large crowd was enjoying the first half of the international friendly between France and Germany

Paris shooting map

The attacks then moved to central Paris, where a separate squad of gunmen reached in a black hatchback at the Right Bank area of the city. The attackers then opened fire on nearby restaurants and a bar on the side of the road killing around 15 or more diner’s that were enjoying their weekend out.The fourth attack came on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, when the same squad drove 500 yards towards the Casa Nostra pizzeria and again opened fire on diners, killing at least five.

After this the same terrorist squad of ISIS/ISIL drove another mile to the south east passing by the area of Bataclan concert venue, this time they targeted a nearby bar in Rue De Charonne killing around 19 people enjoying a night out on a terrace bar at around 9.35 pm.

After this attack the cold blooded terrorists took their way back towards the concert venue in Bataclan, Boulevard Voltaire. This was the most deadly attack from the series killing around 89 people that were shot by black gunmen using AK-47 rifles and wearing suicide jackets.

It’s sad to hear about these events carried out but it is even sadder to hear about the response of security forces that took almost 20 minutes after the concert hall was targeted causing the attackers to flee away. One of the coldest blooded and brutal attacks this world has ever seen killing around 130 people in total and leaving many in intensive care.

Sandeep Jethwa misses the old Paris he used to roam around; he misses the welcoming attitude of Parisians towards their street side restaurants and Terrace bars, all of this has been faded away with the blow of terrorism.

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Sandy planned to visit Bataclan where ISIS/ISIL extremists targeted poor weekenders, he wanted to have a feel of the place does it still have the liveliness it used to or does it scream out gunshots and bloodbath.

Paris_Aftermath_of_the_November_2015_Paris_attacks

Terrorism in Paris had chilled out all consumer spending’s, basically shutting down much of the city’s retail business for most of the weekend. It was heard Disneyland Paris remained closed for many of days. The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower reopened to the public after security clearance.

November_2015_Paris_attacks_-_French_Embassy_in_Warsaw_-_2015-11-14_-_2

Bataclan smells like sadness, Sandy visits a local restaurant that was targeted and has a chat with some local visitors on what it feels like now, Today the inhabitants of Bataclan are worried and aggressive at the same time, determined to go to rock concerts, to drink on the terraces of cafés but they have chosen the fellowship of sadness with them. The desire to be together has won out over the fear of leaving one’s house.

Places Travelled by Sandip Jethwa

Pittsburgh USA  

Pittsburgh USA

Antigua  

Antigua

Amsterdam Netherlands  

Amsterdam Netherlands

Amman Jordan  

Amman Jordan

Amalfi-Coast-Italy  

Amalfi-Coast-Italy

Abu Dhabi UAE  

Abu Dhabi UAE

US Virgin Islands  

US Virgin Islands

Toronto Canada  

Toronto Canada

St Thomas Island  

St Thomas Island

St John Island  

St John Island

New York  USA  

New York USA

Mumbai India  

Mumbai India

Monaco-France  

Monaco-France

Miami USA  

Miami USA

Manali India  

Manali India

Las Vegas USA  

Las Vegas USA

Lake-Garda-Italy  

Lake-Garda-Italy

Havana Cuba  

Havana Cuba

Goa India  

Goa India

Florence Italy  

Florence Italy

Dubai UAE  

Dubai UAE

Delhi India  

Delhi India

Davos Switzerland  

Davos Switzerland

Cannes France  

Cannes France

Calgary Canada  

Calgary Canada

British Virgin Islands  

British Virgin Islands

Berlin Germany  

Berlin Germany

Banff Canada  

Banff Canada

Antigua  

Antigua

Amsterdam Netherlands  

Amsterdam Netherlands