Golfer’s Oasis: A day in the Splendid city of St.Andrews

The city of St. Andrews is approximately two hours away from the city of Edinburgh. So behind the wheels, we were off to explore the Golfer’s Oasis!

The “home of golf”, the city of St. Andrews is most famous for the its Old Golf Course because the most popular links course is the frequent host of The Open Championship, which is one of the four main championships. The sandy beach just along the course is famous for the song “Chariot of Fires” running scenes.

So with two crazy golf fans we headed straight towards the Golf Course in the city of St. Andrews. And I must tell you not knowing much about golf in particular I loved the environment and the vibe of the whole place. We spent the morning exploring the golf course, with a lot of history filled in the place we completed about an hour on the ground. Walking on the ground we headed to a small stone bridge which is very cute and famous in respect of it’s history. A very famous player had clicked a photo on the bridge when he had completed his game way before everybody which makes the bridge a photographic place to click photos.

After clicking numerous photos, we moved on to the club house to shop. So spent some time there and decided to head to the beach! Tired and hungry we did not want to delay our lunch so, we cut short our time at the beach and headed in the city to eat some delicious food.

We went to a food joint named “St. Andrew’s” and had the most delicious meal of our lifetime. Okay, so one very interesting story that happened was, we ordered our food, and it was taking little bit of time so we slept, then the food came! We had ordered the typical English meal. We enjoyed our meal and asked for the bill, as we were sitting a level above, they were taking some to get us things, so we all slept again! We must have slept peacefully for an hour so and then realized that they had not brought the bill to us yet, so we all freshened up and went down, paid the bill and left. Now after such a nice sleep, we all wanted coffee, so we headed to a nearby coffee cafe and had amazing coffee.

But our day was not over yet. After the coffee, we again headed to the beach to take in the last view of the beautiful ocean. Sat in the fresh air, watching the people go by, some playing with dogs, some group of friends enjoying themselves and some just taking a nice walk! We sat there taking in the culture of the place, which was relaxed, laid back and yet interesting!

Taking the last few moments on the beach we headed out of the city and went back to Edinburgh!

There is not much to say about the place, except for the feeling and vibe you get in the place. So here are some pictures that you can enjoy and hopefully get the essence of what we felt, while we were there!

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Visit the Administrative Capital of India in just 1 Day: Delhi Darshan

Delhi Darshan

Off, to travel another mile, discover another road and experience another landscape.

Super excited my family and me left from our respective places of residence to meet in Delhi. On 17th of May 2016 we landed in Delhi, we had a one day stay joint with Delhi Darshan.

The sweltering heat of Delhi did not stop us from resisting the temptation of resting and we went on to witness the beautiful capital and the administration city of India. We were staying in a cantonment area called Rajputana Rifles. After staying a night, on 18th May, 2016 we booked a cab for our day tour of the city. Early morning at around 8 o’clock we started our tour with the blessings of Nizamuddin Auliya by visiting his dargah. Along with that we also were privileged to see the dargah of Amir Khusrau, who along with being a renowned Sufi poet was also a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya. The care-taker of the dargah, Kamran Nizam took charge of our tour and took us to the dargah of Amir Khusrau and after that Nizamuddin Auliya where he presented my mother, my sister, my aunt and me with green dupatta’s of the mazar.

After being blessed we started our tour by first visiting the magnificent Humayun’s tomb where, the second Mughal king, Emperor Humayun rests’. At the ticket counter we happen to meet 3 tourist from Paris, and noted that they had to pay 500rs whereas being an Indian we had to pay rs 30. On entering the main gate of the compound we first saw on the right hand side the house of Isa Khan, which is also remarkable because of its shape, size and the construction techniques. After a long walk we reached the main tomb. And it was too beautiful to be true. The compound was large and awestrucking.

After visiting the Humayun’s tomb we drove of to see India gate which stands strong in honour of the fallen soldiers and along with that we also saw the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the administrative buildings where the most important decisions of the country are made.

After an exhausted morning we were way too hungry to go any where except for Karim’s. The finger licking, Karim’s food was amazing and can’t be forgotten once tasted. Just behind the Jama Masjid, you can give your taste buds a great treat. After a heavy lunch we still had place left in our stomach for an amazing desert at Giani’s which is located in Chandni Chowk. Sleepy, after lunch and desert we took a drove through all the remaining attractions including Cannaught place and finished our day by taking a good night’s sleep after spending an informative and historical day in Delhi! 

Sorry I have so less pictures, more indulged in actually visiting than clicking! 

Kaas Pathar — The Valley of Flowers

20 people, one bus, at 6:30 am we were on our way to Kaas Pathar — the Valley of Flowers.

 

The drive was for about 4-5 hours. From the eldest generation in Pune to the youngest generation we were all in one bus, playing, talking and listening to music. After driving for about 2 hours on an empty stomach it was bound that all of us started feeling hungry. To feed our hunger stricken taste buds we stopped at a small dhabba. There we had home cooked kheema freshly made by Nargis Bhen, with rotis and some superb chai.

Drive from there was quite soothing. Mostly people slept, but some of us were entertaining ourselves. After hitting the ghats, even if I wanted to I couldn’t get myself to close my eyes. I switched my seat to that of a window one with Saqib, because I did not want a perfectly amazing view passing us by.

Every turn of the ghat made us shout out in awe (literally). Lush green mountains on one side and Kaas lake parallel to us on the other. The road could not have been better than this. I was excited, if the approach road was this amazing, where would my jaw be when we reach the destination!

After we reached the destination, because it was a little bit of a walk to the main plateau, I had to wait in the traveler because of my recent operation.  Hahaha.. kidding you think I of all people would let my health affect the serenity my eyes were about to witness, never in 7 hells!! So to say my jaw was nowhere to be found because it was dropped dead at the scenes my eyes beheld. Wonderful lush green plateau on both sides what it lacked where flowers, I mean there were flowers but we were early in the blooming season to visit the plateau so there were not as many.

Tip: 1. If you have decided early in the year to go to Satara, make sure your trip is well planned and that your visit is not to late or early in the season.

2. Pre-book the tickets and parking spots through the internet so that there, you are not face to face with to too many problems.

3. If you are going all the way to Satara make sure it’s a 2-3 day trip because first of all there is a lot to see in Satara than just Kaas, and second of all, it is too long a drive from any major city so might as well stay there for a while.

We walked for quite sometime, and in the end found a nice place to sit and start our photo shoot. 2 of us carried DSLR camera and I carried my possession, the Nikon digital camera (the photos on this page are from the same). After about an hour or so, hanging out in the lush green serene plateau, with the sun shining bright just above our heads, we decided to head out to the Kaas lake, where we had our delicious lunch. We had a very late lunch at about 4 o’clock or something. With our stomach full with multiple delicious dishes, for a little bit of relaxation we headed to the Kaas lake, which was walking distance from our lunch place. There were a lot of people inside the water so we decided against getting wet and for sleeping outside on the heated rocks for sometime.

There for sometime, with Tazeen’s bag underneath my head, my legs stretched out and my complete body at rest, I closed my eyes and tried, amongst all those noises to make this journey a journey within.

As once a far off dervish called SHAMS OF TABRIZ said: ” East, west, south or north makes a little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you will travel the whole wide world and beyond.

And alas it did turn out to be a journey within, in a small way, but it did.

After the raindrops started to fall on our heads, we took that as an indication to head out and hit the road, and go back to Pune. The rains in the end made a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Etching Happiness: Uroli

 

I was travelling again, alone again, in the train again but this time to Delhi, the capital of India. My mom was very scared and happy as well, as a matter of fact she gave me a name also, vagabond. While the train was heading towards Delhi, I was sitting quietly in my seat which was thankfully near the window. I had mixed feelings about this trip. I was laughing to my self, feeling proud and having fun by myself. This is when I conscientiously realised that I in fact do love my own company, I love to stay with myself.

So, this was it, I was on the road yet again, this time ready to experience and learn. What came as a surprise were the amazing friends that I made, which I am very proud of. It all started out in Delhi, I reached Delhi during early afternoon and was in the hotel by lunch time. I saw a lot of familiar faces as well as new friendly faces who were very welcoming. I was sharing a room with another instructor named Sonia. We became relatively friendly and after a while I found myself with her and 3 other instructors on the metro train on our way to Decathlon.

After the alarm went off at 3 o’clock in the morning me and Sonia got up and got ready as we had to leave the hotel by 3:30 with other instructors. The meeting point for the kids was the Delhi Railway station. After sometime we found ourselves on Shatabadi Express honking our way to Kathgodam station. I was put in a different coach, but because of the kids had to constantly make my way through 2 coaches to keep the kids entertained. Which was fun as its better to get acquainted to kids before hand. Then the camp is nothing else but a lot of fun. When we reached the Uroli campsite, I was awestruck! It was nothing but pure beauty which existed in reality in front of my eyes. All the tiredness from the 12 hour journey just vanished and i was ready to conduct the camp.

The first programme was only of 6 days. I wanted to stay a little longer, and right then a miracle occurred and I stayed back for one more programme in the same campsite. I adored the camp with all my heart. Along these 6 days of the first programme, I learned a lot. I was thankful to be working with the best team there was, with Tony sir as my team leader, who I had already worked with. Our team was like a well oiled machine, everybody knew their own parts, no tiff’s no grudges and we carried out the activities very very smoothly and somewhat very humorously.

During these 6 days I was with the backpacking team. I wanted a little bit of a change and for one day I changed my team to that of rock climbing. There was this kid who wanted to be with me for very long. When she found out that on that day I was not going for backpacking she lost her cool. Thankfully she did not cry, but she made a huge scene even with my team leaders, nothing major. But that act was very emotionally touching in a certain way. Moreover, I could see that my team members also did not want me to leave, I mean that’s what I felt. But I went with rock climbers anyway.

All in all when these 6 days were over the kids took away with them a lot of memories and bonds were created with us as well. We all had a day’s break before the next group was going to come. The whole camp was to ourselves, there were no kids to watch over, no one to wake us up in the morning and on top of it, it started raining. All of us were more than happy to crash out early after dinner and sleep in late.

The next set of kids were a bit older than the previous lot. They made themselves at home as soon as they entered the camp. Though tired from the the long journey, their energy level was still as high as the Everest! they were welcomed with heavy rain, very heavy rain. After they were all allotted to their respective tents, they were made acquainted with us as we all were to spend 8 days with each other. Might as well spend it peacefully. :p

So, I was in the backpacking team again with two new members and two old members including me. This time each group would stay with us for 3 days and then the next group would come again for 3 days. These 3 days also included a night out in the wild. I adored my first group very much. On the first day we took them to our usual route and the usual lectures that we conduct. During the course of day one, we all became very close to each other. Which put my mind at peace that the next two days will be good, especially the night out. To my surprise all the kids of my team were crazily excited about the night out. In no time, on day two, we were packed and ready to go. Because there were a lot of girls and it was a night out I insisted on taking one more lady instructor with me. The night out which we were a bit scared of went off very smoothly. Kids did see a baby fox there, but they were not scared at all. We had a campfire which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. From that day on wards I was known as the “Chuha” didi, because I did a rhyme which they absolutely loved. I was also known as the “Haryali” didi because of a power up I conducted.

Oh! The night out for the kids was a total hit, but the night out for the instructors…… It was no doubt amazing, but we had no tents, we had to sleep under the tarp. Which was indeed amazing, but then it started raining, and to top it all the tarp was not big enough to fit 6 instructors. But the night past and we all came out of the tarp alive. That night changed the equation between me and the kids. We all became much much closer to each other. They adored me and I returned their love with all my heart.

When we came back from the night out in the morning, the kids were in for a surprise. We took them for a bath, in the stream. It was the coldest water I had ever been in till date, on top of that, there was rain with hailstorm. That day was unforgettable, it will always be etched as a perfect memory in my brain.

The next day the groups were switched and I switched with my group to rock climbing. But sadly, it did not last very long, I injured my self and was not able to go with my group for remaining 2 days. Though, I kinda left the kids, the kids of group 1 did not leave me. The kids would come to me to talk about their day, show me their talents, and then we would start singing songs. And of course the chuha rhyme followed. The most special thing was 3 of the kids, made a lovely get well soon card for me. I was emotionally touched, with all the love I was getting.

On the last day, I did not want to leave the camp site, but I had to go back, I had to come home. The kids cried because they didn’t want to leave the camp, some actually cried because they did not want to leave me. But they had to, everyone had to go. And so did I.

And this way, another wonderful camp came to an end, and I was home again. This trip was nothing but a wonderful journey of friendship, love and happiness. I made friends with the instructors who are still very much in touch with me. I created memories with the kids, which will always be ingrained in my brain, and always hold a special place in my heart. Uroli was the best camp of this summer, hands down. I tell this very honestly and very truthfully. The lessons I learned, the love I received, the bonds I created are beyond anything in this world. This trip was all about discovering yourself and it made me realise there is so much more to this world and with just a simple smile and politeness we can touch so many lives and hearts.


 

Thank you for reading.

All the pictures in this blog which do not have me in it are clicked by me.

Everything in this blog is written through experience. I hope you all like it. Please like this blog so that i receive your encouragement. Since you are here please comment, criticism is most welcomed.

Thank you!

P.S- The featured image does not have me in it, but it describes my exact feelings for this camp.

Mindset Of a Traveller!

Time to Travel people!

The season of travelling has arrived and I am here to give you tips on how to travel.

We travel for two purposes:  a.) Luxury.     b.) Because we love travelling.

Personally in my lifetime (whatever lifetime I have had) I have travelled with family, without family, international school trips and also spontaneous alone drives (not far off though :P). I have experienced luxury travelling, but not luxury as in staying ONLY in the hotel room, with luxury travelling I have experienced actual travelling, like sightseeing and stuff. Contrary to this I have also slept nights in a temple floor, with freezing temperature outside and also on the surface of the Earth (literally) with nothing but a small sheet separating us from the ground and all the mud (but legs still being in mud).

So I can safely say that I have had my share of experiences with travelling. 😛

In this post I will be covering the LUXURY mindset of a traveller. And hopefully the next will follow soon.

Now lets see how to start of when you are aiming for Luxury travelling:

1.)  Have a nice Hotel room to go to.

When you are planning your luxury travelling, always remember that while you are booking a hotel room, to where ever your destination maybe, always book a room with a nice view and jaw dropping facilities.

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Having a nice view from the Hotel room and awesome facilities, you can experience the actual luxury that you have come to experience. The view from the room keeps you entertained while the facilities make you lazy. A beautiful view of snow-caped mountains or a river gushing at its full pace or a sunny beach whose waves can be heard constantly, will be all the adventure you will need. This is a small getaway from the reality, where you can meditate and shop till you drop.

2.) Shopping Therapy.

Believe it or not, shopping is a therapy. It is indeed a stress buster. You are free to ask any psychologist in the world, or even refer to books about it.

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When it comes to destination shopping, there is a sudden rush. We want to take as much as possible, because we feel if we leave out things, we are not coming back for them. This is a one time thing. Buy as much as you want if you don’t have space buy another suitcase, enjoy shopping. Be creatively greedy and shop your minds out. Have a smile on our face when you have paid for something. I know it is a wrong advice, but do it, feel that rush. Once in a while, it’s okay!

3.) What to carry.

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Don’t let your closet leave you in dilemma. Take control! If your goal is to solely enjoy on this vacation then why carry the weight of sports shoes. Your motto should be “dress to impress”. You maybe with your family, your friends or with anybody, dress like everyday is a red carpet day. Carry heels or simple pair of footwear which goes with any dress. Also one pair of comfortable footwear, just in-case you are feeling adventurous! 

4.) Planning of events.

Plan events according to your time and convenience. If you want to then do it, otherwise you can leave the adventure. You don’t have to rush into everything, get up late and plan the day ahead with a calm mind. If you want to laze around during the day, you re free to do that, don’t feel guilty about it. Planning is not an issue. You can either go on a one day safari ride, or just take a cable car and sit on the snow caped mountains or even explore all the trendy restaurants. You are there to relax, do not go on an adventure spree, unless that’s what you are there for. 😛

5.) Mode of Travelling

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Mode of travelling- according to your convenience! 😛 

These are few tips to travel when you are on a luxury travel. Even when you are on a luxury travel, you can still explore the city and country side. Trust me sitting in a hotel room is very boring. The basic aim for luxury travelling is to not rush it means to have a quiet get away, be it for a week, a day, 10 days or 7 days. You are there to enjoy, so do that. This does not necessarily has to be in an exotic foreign location, when you are travelling luxury, go where you have been (that is just my tip). But don’t ever forget to ENJOY!

Enduring the True Modern Middle Eastern Essence!

Getting up in the morning after a tiring schedule ( of Day 1 in Dubai) was way too difficult than we ever could have imagined. But we had to get up, because we had to get started with Day 2 in DUBAI! We had our breakfast and then went to the room to get ready as we were too lazy to get ready before we had something to eat. 

As soon we got ready we went down to the lobby, where we would get free wifi! Sitting there checking all the messages and updates from last night we waited for Shaan Bhai. Today was a day out were we will see all the major attraction which Dubai had to offer. It was a bad start to the day because our first destination was the Dubai Museum which sadly was closed for maintenance. We could not see it from inside. But we did manage to take pictures from outside. 

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On the Entrance of Dubai Museum. 
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In front of ship, a part of the museum but from the outside.

After taking a glimpse of Dubai Museum [from outside :(] we headed off to an area called Gold Souk. It was famous for cheap gold. Shan Bhai warned us to avoid buying the gold today, as we were already out of time and we needed to see a lot in that single day. So he told us to just take a look, compare the prizes and to buy later.

One interesting disappointment which happened was, Shaan Bhai took us in a shop to buy chocolates and dates, we did not buy (thank god). Later we came to know that the most famous Lulu market had cheaper and better dates than this. One of the traveller was furious on us and himself. On us because we did not tell, which by the way he did not ask and attacked the shop as soon as we entered (I saw that and it was not a good sight) and secondly he should have known. So my advice to all the people travelling to Dubai, see the attractions and don’t be in hurry to buy, compare the prices ask around and keep a day only for shopping. Best thing about Dubai, no taxes you will get the stuff in the price written on it! So grab as much as you want but intelligently!

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In front of a shop, on Gold Souk.
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Modelling away on the road! (Not a good one though)

After giving half an hour extra, Shan Bhai was furious as he saw none of us at the meeting point. As soon as he would collect everyone and leave to call the bus driver, everyone would get scattered again. In this process the driver received a fine of 700 AED! Which was sad on his part and irresponsible on ours.

After all the commotion we moved on to our next destination which was a drive on the Jumeira beach. Wow what a view! But as good the view was the heat was harsher. Beating the fiery sun which shined upon us we quickly got down of the bus, because we don’t come to Dubai everyday, and we did not want to miss any part of it. We did sit for a while, but could not bear the heat for long so we hurried back to the air conditioned bus.

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My Brother in front of Burj-al-Arab.
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In front of Jumeira Beach.

After the beautiful drive we headed off to the Dubai mall. Which was huge! We saw the aquarium and water fountain which were inside the mall. Without wasting anymore time we headed of the see BURJ KHALIFA! The tallest man made wonder! We were given the tickets and we were all instructed more so given an option to stay as long as we wanted AT THE TOP! 

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In front of the visible half of the aquarium
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The water fountain inside the Dubai Mall

The lift which took us to the top was super fast. It reached 125th floor in just 60 seconds! Incredible! The lift was dark and there were disco lights all in arrow shaped, marking our movement upwards. Reaching at the top and looking down in the world was breathtaking, but it did give my brother and my mother a bit of nausea. I was not affected by the height at all and stood there taking in what the sight had to offer.

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Sign On the Entrance.
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View from the Top

After having  waited there for quite some time, we made our way down again in 60 seconds inside the mall. We were hungry so we ate a little and then headed outside to see the water fountain show. I would have shown it to you, but I am not premium yet! 😉

We sat there and enjoyed the two shows, that’s sitting in 53 degrees for one hour! Too much, but we did it any way and also managed to convince Shaan Bhai to take a sneak peak of one additional show. It was too enchanting to leave!

 

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Where The Fountain show took place.
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View of the tallest wander from where we were sitting.

After having enjoyed thoroughly the magical fountain show we headed off to eat in a cruise! It was known as Dhao Cruise. Ate a bit, danced a bit, drank a bit (only soft drinks) and again danced a bit! That’s how we spent our night until it was time to go back to sleep!

So this was the end of DAY 2 in Dubai. Hungry for more, follow to get updated first and know what happened to us in DAY 3! I promise its way too interesting! Stay tuned!