The trip today will be short but fun. Since the past few years, I have been reading Dan Brown. His writing is pleasantly unique and absorbing. But for me, more than the cast and story behind his novel, the beautiful locations he chooses are more engaging. Whenever Robert Langdon chases a clue in US capitol or finds some lost symbol at Washington Monument, I could see myself being at these locations and living their beauty. One such Robert Langdon location is Vatican City. In Angels and Demons and Inferno, one could see the inviting description of this beautiful country.
My trip to Vatican City was brief, but it left me with eternal love for the place. I was there for just a couple of hours, but even a little bit of this holy city could keep you hooked for ages. Though I didn’t cover much, I can assure that every place here is worth a visit. The breathtaking artistry fills every inch of this place.
The solace that this place offers is far beyond one’s imagination. I have shared a few images to describe the perfection of this graceful location.
And not to miss, an absolute delight to my palate.
This short trip left me awestruck. Hope you will like it too. Do let me know your views, in the comment section below. Loads of Love!!
Today, I want to discuss something that is hovering over my mind from a past few days. I am a woman in my 30s, married and have a full-time job. But does this makes me independent like my peer male fellows?
Lately, I came across a debate on Feminism on a social platform. The argument was simple, “Who is a real and a fake feminist”? This made me think- Who is a feminist?
I was born and brought up in a very progressive family. My father focused on his three children’s education, irrespective of their gender. Is my father a Feminist?
While growing up, I often had opinion battles with people who thought women should follow a particular decorum. They should sit, talk and walk like “ladies”. I never understood, what being lady-like is? Am I a Feminist?
When a girl gets married, the first expectation of her in-laws from her is to be a good daughter-in-law. By that, they didn’t mean she has to love them. Love is mostly optional unless she is too lucky. But it actually means she has to cook trice a day, wake up early, entertain them and take unconditional care of everyone. No matter, if she is working 8-10 hrs day. Ultimately, she is identified as someone’s wife and daughter-in-law. Well, these expectations are what Indian minds are trained for. From centuries, Indian women are seen as mere caregivers. Whereas husbands here, are the receiver of unlimited respect, sometimes a lot more than they deserve.
I too had to meet with some of these expectations, but luckily enough, my husband is a pure angel. He stood by me in every such instance and made a place for me, where I am not just a caregiver but a life-partner. Is my husband a Feminist?
Today, I see many of my friends and family, having children and extending their family. I, on the contrary, can only think about my career as of now. I am often told to bear a child as I am at “that age” now. Are my friends less or more, Feminist than me?
So the question remains the same, who is a True Feminist? Someone who understands a female, someone who supports a female or someone who expects a female to stand honest on the standards set for her by society.
As far as my understanding goes, there is nothing like being a Feminist. Why do we have to divide society into male and female roles? Why can’t we all become humanist? Why can’t we treat male and females alike? In my perspective, a true human allows another human to flourish, no matter what the gender is. I think when everyone would be given the right and liberty to lead the life they expect and deserve, this whole debate would end. So, in my opinion, if we put our efforts in becoming humanists, there won’t be any need to become a feminist. But until then, everyone who allows a woman to be a human and realize her dreams is a Feminist.
My understanding of the topic is not too precise and there might be chances that my take on the subject is unacceptable for others. I understand the sensitivity of the subject and apologize with all my heart if I have unintentionally offended someone. But in all cases, I would like to know more about it. So, please share your thoughts and educate me more. Loads of love.
Today, I want to do another exercise in the process of self-discovery. Till date, my introduction resonated quite a lot with the audience’s taste. I even have developed interests and qualities that define the successful and reputed. Though I know, I don’t literally enjoy many of them.
One such interest is reading. I come from an academically inclined family and all my life, I, have witnessed my sister enjoying books. My peers advised me to absorb her qualities. She read books that inspire, motivate, biographies, essays and whatnot. These books happen to play a part in shaping one’s life and are believed to be a part of every great man’s library. The books that teach how to live. To summarize, these books are the ones read by every successful man, at some point of time.
I was 13 when I first tried a book other than academic. It was the tiniest of all the books in the library. It was one of the many abridged versions of “Pride and Prejudice“. The beauty with which Jane Austin described the emotions and characters in this work is incredible. I was and still am, in love with this book. Though now I have read the complete unabridged version and it has developed my taste for similar kind of works.
My next encounter in leisure reading was during my late teens. Though I was too caught up with academics but every time I traveled, I traveled with a companion. At that time my travel mate was James Hadley Chase, he wrote fascinating thriller novels and a young me would often find myself totally lost in his books. His “Trusted Like the Fox”, blew my mind away.
Later, college kept me busy and I gradually forgot about the leisure reading. Post-college when life started hitting me with lemons, my sister advised me to look for lemonade recipes in the motivational and inspirational books, such as “The Secret“, “The Master key System“, “The Law of Attraction” etc. I was so surprised to see that the same set of books worked for her but not for me. I have seen her attaining absolutely everything she desires using these books, but for me, they didn’t work that strongly. But, I, never accepted this. I always believed that they are working and I love them. I kept buying bulky biographies, just to stack them and read them without any love.
I enjoy fiction, romance, thriller and drama, but know these are not the books for great minds. I forced myself to like the biographies and long essays but all in vain. Whenever I opt for a motivational book, I find myself floating on the surface of it. I mostly end up reading something more fascinating and inviting than the self-help books. Perhaps, the reason why motivational books don’t work for me is that I don’t belong there.
For me, the words of Leo Tolstoy in “Anna Karenina” or Louisa May Alcott in “Little Women” are more influencing than any motivational book. I am not disregarding the motivational books at all. I have seen them work wonders for my sister. However, these are not books for me. In the past years, I have tried to make myself believe that I am more of a motivational and biographies person, a great mind, but that is not who I am. I tried to stay away from the books I love so as to invest maximum time in reading books giving life lessons. People admired my collection of motivational books and I was lured to enhance it. Even when the cost of this was to read these book halfheartedly and leave behind the ones I loved.
The constant urge to impress people had made me unjust to myself. This is one of my many facades. I ignored the books I loved and forced myself to be known, by the books I don’t even like. Though I do enjoy reading now, it is not what traditional “success reading” is about. Also, in my view, it’s not only books that deliver, I enjoy audio-books equally. I have been criticized a lot for enjoying audio-books, but who cares now. The thing that means most to me is the story and its description.
I have carried the burden of being someone else for quite a long time. By this post, I want to make peace with my true-self. There are several things, I force myself into, just to shine in public eyes. My journey towards my true-self has helped me to acknowledge this fact. I, hope to do justice to myself in the future.
Hope you guys are not living a false life. This can be due to reasons as small as this one, but, it sure do reflect in our personalities. By any chance, if you find yourself in such a situation, try to get out of it, it feels amazing. Do share, if you too are carrying a burden for pleasing the society. Let’s unburden ourselves together. Do let me know your views, in the comment section below. Loads of Love!!
Malaysia- it gives you drama, entertainment, serenity and beauty, all at once. A perfect blend of contemporary and ethnic styles, it gives you a ride into the magnificent infrastructure without losing the hold of the calm sea. I visited this exquisite country in April 2019 with my husband Shubham, on the occasion of my 1st wedding Anniversary. And, today, I will be revisiting this country with you. So, let’s dive in and explore this beauty.
The Twin Tower
The Twin tower or the Petronas Twin tower is the name that lights up in our mind when we think of Malaysia. Located in Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital of Malaysia, the Twin tower is the tallest twin tower of the world. It is a sight to behold and one of the most loved shooting locations for global cinema.
The Tower is gigantic that made it tough to capture that whole thing and me in the same frame. Fortunately, I had a skilled photographer by my side who managed to click some amazing pics of us with the tower. It was just a 5 min ride from “Dorsett, Kuala Lumpur”, where we were staying, so often we were able to steal a few glimpses of it. The strategic placement of our hotel allowed us a spectacular view of glassy skyscrapers beautifying the city. Our stay was luxurious, hazel-free and I would surely recommend this hotel to all.
Menara KL Tower
The skyline of Kuala Lumpur is yet another view not to be missed. Standing among the various sunlit glass buildings of KL is the Menara KL Tower which gives an incredible view of the city.
National Monument and National Palace
The National Monument is the war memorial dedicated to 11,000 Malaysian martyrs of First World War. As I entered the monument, I saw a sculpture and a chill of patriotism ran down my spine. This Bronze sculpture featured seven soldiers supporting and uplifting the fallen comrades and each denoting one of the seven qualities-courage, leadership, sacrifice, strength, suffering, unity and vigilance.
Once the official residence of the King of Malaysia, Istana Negara is Malaysia’s National Palace. It is a typical palace spread in acres of land, having domes decorated in bright golden colour and guards mounted horses at both sides of the entrance. These horses are well-trained and don’t throw a tantrum when you approach them for a picture. If you are a Disney fan like me then surely this sight will remind you of the palace from Disney’s Aladdin.
Kuala Lumpur City Art Gallery
At the entrance of the gallery, there is the iconic “I Love KL” statue. It is one of the most clicked statues of KL, so here, you can expect more crowd than usual. After clicking a few pictures at the statue, we moved inside the gallery. Inside, there are whimsical art pieces and statues. Also, there is a life-sized model of the major KL buildings. There was so much to look at that we forgot clicking for a while.
‘Glamorous‘ is the synonym, most suitable for Kuala Lumpur. If you are a fan of flashy, bright streets, huge malls and extravagant life, then Bukit Bintang is your place. It is the fashion and entertainment capital of Kuala Lumpur. High-end luxury fashion boutiques and elite malls are on display in Bukit Bintang. With all that bright background, I felt like I was walking the red carpet while strolling on the Bintang streets.
The Pavilion Mall
A prominent gem in the jewel-box of Bukit Bintang is “The Pavilion Mall”. Full of huge screens, this shopping and entertainment hub brings your dreams to life. It is crazy huge with attractive figures and art-work at the entrance. In short, it is a perfect site for a starry experience. As I set foot inside the mall, my eyes glittered at the sight of luxury fashion outlets. Before I could say anything, Shubham held my hand tightly…No it wasn’t out of love. We then explored the rest of the mall hand in hand for an hour.
Another item to flaunt is the Jalan Alor Street of Bukit Bintang. It gives a treat to your palate. A site of cultural unity, Jalan Alor serves food of great variety. If you are foody like me, I am sure this is going to be one of your favourite spots of the trip. I was dragged to the hotel, as I ate more than I could but I don’t regret even a tiny bit of it.
Genting Highland Tour
Within an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur is the Genting Highland. One can opt for either car or cable-car to reach the highland. We chose a car drive from one side and a cable car ride from the other for accessing the highland. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, this hour-long ride was like a trip to paradise for us.
Genting highland is yet another entertainment hub in Malaysia. Famous for its luxury hotels, casino and nightlife, one can experience an adventure of a lifetime here. The First World Hotel at Genting is the hotel of world fame. It features 7,351 rooms and holds the title of world’s largest hotel in the Guinness World Records Book.
Genting Skyway Cable Car
Explore the beauty of Genting highland by riding in the glass bottom, skyway cable car and experiencing the picturesque view of lush green rainforest, Chin Swee Cave and SkyAvenue shopping mall. Genting Skyway Cable Car is one of the 2 cable cars to Genting highlands and is 3.4 km ride which takes around 15-20 min to the destination. No matter how many cable cars you have been to before, you sure can’t miss this one. The weather was cool and it was around sunset that we took the sky cab. The view of the city from the top was breath-taking. It was one of my best cable car ride of all times and trust me, I have had many.
Once we reached Genting Highland, we noticed that this venue won’t be a disappointment for any age. It features indoor and outdoor theme parks. Full of different rides and slides, this location is perfect for entertaining kids as well as grown-ups.
Chin Swee Caves Temple
This is a site of alluring Chinese architecture and culture. The beautifully constructed temple and the sculptures in its vicinity is one of the most mesmerizing sites of the Genting highlands. I experienced ultimate peace and joy from within when I visited the temple. It was a soothing and calming experience. I would recommend everyone to visit here.
A relief from the heat of the city, the Snow world at Genting will chill you in literal senses. It offers snowfalls, catchy sceneries, warm igloo houses, castles and the Toboggan slide. The venue is full of perfect spots, so it’s a treat to shutterbugs. As we had to visit other places too and it was quite hot when we left the hotel, Shubham wore shorts and then regretted his choice. So, one very obvious thing to remember is to opt for attire that covers your whole body, while visiting Snow World else you too are going to regret.
But people, glamourous is not the only synonym for KL. A few kilometres north of KL are the Batu caves which give culture insight of Malaysia. Guarding the entrance of the caves is a 140 feet high humongous statue of Sri Murugan. The spiritual and peaceful ambience of the cave engulfs the tourists within its beauty.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Talking about culture, one cannot miss the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. This landmark is in existence since 1897, the time of British reign.
Sunway Lagoon, Theme Park
The fun never ends for Malaysia. It gives something extra to the tourist and locals in its Sunway Lagoon, Theme Park. Full of water rides, it is an overdose of adventure. To add to it, it has Aquaria KLCC, which gives you experience into marine life.
There is still more. Not just magnificent cities, Malaysia is also home to several gorgeous islands. Among the most famous ones is the Langkawi which has 99 islands. This beauty has another level of calm and peace to it. The beaches here are more like a work of art, beautiful, dreamy and calm. And, the eagle square or Dataran Lang that has the iconic 12 meter tall, gigantic statue of an Eagle ready for a flight. But not just scenic, Langkawi is a Paradise for Beer Buffs. Here, beer is sold duty-free and hence is cheaper than water. So, all you beer mongers, get your bags ready. Apart from beer, perfumes are also duty-free here, so it is a perfect place to buy gifts for your loved ones.
Night markets in Langkawi are an engaging tradition and are assembled on every day of the week at prominent locations. Unfortunately, we missed it by one day and weren’t able to adjust it on other tour days. In Langkawi, we stayed at the ‘Bayview Hotel’ at Kuah. Kuah is one of those happening places in the city where you have shops and restaurants serving local specialities. We reached Kuah a day after the night market was held there. We were told by the locals that the night market offers a great variety of clothes, fashion accessories, handbags and numerous other items at the bargained prices. So, if you get a chance to be here, don’t miss it.
From Langkawi you can opt for island hopping where you get to visit a few islands for a limited time. We took this tour and via boat visited Beras Basah Island, Singa Besar Island and Pregnant Maiden Island.
Beras Basah Island
The first island we visited was Beras Basah Island. It was an incredible site of white sand and green and blue water. There were a few shops, meant for renting snorkelling gears and equipment but during our visit, all water activities except swimming were closed due to some reasons still unknown to me. But the beauty of the island, compensated well for this loss and we spent an incredible time soaked in the aesthetic pleasures.
Singa Besar Island
The next stop was at the Singa Besar Island, the Eagle watching spot, where Eagles were lured into flying there using some bait. This particular stop didn’t interest me much. There was not much to it, the food was used to entice the Eagles, and that was it. But for birdwatchers this place is an absolute delight. There were many people in our group who were very fascinated with the sight. Perhaps, the beauty here was beyond my ability to comprehend. Anyway, if you like birds and feeding them, this is your spot.
The Pregnant Maiden Island (Dayang Bunting)
We then moved to the next island, which was – The Pregnant Maiden Island. The name Pregnant Maiden Island comes from the shape of these islands which resembles a pregnant lady resting on her back. From the distance of a few kilometres before reaching the island, you can see a typical arrangement of hills, in the shape of a women’s bosoms and belly bump. This mysterious island is believed to have, magical powers and legend has it that women become pregnant after having water from here. Shubham, therefore, kept me quite distant from drinking the water from here.
At the entrance, there is the small Malaysian version of the French Love Lock Bridge. Instead of a bridge, there are small wooden netted panels. Here, people make wishes and lock them forever by cute, colourful locks, on this fence. People also write messages on a heart-shaped parchment and tie it on the panel. Next, we headed towards an elevated walk. There were some adventures and fun activities to do here. After a decent hike, which by the way takes time if you’re like me and dislike walking, we reached the activity area. The amazing thing about this lake is, it’s a freshwater lake, surrounded by sea. The lake is open for a swim and in a small room on the wooden platform, you can find lifeguards and life jackets for safety. Both Shubham and I are non-swimmers and so, took life jackets very seriously. There were also kayak boats, available on rent to explore the lake. We rented the boat, and it turned out that we were quite good at riding it. We can surely give couple-goals to many..Just kidding! Unfortunately, our all the stuff was at the locker room so we don’t have pictures of the activities.
Apart from visiting the Islands, the boat as a commute was fun in itself. The ride was very breezy and to make it more fun, the captain played around, with speed. Finally, after a long and tiring Island hopping session, we reached Kuah, had some amazing food and spent the rest of the time relaxing at our hotel.
The Underwater World
Amidst all the serenity of the sea, our next adventures were the underwater world. The ‘underwater world’ gives a themed tour of aquatic life. It is a natural treasure, and one can find thousands of animals and life forms displayed here. From small jellyfish to large human-sized fishes, from Penguins to aquatic snakes, this aquarium is a true definition of adventure. It was an eye-popping experience for both of us. There are so many pictures and video that it is impossible to upload all. But, I am uploading a few of my favorites that will give you a perfect idea of the beauty of this place.
Oriental Village and 3D Art in Paradise Museum
While in Langkawi, don’t miss the visit to the “oriental village” at the foot of Mat Chinchang Hill. One of the must take experiences here is the 3D Art in Paradise Museum. It is a three-floored building having nine zones with bewitching and intricate artwork. Every inch of this arena is a piece of art and calls for attention. And my dilemma here was what to capture and what not.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
A cable-car ride in the midst of lush green hills takes you to the Langkawi Sky Bridge from the oriental village. It is a long pedestrian bridge that offers stunning scenery from the top. This walk was a little tiring for me, but, it was worth the efforts. The striking scenery and scary heart-stopping view from the glass bottom of the bridge is a reason enough to give this bridge a visit.
Atma Alam Batik Village
During one of our tours, we visited Atma Alam Batik Village. It showcased the Batik art-work in the form of paintings, dresses and handicrafts. There was also a short session, illustrating the technique behind Batik art. Batik gave an ethnic feel to the items. There was a lot, on display, I was so confused but then managed to buy a few things.
Since, I already mentioned that it is going to be hot and humid, so search your summer wardrobe for packing up for a trip to Malaysia. Anything airy and comfortable is good to go, and for your heels, I would highly recommend a very comfortable pair of flats or sneakers. Since there is so much to roam around in Malaysia, you won’t want your feet to disappoint you. Not to forget, the sun accessories- scarf, hats, goggles, umbrella and sunscreen.
So, guys, Malaysia is a perfect destination if you want to enjoy the magnificent city architecture without missing out on the beauty of nature. The climate in Malaysia is mostly hot and humid, the rainfall being the only concern. So do check for rain predictions before planning your trip, but still, chances are you will meet the unannounced showers as we did.
If you are on a week-long leisure trip to Malaysia, I would suggest keeping only major destinations in your plan. The two main attractions in Malaysia are Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, and so I preferred covering them properly, instead of jumping from one destination to other and getting exhausted. But, again, this is a personal choice. If you want to cover more, so the following few locations need mention – Malacca, Georgetown, islands like-Lankayan Island, Selingan Turtle Island etc.
So, Seekers!! this time I have changed the format as I got a feedback to make the trips more visual than textual. I have added a lot of pictures, to give an accurate account of each location. Hope you will like it. Do let me know your views, in the comment section below. Loads of Love!!
Hello Seekers!! Before starting today’s post, I would like you to have a glance at my latest work. I have been working on this one for a few weeks now. Though it looks too easy, it involves too many layers. It is unfinished and needs some more efforts. Therefore, to get my dose of motivation from you guys, I am showing it off here.
It’s an image of a rusted car in the forest. I still have to grow a tree into one corner and add more layers to the car.
Guys, do comment, like and help me gain enough motivation to finish this painting before the year ends.
My adventure with writing is still going on and in a very few days, I will be posting my new work.
So seekers, coming on to our today’s rendezvous, I would like to take you to another journey with me. This certainly will be more vigorous than any of our previous adventures. Also, this one is different from our current genre of work. Besides, I also have a selfish emotion for taking you guys along on this mission. And, that is, I get anxious and tend to quit midway if I go on such roads alone.
Therefore guys, without creating more horror in my story, I would like to introduce you all to our latest project. We will be learning together, a new domain of science, that is Machine Learning.
I am a biologist and am using it at my defense. I have bare minimum knowledge of data science and machine learning. However, current technological trends force me to believe that they hold quite a significant role in the future.
Honestly, this is not my first attempt to learn Machine Learning. I have struggled with various online tutorials and courses earlier to get hold of this field. But, everything is so out of my domain and requires tremendous efforts that mostly, I quit after a week or two.
Therefore, I have decided to start again but not alone. Every 2-3 days, I will document my learning here. I will share as much as possible. We can study together and discuss as we proceed. We can set the pace as we move.
We will begin tomorrow and with the book given below. It is an amazing book for learning the basics and getting familiar with the terminology. I also happen to have it as an ebook, so any of you willing to have it can let me know. I will send it via email.
So guys, let us get together to upgrade ourselves and walk the path of success. Lastly, keep commenting and motivating to bring out best in everyone around us.
Help me discover myself, you might discover yourself in the process !!
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.
— Oscar Wilde.
To all the seekers out there…Hi!! I am also a seeker like you all and am starting my journey to explore my potentials. As the journey is more significant than the destination, I want to share the whole process, from start to the end. Therefore, I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Dear seekers, I have already introduced you guys with my love for colours therefore, I will be exploring the domain of painting in my first endeavour. Just for the record, I have never painted before using acrylic colours and canvas. The maximum I have tried in my childhood is watercolours and drawing sheets. So, this is new to me. To start with this new adventure, I started with some online research. I read various lengthy articles on how to and how not to paint and watched several videos on painting for beginners. One of the videos that held my interest was “Painting with Jane”. This beautiful lady has the immense talent to teach beginners like me about painting. With her help, I learnt about various kind of brushes and their uses, different pressure techniques and a lot about colours. I will be leaving images of some paintings that I made using Jane’s video as my tutorials. Also, there are plenty of other tutorials present online that use simple techniques to teach beginners. I will suggest you all try and search for the tutorial you feel comfortable with. When I first held the brush, I was amazed as I felt a sudden rush in me. I thought and felt like an artist. Though my first few paintings were not very good still I felt at peace while painting. My mind didn’t wander anywhere else, I enjoyed the process a lot. I would suggest all you seekers give it a try. Even if it is not your domain of interest, give it a shot. It gives tremendous satisfaction. I learnt to be patient and enjoy the process. Painting is a great therapy for those who have anxiety issues. I can say that because I suffer from it myself. So, try it and let me know in the comments below about your experience with colours and brushes. Also, I would request you all to leave some comments so that I feel motivated to write more and share my experiences with you guys. Below are the paintings I made myself, a few are from Jane’s tutorial and other from various other online videos. Do let me know if you like them. And guys if I can do this you can too, let us motivate and bring out best in each other.
Hello Seekers!! As promised, today I will take you on a trip with me to Greece.
Greece treasures – thousands of exotic islands, assorted beaches and perfect locations to observe spectacular sunsets. I was lucky to witness some of the unbelievably beautiful spots of this picturesque country.
Culturally rich and physically magnificent, Greece is the perfect amalgamation of beauty and abundance. For many, its pristine white buildings, vibrant blue doors, colourful ornamental vines of bougainvillaea and sparkling blue waters are symbolic “Greek beauty”.
WHEN TO VISIT?
Officially, Greece opens for tourism in April and the perfect time and weather to visit Greece are from mid-April to mid-June and from September to mid-October.
HOW IS THE WEATHER?
Greece experiences a Mediterranean climate which is pleasantly warm and ranges from 12ºC to 26ºC from April to May and 15ºC to 26ºC during September – October.
HOW TO REACH?
The best way to reach Greece is through the air. Rail and road connectivities are good for surrounding countries like Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania etc.
First, reach Athens via air and then easily commute to different islands via ferries. Pre-booking always helps!!
HOW TO COMMUTE WITHIN CITIES?
Greece has a well-established and connected transport network for the internal commute. Buses are available and can be booked online. Hop on hop off (HOHO) buses are there for city tours.
WHERE TO STAY?
Well, that is something that varies with the budget and personal choices. So, I won’t be commenting on where you should stay but for sure will let you know where I stayed during my trip. I believe that a good stay is the most important part of a trip and so I am quite selective.
I had a good budget and wanted luxurious hotels, where I don’t have to worry about anything, so I opted for the following-
In Athens, I stayed at Electra Metropolis. The stay here was luxurious and comfortable. The staff was polite and super co-operative.
In Mykonos, I stayed at Petasos Beach Resort & Spa. The resort was a boutique hotel with infinity pool and a spectacular view. The stunning sea view and the super private and relaxing ambience made it one of my favourite spots of the trip.
In Santorini, I stayed at Lilium Hotel. This too was quite luxurious and comfortable.
HOW TO PACK?
It is always better to travel light. If you are planning to visit from April – June, the weather is mostly warm during the day and pleasantly cool during the evenings. A few short dresses and accessories are enough.
During the day, go for comfortable and airy dress items like shorts, midi, miniskirts, crop tops and vests etc. Pair the short dress with the sun accessories like sunglasses, a hat and a scarf. Unless you are planning a romantic dinner or date, don’t go for high-heels, a pair of good sneakers or any sort of flats will be both comfortable and elegant for roaming around in Greece.
For beaches, we need some swimming sets and sunscreen. Sunscreen is a must while you are roaming around in Athens during day time from April-June. The weather is generally humid and warm.
The evenings are pleasant and don’t require extra work, a light jacket will suffice the need.
If you are planning to visit during September-October, the weather will be pretty much towards cooler sides and it’s better to carry jumpsuits, onesies, jackets and long skirts. Sunscreen is must even in this season. Other sun accessories like scarf and hats are optional but it is always good to have them.
A small portable umbrella should always be there with you. Though it is always good to check the weather before leaving the hotel but still to escape those occasional unpredictable drizzles, umbrella is must.
WHAT TO VISIT?
A short trip to Greece of about a week is enough to visit Athens and a couple of islands. But to visit more than this you have to take out substantial amount of time. Greece is a treasure of beautiful locations and has several things to visit.
I went there for a week and visited Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. These three are the main tourist attractions and should not be missed. I stayed for two days at each of these locations and left for home on day 7.
I began my trip with Athens, the capital of Greece and took a HOHO tour bus for touring the city. We covered the following places on our HOHO tour –
So I took the bus from the Panathenaic Stadium, which is known for being the stadium where first-ever modern Olympics were played. This huge stadium has enormous seating space and is one of the important tourist attractions.
I then boarded the bus and went on a guided tour. The next destination was the Parliament House, Athens. Here we saw the famous ceremony of “changing of guards”. The official ceremony with the official customs takes place every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and people assemble at Syntagma Square to watch it.
The next stop was Acropolis. This beautiful and archaeologically significant structure dates back to 5th century BC. It has building remains of various ancient buildings, the most famous of which is Parthenon. The Ancient Agora, the Roman Forum, Kerameikos, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus are the other ancient structures connecting Acropolis to the city. The Acropolis gave a spectacular view of the city. This is another universally renowned locations in Athens and is a must for every tourist.
Next, we visited the Acropolis Museum which is yet another very famous structure among tourists. It is a glass and concrete structure that is beautifully constructed and reveals the excavation site below. It houses numerous ancient artefacts and Parthenon sculptures. A guided tour here gives a detailed insight of structures within this museum.
My second destination after Athens was Mykonos. From Athens I took a catamaran ferry to Mykonos. Mykonos is an island from the Cyclades group located in the Aegean Sea. The ineffable beauty of this place made it my favourite destination of the complete trip.
Soaked in the beautiful blue and white, the architecture here was breath-taking. The first day here was mostly leisure, enjoying private beach, wine and swimming pool.
The beauty of this place was heavenly and a sight to behold. On the second day here I went to the following places-
PARADISE BEACH AND ELIA BEACH
These are the famous beach destinations in Mykonos. The experience at both these places was very calming and comforting. I spent the complete afternoon getting relaxed and tanned and then I headed to Kato Mili.
A group of windmills on the famous landmark of Chora Hill. A spot for scenic beauty. After Kato Mili, we headed to our penultimate destination of the day.
A destination synonym to heaven for ladies. This street has a collection of various designer stores and boutiques of accessories, apparels, handcrafted items and much more. After an intense shopping session, I moved to the last stop of the day and of our stay in Mykonos – Agios Ioannis.
This place was party hub and had global music playing from English to Hindi to Greek. I had a crazy and most fun ending to my Mykonos trip. I then headed to the last destination of the trip – Santorini.
From Mykonos, I took a high-speed catamaran ferry to the third and final destination – Santorini.
It is a brilliant blend of beauty and drama. Fira (Thira) and Oia are the two of the most famous towns of Santorini. These are outlined by the deep blue sea filled volcanic crater. The spectacular blue colour of the sea outstretches the beauty of this place. On day one of Santorini, I went to Fira and covered the following –
This volcanic craterwas formed 3,600 years ago due to volcanic eruption that left a deep cavity which is now filled deep blue sea.
A ferry and a mule ride took me to the cliff-top town of Fira. One can also opt for stairs or cable car instead of the mule. Fira is the capital of Santorini and has blue-white houses, narrow lanes, blue-domed churches and several houses converted to small hotels, restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops, boutiques and crafted-jewellery. Beautiful olive trees and several olive wood item shops decorate the town of Fira.
Dating back to 9th century, Ancient Thira is a site where one can see ruins of administrative buildings, theatre etc.
I took a tour boat to the volcano bay from the old port of Fira. A guided tour took me to the top, where I saw the active volcano. Next, same tour boat took us to Palea Kameni.
The island of Palea Kameni is home to famous mud baths formed due to volcanic eruptions. At the bay of Agios Nikolaos, the temperature of the water ranges from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. Here, tourist can take the healing bath. The boat then took me back to Fira.
Towards the top of Fira is a museum that displays the archaeological findings from Ancient Thira. The museum exhibits clay figures of animals, ceramic pottery among various other items.
Santorini is known for giving excellent sunset views. Therefore, I took a stroll of Fira and fortunately found the best spot to witness one of the most sought-after views of all time.
It was getting late after sunset, so I ended my tour for that day. After a boat and shared shuttle bus ride, I reached my hotel and enjoyed the remaining time at the pool with the wine.
The next day, I took a ride back to Fira as I had to visit the beaches.
A bus or boat from Fira can take you to the beautiful Red Beach resting at the foot of the spectacular red cliff wall.
BEACH AT PERISSA
A few kilometres from Fira, there is a beautiful black sand beach. It is a long stretch of fine, black volcanic sand. Numerous seafood outlets and restaurants overlooked the beach. I relaxed here for the leftover time and then took a bus back to my hotel.
WHAT CUISINES TO TRY?
Some must-try dishes in Greece include –
tzatziki – a yoghurt, cucumber and garlic dip. It goes well with falafel and almost anything.
taramasalata- a fish roe dip.
Grilled meat and Moussaka (lamb dish).
Olives and olive oil dishes.
Baklava – a dessert, goes best with honey.
And last but not the least–
WHAT PRESENTS TO BUY?
No trip is complete without the presents for the dear ones. These are a few items that you can buy as gifts when in Greece.
The first and foremost is – the olive tree products, like olive oil, olive tree wood pens, boxes, jewelry etc.
Ouzo- The Greek alcoholic appetizer, consumed before or with meals.
The Kompoloi or worry beads can be worn as a piece of jewelry and is believed to be a mean of relaxation and stress therapy.
A backgammon set – A checkered game played by people of all ages.
Handmade leather sandals
Handmade soaps and oil
So guys! this is it. I tried to cover the most and have uploaded the unedited actual clicks here for giving you the true picture of this beautiful country. I hope you guys will like it. Waiting to hear from you all, keep inspiring and motivating. Loads of Love.