5
Jan
2019
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Flashback 2018: Part 1

2018 was a great travel year. I was based in Spain and had the opportunity to explore Europe. I used the student card and the Schengen visa to explore Western and Eastern Europe as well as the Iberian peninsula. Here is a snapshot of 2018…

Paris, France

We went to Paris in December 2018 to celebrate New Year’s Eve and spent a few more days in January as well. We found the city extremely overrated. However, the Eiffel Tower surely made me swoon and spent hours by the Seine river to watch the dancing diamond lights on the tower shimmer and glimmer, which was a long pending item on the bucketlist.

The Eiffel Tower

Porto, Portugal

I went to Porto in January 2018 because I got a great deal on the flight tickets… and I fell in love with the city and its people, regardless of the fact the weather was terrible during the winter months. The city has an old world charm that is hard to beat. The food is great and the famous Porto wine is even better.

Porto…looked even prettier after a glass of Porto wine!

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon was a ‘class trip’ with my business school classmates. About 50 of us from over 30 different countries made our way to Lisbon and Sintra. I liked Lisbon – walking down the cobbled slopes, sitting by the river and sipping unending cups of coffee. However, it was Sintra that took my heart away, with its colourful buildings and mysterious wells. While we did just did a day trip to Sintra, I would recommend spending a night there to get some peace and quiet and to soak in some wonderful views.

Sunset at Lisbon

Valencia, Spain

Valencia happened because I just needed to get away from Madrid after my exams, and longed to see the sea. As compared to many European towns, even in Spain, the old town of Valencia does not impress much. However, the river park that runs through the city and the beach give the city a character that is hard to beat. Also, the city is a great place to shop and I bought myself a bunch of affordable summer dresses to flaunt the tan!

Valencia

Barcelona, Spain

I went to Barcelona because of pressure. I had spent almost one year in Spain, and never visited the city. Everyone back home would ask me ‘How is Barcelona?’ and I had nothing to say! So, I decided that I need to go say hello to ‘Barca’ before leaving Spain…and that sure was a wise decision. I loved the beach, the colourful Gaudi buildings and the vibrant Las Ramblas district. Wonder what took me so long to get to Barca?

Parque Guell at Barcelona

Ibiza, Spain

Yo! We are going to Ibiza! Ankur and I went to Ibiza in May 2018. We really didn’t go there to party. We went there because we were missing the island life…and that’s exactly what we found on the beaches on Ibiza! The season was about to begin, and the beaches were still quiet. The water was a little cold, but good for a short swim. Hotel rates were low and car rentals were even lower. To us, Ibiza seemed like a quiet and pristine island, which can be hard to imagine!

Sunset at Ibiza

New York, United States of America

I went to New York as part of a contingent to represent my business school at an event. It was my first time in the United States and this sure was an exciting trip. I liked the city…it is like a real city… with real people. It has a dark side and a glamorous part. What I liked the most was the view from the Rockefeller Center…it was like being Batman and flying over the city!

Wall Street, baby!

Rome, Italy

I had a 6-hour layover in Rome en route to New York. I had never seen the Colosseum ….I just had to do it. It was a compulsive desire, with no escape. Due to the paucity of time, I could just spend a couple of hours at the site and I regret that. There is so much to see and even more to imagine. And even more to understand about the human psyche and ‘entertainment’ and sadistic pleasures! That apart, I love Italy because of the people and the food…possibly amongst the best in the world!

Rome

There is a lot more to add…I went to the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and a few more cities in Spain. More coming later this month in Flashback 2018: Part 2!

 

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Rome: Visiting the Colosseum
Valencia: Top Things to do!
New York… New York!
Portugal: One Week Itinerary

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