Mykanos – The White & Blue of It!

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I am someone who always gets enamoured with natural beauty. There is no more magnificent way to salute the beauty of mother nature than by co-existing in harmony and rather enhancing the beauty provided by nature.

Mykonos is one of the very few places that is not only gifted with stunning natural beauty but in fact the people there have taken a step forward by aligning their habitat in an aesthetic  way that the entire landscape seems like a piece cut out from the heaven 🙂

 

BEACHES – The best way to explore the place is by beach hopping. Beaches here can easily be divided in two types. For the party junkies and for the wandering souls. Mykonos is known for its party beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise where popular DJs perform and the parties go on till dawn.

For the ones who love the company of nature Mykonose has some amazing virgin beaches where you can just be afloat at the pace of water and wind. Panormas, Fetilia  and Agios Sostis are some of such beaches.

TIPS

  • Best to have your own vehicle to hop beaches. Cars and bikes are easily available on rental basis with your driving licence as proof.
  • Else there is a bus from town to these beaches every two hours or so.

FOOD & VIEW – There is a place popularly known as The Little Italy. It has small, cute restaurants set at a length by the Aegean sea. As evening knocks, this place becomes the most sought after area and for all good reasons. The food is delicious but my favorites were the beautiful mocktails and cocktails. Come here to just enjoy the serene sunset,with cold breeze stroking your hair gently and the aroma of good music filling your heart. We sat at The Caprice, one of the most known restaurants in the area.

TIPS

  • Ensure that you reach by early evening to get the right place.
  • Sun generally sets around 8, so better be there by 6:30 so that you get to witness the entire scenery unfolding in front of you.
  • Not to mention, grab the tables nearest to the sea 🙂

SHOPPING – In mykonos you do not shop because you like just the products…you shop because you want to check out each and every shop because each shop is a piece of art in itself. The way they display the products with their warm smiles, all you want, is to pick everything up!!! You will find some of the biggest brands here with some local artisans as well selling from handmade footwear to paintings.

TIPS

  • Do not shop for the sake of shopping, rather consider it a walk through a stunning museum set in the lap of nature.
  • Do not miss the beautiful flower arrangements mainly bougainvillea and the aesthetic display of everything.

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WINDMILLS – Last but not the least. There is some non – explainable charm in windmills 🙂 The city has some oldest windmills standing beautifully still.Though you might not take much time here but a quick walk is a must to enjoy the nostalgia of the old!

TIPS

  • Plan windmills in the afternoon so that you can walk back to little italy by early evening to enjoy the sunset.
  • Do walk across the nearby hillocks that a lot of people miss but they offer some of the most amazing view and lovely breeze.

So whenever you plan a visit to Greece do keep at least two days to wrap yourself up in the beauty of mykonos. What will you get there – a snapshot:

  • One of the most beautiful landscapes in the world
  • World renowned beach parties that will easily keep you up till dawn
  • Breathtaking view of some virgin beaches
  • All possible water sports
  • A stunningly beautiful town that you have to roam around on your foot
  • Shops that not only sell beautiful artifacts, clothes and accessories but look great too
  • Good food but superb cocktails
  • Amazing sunsets
  • Windmills

Hope the post is of help to you 🙂

Road Less Travelled

Travel junkie….the new in word… the new in thing to do now a days, is to travel to the most touristy places, come back and post your pictures on all possible social media sites and then wait……wait for  how many likes you are going to get…the number of likes is going to decide whether the travel plan was a hit or a flop!!!

Whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not but most of us have become too dependent on what others think of us … To me travel is something that gives me wings to soar high! Because while you are travelling everyday is unexpected….no matter how much you plan your travel still each day will come up with varied shades and hues that you were not expecting or were not prepared for… and that to me is the most beautiful experience.

So while most of us like to plan our travel(of course it includes me too)  For example – where to go, which season to go in and what all to do there etc…and yess all of this is very important in ensuring a good trip .But my recent escape introduced me to a different kind of travel…a different exploration…

So in the middle of heavy work and usual corporate snarls suddenly i realized that the coming weekend is not an ordinary one..its a LONG weekend ( read fri-sat-sun off :)) At that impulse i started to book my ticket to Banglore and thought to drive it down to Coorg from there. Coorg is a beautiful, rich in flora district, situated in western Ghats of southern Karnataka. While i was booking my ticket, a colleague of mine saw it and asked me if she could also join..well why not..more the merrier!!!

Now, if you go by google and other people who love to start any conversation with a piece of advice and end it with another…April was not a very good month to visit Coorg since it was expected to be quite hot and we were told that we are going to have a tough time dealing with the heat and rather we must plan our visit to Coorg during monsoon to enjoy the natural beauty.

Well, like always i let people say whatever makes them happy and follow my own gut…within couple of days we were in Banglore, we hired a car and zoomed towards Coorg. No matter how much we pretend we do not care of what other people say but somewhere those comments linger on your mind…so similarly i was also fearing that the trip might just turn out to be a downer…but by now i have mastered the art of pushing the fear based negative thoughts away the moment they try to barge into my quite, peaceful mind (it always helps…trust me)

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In few hours as soon as we hit Coorg, suddenly the blazing Sun somber down and cool, fresh breeze started to play with my hair and rub me on my cheeks.  With such a lovely welcome the sensation that the trip is going to be one of the most enjoyable once started to crept in me 🙂

The fear of scorching heat melt down in the stunning fragrance of coffee flowers that were in full bloom, along with various kinds of bougainvillea and hundreds of other wild flowers all dressed at their best, smiling,glowing  and dancing as if it was all a part of big festivity going on! While driving down on those smooth roads of Coorg, we realized that we were witnessing the Master craftsman at his best…There were stretches with enchanting greens of tall trees giving shade to coffee plants and then there were stretches blooming with all possible shades of colors and filling the nostrils with mixed aroma of various wild flowers.

And weather seemed to be smiling at us with a little drizzle. So we not only enjoyed the cool breeze but also during our stay witnessed the famous misty mornings and chilly evenings of Coorg making everything more scenic… and since we were told we would experience none of this due to the weather, all of this seemed as if mother nature was being extra kind to us by letting us have the best of everything 🙂

 

We used our two days getting to know the cute baby elephants at Dobare elephant camp and visiting Nagarhole national sanctuary.  I always feel that sanctuaries give humans a chance to witness and be a part of nature’s plan as one… with all her other elements, the trees,animals,water…the sound each one of them makes. Observe them closely and you will find the rythem in everything once inside a sanctuary. It seems they all are breathing in tandem  and joining in that rythem is my most spectacular experience/feeling of Nagarhole sanctuary.

 

 

Coorg turned out to be a super success and we came back with packets of fresh coffee, organic masalas and bag full of stories to share 🙂 So,may be its not that bad to at times not follow the guidelines and try and flow opposite to the current…While my first such chance turned out to be quite a booty…but well it might just be beginner’s luck ;)….Next time may be it wont be as smooth but i am sure i still will have stories to share 🙂

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PS – Do share your thoughts on my article, will help me improve 🙂

 

Random Rendezvous with “Desi”Roots

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Well, i wanted to post this article at the beginning of year but thanks to my busy schedule (read my lazy behavior) i am able to put my thoughts down almost after 7 months…but as they better late than never 🙂 So like every new year’s eve,the last evening of 2014 would have been the same usual,catching up with friends and family affair for me. But as i was very much adamant  to welcome 2015 in a little different manner and i also had a budget constraint (since the prices of  everything on those dates shoot up),me and my friend thought to go and experience a ‘real village life’ that will be a different experience, might not be very expensive and also we will get bookings since very few people opt for such experiences during the time of new year celebrations.

Sounds so exotic,at least it did to both of us  and the icing on cake was that “Runn Utsav” was also happening during that period. Its a cultural festival hosted by one of  india’s most culturally rich states Gujrat,where they spread out their most eclectic mix of  traditional dances,singing,handicrafts and food. This festival culminates on the full moon night of December…wondering why full moon 🙂 Well, runn of kutch is the largest salt desert of the world and is one the few things shared by india and pakistan both, apart from poverty,corruption and oversensitive emotions about religion 😉

The moment we came out of Ahamdabad airport, it was a drive of around 2 hours to reach the heart of Kutch. The drive in itself was a beautiful experience with our small. little jeep zipping through on an empty highway and vast desert on both sides of us. The weather was cold and rough cold breeze was gushing through my face like waves. Honestly though i was quite excited to see something that i had never experienced but this feeling was mixed with pangs of fears that arises when you are about to do something that you have never done earlier and specially if you are two young girls getting into interior india with no cell phone network and no hotel reservation. So with these mixed emotions we finished our drive….. and were pleasantly surprised at out destination.

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In the middle of those barren lands,suddenly there arises a most beautiful,colorful village from out of no where and a very warm welcome by our hosts 🙂  I could not take my eyes off from the women folk of the family with who we were to  spend the next four days of our life.  It was like as if all the colors available in nature were having a party together on those lovely clothes adorned by the women of the house, such varied hues,varied mix of shades… and to add to my nostalgia those pretty attires were clubbed with equally amazing traditional silver jewelry.

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Post catching some breath from such lovely display of all things beautiful i let my senses drool on the rustic,earthy scenery that was available to the inhabitant of this place. Cute little mud huts and in front of them in the open space,there were handmade beds,called ‘charpai’ in local language,with such fascinating bed sheets on them that you will forget to sit on them! The most amazing place for me here was the kitchen which had ‘mitti ka choolah” a kind of stove mainly used in earlier times but still is used in some parts of rural areas.

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Next morning we headed for the great runn of kucth…and the visual was breathtaking. once there, i took first few minutes to let the surroundings sink in my heart,i gazed deeply at the vast white span in front of me for as long as i could without blinking, just to take in as much as i could…trying to make a movie in my mind and store a file of it in my heart and wished that i could play it again and again later whenever i wanted. The place gave me an opportunity to be able to listen to my own heart beat,to be able to feel the sensation that my skin feels with a gust of chilling breeze. In that moment all i wanted was just to be with that barrenness,with that whiteness and with that vastness…feeling every inch of myself as if along with the place i was exploring  my own self too!!!

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When i had a chat with Nature :)

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Mother Nature…yes, we call her our mother but i don’t know how many of us have really treated her as a mother…OH wait a minute..in fact most of us treat her exactly how we generally treat our mothers….someone we always expect to give something to us,someone that must always be available for us whenever we want but only when WE WANT else she must not be hindering our day to day life. Someone who is just always around,without getting noticed,someone who is ever giving without any expectations and someone we all have always taken for granted!!!

My love for nature is not very old,i have always been quite disconnected with the nature. But i guess this connection has something to do with the connection that you share with your own self. So, i feel with time as i started to know myself better and started to accept myself and eventually started falling in love with myself suddenly my heart and eyes started noticing the breathless beauty that always surrounds us. And with that knowingness i started to crave to know and see this beauty from as close as possible and what better way to explore our breathtakingly,beautiful, vast mother than TRAVEL!!

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And here i am,on a small little island surrounded with bay of bengal – Andaman. The moment i stepped out from port blair airport,lovingly stroking breeze welcomed me 🙂 This small town serves as a base for most of the travelers who want to explore the interiors and lesser seen natural beauty around the bunch of tiny islands in andaman and nicobar.

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Havlock is my favorite among all the places i saw in andaman and nicobar. The moment you step into this island,you are totally taken over by a thin layer of stillness that shields the entire island. The vibe is very welcoming and the moment you enter this island,  you let go of who u r and you just imbibe the vibe of this island which is of just being and admiring nature at its best…just the sense of being in that moment. The people of the island are the biggest mirror of the energy that the island possess and reflects on you too…mild,happy faces,polite and carefree spirit, as if everyone is here with a purpose of enjoying themselves, the people and the nature both. The beaches have some stunning colors falling on them through the day as the sun shifts its position. From varied hues of green to many layers of blues with gold and silvery streaks of the sun falling of this vivid water. Wherever you see here, you will get a feeling of observing a  very artistic and tasteful painting with minute detailing.

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If you wish to have a close rendezvous  with the nature then you can opt for scuba dive or sea walk or both just like me 🙂 The waters here are abundant with marine life. The entire process of getting in the water and then down in deep sea is an experience of a lifetime in itself. Taking those gentle strokes in the sea along with millions of tiny,colorful fish and touching some of the most exotic corals and sea rocks is a never forgetting experience for anyone. Since it is not possible to describe the experience or feeling in words i thought, let the pictures do the talking:)

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Fully energized with vitamin SEA i took to the other magnificence  that these beautiful islands have to offer –  dense and thick layers of rain forest. So, this was my first ever visit to any ‘real’ jungle. These jungles are the habitat of many tribes, the most talked about tribes are Jarawas, sentinelese,onge and nicobarrese. Out of these sentinelese are the ones with least contact from outer world. I was fortunate enough to spot a few Jarawas during our drive to lime stone caves. It was a long drive through the thickest of forest…to describe my experience in words all i would say is ‘u do not talk when in a jungle,you listen to it’. It was one of the most enchanting drives in my life where the only company was the breeze bristling though large trees and their innumerable leaves and branches,the sporadic sounds of various kinds of birds and some of the most colorful butterflies roaming on that thick layer of greens.

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The last site that i visited were the limestone caves,honestly when we decided to go there i did not have much expectations but trust me this visit turned out to be the best surprise of the entire stay To touch those million of years old stones,to walk through the narrow passage with stone walls on either sides is one of its kind. I can still feel the musky smell of the place with each stone carrying a saga of time and standing still!

So all of you who wish to steal few moments and venture into the heart of mother nature Andaman and Nicobar must be on your list 🙂 I feel as if i got a warm hug from mother nature by visiting these islands. Do share your experience if you have been there and for those who would be planning this visit i wish them bon vouage 🙂

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