Adventures of Goaaa – Part 2

IMG_1172Hi friends!! I’m back with the second part of our Goa Adventures. This post is a continuation of my previous post. I had mentioned in my earlier post that if I start writing I will go on and on and probably, not stop. So, here I am, back once again to give you an account of our Goan Adventure. After visiting the beaches, it was time for us to go to a coffee shop to just unwind and relax. The first time we went to Goa with family, we had gone to one of the CCDs (Café Coffee Days) located in Bambolim. We wanted to go to that particular CCD only.  We had been there on our previous two trips as well. We did not want to miss it. We had hired a two- wheeler. It was a good one- hour journey. We started off at 6 pm from our hotel and reached the CCD at around 7 pm. Our ride was through the highway with construction work going on. We had coffee and just chilled there for about an hour. We left the CCD by 8 pm. While we were on our way the vehicle started making weird noises and just stopped on the highway, in the dark, where the construction work was going on in a full-fledged way. We were too petrified. Yes, Goa is very safe that way. We have been going there every year now and people are very nice. However, it is natural to get petrified when you are stuck on the highway at night. It was pitch black and eerie. We pushed the vehicle for a bit and reached some dimly lit area where there was a small poky restaurant. It looked very shady and it was a Bar cum Restaurant. We weren’t very happy, but did we have a choice? The answer is No. We called up our Hotel and checked if they could send us a car to pick us up in a worse- case scenario. They told they would if the bike guy didn’t have any solution. We then called up the bike provider and my husband spoke to him and requested him to send someone to pick us up and he readily agreed. He told us that we would have to wait for some time. We waited and waited and then, we waited… It was close to an hour and no one had come. We had just taken a Coke to drink at that small restaurant. The waiters were just staring at us, as if asking ‘why the hell are you’ll hanging around here if you aren’t eating anything?’. In fact, one of the waiters came up and asked as well. We couldn’t gather any courage to eat there since it was a veg cum non-veg restaurant. At around 9.30 pm the bike guy sent a car. We were so relieved at the sight of seeing the car, but we weren’t aware that we had more in store for us when we sat in the car. The guy drove the car like a mad man. Yeah, those of you who know Mayur well would probably question me. I agree, he drives fast but this guy was a limit. We were just staring glances at each other, sitting in the back seat and after a point it was so much to take that we literally held on to each other for dear life 😊 . At the end of the day, he somehow got us to our hotel safely in one piece (I agree, it should be two pieces because we were two of us). We grabbed something quickly for dinner and headed straight to sleep since it was too much adventure for the day. I am sure all of you will agree with that.

The next day was again a calm day with not much to do. We decided to go to Benaulim Beach which is again located about 15-20 minutes away from our hotel. We parked ourselves in one of the shacks and just sat there viewing the sunset. It was gorgeous. The sunset is ultimately the same but this beach was completely different from the other two. In the sense that the distance between the shore and the sea was very little. While we sat there watching the sunset, we felt as if the sun was super close to us. We decided to leave by 6.45 pm. There were a lot of shops outside. I went and bought some random stuff there and decided to head back to our hotel.

IMG_1264Sunday was the last day for us to visit beaches as we wanted to keep our Monday relaxed and chilled. We decided to go to Agonda Beach on Sunday morning. It was about 1 hour 10 minutes away from our hotel. We decided to leave by 10.30 pm and we did. It was supremely hot outside and both Mayur and I suffered little sunburn. Once we reached the place after about an hour’s ride, we were so relieved. Thankfully for us there was a small restaurant on the shore which had proper shade. I was sure I would otherwise die of heat stroke. We sat there and had something cold to drink and when my husband when on a photography expedition on the beach, I sat writing my story. Most of my story plots are designed when I’m on a holiday. Agonda Beach is a very peaceful beach with few people here and there and the scenic beauty is something which you’d die for. We enjoyed our visit and then left the beach at about 1 pm. We wanted to go to one particular Harmonium Café located near Agonda for lunch, but unfortunately for us, it was shut and they were going to open it only at 3 pm. It did not make any sense for us to wait until 3. So, we decided to go towards Benaulim Beach. A Dominos Pizza Outlet was situated near there. We decided to grab a pizza or lunch and then just go and relax. By the time we reached the hotel it was 5 pm. We just chilled for the rest of the day.

Monday was more or less our last day in Goa, since we were leaving on Tuesday afternoon. We decided that we will chill doing nothing. Believe me, that is also fun! You should also sometimes try doing nothing.

Hope this post and the preceding one helps you plan a nice trip to Goa in the upcoming days.

Cheers!!!

Advertisements

Adventures of Goaaa…

finalHi friends! I know, it is shocking to see me, time and again updating my blog, right? This time I will chase my laziness miles away from me and write whenever I can. I have promised my hubby that I will take my passion one step above my laziness, so, here I am! 😊 I believe that one must try till the end and not give up. So, I will try and try, until I succeed. Moreover, the Bullet Journal has helped me to a greater extent in planning and organising. It’s been about a week or ten days since I started using it, and believe me it has sorted so many tiny things for me and made my life easier.

IMG_1137This is not the first time I am writing about Goa. I have written about it last year as well. It might not make sense to people who haven’t gone to Goa, but, believe me, once you go and get the hang of the peace and serenity there, you will run back, like how we do. It feels so nice and rejuvenated. We make it a point to go to Goa once a year to unwind. We have found a hotel that is located well away from the crowd, in a residential area, which makes our holiday even more special, because the place is like a home away from home. I have dedicated a post to Jasminn by Mango in my blog. The hospitality at this place is something which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

This time we took a bus to Goa from Mysore. It was a super long journey. What I have to mention here is, one should never take a Paulo Travels bus. We have taken Neeta Travels before; it wasn’t too great, but it wasn’t this bad either! Everything seemed fine until we reached Bangalore. When the bus stopped at Paulo Travels office, they just randomly told us to get off the bus with our luggage and move to another bus. The bus was one size smaller than the previous one and there was lot of confusion with respect to seats, as the seat numbers were different from the ones allotted to us at the time of booking. So, with all the confusion we left Bangalore at say 9.30 pm. They did not stop for dinner until 10.30 pm. When we asked them, they told us they will, after going out of Bangalore City. At about 11.15 pm they stopped for dinner. I am sure, most of you will agree with me, 11.15 at night is not the time to have dinner. Everyone in the bus was angry. They did not stop at any proper place in the morning to freshen up. In fact, at about 7.30 am, when we were about to enter Goa, the guy just randomly said, ‘there is an open space for bathroom, whoever wants to go can go.’ Are you serious? You are asking a bus full of people especially women to go to an open area. I thought, they might be kidding, but unfortunately, they weren’t. I am going to report this anyways 😊 Somehow, we managed to reach by 10 am.

IMG_1184Apart from the great bus adventure, we had more adventures waiting for us. We wanted to relax completely on the first day. We wanted to take it easy. So, we randomly sprawled around trying to recover from the lonnnnnngggggggggg bus journey. The hotel has a shuttle to the beach every hour. After relaxing and making up for the lost sleep, we went to the beach in the shuttle at 5pm. The last shuttle back to the hotel was at 6pm. The shuttle was to the Betalbatim Beach. We did not want to be bound by the short time frame. So, we decided to walk back. It was a good half an hour walk. We spent about two hours in the beach. While Mayur went around clicking pictures of the beautiful sunset, I sat in one of the shacks and wrote. Probably, one of my stories coming up will have the plot I outlined in Goa. We left the beach at around 7 pm. I guess, it was a little late. Though, it is that way very safe in Goa, we were scared. The main thing that freaks you out there is that the roads are pitch black. No lights at all. Though it was a scary walk, we enjoyed it. I freak out faster than Mayur. I guess, it is natural. Being a girl and seeing how things are nowadays, I scared Mayur as well. After we reached safely we thought about the entire thing and laughed out loudly.

IMG_1178After an adventurous evening we wound up our day with a relaxed candle light dinner. The next day we decided to take it easy in the morning as well because it was too hot outside. We decided to go later in the evening. We had heard about the Sunset Beach before. We always thought all the beaches located near Betalbatim Beach are famous for sunset. We were, however, wrong. We realised on this visit that there is a beach called Sunset Beach, which is located next to Benaulim Beach. As I stated earlier, all these beaches are located next to each other. The Sunset Beach had a beauty of its own. It was very calm and silent. The sand was silvery and soft. It was absolutely empty. There were people, but on the other side. The side from which we got in, there was absolutely nothing. We loved it to the core. We walked in the water, hand in hand and just enjoyed the tranquillity and peace. It is at this beach that my husband clicked the picture of sunset through my eye! You can find that picture on his Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/mayur_sarma . From there we went to Dominos for Dinner.

Both the beaches which I mentioned above, Betalbatim and Sunset are located near the hotel. The sunset is the same at both these places, since the beaches are located near each other. Betalbatim Beach has a lot of people especially foreigners, but Sunset Beach is quiet and has very few people. If you want a silent, be to yourself beach then Sunset Beach is the one.

If I continue writing, I might end up writing a book. So, I will stop it at this and get back with another post in two days summing up our Goa Adventures. Hope you enjoy reading this.

Cheers!!!

Note: I hold the Copyright to all the pictures published here.. The eye picture is clicked by Mayur and the rest are captured by me!

Travel Diaries – My Experiences – Part I -London (..contd)

Hi friends!! Yeah, I know. I ditched all of you once again and went missing for months. I have been super busy, but I also know that, it is not an excuse to not blog and keep you guys in the waiting. I was involved in some work and then had a family wedding and so on. Whatever the excuse, I am back again to start off with where I left. In my last post I started sharing with you all my experience in London. This post and the posts to follow will be a continuation of my recent Europe trip. Please bear with me until I am done with my entire trip.

20170905_191211I had ended my last post with our visit to Tower of London. It was really amazing! From there we went to Covent Garden. It is truly a shopping, food and cultural destination of London. The place was so beautiful, I cannot explain it in words. Even camera cannot do justice to what your eyes can see at this place. It is a very colourful place. I will share a few photos of the same in this post. Neal’s Yard is located here. It is a very colourful place. We went in search of it as we had seen the pictures on the web and it looked really beautiful. Thanks to my sister (Oh yeah, she was the one who found this and believe me, she has a knack to find places that are hidden which are really picturesque). We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this. We, however, did not have much time at this place since we had to finish dinner and reach in time for our Night Bus Tour.

20170905_191636We enjoyed this place for about twenty minutes or so and then grabbed something for dinner at an eatery at Covent Garden and rushed to the tube. We made it to the Night Bus Tour on time. It was our second day in London and we were slowly getting used to the cold weather there. The open bus tour was an experience by itself. We were shivering in the cold and after about fifteen minutes or so, it started drizzling. The rain there was different from what we experience here. The droplets were tiny, the atmosphere was super cold but yet, you do not end up getting wet. It is very delicate.

The Night Bus Tour was very interesting. It left from the Green Park Bus Station. Piccadilly and it was a 90- minute tour. You get to see all the major attractions of London. It was quite informative as well. We got to see a very beautifully lit up London at night. We were happy that we took that. By the time we were done it was 10 pm. We took a tube back to our place and just plopped on the bed.

Our mornings there started off with some muesli and milk or some upma from the ready to eat stuff we carried. On day three, we started off with Buckingham Palace. It was an amazing experience. The palace is so huge, we walked and walked and then went on walking. We never got tired. There is something in the air abroad. The same walk in India would have tired me out like hell, but believe me, we were ready to walk for hours there, without getting tired. I still remember the ice cream we ate there. It was amazing.

20170906_093318From Buckingham palace we went to Westminster Abbey. We went around the entire place. It took us about an hour to go around. By that time, it was lunch time. We grabbed some sandwich outside Westminster Abbey for lunch and went on to St. Paul’s Cathedral. By the time we reached St. Paul’s Cathedral it was about 3.30 pm. They advised us not to get in as they were shutting in about an hour’s time. They told us that it would take more than an hour to go around the place. They advised us to come the next day. We decided to follow the advice. We sat in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral for about half an hour and then took a bus to London Bridge. We had booked the London Eye at 5:15 pm. We made it on time and our ride on London Eye was fun. It was a half an hour ride to reach the top and get back. It was so slow that at certain places we felt as if the Eye had stopped.

20170905_210330We did some shopping at the Souvenir Shop there and just went around the place walking. It was dusk time and it was really beautiful. We spent some time in a Café and then wandered around the place clicking billions of pictures for memory. We then decided to head back home since the next day was our Day Trip.

I think this much is sufficient in this post as it might get a little hard to digest. If I am allowed to go on, I might go on without stopping. For your own good folks, I will take your leave now and will see you soon.

Till then, Cheers!!!

Travel Diaries – My Experiences – Part I -London

Hi friends! I’ve kept my word and here you go. In my last post, for those of you who have missed it, I had given an introduction to my Travel Diaries. From this post onwards I will write about my Europe Travel Diaries, beginning with London. I’m not going to give a daily account of what we did. If I start, then I am not going to stop. For the next one year, I will go on and on about our trip. I will try to make it short and sweet for you guys.

One good thing about computers and related gadgets is that by sitting in the comfort of your own home you can book anything anywhere in the World; distance doesn’t matter at all. So, the one principle we followed when planning for our holiday was to book everything in advance from home. We would, in the due course, save a lot of time, energy and money (Oh yeah, online bookings are a little cheaper too; wink wink). Starting from the cab which was going to pick us up at the Airport to the various attractions we were gonna visit, we booked everything online and carried a print with us. Believe me, we did not face any issue whatsoever.

20170904_164641Our first day in London was a Monday. We had kept it quite light, as we had anticipated jet lag hitting us a little too hard. By the time we reached the place and freshened up it was about half past two. We decided to leave the house and do whatever was possible. We had to travel by the DLR (District Line Railways). Our first experience of waiting for the train and getting into it was amazing. I still remember the moment as if it was yesterday. We decided to go to Leadenhall Market. Since it was already way past lunch time, we decided to have a bite and then start off.

Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest markets in London. The market dates from the 14th Century. It is a covered market of London, which sells fresh food. It was used to represent the Diagon Alley in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The architecture of this place is simply amazing. The ornate roof structures are painted green, maroon and cream. The place is such that, once you set your eyes on it, you can’t take off. We spent a good half an hour at this place clicking pictures, shopping and roaming around.

20170904_174408From Leadenhall Market, we walked to the Ruins of St. Dunstan in the East. The Church of St. Dunstan really survived a lot. It survived the Great Fire of London in 1660s and then, The London Blitz in the 1940s.  After the Blitz, the City of London Corporation decided to leave it as it is and make it a public garden. It is in a secluded side street and is filled with greenery and flowers. It is an excellent place to spend an evening writing something you have always wanted to.  You can also pick up a book and enjoy it there. If you are an artist, you can also sketch the place. If not anything, you can simply sit there and enjoy the beauty.

20170904_193152We spent about an hour at St. Dunstan and from there took a bus to Shoreditch. Shoreditch is an arty street in London. The graffiti on the wall was amazing. It is famous for its street art. You can understand what I mean to say when you have a look at the photos. After getting off the bus, we had to walk quite a bit, but it was worth the walk. After Shoreditch we decided to head back home.

In anticipation of a huge crowd at the attractions, we had booked all our tickets online. Our first tourist attraction at London was Madame Tussauds. It was super fun posing with the wax statues of the celebrities. My sister and I had already visited the Madame Tussauds in Singapore. My hubby had already visited the London on an earlier visit. It was completely new only for mom and dad. They really enjoyed it. It was fun to see them act as youngsters while they posed with their favourite celebrities.

After Madame Tussauds, we headed to 221 B, Baker Street. We did not visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum but we went to the Museum Shop. We went crazy at the shop. There were so many awesome things we wanted to buy. We clicked pictures in front of 221  B, Baker Street and then walked around the place. As it was lunch time we had lunch at a Pizzeria.

From there we headed to the famous Tower of London. We were lucky enough to see the Bascules open (the road opening for large ships to cross) at the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London. We wandered around slowly and reached the Tower of London. We saw the famous Koh-i-noor. We couldn’t take our eyes off it. Along with the Koh-i-noor we saw a lot of other precious stones which we had never heard of before. It was amazing. We went at least five rounds to see it.

After the Tower of London, we did a lot of other interesting things about which I will narrate in my next post. For now, this should be good enough. I know, I really talk a lot. My husband laughs at my narrative skills. If I start talking about a thing, I tend to explain so much in detail that the other person is sure to fall asleep.

See you soon..

Cheers!!!

Travel Diaries – My Experience – Part I -London, Paris and Prague

20170905_185554Hi guys!! Yes, I’m aware. I promise the same thing again and again, but somehow fail in fulfilling it. For those who did not understand what I’m talking about, it’s just that I keep promising my friends that I will blog regularly and then, hit the snooze button after a few posts. I have various reasons for why I haven’t been able to do so, but that is no excuse… How have things been at your end? I am probably writing (I mean to say blogging) after about 2-3 months. Yes, I’m truly ashamed of myself. The other day when I was whining about how irregularly I blog, my hubby did make a good point. He said, ‘If you really want to blog, you will somehow find time for it,’. This motivated me. So, here I am.

The past three months had been too hectic. We were preparing for our first family trip abroad. We chose to have our holiday our way, which meant we were going to have to do everything from scratch ourselves from bookings to getting visas to planning our visits. We didn’t mind doing that, since our greatest advantage would be flexibility, which is what we wanted while travelling with senior citizen parents. It was a real task. All of us occupied in our own work for the trip along with our routine which would stare at us to (probably) say, ‘Hello, you didn’t take care of me today’. Here I go! That is why I could not blog (insert evil laugh).

Jokes and excuses apart, let me get back. After a lot of thought we zeroed in on three places for our holiday – London, Paris and Prague. We decided on the number of days of our stay at each place and then, began the planning for the trip, which was super fun. My sister chalked out an amazing itinerary for our holiday. If not for her, we would have probably not seen some of the secret amazing places (Oh, am I praising you too much? Let me stop it at this).  Our trip started off with a bang and there was no stopping. Mayur had specifically chosen September for our holiday. September is generally less touristy. We got to enjoy the beauty of all the places without any hassles. All the popular tourist places are, generally, a nightmare in tourist season. Mayur has had this experience in the past.

We flew to London from Mumbai. We spent good 5 days there and took the famous Eurostar train to Paris. From Paris we flew to Prague and then back home. Oh yeah, we didn’t get back home straight though. The day we were supposed to land, Mumbai had heavy rains. A Spicejet Plane skid off the runway and about half an hour before we could land our flight was diverted to Hyderabad. After we reached Hyderabad we did not get clearance to land (yes insert evil laugh). We flew to Chennai from Hyderabad. The plane landed, but we were inside the plane on the tarmac for about 6 hours. Yes, you read it right! We were then given accommodation by British Airways for a day at Chennai. Yes, it was a blessing in disguise and most of us had secretly wished for it. It was a truly enjoyable holiday right till the end, I must say.

This reminds me that the start of our journey was also equally thrilling. The cab which we took to the airport could have landed us on a hospital bed instead of the British Airways seat. The guy who was driving us to the airport was sleeping while driving. We (my sister and I were together) realised this and quickly told him to stop on the side, but he refused. He was more concerned about dropping us off fast and probably, winding up his duty for the day. I understand that it is sometimes hard for these cab drivers to manage. They also have a family to take care of, but they do not have any right to play with someone else’s life. So many things could’ve gone wrong that day. Thinking about that even to this day gives a sort of chill down my spine.

You would have got a gist of what my posts would be like in the days to come. It will be Travel Diaries only. This was an introductory post to give a glimpse of what I will be coming up with in the next few months. Yes, believe me. When I say, next few months I mean next few months in the sense that I will put up at least 4 posts a month. I don’t find any reason why you should trust me when I say this, but if you love reading my blog I am sure you’ll drop by to see.

See you soon..

Till then, Cheers!!!