Let’s Go On A Road Trip!!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do by the ones you did. So Throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain

After celebrating Christmas together, while returning back Charmi asked “What’s our plan this new year”? Usual house party or clubbing? having thought about it for a while, I said “Let’s Go On A Road trip” The glee in her eyes said that her answer was surely yes. I came back to my place all pumped up, started surfing for places where we could possibly go. Amongst all the places I thought a visit to a not so nearby hill station would be perfect to bring in new year’s eve. I called her up and said lets go to “Mahabaleshwar”

Grand Canyon of Maharashtra! 😉

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Road trip Essentials Check!

We started our trip at around 6:30 in the morning. Driving on the empty roads (that are usually jam packed during the peak hours) was refreshing. Mumbai mornings are just so serene. After listening to our road trip playlist twice and exhausting all the snacks we bought at the pit stop. I enjoyed driving through Western ghats we finally reached Mahabaleshwar at around 12 in afternoon.We checked in a resort named Dreamland.

We explored the property for rest of the afternoon and we found out that the place totally did justice to its name. The gardens, beautiful cottages, yellow, bright pink & purple flowers with myriad hues greeted us. A pleasant atmosphere for a cozy stay. The best way to explore dreamland is to rent bicycles which are available at the reception. The food served in dreamland is fresh and delicious at the same time.They have their own farm wherein they grow organic vegetables and fruits. After having a filling lunch we decided to explore the local market of Mahabaleshwar. Amidst all the local stores we found a shop named Nayan Arts where you get to see antiques and paintings. You can surely think of buying souvenirs from this shop or something for your home

We ended our night listening to soulful songs & ghazals along with the dinner that was being served poolside. After a long and tiring day this was pretty much needed! Next morning we woke up to an invitation card for our new years party that read..

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Theme Party! 

This card had actually left us intrigued. We were both excited as well as curious and were looking forward to an amazing night. Entire staff team was busy decorating the pool side area as per the theme and were working hard to actually recreate an evening in paris. The party actually began right in the afternoon where they had organised a scavanger hunt along with other fun games. After having a fun-filled afternoon we headed back to our room for getting ready.We popped up (Champagne) Sparkling wine and celebrated last day of 2016. Then headed for the new year’s party all decked up. We were then escorted to the table by one of the staff member which was just next to the pool. We were lucky enough! Drinks and starters were served at the table and the dance floor was open. We had an open bar where we could order cocktails, mocktails and shots. After some drinks it was time for us to hit the dance floor, ready to rock and roll. It was a night to remember with the countdown for New Year.The party got mad after 12 am when the bartenders actually came on the dance floor with tequila bottles and randomly caught everyone. Literally made us drink it until our mouth was full. We danced till the wee hours. This was one of the most memorable new years’s eve party.

Next afternoon we just wanted to relax and what better way to refresh than to get yourself a spa appointment. Swedish massage came to our rescue.

In the evening we decided to have a little adventure as it was our last day so we went Go-Karting and also Ziplined through the hills. The Go-Kart tracks at red-button were a replica of ghats and were exciting enough for the people who are an adventure junkie. We decided to catch the sunset  by the venna lake where we booked a private boat.That is the perfect time to go boating. After the sunset the gaming zone comes to life where there are old school games to keep you entertained and bring back your childhood memories. Afzal’s corn pattice and fresh strawberry cream are a speciality and are yummy!!

While returning back to Mumbai we visited mapro gardens for picking up fresh strawberries and raw honey. Wood fired pizzas at mapro are a must have. We also took a detour for our last go karting session (quick adrenaline rush) and came back with a bag full of memories. That’s about our mini vacation.

So do you want to witness cold crisp morning’s? Then Mahabaleshwar is the place to be. Old world charm plus modernity and natural beauty.

P.S. this blog post is written by a Co-Admin. Hope you all are doing well.

Thank you for reading. Hop over to Eat Travel Repeat for more of such posts. Till then keep travelling 🙂

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Eat Travel Repeat? 😀 

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5 Must Do’s In Dubai | A Trip Down Memory Lane

There is nothing quite like Christmas ❤

For many people December brings their favourite time of  year, including all the sweet treats and decadent gifts that come alongside this festive season, with the year coming to an end, I reminisce my trip to Dubai back in 2012. It was merry. Christmas holidays are meant for vacations, Dubai being on more than half the world’s travel bucket list. We decided we would embark upon this destination. Now that I’ve started writing about the places I’ve been to. Can’t afford to miss writing about this trip. Here we go.

Shall we?

We set out on our very first family trip (International) to Dubai. I was pretty pumped about visiting U.A.E. to experience the grandeur of Dubai with it’s iconic Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates. We choose to fly with emirates  😉  thats when it all started. I decided after my graduation I’d start working with airlines and I did, changed my mind for good. Learnt a lesson, never do things which make you less happy. Keep finding yourself, never settle.I may have sounded a bit philosophical here but had to include this.

So this holiday season I’ve come up with 5 Must Do’s in Dubai. There are some stops you absolutely can’t miss, especially if you want to feel like an insider and imbibe all that Dubai originally sets out to offer.

5. Join a desert safari :  Safaris begin with 4 wheel drives in the desert. Its a bumpy ride with some adrenaline pumping as you drive over dunes and slide down sandy slopes. Once you have driven through the desert you get to enjoy typical middle eastern feast at a traditional  Bedouin-style camp under the stars with Shisha! Entertainment is provided in the form of falcon flying, camel riding and with a belly dancing show. Theres Tanhoura folkloric dance (Tanoura is skirt, sufi men wear the skirt and spin continuously like the dervish dancers) The long swirling colorful skirts that the men wear make spectacular patterns as they twirl around in circles. After the spinning around the performers show no signs of dizziness? Quite an Arabian adventure!

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4. Visit to Dubai marina waterfront : Dubai marina is a district in dubai where you can witness the tallest buildings in the world which are stylishly eye-catching, glitzy and glamorous at the same time. You can take a long walk at the waterfront, at night the streets are beaming with lights, palm trees lit up, theres music playing, with a whole dash of arabic smell in the air. Now you’re in arabia!!  

P.S. Thursday and Friday nights are one of the best here.

 

3. Global Village : There are a lot of exciting things in Dubai happening all around the year and one thing is for sure. The Global Village is one such cultural extravaganza packed with entertainment, shopping and lots of walking. It has more than twenty five international pavilions, each showcasing a particular country’s products and cultures. There is everything from U.A.E to Africa to India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Singapore, Afghanistan, Egypt, Malaysia, the UK, Spain and so on. Its a shoppers paradise, also you visit so many countries without spending much 😉

 

 

2. Take a road trip to Al Ain : Al Ain is one of the greenest city of UAE and its the highest point in the country. Unlike Dubai, Al Ain is a much relaxed city with no skyscrapers hovering above your head. It makes a great picnic spot with barbecue spots, you can also have a mini trek to the mountains. You can goof around and play a little. Theres a zoo located in Al Ain which focuses mainly on wildlife conservation. The hot springs here are known for their therapeutic qualities and the access is free. Rejuvenating ?

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Jebel Hafeet Road.

 

The Dubai Mall : Located in downtown Dubai is the worlds largest mall. There is a list of things you can do at the Dubai mall which does not involve shopping. Yeah thats right.

  • Visit the Iconic Burj Khalifa, for the bird’s eye view of the beautiful city.
  • Dubai Aquarium, you can just sit and gaze through the worlds largest perspex window into the aquarium. It boasts of an underwater tunnel under a huge shark & stingray filled tank, plus a creepy crawly zone with snakes. (Tried none)
  • Ice Rink, its an olympic sized ice rink where you can ice skate your heart out.
  • Cascading Water falls, these human water falls occupy the height of the mall. Its an artistic display with dramatic design.
  • Musical Fountain : Just located outside the tallest Burj Khalifa is a captivating water, music and light spectacle.

There are innumerable places to visit in Dubai. I was in Dubai for 12 days, some places which I visited during my stay include The Atlantis, Dubai creek park, Dubai museum, The JBR Walk, Palm Jumeirah, Mall of the emirates, Old Dubai and the list goes on 😛

Few Arabic words I learnt by travelling in metros, ‘iighlaq al’abwab – Doors closing, fath al’abwab – Doors opening. Lulu (meaning pearl) is a common name here and there are supermarkets named lulu at every corner.

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In short Dubai is, you name it and we have it!! 

In my next blog I’ll write about Abu-Dhabi which was our next stop after Dubai!

Hope you’ll are having an amazing Christmas!! Sending Love from Eat Travel Repeat ❤

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Let the spirit of Christmas warm your home with love, joy and peace 

Kashmir Rendezvous!

It was an off beat holiday this time of the year, no prior bookings were made, Just the air tickets and here we go! 

What are the most beautiful places in Kashmir? (To sum it up)

  • Pahalgam
  • Gulmarg
  • Srinagar      

Pahalgam tops my list!!

Pahalgam is a quaint town with little villages here and there, it had a rustic charm to it. Pahalgam has two places which are worth visiting, Betaab valley & Chandanwari, the valley got its name from a hit Bollywood film ‘Betaab’. The road to chandanwari is very narrow so a local driver is preferred, you will be passing through hills and lush green forests. Sparkling waterfalls make a great sight. At the end of it there are huge ice glaciers which melt in the summer & eventually makes a great tourist spot.

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This is when the sunset happened & the mountains turned blue in colour. Magical evening by the river. #NoFilter

Gulmarg is a traveller’s paradise with starry snow-clad peaks, famous gondola cable car which is one of the highest in the world, historic gulmarg golf club , however the main reason to come to gulmarg is to venture up towards Mt Afarwat. This can be done on foot or with ponies but is easiest using the two stage gondola cable car that takes you to the sky and back! Haha. It’s a winter wonderland yeah. 

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View from the hotel room turned out to be just perfect. #SnowCladPeaks #PineTrees.
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Clear skies! #Gulmarg

Srinagar being the capital city has a lot going on lately with surgical strikes and shut-downs for a long time now. Although indulgent houseboats, historic gardens, distinctive kashmiri wooden houses, ancient temples make it a great place to visit. The city’s greatest drawcard is mesmerisingly placid Dal lake with a bright array of houseboats which looks picture postcard perfect. Also kashmiris are very warm and welcoming, we visited one of their house which was two-storeyed and they had huge carpets all over with antiques lined up at every nook & corner. They served kashmiri kahwa every now and then, it’s a delicacy! Get a packet home! 

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Tulip garden in full bloom. #CarpetOfFlowers
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Pretty flowers.
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Was trying not to adult. Haha!

So that’s a wrap for my first blog! Thank-you for reading! Suggestions are always welcomed.