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My Itinerary for a week long trip in Uttarakhand, India

29 Oct

Nostalgia is a good reason to travel; nostalgia coupled with Himalayas is a mighty combination. In this instance the nostalgia was of my parents for a place called Pithoragarh in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand. Both my grandparents worked in Uttar Pradesh (then included Uttarakhand) and at different points in time were posted in Pithoragarh for a brief period. Amongst all of their postings, this was my parents’ favorite place growing up. As kids we too had heard numerous stories from my parents about the place and have always wanted to visit it and see it for ourselves. My mom achieved a significant milestone in age this year and as part of the celebrations we decided to travel to Pithoragarh to revisit a favorite piece from my parent’s childhood.

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The Panchuli Range, Kumaon Hills, Himalayas, Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India

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My Top 5 Things to See and Do in Dublin

2 Sep
“Dublin is a fantastic place for partying and has an amazing night life” that’s all I had ever heard or read about Dublin. And it is. But on my recent trip here I realized that Dublin has so much more to offer to it’s visitors rather than just being an awesome party place with 900+ pubs. It’s actually a beautiful city on the banks of river Liffey with a fascinating history, awesome people, unique museums, theaters, and so many things to see and do that a quick trip here does absolutely no justice.

Dublin and River Liffy, Ireland

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A long weekend road trip in Gujarat

9 Apr

The moment I see a long weekend break in the calendar it is on my holiday list! And my first thought is – where can I drive to for a quick break? I love road trips for many reasons but most importantly for its flexibility. I don’t have to book and adhere to any flight or train schedules, I can stop wherever I want and actually explore some of those hidden parts of the country that don’t make it to any tourist maps or lists.

Adalaj ni vav, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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Norway and Sweden – Our Travel and Itinerary

19 Nov

Dramatic landscapes, mountains with stunning fjords, lakes mirroring colorful wooden houses and to top it all the stunning aurora borealis. Norway and Sweden were full of these beautiful surprises literally everywhere and as far as the eye could see. But when asked how I would describe these places – I was somehow always at a loss for words to describe the beauty. The normal words of such as “beautiful”, “stunning”, “gorgeous” and the likes are somehow insufficient to describe what you feel for this landscape. Traveling here we finally understood why these countries and its people are repeatedly voted as the happiest countries and people in the world.

Aurora Borealis in the outskirts of Tromso, Norway

Aurora Borealis in the outskirts of Tromso, Norway

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A Short Tryst with Germany this Spring

8 May

Germany or Deutschland – just the mention of this name is enough to conjure images of grand castles and palaces, the mysterious Black Forest region, world-class museums, the famous Oktoberfest, ancient art and traditions, amazing Autobahns, classical music, cars (Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche etc), numerous varieties of beer, the famous Rivers of Rhine and Danube, beautiful green covers and scenic beauty, carnivals and festivals, and so so much more. I have had an opportunity to briefly explore this country during my previous Europe trips (I have been to Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle in South Germany and to Aachen and Vogelsang in West Germany) and my curiosity and excitement to explore it further has only grown. But Germany has so many facets with unlimited things to see and experience that no matter how many times you visit, you will always be left with a craving to see more. Luckily I got a chance to explore this country with Germany National Tourism for a 5 day solo and unstructured trip.

Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany

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Spending a Night “Homeless” on the streets of Hungary

6 Feb

Any trip or a holiday creates numerous memories, memorable anecdotes and photographs. But travel stories are created when your best laid plans go haywire. All good stories start with an element of the “unexpected” – getting lost in a city, taking a wrong train and arriving somewhere else altogether, missed connections, getting deported are a few of such unexpected elements and I am sure you get my drift. My travels are self-planned budget trips and despite a lot of research there have been many occasions wherein all that could go wrong has gone wrong and in return many memorable stories created. But my favorite so far is being “Homeless in Hungary”.

At the start of our journey in Budapest

At the start of our journey in Budapest

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Top 5 Things to Do in Shangri-La (Zhongdian), China

10 Dec

Shangri-La, a small town high up in the Himalayas that for some is the beginning of a journey into Tibet, for many the end of a foray into Yunnan and for others just a taste of Tibet (if they don’t plan on going on any further). For me personally it was a mix of end of Yunnan and a taste of Tibet, coz as Indians we need additional permissions to enter mainland Tibet. And my own first impressions of the town itself were quite disappointing as all I initially saw were numerous commercial buildings and a very sleepy touristy town. However I soon realized that the way to explore Shangri-La is to keep it as a base and explore the beautiful landscape all around it.

Mountains near Shangri-La,   Tibet, China

Mountains near Shangri-La, Tibet, China

And based on our own experiences and learnings, please find below the top 5 things that you should do in Shangri-La –

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