Travel

Cherishing memories, Charting plans

Another new year is dawning on us and it’s time to not only look back but also plan ahead. Four travel enthusiasts from the city share with Metroplus their desirable travel plans for 2018 and the best of their 2017.

Hari Thiagarajan, Executive Director of Thiagarajar Mills pvt. Ltd.

It was my long time wish to visit Prague and work-related travel took me there in November. Braving a sub-zero weather and few inches of snow, I took off on an electric scooter to explore the vibrant city. Prague didn’t fail to impress with its historic monuments and quaint neighbourhoods. My first stop was the 'Astronomical Clock', a semi-modern measure of time functioning on a three-component mechanism: the Astronomical Dial, representing the position of the Sun and the Moon; The Walk of the Apostles that showcases figures and other moving sculptures and the Calendar Dial to represent the months. The site gives a bird’s-eye view of the busy Charles Bridge and the gushing waters of the river. Boasting of the 9th Century Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral, a stunning piece of Gothic architecture with stained glass paintings of Christ, Prague is a city steeped in rich heritage.

Cherishing memories, Charting plans

The food scene is happening though the options for vegetarians are limited with a few South-East Asian Restaurants and a must visit is Maitrea offering fusion cuisine and plush ambience. This was the first pet friendly Restaurant I came across in Europe.

In early 2018, I plan to visit Cairo and Alexnadria in Egypt. Another dream destination for me in the new year is Petra, the Jordanian City acknowledged by UNESCO with the World Heritage tag. The city has been my muse ever since I watched Indiana Jones that was filmed in Petra.

Rishwanth Jayaraj, Director of Operations, JC Residency

Though I have travelled to many countries in the West, one of my unforgettable experiences was the 13-day road expedition to Ladakh. With my travel-freak wife Swarnaprada Jayaraj and our two-year-old daughter Jyotsna, we set off in Volkswagen Jetta from Madurai. Though the route was planned, our stays and stops were not and we enjoyed the spontaneity. The best part of such travels is that you get to live and tell interesting episodes. For example, at Gwalior, we had to spend a night in the car as all the hotels were booked. It brought back memories of being a student in the US, when once on a car trip from Boston to Florida I spent nights in the car.

Cherishing memories, Charting plans

Our trip became challenging after Manali. The treacherously narrow ghats, the non-existent roads and the unforgiving weather made it a daunting drive. Many thought we were crazy to be taking a risky trip with a toddler but we were exhilarated on completing the trip. We also stumbled upon little-known pockets like Orchha, a treasured jewel in Madhya Pradesh with a grand medieval palace.

On our wish list for 2018 is a trip to Europe. I am particular about making the trip by public transport from Madurai via Pakistan. We had earlier planned to drive in our car to Italy, but it involves a lot of cumbersome formalities and costs over ₹20,00,000. I hope, we will have a great story to share by the end of 2018.

Raja Ilankovan, Director, Vishal promoters

I visited New Zealand and it made for an epic trip. I visited Queenstown, a resort town in South Island which is dubbed as a hub for adventure sports. The place offers a wide range of activities for adventure lovers, including kayaking, bungee jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. I am an outdoor person and signed up for all the activities. The most exciting was the Nevis bungee which is said to be one of the world's deepest bungees with a depth of 134 metres. The free-fall time was for 9 seconds and the adrenaline rush it gives you is beyond definition. You put your entire faith on a single rope and take a plunge into the air. You need to do it to feel it.

Cherishing memories, Charting plans

Likewise, the sky diving experience at Palm Jumeirah island was one nerve-racking moment. You take off in a glider from atop the lofty skyscrapers and you feel like a bird. It offers a breath-taking view of the coast and the palm shaped island.

In February 2018, I have booked for London, one of my long-time dreams. Though I am a rugged traveller, I want to experience the sophistication and luxury that London offers. The nightlife and Madame Tussauds are definitely on the checklist.

Sharath Madhav, Lawyer, Madurai bench of Madras High Court

Last November, I and my wife Anusree Sharath undertook a road trip covering the golden quadrilateral. The trip came as a chance to meet a friend we made on a previous trip to Nepal. We set off in our Mahindra Thar without much planning. For me, it's the journey that matters the most and the friends I make on the way. Our first stop was Jaipur where we visited every single palace and fort apart from hunting down really peculiar local places to eat. I have covered around 17 states in India in my jeep and my idea is to finish seeing India before venturing abroad.

Cherishing memories, Charting plans

In March 2018, I have planned a snow drive from Shimla to Kaza, which is along the Indo-China border. The trip is something any adventure-freak aspires and requires planning by a local expert. We are preparing ourselves physically and mentally, as we will be facing -10 to 120 temperature, heavy snowfall and black ice for a stretch of 900 kilometres. Later in the new year, I want to cover the seven sisters in the North East. It will be a month-long road trip and we are in the process of obtaining permits and other requirements.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:03:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/another-new-year-is-dawning-on-us-and-its-time-to-not-only-look-back-but-also-plan-ahead-four-travel-enthusiasts-from-the-city-share-with-metroplus-their-desirable-travel-plans-for-2018-and-the-best-of-their-2017/article22325234.ece

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