With six trips done from January to July 2014, the first half of the year had been good. We hoped that life would treat us well and that the second half would be better than the first half. We were surely not disappointed!
Here is a snapshot of the six trips that we did from August to December 2014:
21 countries so far and Croatia would surely be in the top five most beautiful countries that we have ever visited. Our Croatia trip was ‘Ankur’s trip’. If you have been a regular reader, you would know that this phrase means fun in the Sun!
There is something about the country that makes one want to come back. We can’t put a finger to it…maybe it’s the surreal waterfalls in Plitvice or the walled city of Dubrovnik or the rocky beaches of Hvar! Whatever it is, we do hope that Lady Luck takes us back to this beautiful country someday.
Bhandardara: Walking the green carpet…
From July to August, the Western Ghats unfurl a lush green carpet. Pitter patter of raindrops is all that you need to let your heart and soul dance. Bhandardara is a place to find some peace and quiet… to read a book… to meditate… or to do nothing! We stayed at the MTDC cottage by the lake. The views were postcard perfect – a calm serene lake and green rolling hills. How we wished that the resort would have been better maintained!
Bhandardara is a three and half hour drive from Mumbai, crossing canals and fields. Stop the car and close your eyes – you will be able to hear the tall glades of grass talk to one another!
I totally agree to the Malaysian Tourism Board’s punch line – Malaysia, truly Asia. Having travelled fair bit in Asia, we can safely that one gets a glimpse of whole continent in Kuala Lumpur. What a live and buzzing city… perfect for city lovers. Fine dining, brand shopping, street markets, high rises – they are all there!
We spent a long weekend at Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. While Kuala Lumpur made us run with its pace, Melaka let us relax and unwind. Malindo Air offers great connectivity from India to Malaysia. Getting the visa is an easy process ; budget five days for it though. A long weekend in 2015? We suggest that you plan a trip to this melting pot!
Punjab: a foodies’ paradise…
Jalandhar, a relatively small town in Punjab, is home for Ankur. Jalandhar is at an hour driving distance from Amritsar. Every trip to Jalandhar warrants a day trip to Amritsar, by default. While I insist of visiting the city on account of its religious importance (it houses the Golden Temple – seat of power for the Sikh religion), Ankur wants to visit it to satiate his craving for Amritsari kulcha (leavened stuffed flat bread) which is available only in Amritsar.
Our trip to Punjab this year was also to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights with family. There is a warmth about celebrating festivals with family – shopping for gifts, lighting up the house with candles, cooking lipsmacking sweets… ahhh…you just need to be there to experience it!
Pune: Oxford of the East
Pune is where I have spent most of my life and my parents still stay in Pune. The city is known for its educational institues and is called Oxford of the East. We spent a long weekend visiting my parents. Ankur and I explored some eating joints in Pune though the food trail was short lived. Nothing beats delicious home made food that Mom makes, does it? However, I did manage to take Ankur to my junior college. Nothing seemed to have changed from the time that I was there, except for the fact that every kid had a smart phone!
Lucknow: City of the Nawabs
Our last and final trip of 2014 is to Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs. It’s been ten years that Ankur has graduated from business school in Lucknow and the reunion was a perfect time for us to make a trip to this culturally rich city.
We are still in Lucknow. While we have spent a day exploring the touristy parts of the city and introducing our palette to delightful Lucknowi tastes, the highlight of the trip is staying at the IIM Lucknow campus and reliving good old days when Ankur was a student.
As 2014 comes to a close and we look at pictures of the year gone by, we wonder if 2015 will as exciting…or even even better. Are there any places that you want to go to in 2015? Let us know…we might be there too!