One of the best ways to explore a place and get to know things that are not written in a book, is to talk to the local people. When at the beach, the fishermen could be some of those people you would want to talk to. If you visit the beach at a time when they return from the sea with their daily catch, you could simply walk up to them, ask them about their day, their profession in general, and some insights about the place. For all you know, they might even hand you a recipe of a particular type of fish that is available only around that region. Getting to know complete strangers, who are different from you in so many ways, always is a learning experience.
Hundreds of photographers (both professional and amateur), gathered at the beach to capture that golden sunrise/sunset has become far too common a sight. Photographers of all backgrounds with all kinds of cameras are seen happily pressing the shutter away to carry with them memories of droplets of waves, grains of sands, the changing hues of the sea, and more such clichés, for keeps, when they leave the beach. Do you want to do something different? Capture the less explored topics on the beach, maybe a stray who is afraid to go too near the sea, or a crow who tries desperately to pick a worm from the wet sand. You may also try to capture human subjects such as the young man serving at the popular beach shack, or the crowd thronging in and out of the beach area. Use your imaginations, and you will find a lot more to capture than the red ball of light moving up and down the horizon.
Here I am not mentioning the giant outlines of the heart you draw on the wet sand, or the sand castles you used to build as children. I am writing about actual sand art. Once again, throw your imaginations wide open. Whether or not you are an artist, try your hands at different shapes and sizes you can create with sand, and give life to them. As a regular visitor at the beach, art is one of the best ways to keep yourself occupied with minimal interaction, and no gadgets. Maybe one day, when you create sand art regularly, you might become the next Sudarshan Pattnaik.
Have a wander around Lancaster Gate
Known as Upper Hyde Park Gardens in the past, the beautiful area boasts some of the most quintessentially London houses in the city. The terraced buildings, that are mostly now divided into flats or used as offices and embassies, are stuccoed and were designed by F & H Francis. There are also remains of an old church, Christ Church in the area. Only the spire remains to this day, but it is a quaint part of London’s history and well worth visiting. The streets back on to the park, making the properties some of the most desired in the area and walking along the nearby streets offers some excellent people watching opportunities.
Have afternoon tea at Royal Lancaster London
The Royal Lancaster London is a historical hotel located near Hyde Park. Build in the 1960s, the hotel has long been at the forefront of accommodation and dining trends in London. Using the knowledge they have gained over the years, the Royal Lancaster offers one of the best teatime experiences in the city. The modern offering from the hotel includes seasonal specials during local events such as the Chelsea Flower Show. Expertly mixing the traditions of a British staple and modern culinary techniques, tea at the Lancaster is a cut above the rest. Dainty patisseries, scones and even hand-made lollipops all grace the menu making for an enchanting experience for all members of the family, they also have a children’s special. A perfect way to refuel after a long stroll in the park and through the surrounding area.
Bali is an obvious choice to take the children with its emphasis on culture and traditions and the grace of its arts. Children will love going through the traditional temples, especially during festivals. It will be even more fun if you dress up in traditional sarongs as you watch the processions of gorgeously attired locals. Apart from the cultural aspect, the beach too is a huge draw for children. Sun yourself while they dig elaborate castles and build and destroy cities in the fine white sand. Slather on the sun block and the whole family can head out on a great boat ride to islands, near and far.
Sunbathing, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving
You can indulge in your favorite activity from snorkeling, exploring the islands, or bonding with family over a great game of beach football. Indonesia is a great place to shop and the street markets will be a fabulous new experience for the family. You can watch the good natured haggling and try it out yourself. Kids can pick out their own souvenirs from a wide range of things like kites, wooden, carved animals and birds, musical instruments made from the local wood.
Many hotels in Indonesia have activities planned out for children and some even have children’s clubs where the kids can mingle with other children and generally raise Cain while being watched over by professional child minders. This will give the adults a chance to experience the romantic atmosphere exuded by Indonesia and pamper themselves in the spa. Most hotels will offer children’s meals and you must be careful about giving street food to children. To round off the holiday, head off to an amusement park where you can become one of the kids yourself.