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Travel Diary : Santorini – A beautiful Greek Journey!

Travel Diary: Santorini – A beautiful Greek Journey!

Most of us know that Greece is famous for its picturesque architecture and beautiful Islands spreading all over mostly in central and southern part of Aegean Sea. In fact some of the island are not even habitable yet. But out of those cluster of islands, towards the south east part of the mainland Greece, exist a small beautiful Island named “Santorini” which was basically formed by the remnant of volcanic eruption happened long time ago.    

Santorini Location on Map
Santorini Location on Map

From past couple of years, Santorini has become of the most popular tourist destination all over the world. Being an Architect, living in India, I was always curious about the beauty of this very cycladic architecture consisting of beautiful white colored villages outspreaded over vast high cliffs facing towards the magnificent sea and used to think how amazing would it feel to actually be there to experience such an amazing beauty with your own eyes. It was like a dream in-itself. A dream which finally became alive!

But lets start with how it actually begin. I finally planned a trip to Greece clubbing Athens and Santorini together. Although there were two ways of reaching santorini by Athens – ( flight and ferries), but I figured  traveling by flight would be the fast and cheapest way. So I gave it a shot and even thought it was hardly an hour flight but it was well worth the experience. From take off till landing, the vast aerial views of Cycladic Islands was just mesmerizing. My heart was full of excitement and my mind was still getting acclimatized of believing this very possibility of visiting my dream destination in real.

Santorini Aerial view
Santorini Aerial view
Aerial View of Santorini, Greece
Aerial View of Santorini, Greece

After final touching down, I checked out from the  small airport where my hotel drop was already waiting. There are plenty of hotels and accommodations one can easily find in Santorini ranging from expensive to cheaper ones. The one near to “Oia” being most expensive, and towards the central town “Fira” the prices fall to reasonable ones.  Since all the bus connectivity starts and end from Fira, I booked a hotel to its close proximity. It was a small boutique hotel called “The Dahlia & Jasmine Collection by Angel Studios run by two amazing women “Katja and Deni”. They were always welcoming and extended such great hospitality which made my stay even more memorable.

Dhalia and Jasmine Angel Studio

My trip for this beautiful Island was only planned for next 2 days, so in order to make the best use of it, I had picked up 3 main destinations : ‘Fira, Oia and Kamari’. On my first day  after having a fresh healthy breakfast at my hotel, I started my journey from main bus station of Fira, the capital town which is situated on the western side of the semi-curricular island of Santorini on caldera cliffs opposite volcano. The whole town itself radiates such lively and energetic vibes along with spectacular white blanket of cave shape apartments, hotels, infinity pools covered along the entire caldera cliffs overlooking the sea which are just breathtaking! On the inside are dense network of interconnecting narrow streets which are mostly packed with shops and authentic Greek restaurants.

Santorini Fira street
Fira, Santorini streets
Streets In Fira, Santorini
Streets In Fira, Santorini

Towards further north of Fira, it amalgamate into two additional villages. The first one is known as ‘Ferostefani’ which is like 15 minutes walk from Fira and second one is known as ‘Imerovigli’  which is another 15 minutes walk from Ferostefani and is also the highest edge of the caldera cliffs. The trail path from these actually runs through the inside of these villages which provides plenty opportunities of taking perfect photographs of lovely hotels and restaurants with typical Greek architecture.

View of Santorini near Fira
View of Santorini towards caldera cliffs)
View of Santorini near Fira
View of Santorini (towards caldera cliffs)

After crossing Imerovigli village, the trails extends further 2-3 more cliffs. At this point, most of the tourist or visitors skip this part and take a direct transport to Oia. But I was lucky to be among the few to complete the entire journey.  Wherever I climbed, wherever I stopped, I could only see the beautiful sea around ending everywhere with an amazing foggy sealine.

Santorini (overlooking sea)
Santorini (overlooking sea)
Santorini Dome Sea View
Santorini Dome Sea View

Charting through these amazing breathtaking views, I finally made it to the end of the trails which finishes at Oia, a town whose beauty is just un-matchable. There is always something to see at every corner. Sleeky twisted path tends to break at every intervals by beautiful blue dome churches and you crossed these interconnected streets with shops and restaurants always offering something which is just not resistible!

View of Oia, Santorini
View of Oia, Santorini
View of Oia Town, Santorini
View of Oia Town, Santorini

Shortly after exploring the entire Oia town, I had an amazing authentic Greek meal and waited there to see the famous sunset which Oia is famous for. People from all over the world comes to see and experience this spectacular event. And as true as it is, the grand beauty of the sunset I saw just couldn’t be expressed in words. It was a like perfect picture portrait one would actually dreams in their entire life.

Oia Sunset, Santorini
Oia Sunset, Santorini
Oia Sunset at Santorini
Oia Sunset at Santorini

Finally I took the bus from Oia station and went to back to my hotel to have a peaceful sleep dreaming all the beautiful moments I have collected in this journey so far. From next morning,  I was ready to leave for my next trip to Kamari which is kind of coastal village towards the north-eastern part of Santorini. I took a direct bus from Fira and reach there around late morning. The street architecture was little different from what I saw in Fira and Oia, the streets being comparatively broader spread all around by various shops and restaurants.

Kamari, Santorini
Kamari, Santorini
Kamari street, Santorini
Kamari street, Santorini

Traversing through the shops I finally stumbled onto the breathtaking Kamari beach. The view was just spectacular. The color of the water was perfect blue as if someone has actually painted the entire canvas just now. The sand was black colored and filled with small numerous amount of pebble stones. The beach encompasses all around with paved public walkway which is surrounded by chain of amazing Greek restaurants spread in a way that on one side of the promenade overlooking sea you will find open chair sitting where you can relax and enjoy the grand beauty of nature. After spending most of the day exploring the town, I finally sat down at the beach to relax in the lap of mother nature.

Kamari Beach in Santorini
Kamari Beach in Santorini
Sea View from Kamari Beach
Sea View from Kamari Beach

Later when the sun had settled down, I went around to explore the colorful street architecture lighten up all over the periphery of amazing beach. The air was cool and the ambience was just amazing. After stumbling through few options, I finally picked up a restaurant to have nice dinner meal. Sitting in a Greek restaurant at night while having a tasty Greek food looking on one side at a street lightened and sparkling in night sky with people strolling around and on the other side enjoying the fresh breeze of sea while having my perfect dinner, I was just loving it!

Soon the time eventually arrived when my trip was coming to an end where I have to head back to hotel and catch an early morning flight back to Athens.

Kamari Sea view
Airplane Flying along the Kamari Sea

Somewhere inside my heart was so attached to the beauty and peace of this amazing Island that I was not able to let go the idea of leaving it now. But I guess that’s what traveling is all about, you travel, you collect those very moments which makes up to living your life and move ahead further in search for another place or venture for new destinations. But I guess, from all the adventures I accomplished in this little journey, I can easily say that ‘Santorini’ is no doubt that one destination that you should visit at least once in your lifetime!! In the end, I would like to leave you behind with a nice quote by famous historian:

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

If you want to have one of like adventure ..We provide assistance in making curated packages and furthermore always Happy to help..Looking forward to connect with other Travelers.. 🙂

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“COLMAR”: France’s Fairyland

“COLMAR”: France’s Fairyland

Everyone just curious about travelling to Paris & London, yet there are many small villages in France & Europe offers a unique & unspoilt glimpse of ancient Europe, untouched by modern development tracing back to Medieval Period. For me as an avid traveler between Germany, France and Italy it was a first time visit to Colmar . I have a weakness for canal side cities – Annecy, Bruges, Amsterdam, and Venice. Nevertheless, one of my all-time favorites is in France’s Alsace region, a city overflowing with half-timbered medieval buildings and flower-lined canals. So when I got my all ears that Colmar is even more colorful, had even prettier buildings, more flowers and more scenic canals, how could I forgo a visit?

“COLMAR” - Location

Colmar is just situated on the border of France and Germany and near Switzerland, Colmar is a fairytale French town that offers a mesmerizing insight into the last 1,000 years of European history.

Colmar is a real gem in the Alsace. The town has a very well perpetuate city center and a picturesque division called ‘Little Venice’, which is touristy with colorful timbered houses and little canals. I spent 4 days in Colmar so what I liked is a perfect explanation here for you to use – if you are in love with small towns and looking for peaceful holidays and decide to visit Colmar in France.

Colmar Location
Colmar Location
Railway station, Colmar, France
Railway station, Colmar, France

How to Reach Colmar?

Colmar is very near to city of Strasbourg. You can find a direct train connection to Colmar from Strasbourg, which is 35 minutes ride, make sure that you sit on the right side of the train and enjoy the highly captivating and stunning views of the Mountains amd countryside landscape. Additionally, there a numerous low-cost flights from the closest airport; the Euroairport in Basel and Zurich.

Checking In: Airbnb (Vacation Rental)

For our stay in Colmar our only interest was being centrally located so that we could make the most of our visit. After doing, a little research online I found Airbnb Apartment, which is highly rated, based on reviews, so it seemed the obvious choice given their location right by just a short few minutes’ walk to all the shops and center of town. The apartment was extremely generous in size; I would definitely recommend this to travellers on a mid-range budget in Colmar.

Airbnb Apartment in Colmar
Airbnb Apartment in Colmar
Airbnb Apartment in Colmar
Airbnb Apartment in Colmar

Things to do in Colmar, France

1. Stroll Down the old Town

Walking the streets of Colmar is like watching or living in those childhood fairy stories, which has come to life or presents a real picture of all. There is a wooden steeple just perfect for Rapunzel to let her hair down from, tiny cottages that would make the perfect home for seven dwarfs and a candy-colored bakery Hansel and Gretel. The Strasbourg and Colmar are placed in such a way that is where France meets Germany and the two cultures come together to create a unique mix – think of it as France with a twist. Just when its Bonjour and Hallo!!

Colmar old town in France
Colmar old town in France
Colmar Old Town in France
Colmar Old Town in France

Colmar doesn’t have huge list of must-see museums or attractions –But what it does have is scenic spots by the bucket-load. You might need to pack an extra memory card or two – I cannot remember the last place where I took quite so many photos. Everywhere you look there are small houses painted in pastel shades, wooden shutters, wooden windows, twisting cobbled streets and window boxes overflowing with blooms. It is the perfect place to meander around and see what is there in the box.

View on the beautiful old half-timbered houses
View on the beautiful old half-timbered houses
Historical street in Colmar city center
Historical street in Colmar city center

I was under the dilemma that locals must be really and justifiably proud of their homes, and everything is neatly painted and preserved. Some are decorated with lamps, clocks and hearts – then there are a few who’ve have taken it to the extreme by hanging bikes, chairs, Santa Claus and who knows what else out front. In Colmar, it seems your house is an piece of artwork in addition with a place to live which is worthwhile to spend rest of your life. Houses are also mixed with cute boutique shops selling local produce like chocolate and wine as well as art and antiques. Some of them have ornate and beautifully carved signs hanging over the street to show what they sell. Then there are waterside cafés and more souvenir shops to relish your cravings to preserve Colmar in your home.

Decorative front facades
Decorative front facades
Decorative front facades
Decorative front facades

2. La Petite Venise

It is just a look around and you will find picturesque building in the center of Colmar, but things reach peak prettiness in the area nicknamed Petit Venice. Colmar’s Little Venice is where you will find that picture-perfect to get clicked row of half-timbered houses painted in shades of pink, yellow and sky blue. The houses here are homes or quarters for many tanners, butchers and fishmongers lived. The story goes that different colors were used to display the different types of businesses – so if you were a fisherman your house would be blue, or a butcher would have a red house.

View of La Petite Venise
View of La Petite Venise
View of La Petite Venise
View of La Petite Venise

For a different experience and views of Colmar, you can take a boat trip. Many visitors only spend a day in Colmar, but if you have time to spare its worth staying for at least more nights. Colmar is also a great base to explore the Alsatian wine route where some of the area’s delicious Rieslings are grown, with pretty Eguisheim 7km away by bike. When its dawn or you can also call blue hour, with soft street lighting and perfect reflections in the still waters of the canals, the fairytale is real.

Area little Venice (la Petite Venise) in Colmar, Alsace, France. Evening
Area little Venice (la Petite Venise) in Colmar, Alsace, France. Evening
Area little Venice (la Petite Venise) in Colmar, Alsace, France. Evening
Area little Venice (la Petite Venise) in Colmar, Alsace, France. Evening

It is one of those few places in the world that you can visit and ultimately feel the urge to remain there for the rest of your life. We have traveled to various parts of France and the world in general, but there is no other place in this country or anywhere else where I or any other visitor can feel like a fairy tale World

I hope that our guide has helped you to answer all your questions. In addition, if not, please feel free to pop some more in the comment section below. We will try to help in your planning. Until then, enjoy your travels!

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Does long term solo travel feels lonely?

Does long term solo travel feels lonely?

Most of us when we starts traveling, either within our native country or abroad, we always try to pick our travels by making return trips to places or countries which are also cheap and easy to plan accordingly.  For some it makes sense by the amount of holidays we get while working in a company/organization or studying in an institution. But what if you have the chance to actually experience travel for long term – staying for months or even years – and making travel plans in between. I know most of some famous travelers out there (storming on Facebook and Instagram) are even doing that by doing freelancing works and picking local part time jobs or simply doing regular successful blogging and trying to work about their money while traveling.

Non Stop Travel
A concept of traveling for longer duration non stop.

I tried this experience for the first time as my current job often allows me to work from home and I decide to do some weekly trips within my own country and abroad by picking up random places and switching to over to new ones in between coming back and forth to my own native city whenever my works requires. I wouldn’t deny that no doubt how smart you plan your things, you may end up spending some money along the way (which I was mentally ready for it). But trying this new random traveling for a little long while, was it really worth the experience?

I think I would say I had mixed feelings. I was meeting new people almost every evening, trying to sometimes experience life from their eyes. And the rest part I was exploring everything on my own. There was sense of extreme free feeling while explore local places, food, concerts, events etc. But then there was a part of me who felt alone or lonely sometimes, as if I am on the run and nothing stays with me ever. Most of our life are usually cyclic but when you are doing these long term traveling, the life becomes actually moving forward all the time. You meet people, make friends, make experiences, and then move onto another. There might be very few only you sometimes keep in touch while on the move but for how long? A normal life feeling usually revolves around circle of people and things you are doing everyday which may also provide you emotional security but that something you may always miss when it comes to long time travel.

However, on the other hand, its may still be question of debate! Even when it comes to meeting people, I had made some really good friends through travel (though very few) but they have been more close to me now rather than ones who stays in the same city where I live. I believe it solely depends upon on both the individuals how much keen they are to keep in touch and that can also happen when you are actually living in the same native town for so long.  Similarly experiences, I think travel is also another way of healing your inner self sometimes. It detaches you from the toxic thoughts of your life and fills your heart with some peaceful and amazing content-full experiences which in a way give great moments of happiness.

But then, why do feel lonely sometimes when we do these solo travels? If I ask this myself, then I believe its not the travel which makes us lonely, but the fear of connecting with our own self! We have made ourselves so much dependent on our day-to-day work life and dissolves ourselves mostly in  social and family cycles that surrounds us every time that we cannot imagine a life without it sometimes. And in those solo-moment with hardly no understanding of dealing with them we get stuck with feelings of emptiness inside and we sometimes starts doubting whether these travel decision were the right one to pick or not!

Traveling, short or long terms are always an amazing experience and I think key to best travel lifestyle is find a right emotional balance between traveling and your own life! It does varies for different people and we can only realize when we start experimenting such random experiences. At the end its all about feeling content-full inside your heart!What do you think, would you feel alone or lonely if you had travel for a long while or what was your experiences if you have already done such long term traveling?

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float; to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.”
- Hans Christian Anders

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Northern Lights in Lofoten: See Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights in Lofoten: See Aurora Borealis

Experience the norwegian northern lights from a traveler’s experience!

Everyone has dreams of places they want to see, explore and chuck down from there bucket list in their lifetime. For many and if I am not wrong, at the top of that bucket list is the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. One of the best destinations to chase and explore northern lights is Norway and more northwards you drift to, the better the chances and luckier you get.

Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, Lofoten Islands
Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, Lofoten Islands

Hunting the northern lights is a sport that just every winter traveller can get behind. Watching this magnificent nature phenomenon Northern lights dancing and flickering in the sky is on the bucket lists of thousands. People travel from all over the world in the hope of getting a glimpse of the sky illuminated by spectacular displays of green, purple or pink and this was certainly on my list too, and I got my chance on a cold, clear night in Lofoten Islands.

What is Aurora Borealis?

Have you ever thought about what causes the appearance of Northern Lights and why it illuminates the sky in different colours? It occurs when electrically charged gas particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere and are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. The lights appear to be dancing across the sky and it comes in every shape and size. The most common colour seen is green but if you are lucky, you can see the sky light up like a rainbow in pink, blue, yellow and purple. The color of Northern Lights mainly depends and comes from the type of particles that collide with each other.

Aurora borealis, Northern lights
Aurora borealis, Northern lights

Where can you see Aurora Borealis?

Northern Lights are most commonly seen in Norway, Greenland and Iceland in Europe, or in the Northwest Territories of North America, Alaska and Canada. Norway is the most accessible option. If sky condition is good and clear then you can see the Northern Lights all across Nordic areas.

Seeing the Northern Lights: My Lifetime Experience

It was our 3rd and final day in Lofoten Islands and we hadn’t seen the Northern Lights. On our first two nights, the excursions in search of the green light in the sky had been cancelled due to cloud cover and heavy rains and snow. But, on our last day, we got lucky to see sunshine with the fact that we surely be seeing the Northern Lights because of clear sky.

In preparation for the evening outing, we layered about every piece of woollen clothing we had from backpack and get ready for the thrilling adventure. We joined the group with our guide at 21:00 hrs and headed for Northern Light spot. After a short ride for about 15mins our Tour Guide addressed the group “That Northern Lights have been spotted.” A ripple of excitement rushed through us. Out the window, we could see a glowing thin green light covering entire snow clad mountains.

Northern lights Svolvaer
Northern Lights, Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands

Beyond the road we arrived on, toward a mountain, we could see two distinct streams of lime green and Pink light in the sky. This was it. This is what we were waiting for. This is what we were chasing. We were seeing the Northern Lights in Norway with our very own eyes.

We scrambled to find a place to set up our cameras, as we needed complete stillness if we were to have any chance of getting a clear photo. Without a tripod, we would have to improvise. The ground was completely covered with snow and ice. But sooner we spotted a picnic table, cleared off the snow, laid our camera at angled towards the dancing Northern Lights.

Northern lights view at Lofoten, Norway
Northern lights view at Lofoten, Norway

The strip of green and pink lights expanded and brightened then dulled and brightened again. The light danced across the sky, silhouetting the mountain. It was like landing and watching into a fairy tale land. A million stars twinkled above us. Constellations were so intense that it brightened the entire sky and it was almost impossible to believe that we finally made our dream come true to chase and see northern lights in real. We watched until we were completely frozen and numb…which was about a total of 30-35minutes.

Northern Lights in Sky
Northern Lights in Sky, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Want my advice for seeing the Northern Lights in Norway/Iceland/Lapland etc.? If you haven’t practiced your photography and unprepared for frigidly cold weather, forget the camera and simply enjoy the Lights in the sky. If you want the memory in a photograph, ask your tour guide to click one for you!

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Featured in “Backpacker Magazine”

Featured in “Backpacker Magazine"

One of my recent article last month grabbed a feature in the internationally acclaimed “Backpackers Magazine“. It felt like a great moment and I am happy to write and share my stories with the world out there!  Travel writing is actually fun don’t you think?  To write about our experiences, to depict our moments with various pictures we take along the journey and to simply guide other people along the way.

Featured publication in Backpacker Magazine
Featured publication in Backpacker Magazine

The article is about my experience of staying in the Wombat’s Hostel in Munich. I was doing a summer road trip in Germany, France and Italy earlier this year and Munich was my starting point. The hostel was situated exactly in the city centre and I was really amazed with architectural design and friendly calm soothing spaces it had to offer. I took some time out to capture the some shots and pictures around the hostel and decided to write an article about it.

Have you ever got an chance to publish an article in a travel magazine? Or do you wish to write one. I suggest all the readers to take few minutes and do stop by to read my feature if you have time and would be really happy to see your comments below!

 

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Scoot Wandermust Winner – Preferred Traveler from India!

Scoot Wandermust Winner – Preferred Traveler from India!

Recently I was selected by Singapore based low-cost Airlines called by the name of ‘Scoot’, which opened up a contest in the month of June 2018 which was mainly published on their Facebook  pages all around Asia/world targeting specifically those countries or destinations where the airlines usually fly to. It was really proud moment for me to be selected on a global platform and to be the only Indian selected from my country beating thousands of application in their system!

About Contest

In order to participate in the contest, people have to post well thought entries in the form of a brief story telling or showing the airlines why they think “they have travel in the blood“.  The stories have options to be in the form of text followed by photographs or videos.

Wanderlust Adverstisement

Since it was a global competition, the key was not only on how you pitch or present your story but how genuine it is for selection Jury to decide if it synchronizes with the idea of the need of travel addiction!.

Is Travel is in Your blood?

The idea of travel is in your blood initiated by Scoot, originally arises from the research of DRD4-2/7R gene and its relationship to human travel. The research is organised by famous professor “Richard Ebstein” from National Institute of Singapore. He has been studying this gene-travel relationship from past 20 years and connects it direct roots to exploration and travel addiction.

Click on the image to check the video!

All the winners who will be selected in the contest are mainly invited to singapore to undergo this DNA test to actually discover whether this Exploration gene exist in them or not. Evenhow, if the results turn out to be positive/negative, the overall search was still purely based on stories and profile of every user or applicant who were applying for this contest.

Prizes for Winners

The prizes were distributed into 3 sections – 1 Grand Prize winner, 4 Wandermust Prize winners and 12 Participation prize winners.
Participation Winner: The participation winners were mainly given 100SGD worth voucher which they could redeem with Scoot flights.
Wandermust winners – These 4 winners consist of the main core section and were given the following prizes:

  • Roundtrip (basic) fare ticket from home country to Singapore.
  • 1 night and 2 days stay in Singapore with good rated hotel.
  • One roundtrip (Basic) fare ticket from Home country to any Scoot flying destination inclusive of taxes.
  • Complementary DNA analysis for the D4DR-2/7R gene variant.

Grand prize winner: There were 1 exchange to the grand prize winner along with wandermust prize was offering which mainly included 100,00 KrisFlyer miles in place of roundtrip ticket to any Scoot destination, which if I think is the best buy for grand winner!

My Selection and Prize

I was selected among the 4 wandermust winners in which I was sponsored a free trip to Singapore, along with a top rated hotel stay and DNA test. And I still hold one free round-trip to travel anywhere in Asia!! (Any recommendations?)

Scoot Wanderlist contest winners
Click on the image to check the video!

Among the all the travelers who got selected in this contest, only 34.62% were found out positive with DRD4-2/7R exploration gene and mine though came out to be negative.

But does it really matter whether you have a travel gene or not, whether its in your blood that implants the idea of this travel addiction!? For me travel is more of an experience, the way to explore and see the life outside the small buble we live in and explore the life as it is everywhere!

My story by Scoot

This is what scoot published about me”

” Meet Anubhav. An Indian native who travels the world on a budget and a whole lot of travel points. 

Having travelled to more than 30 countries (on extremely tight budgets), Anubhav’s no stranger to travel-hacking. He never fails to score the best deal on every flight he takes. 
At his free time, he works as a free travel advisor and is very passionate about helping others chase their travel dreams.
If you’re thinking of pursuing a full-time budget globetrotting lifestyle, look no further:https://dreamsvoyager.com/

Click on the image to check the video!

Travel is the best thing which I have found in life! There is so much to see and experience and I just feel I only might have touch the tip of the iceberg. Winning this contest gave me a good confidence and recognition as well to see the potential of how much far we all have the possibility to achieve and find our ways to travel and experience the world out there! 🙂

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Singapore’s Breathtaking Supertree Groove (Man Made trees)

Singapore’s Breathtaking Supertree Grove (Man Made trees)

Have you ever wonder to visualize a futuristic mechanical paradise originating from the concept of sci-fi movies we have been watching all the time? Well you don’t have to imagine it anymore! Thoughtfully designed by Singapore government is the astonishing waterfront gardens known as Garden by the Bay which consist of stunning vertical supertrees  mechanically constructed in a way that the whole area radiates into green natural paradise!

Walking path to Supertrees Grove
Walking path to Supertrees Grove
Singapore Gardens by the Bay, three Supertrees and the flower dome
Singapore Gardens by the Bay, three Supertrees and the flower dome

Supertree Grove - Location

These Supertrees, also termed as, ‘Supertree Groove’ is located right inside the Gardens by the bay. These gardens are further situated in the central part of Singapore adjoining the Marina reservoir.

Supertree location
Supertree Groove location

Supertree Grove - Design

The complete central area of Gardens by the bay consists of 18 Supertrees from a height ranging from 25m(82ft) to 50m(164ft). Each tree is further divided into 3 segments:

  • The core is made of Reinforced concrete.
  • The trunk is made of steel frame which is covered with planting panels on top to act as a living skin for plants.
  • The canopy, whose branches are design in the form neuron wave network radiating outwards on the top.

More than 100 thousand plants consisting of numerous species and varieties of Orchid, ferns and climbing flowers are planted on them.

Daytime View of the Supertree Grove
Daytime View of the Supertree Grove
Evening View of the Supertree Grove
Evening View of the Supertree Grove

Supertree Grove - Interconnecting walkway

The Supertrees are also connected together with an interconnecting 128m long elevated walkway (also known as ‘OCBC Skyway’) which enables visitors to walk and explore the breathtaking views of Gardens and Marina Bay Skyline of Singapore.

Supertree groove - interconnecting walkway
Supertree groove - interconnecting walkway
Supertree groove - interconnecting walkway
Supertree groove - interconnecting walkway

Supertree Grove - Self-Sustainability

The Supertrees have self-sustainable solar energy which is generated by photo-voltaic system installed among 11 of them. This energy further aids in providing electricity which is used for illuminating the trees at night.

Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove
Lighted Supertree Grove

The large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night. The entire design is transformed into a theme of mesmerizing vertical garden concept which is amazing to experience.

The supertree Groove and the entire Gardens by the bay is one of the best illustration of exemplary architecture masterpiece design ever being constructed and came to existence. No matter how many times I have come back to visit these gardens in Singapore, I had always got lost in the spectacular beauty of their stunning designs. And thus, I definitely recommend for every traveler or person to visit and experience this paradise at least once in their lifetime!

Supertree Grove Entrance
Supertree Grove Entrance

Have you been to Singapore? What was your experience? or do you wish to visit Singapore to see this design yourself? Feel free to share your comments!

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Experience splendid luxury with a crush of British Charisma!

Experience splendid luxury with a crush of British Charisma!

As a Traveler, I have done extensive traveling in and around Europe, have stayed in all types of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels, top hostels or even best rated service apartments. I have no stereotypes or pre-defined pattern, I like to experience everything, even when It comes to the taste of Luxury and Opulence. Its an experience of well defined art, a blend of innovative colors and design which adds to the utmost comfort of the human touch.

Last month, in my pursuit of exploring destinations along road trip from Germany towards France and all the to Italy, I had the opportunity to stay at “Frankfurt Messe Premier Inn”. Its one of the recent installment from the famous British company called “Whitbread”.

With amazing selections of light shade colors, artistic approach of playing with shapes and designs, calm and soothing ambiance where they have tried to nurture their perspective in detailing even the smallest interior elements, thought-provoking quotes all around to welcome you, each and every space designed with a provocative idea keeping their authentic British vibe with a blend of European lifestyle, the whole experience of our stay there was simply auspicious.

Frankfurt Messe Premier Inn Entrance
Frankfurt Messe Premier Inn

LOCATION

To many travellers, Frankfurt means skyscrapers, banking and trade fairs. Yet there’s a whole different side to the city: Get festive at one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets, so many endless museums on each street, sample some authentic German food (and beer!) and make the most of Frankfurt’s extensive shopping opportunities. With Premier Inn Frankfurt Messe so well connected to the airport, the city center and Frankfurt old town, it’s a great location for a short break.

  • S-Bahn (overground) – 0.70 km
  • U-Bahn (underground) – 0.80 km
  • Bus – 0.20 km
  • Great location: just a few minutes’ walk to the fair.

FRANKFURT MESSE PREMIER INN

Frankfurt Messe Premier Inn is one of the Premier Inn hotel chains of UK which, not long ago, was opened in Frankfurt, flagging first hotel of the brand in Germany. Our first impression of the hotel was really astonishing, light colorful pendant lights at the front lobby takes your gaze towards the front desk where you are stuck with thoughts of admiring and reading the beautiful letters inscribed on rear wall in a really artistic manner.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Receptiion
Frankfurt Premier Messe Receptiion
Frankfurt Premier Messe Receptiion
Frankfurt Premier Messe Receptiion

The side view of from the entrance lobby overlooking the lounge area was also interesting giving you a quick peek of beautifully arranged interiors at every side.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Entrance Side View
Frankfurt Premier Messe Entrance Side View

As I was in the process of checking into my room, I already knew by this time that my heart was set to have the most comforting experience for the next few days of my stay.

LOUNGE & BAR AREA

The lounge is a perfect space designed in a classy and distinctive way, where the designers have thoughtfully planned each every segment with extreme small details and at the same time balanced the integration of the whole lounge atmosphere which blend in together with bar area on the corner.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Area

The sitting area facing the windows towards entrance, has a series of long sofa chairs with a beautiful selection of ceiling lights illuminating in different light colors. The whole area was nicely decorated to attract different social gatherings where anyone can simply enjoy their drink or meal while enjoying the smooth laid back-comfort of the sofa sitting.

An interesting feature of the complete lounge area were there book-shelf partitions which also has added shelves on every interval displaying small decorative features or antiques.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study

While on the other side, just adjacent to bar, was the lounge area consisting of comforting tables and chairs providing a different style of sitting to suit accordingly to everyone taste or choice to relax and feel comfortable. In my opinion, it was best suited for someone who would like to do a quick meeting or to simply grab a drink and work on their laptops while enjoyed the warm feeling of lounge at the same time.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study
Frankfurt Premier Messe Lounge Sitting cum Study

BAR AREA

The bar area within the lounge was another feature of the special glamour of the hotel. Illuminating all around with circular shape ceiling light hanging from above, it felt as it brought the whole atmosphere again into new life.

One of the thing I enjoyed most was to grab a drink while sitting in the front of bar and gazing there colorful streak of lights as if it was creating beautiful magical rhythm.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area Ceiling Lights
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area Ceiling Lights

On the right side of the bar, just one the corner, was a nice linear table with high chair  sitting which was beautifully illuminated with alternate black and yellow colors of ceiling light hanging on the table top. The rear wall, however, on the other side added much to these decorations with “Menu” of the type of drinks and meal available to opt there.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Bar Area

RESTAURANT AREA

Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area

The designers kept a special focus in mind segregating the restaurant area from the lounge, but at the same time designed in a way to easily integrate with the views of lounge cum bar area.

The restaurant seating inside was intrigue and fascinating, something different to offer to people coming from collective memory of design elements from the lounge area. On the longer side of wall contained the huge longitudinal display of different collections of interesting book which was just astonishing in appearance.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area

while on the other side of wall had a colorful display of different figures of alarm clocks design with specific quotes marked on them in both English and German language which was interesting to read.

Another thing which really catch my eyes was their collective designs of hanging ceiling lights which seems very artistic with the overall interior design.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area - Decorative Ceiling Lights
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area - Decorative Ceiling Lights
Frankfurt Premier Messe Resturant Area - Decorative Ceiling Lights

ROOMS

Although the rooms comes with a standard design, but they were well appointed with comfortable bed, side tables, tea/coffee units, television, free Wi-Fi etc. with plenty of space to store your luggage.  Adjoining the bed was laid back relaxing sofa chair which was comfortable enough to get even a quick rest!

The bed was warm and cosy and provided the best comfort of having a sound rest and sleep. On the side wall of the bed was beautiful designed wallpaper which added a nice touch to the room decorations.

Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room
Frankfurt Premier Messe Hotel Room

The hotel has some really fine touches, like the classy slogans of “William Blake” showcasing modern decor and offering best views of Frankfurt city.

Frankfurt’s Premier Inn provides spot on facilities, artistic and thoughtful designed interior architecture, with their special focus on human psychology of comfort, their centralized location & close proximity of shopping mall and fine dinning restaurants, imbibing the overall feel of luxurious lifestyle, its an unique experience which every traveler should try while journeying through the city of Frankfurt in Germany.

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Incredible Aerial views of Greenland!

Incredible Aerial views of Greenland!

Greenland, an epitome of arctic beauty, situated far northeast of North America, surrounded by Iceland, is one of those destination one dream to visit at lease once in their lifetime. This dream is still on my bucket list but not so recently, en-route to my journey to United States, I got lucky to grab some of the breathtaking views of Greenland.

This huge island, as you view from above, is practically surrounded all over with snow, but on the east and west coast, it offers spectacular views of mountains with natural pure blue water channeling their way through them and filled with icebergs or probably small or huge pieces of ice The whole range of mountains looked as if they were covered with a neat white blanket of snow.

Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view

Watching these views were one the best experiences of my life and made me more curious to imagine how would it look to actually experience it from ground. It is expensive to visit Greenland, but maybe someday hopefully I will have the opportunity to witness these wonderful Island in real.

Have you seen any views of Greenland? Is it also on your bucket list destinations? Feel free to share your comments.  

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Traveling the world with weak Indian Passport!

Traveling the world with weak Indian Passport!

International travel is such a fun loving lively dream that everyone who loves traveling wanted to do more and more of it, but is it as easy as it sounds for everyone around the world?

International Travel
International Travel
Travel the World
Travel the World Concept

I got my first opportunity to do a business trip to Europe in 2013. At that time I have no understanding or know-how to travel abroad, but with my curiosity I wanted to learn more and more about it. So like every other person, I started searching – watching you tube videos, blogs, articles but most of the success stories I read about were mostly from the people with a strong passport which I believe by default were already given the perks of International traveling. It was as if, they don’t have to worry about that first very foundation of it.

Today in my Indian passport, I have a valid tourist visas of US (10 years), Canada (5 years) & schengen (4 years) along with travel history of all strong visa checking countries like Japan, UK etc. Sounds like an easy-peasy? Well for some people this could be far fetched dream and for some people might not even know the essence of it (because all they need is to pick up the backpack and just hit these destinations anytime).

Indian passport at present is one of the weakest passports in the world, with bunch of only few Visa-free OR visa-on-arrival countries options, its even far more difficult to get a visa especially when you are applying in the developed countries. On top of it, every-time you apply for a visa the cost may vary anywhere from 90$-160$ which is also non-refundable if you get a refusal. (and yes there are so many people here who get refusals everyday).

Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept

And if you get a refusal on your passport, the credibility of your passport goes to rock bottom when you apply elsewhere next-time.

Besides, the amount of documentation that had to be arrange for any single application takes a load of time and efforts itself. A general thumb rule of documentation includes at least the following:

  • Cover letter & Application form duly filed, signed with latest photos
  • Salary slips (3-6 months)
  • No Objection certificate from Employer (if you are employed)
  • Bank statements (3-6 months)
  • Income tax returns (2-3 years)
  • old & Current passports and visa copies
  • Confirmed Flight tickets (yes they have to be confirmed!)
  • confirmed Hotel/accommodation bookings.
  • Marriage certificate (if you are married)
  • Detailed Itinerary plans

It varies a bit from applying country to country. But mostly some will require more than what is mentioned on the top list. There are some countries though which allows you to enter with valid US, UK, Japan, Schengen visas like Taiwan, Turkey, Philippines etc but it really doesn’t solve much of your travel needs.

The real question however, for people with weak passports is how to get long validity visas or how to increase the credibility of their passport, something I did for myself as I mentioned earlier!?

Honestly, as simple as it means, you have to travel more and more to maintain the best travel history. US is the only country which allows Indians to provide 10 years multiple entry visa at a cost of 170$-175$. It sounds expensive, but with the US visa, the credibility of your passport increases a lot. Afterwards, once you started to travel and apply visas in more and more countries, eventually you build a trust factor with your passport and so the journey becomes a bit easier later on.

But really you have to be a travel freak to get to that status. After getting about different 10-15 Schengen Visas stamps in the past 4-5 years (along with actual travel which were even more times) I was able to grab a 4 years long term tourist one but most of the people told me I was simply lucky.

For someone who loves traveling, they always found a way to work things out. I always try to see things from the positives side sometimes. Having a weak passport push me out of my comfort zone to find ways and learn new things everyday. It broadens the vision to see both the hard and easy sides of the travel and simply to appreciate what we get in life is best for us! 🙂

Do you have a strong or weak passport? Does visa applications play important role in your travel? Do take a moment to share you comments!

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