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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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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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Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

If you have been following the chronicles of my travel diary series , I would like to share my experience where I had spend two days exploring the astounding Gothenburg city on my own.

Set in the Swedish west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden. Most people would dream to visit Stockholm as their first preference when traveling to Sweden, but in order to seek something unconventional, I determined to hit Gothenburg this time and to my gratification it was no doubt a gorgeous experience. 

Scenic aerial view of the Old Town with Oscar Fredrik Church in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Scenic aerial view of the Old Town in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.

Sustaining its roots into Noe-classical architecture, beautifully designed around picturesque canals, the moment I stepped down, I was already fallen in love with the city. It was the month of March, still in the span of frigid winters, I was all set and ready to unravel this ultimate trip. My flight landed on Göteborg Landvetter Airport, I approached further to find my way towards my accommodation into this shivery night. There were two things I had kept notes for in order to make use of trouble-free transportation.

  1. Purchase a return ticket for “Flygbussarna” bus which connects promptly to city from Airport. I directly went to Information center to get the ticket which included my valid return journey as well.
  2. Day tickets which in my case I had purchased 3-day ticket. It includes unlimited travel on buses, trams, ferries and trains. I purchased it directly from the “Pressbyran” (convenience store) which you can easily locate at the airport.

The ride on the airport bus was calm and comfortable. Since  I had reserve an Airbnb accommodation, I had to change and catch tram after two stops at “Goteborg Korsvagen”. Infused with peculiar excitement in my heart, the first glimpse of the city was itself magical. Standing next to my tram stop among the group of people, the cold breeze rushing into my face, enwreathe by glittering mix of modern cum classical architecture, it was something pristine to experience. The tram finally took me to my accommodation which was a small walk from the nearby stop.

My Airbnb home, where I was sharing a studio room, was located in a serene and tranquil neighborhood of ‘Skår’ surrounded by some beautiful and delightful private cottage houses. Residing in such a place like dream in-itself.

Skår District
Skår District
Skår District
Skår District

Drizzle of breezing rain rushing across as I walk along these streets next morning to my way towards the tram stop, fancying in that moment, how a life in real would actually felt to live here. Since my childhood I was always fascinated towards the architecture and nature of the Scandinavian life, the essence of which is enriching yet calm in its own way.  As I walk further, I was thrilled with exquisite nature reserved within the vicinity of the neighborhood that I even decided take a small walk amidst them before finally making it to my tram stop.

A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”

After boarding the tram, my next stop was “Brunnsparken” which is considered to be the prominent central square in Gothenburg. It also acts like a central junction where all the tram stops merges together and therefore also recognize as a famous meeting point for people.

I decided to take a quick nimble around the central square. The sight somehow reminded of places like Amsterdam and Germany. The elegant architecture all around, filled with the blend of alluring art and history, with lovely fountains and chirping sounds of birds, bold statues boasting Swedish history and cris-crossed by tram lines on the other side, a graceful canal with clean and clear water flowing away, apprached by steps in the front,  where I sat down to enjoy this spectacular view.

Brunnsparken
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg

The plan afterwards was to head towards the famous Archipelago Islands, It was a direct ride from this central square only and it directly takes you to the ferry terminal. The short trip to the archipelagos was breathtaking. To know more about my short trip experience of Gothenburg Southern Archipelago islands, click here to check it out.

 On return, I reached back at the same place of “Brunnsparken” and It was already evening by then. My body was feeling a bit tired, freezing in the chilly winter, my heart was still striking the beats of excitement, I began to explore further this amazing city by night.

Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden

I kept walking and exploring the silent peaceful night, charting my ways amidst the calm and soothing nature and beautiful surroundings.

A night time view of Gothenburg
A night time view of Gothenburg
Gothenburg Haga at night
Gothenburg Haga at night

It was finally time to catch some dinner as I was feeling hungry and a bit physically exhausted by then, so I strolled all the way to the famous ‘Haga’ area where I discovered a delightful vegan restaurant known as ‘ Solrosen’.  Haga is one of happening district of Gothenburg, which is particularly known for its magnificent wooden houses, and where also you could unearth some offbeat restaurants serving delicious food. The best things I loved about this restaurant was their free/buffet salad bar where you can have all types of various salads to satisfy your hunger pans.

Solrosen gothenburg
Solrosen, gothenburg

After enjoying my gracious food, it was time to head back to my apartment. My first day exploring this charming city had been just amazing and incredible. On the way back, I was already thinking about how I was planning to spend the second day of my trip, to visit the beautiful botanical gardens, to explore those pleasant central parks of ‘Slottsskogen” filled with auspicious greenery and peaceful nature, to discover the famous ‘Haga” district and its spectacular architecture, and much more where my heart could follow and explore its own way.

Traveling for me is not only venture to new places but to explore and connect with the surroundings. To observe the nurturing the new life, the way the people live and more importantly the nature, the very source which has given the definition to our lives.

If you would like to know more about my journeys around the world, feel free to subcrise and follow and look out for my new upcoming post! And if you have comments, questions and any experience of your own travel you would like to share, feel free to send below. I would love to read them! 🙂

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Gothenburg’s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

Gothenburg’s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

The Archipelago Islands are spread along the coast of Gothenburg, Sweden and easily accessible by Ferry. I was doing my small Scandinavian trip in March 2017 where I stayed in Gothenburg for few days and decided to visit the archipelago. Although there were many small islands within the archipelago, due to rains and little bad weather, I only had time to visit one Island, so I decided to take the ferry to the farthest once known as “Vrångö”. 

March is usually considered as winter months, it is windy and cold, so it not exactly the right season to visit these islands. But for travelers like us, when it comes to travel and exploring, seasons doesn’t matter and on the plus side since there aren’t much crowds, you get to explore the places by yourself which is more fun and peaceful!

Gothenburg Archipelago Map
Gothenburg Archipelago Map

After reaching Gothenburg, my first stop was  Archipelago only.  Gothenburg has either 1 or 3 day transportation day tickets. Ferries are included in the both tickets. So I bought a 3 day ticket and took a tram 11 from center towards “Goteborg Saltholmens Brygga” ferry terminal. All the ferries for Archipelago Islands starts from here. They have small information/ticket kiosk where you can also get free maps and guidance on the ferry times and they also explains you the preferred number of islands you can cover in the remaining time of the day. I waited for my ferry for almost half an hour to 45mins and finally boarded to head towards the last Island “Vrångö”. The time from the main terminal to the farthest island takes about an hour approx and you get to see the view of the other islands on the way.

View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg
View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg

Have you even been in a ferry marching towards the sea when its actually cloudy? and the more closer you go into the sea, the more you feel excited and scary at the same time. On my way to Vrango, every time I look outside, in the those moments of nature, I was filled with the feeling of excitement and adventure at the same time. As I sat closer to the window and saw the ferry gushing through the water, tiny small chunks of land untouched in the lap of nature in the middle of the sea, far somewhere few pitched houses resting on ground, and on the other side, the never ending extent of the ocean, as I moved forward , my eyes captured all these beautiful moments I haven’t seen before in my life.

My ferry finally reached the Vrango terminal. It was raining and there were only few people along with me to step on the Island. I quickly saw a coffee shop next to it, so I directly went there as I was really craving for hot cup of coffee! I ordered a coffee with a small piece of cake, sat down close to window, outside it was still raining and inside the coffee shop, there were only 2 people who might have to come to visit but seems to be afraid to go out because of the rain.

While looking at the window and having the hot sip of the my coffee, watching the rain getting strong every second, there was bit of silence in that moment and I thought am I really scared? I don’t have an umbrella, just a jacket with a hood, my passport in the pocket (unwrapped) and vulnerable to rains, I dont know the way inside and there is not a single person present on this small island I can see, maybe I will get lost, maybe by the time I come back I wont be able to catch ferry, maybe….!? But then I thought, all my life I have been always scared to take chances and the only time I have felt happy when I actually took them. So, I finished my coffee, wore my jacket, put on the hood and went into the island to find the last spot where it ends!

But wait……Lets take a look what I saw on the way 🙂

Cottage houses built on the Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

I walked by some beautiful houses on the way, it was as if walking into a canvas drawn in front of me and only me as there was not a single person I could find, It was still raining, the intensity was increasing every second I went further, but my heart was pumping with loads of excitement  and all it desired to see more and more of what was coming!

After exploring, getting lost and coming back and forth, I finally managed to find a spot on the farthest point which was built on top of rocks. Although because of rains it was all wet, still I carefully find a way to climb the rocks (even slip for few times :D) but eventually after a bit of struggle I managed to climb on the other side and what I saw then was just magical! At that very moment, I forgot the rains, opened my arms wide spread and just enjoyed the view! I was just connected in that beautiful moment of nature and nothing else mattered to me at that time!

View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

It is breathtaking isn’t it? well after spending a good time in the rains, I was already sneezing by then. As I turned around I had literally no idea how to reach back again on the other side. At least 4 times I climbed and came back to same spot and by then I was slightly getting worried a bit. But the good part was, I was still enjoying the views!.. I  found a small route between rocks but further again lost my way couple of times and somehow made it back to Vrango ferry terminal.

I again went into the same coffee shop, there was no one there by then. I ask the swedish lady if I can dry my clothes somewhere there and she was nice to help me out. Well there was no one else to help out otherwise. I asked her out of curiosity if anyone lives here now in this season and she told me she still lives on the same Island and I was happy to finally find a local person to ask questions! 😀

I sat down again on the same window side with a hot cup of coffee, trying to relieve my new cold I have recently catch upon, looking at window, watching rains, feeling proud to live the moment which I will always remember in my lifetime! 🙂

Have you been to Gothenberg archipelago before? or what was your last daring cum magical experience? Feel free to share in the comments below as I would love to read them! 🙂

“Live for the magical unforgettable experiences, they are the only ones which will be there with you in your last moments of life”

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Travel Poems

My Solo Poem..

My Solo Poem...

Off I go today;
Into the planes flying in the ocean of wind,
Overwhelmed with the excitement to see a new life,
trying to live a dream I have just disciplined,
So off I venture today;
Into the darkness of the enormous sky,
searching for something with an empty sight,
that maybe there is still hope left in this life,
So off I wander today,
into the peaceful shores of sea,
I close my eyes and try to feel,
pain is all I got which only seems real to me,
So off I roam today,
into the colorful illusion of life,
I try to search for some pieces,
I may have lost in my time,
but only thing I know is nothing stays divine,
So off I finally try today,
to fly away with my broken wings,
sometimes I hurt,
sometimes I fall,
but in these wounds of time,
I think I found a reason of my living!

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