Category Archives: Tales Across the World

On board the flight to Singapore

20130215-233834.jpg

My first time on an international flight… Sitting in the plane looking outside the window… Yes, I always knew this day was going to happen, sometime or later… But NOW, it’s happening NOW!! And I can feel it as I type these words sitting in a still plane, gazing across the window…

Having enjoyed wonderful journeys across Incredible India, this experience will probably be one of my most enchanting ones as I look forward to a destination unknown, unexplored and yet so close to a lot of aspects of our Indian culture and yet so different and I mean flabergastingly different and a lot lot more advanced than the way we share our lives with each other.

Funnily, never expected some mosquitoes to join me as well… Ahh what the heck 🙂 Let them also enjoy their ride to Singapore…

The feeling as I type this on my iPad is surreal. Surreal as I bid goodbye to the city of dreams to move onto unchartered enchanting territories and fly beyond horizons that will bring a different level of maturity, shades of some exploration that I have yet to carve out as a travel blogger.

This feeling of the journey of life, being truly begun is sinking in… Hope the city of another dreams also has a lot in store for me. For some reason, with the soothing and serene music that’s playing in the background is kind of giving me an inkling… An inkling of something great in store for me, even as I am yet to begin the journey.. Like an alternate, similar universe waiting out there for me… 🙂

So, let us see where this heads… For now, signing off… Oh and yeah, also the Mosquitoes on the plane say Hi to you all… 😉

Will blog about my escapades once my trip’s over…

For the Live Blog please follow http://srinistuff.tumblr.com

Cheers
@srinistuff

Singapore – Here I come…

Well, pretty soon, I’ll be on my way for my first international trip. Yes, the calendar is blocked and the itinerary is about to be made… Looking out for hostels / hotels is already done, sending right emails and checking with people is done. Being a traveler and an avid one within the country has been by far one of the best things to have happened to me. So that’s something I cherish a lot. I have certainly traveled far and wide when it comes to the boundaries of India and its diverse terrains. So, this is something I was looking forward to for a while and that’s when this  moment came along.

The destination? – Singapore!

Singapore

I’d be down in Singapore in the 3rd week of February and I know there are plenty of places within the city to visit.

So now that I’m gonna be there the planning has become quite the pain, but I know soon I’d be on my way. What’s most important though for me is that  ‘THE TICKETS ARE BOOKED!’ The hustle and bustle, the packing and booking… Everything will become a major chaotic affair. But now there’s no stopping me! Hopefully I’ll do some sight seeing on the two weekends that I’ll get during that week.. A week which will be mostly spent in being with Social Media Professionals and a lot of interactions to happen at the Social Media Week Singapore 2013  and maybe  meeting a couple of friends out there, I’ll spend some of my time visiting a few places out there!

Any specific places that I can go to over the weekend? And maybe if there’s any tourist bus service that you can recommend? For a change, I’ll not research and let the plan take its own course… What say?

Also when I’m down thre stay tuned on My On The Go –  Tumbleogue Travelogue

Lisbon – A destination to enchant…

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine”

Yes indeed, one of these days I need to start reading more pages of this book. Its almost about time that I start going international on my travel. Yes I have a bucket list and there are certainly some places that I’ve bookmarked already and need to plan my travel accordingly.

One of the things that I want to do in Lisbon is take a road trip! And what better way than get a cheap car hire than DealChecker… 🙂

Why Lisbon?
One of the most amazing destinations that are already on my bucket list is Lisbon, Portugal. Yes, the capital of Portugal. Why Lisbon though? Well, there are plenty of reasons why I’m pretty much attracted to this destination. Most importantly because of its  contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today’s Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city.
So with that in mind, I thrive to take a look at one of such beautiful cities soon and hopefully add this on my bucket list.
What would I do in Lisbon?
There are a several things that one could do in the largest city of Portugal and my list would probably be endless if I think of it. So let me narrow it down to one of these amazing locations that I’d love to go to.
The Famous Se Cathredal
A solemn-looking cathedral that reflects the Romanesque style of the 12th century. Built on the grounds of the city’s main mosque, the cathedral was raised to celebrate the Moors’ defeat in the mid-1100s. If you are an admirer of sacral architecture one needs to visit this church, the monastery and the treasury. It has a very particular calm, dark atmosphere. The monastery is quiet and somehow comforting. The style(s) of architecture are interesting to study and very inspiring.
Lisbon
Walk through Alfama
This again is an enchanting experience for a traveler like me. The backpacker unknown traversing the dreams of destinations across the universe. One should take this opportunity to walk through Alfama, a beautiful neighborhood and go up to St George’s Castle. Built in the 6th century, it was a royal castle for the Moorish until it was captured by the Portugals’ first king. It is now famous as an ‘oasis of peace’. Enjoy the majestic view of King Afonso’s statute at the main door and then a series of cannons.
St. Georges castle
Belem Tower
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Belem Tower is a fortress built in 1515 to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. Commissioned by King John II, the tower is an important example of the Portuguese Manueline style. Other places to visit while in the neighbourhood are Jeronimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries, Coach Museum, housing the world’s largest number of coaches and royal vehicles, and Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque.
Belem Tower
Jeronimo Monastery
Jeronimo Monastery is the sleeping place of one of the most famous travellers and explorers the world has seen – Vasco da Gama. It is also the place where sailors in the olden days would pray before embarking on a voyage. The church is beautifully designed with ornate portals, pinnacles and gables. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Jeronimo Monastery
Quinta Da Regaleira
Besides being in Lisbon, a short trip to Sintra would be also very nice… One of the prime attractions of Sintra is the Quinta da Regaleira, located in the historic centre of Sintra. The estate consists of a palace and chapel, a park featuring lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The Regaleira Palace features five floors with a living room, dining room, billiards room, balcony, bedrooms, some smaller rooms and servants rooms.DSC01327
The Pena National Palace
The Pena National Palace and the surrounding Pena Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is also one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. The Palace is an interesting mix of Romantic,  Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance styles.  The construction of the Palace and park started in the middle ages with the erection of a chapel, however the earthquake of 1775 reduced the monument to ruins. In 1838, the King Consort, Ferdinand II, commissioned a palace to be built on the ruins.
Pena National palace
These are some of the top destinations that are on my mind. But of course, how can I forget the most enchanting scene in Lisbon city itself. Perch myself on top of one of the resorts or hotels on the mountain top or generally go on top of a building and click something like this at night…
Lisbon-Lisbon-at-night_4772_4
What do you think? Ever been to Lisbon? Any tips for me there, when I do go…

My Egypt Bucket list

One of the most enchanting destinations for me was always Egypt. I’ve always been fascinated with History and archaeology in general. But one of the most amazing things and striking about Egypt is it’s beautiful rustic and yet very enchanting ancient culture and heritage  was always inspiring to me. Besides the historic significance and it’s age old mystical nature that one sees in movies and read in books, there is always a fascinating awe to the place especially when it comes to the way people lived back in the olden times. And that is something I always found fascinating.   A lot of times I randomly search for places and try to find offers to various destinations in case any plans of travel happen sometime soon. That’s when I stumbled upon Holiday Hypermarket while looking for Holidays in Egypt

And as aptly mentioned on the site, “A holiday in Egypt simply can’t be beaten, with its world-class diving, an incredible history and golden beaches. Whether you’re walking down the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, cruising down the Nile, diving in the Red Sea or lazing on the beach, Egypt promises an amazing holiday.”

Having that in mind I’ve decided to make a bucket list for myself for the places I should visit in Egypt whenever I do go ahead and decide to take that trip. 🙂 Here’s what I came up with after a little bit of research and this should be quite a trip whenever I do decided to go there.

1. Cairo: The capital of Egypt and the largest city in the entire Arab world, offers way too many things to present in a nutshell. This city is not just a concentration of people; with its old town showcasing what is left of the cities that were previous capitals, and The Egyptian Museum  having an endless stock of the country’s antiquities, Cairo is a concentration of culture. Not to mention, its proximity to the pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

2. Mastaba of Seshemnufer 4 – The Pyramids of Egypt are famous all across the world but The Pyramid of Seshemnufer IV still lies as an offbeat among it. Lying on the way from the main office to Khufu’s pyramid, this particular pyramid consists of several rooms, a pleasant sanctuary and an underground burial chamber. There’s no long waiting period as most tourists don’t take the time to explore these ancient chambers.

3. Pyramids of Giza: The Great Pyramid of Giza is oldest and the largest of the three pyramids. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World. This pyramid was built for Pharaoh Khufu. This pyramid was the tallest man made structure for over 3,800 years, at 146.5 metres. It is the only pyramid which has ascending and descending passages.

4. Khan El-Khalili Market – This market was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili. This largest market is situated in one corner of the triangle of markets. Prices are lower in area north of al-Badistan and to the west. One will find here great deals on Gold, silver, brass and copper. Besides shopping, this market is also famous for its historic cafes.

5. The Hanging Church: (Located in Shar’a Mari Girgis) is one of the oldest Coptic Churches in Egypt. and still in use. This ancient church is adorned with beautiful wooden ceiling, marble columns and ebony as well as ivory screens. While you are here make sure to look down through the plastic viewing ports which gives one the feeling of being suspended in air!

5. Luxor: One of the most popular Egyptian destinations among international tourists is Luxor, because it features the ancient city of Thebes. The area is widely known as the world’s largest open air museum because of the incredible concentration of massive monuments, temples, and tombs. The great Nile flows through, separating the modern city of Luxor (East Bank) from the ancient Thebes (West Bank).  The Tomb of Pabasa belongs to the 26th dynasty priest, with beautiful views of agriculture and self-indulging activities such as hunting and fishing. Entry Tickets are available at the ticket office of the Deir al-Bahri Temple. Here’s a link for more information

These are some of the items on my immediate checklist…  If there are some better, let me know which ones?

Holidaying Abroad: Cheap Deals for Families in Lanzarote

With Christmas around the corner and many families having to tighten their purse strings to afford niceties, it’s no wonder many are opting to give up their annual family holiday in the sun. Even though times are tight, there are plenty of options for fun in the sun at a reasonable price so why not treat your brood once in a while?

With excellent deals on Lanzarote holidays cropping up on the net all the time, this beautiful Canary Island is a perfect hotspot for holidaymakers of all ages.  Opting for all inclusive family holiday deals will keep your costs low, and include everything you could need for a vacation to remember. The initial outlay is usually more for all inclusive deals, but overall, you will make massive savings on the holiday basics such as food, drink, snacks and activities.

If you prefer to do things your own way, without the constraints of all inclusive and package deals, stay on the island in self catering accommodation, helping you to keep a watchful eye on your spends. Shop at the local supermarkets and grab some great deals on food that you can prepare yourselves, and in the process, save on daily restaurant outings.

Head to Costa Tequise for a reasonably priced excursion, including the only waterpark on the island – Aquapark. Keeping the kids busy all day and giving you the chance to top up your tan, Aquapark will keep the brood out of trouble and away from boredom.

If you’re travelling as a family with young ones, Puerto Del Carmen may not be the best choice due to the number of late night revellers potentially affecting your good nights’ sleep, but Playa Blanca is a little more toned down and ideal for couples and families looking for a calm, but fun, sojourn.

Check out some of the amazing family deals you can snap up and start saving your extra pounds for a fantastic budget break in Lanzarote.

Fabulous Florida

 Everyone has their own idea of a great holiday. For some, nothing beats the idea of jetting off to sun-drenched Spanish shores for a week of sea, sangria and sandcastles. Others prefer to take to the sea and enjoy a fortnight’s cruise, perhaps around the beautiful Mediterranean, or maybe to experience the magnificent Northern Lights on a fjords itinerary. For others, holding out for late deals is what it’s all about – whether that be cheap holidays to Tunisia, a budget break to the Algarve or a relaxing trip to a Greek island.

If you really want to push the boat out next year, why not consider Florida – the Sunshine State?

Considered the ultimate family holiday, and a rare treat for adults too, vacations in Florida are non-stop fun. Enjoy the company of Mickey Mouse and friends as you explore the magical world of Disneyland, and watch as your kids get acquainted with fairy princesses or discover the towers and turrets of fairytale castles. Why not take in a show or two at Sea World, and gaze open-mouthed as killer whales, dolphins and sea lions enthral the crowds with fantastic tricks and stunts. You can also test your breakfast by hopping on a hair-raising rollercoaster and screeching your way around loop-the-loops.

If you fancy a break away from the theme parks, there’s plenty more on the to-do list. Visit the Kennedy Space Station and learn all about the incredible feats of engineering that took man to the moon. Or head to the beach and enjoy the chance to kick back and relax while the kids build sandcastles, or play in the pristine shores. You could also take a trip along the stunning Florida Keys, or take a guided tour of the mysterious Everglades. This huge swampy expanse is home to all sorts of creatures great and small, from leggy wading birds to alligators – and is bound to keep everyone entertained… and on their toes.

Whatever you fancy, Florida is a simply fabulous destination that really must be experienced to be believed.

Top 5 Alternative Shopping Haunts: Manchester

There’s nothing worse than seeing someone wearing the same outfit or the same jacket as you when you’re out in public. Or a loved one opening the same gift from you and someone else on Christmas morning. Whether you’re looking for a quirky Christmas gift or two, a vintage number or an outfit with a gothic twist, the independent stores in Manchester can often provide.

Why not combine a shopping trip in the city with some evening entertainment and spend the night in this glorious bustling metropolis? There are no shortage of hotels in Manchester, many being centrally located and reasonably priced. Check online to find the perfect deal for you and make use of any advance booking deals to save you some cash.

Deviate from the norm and pack the Santa sacks with alternative goodies this year. Whether you are trying to find something a little different for a loved one, or just fancy treating yourself during the festivities as well as everybody else in your life, the multitude of unique shops in the city are definitely worth a visit.

1. Afflecks

This unique, and massive, emporium in the heart of the city centre offers a myriad of alternative and retro stores all under one roof. If you can navigate the labyrinth of stalls on varying levels, you can take full advantage of the treats they have on offer.

From tattoo parlours to burlesque attire, memorabilia to vintage clobber; Afflecks has it all. Peruse the 50 independent stores and grab a coffee whilst you’re at the “thorn in the side of the High Street”.

2. Retro Rehab

With retro and vintage threads being bang on season lately, it’s a perfect time to browse the charity shops and stores that specially cater for the vintage fan.

Head to Oldham Street for Retro Rehab where you can be spoilt for choice with their large range of vintage clothing, including customised pieces.

3. Pop Boutique

Open since 1983, this spectacular vintage store has clothes from the 60s, 70s and 80s waiting for your approval. Fantastically retro, you’ll be transported back in time with the threads on the rails, and bang on fashion if you decide to buy.

4. Cow

One of the new kids on the block, you can find Cow in Piccadilly Gardens. Keep your eyes peeled for late night lock ins offering some excellent discounts on their vintage wears.

5. Oxfam Originals

Although still a charity shop staffed by volunteers, this one is slightly different. Specialising in Bohemian and retro fashion and with staff that are hugely passionate about the range, Oxfam Originals offers a great shopping experience. Pick up a one-of-a-kind vintage designer outfit and give this worthwhile charity a helping hand as you do.

Hit the shops and enjoy your shopping spree in Manchester. Explore this vibrant city and take full advantage of everything it has to offer. Book a hotel room now to relieve the stresses of getting back home and find the perfect deal for you online today.

The most rugged poker games and destinations in the world

Fancy traveling? Poker tournaments can take you anywhere from cushy international casinos all the way to the Arctic Circle!
poker-5686401
If there’s one thing aside from the money that makes joining the international poker circuit so enticing, it’s the travel opportunities. In just a single year, a hardcore tournament player could potentially find himself playing poker in every continent in the world.
Despite the sometimes hectic tournament schedules, though, these poker tournaments are still held in the comfort of a casino. No matter how crowded the venues become, you can still count on air conditioning and some relatively comfortable chairs.
You could even play on a cruise ship like in last year’s World Poker Tour Cruise. Playing poker with legendary Hall of Famer and Team partypoker member Mike Sexton as well as the WPT’s Royal Flush Girls on a luxury cruise liner? Sounds like a dream come true.

Of course, not everybody is out to play in cushy tournaments. Every now and then, some hardcore poker players organize tournaments around the world that require not only the requisite poker skill but a strong enough constitution to keep playing in some of the most rugged environments ever to play host to a poker game as well.

Take Australia, for example. The country is mostly known in poker circles for the annual Aussie Millions tournament. In 2007, however, another game took poker to new heights – literally!

A field of six players converged on a steel platform 90 meters above the Pacific Ocean for one of the more memorable poker stunts in recent years. In the words of the winner, Hugo Asenjo, “as long as you don’t look down, it’s quite fine.”

SP_poker_room_01
Another recent and arguably more rugged game took things in a different direction. Instead of having the game take place high above, the Grosvenor Casino in Huddersfield chose to descend nearly 140 meters to the bottom of a mine shaft at the National Coal Mining Museum.

The 90-minute subterranean poker game took place in November 2011 and attracted a field of ten players. It wasn’t organized solely for publicity purposes, either. The charity game was held for the benefit of the Marie Curie Cancer Care foundation. Perhaps the most rugged poker tournament ever held, however, has to be the one at the Arctic Circle in 2006. With temperatures reaching 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it was the very definition of that one game that you wouldn’t want to lose your shirt in.

2002 World Series of Poker champion Robert Varkonyi eventually rallied from almost getting eliminated early to winning the game over local favorite Juha Helppi, but only after he had to take the option of trading in his jacket for a new stack of chips. Well, at least he didn’t lose his jacket for nothing.

Cheap UK Flights – JetAbroad

London Bridge

While I was in Leh & Ladakh, one of the most awaited spectacles of the year had already begun, in London… Yes the 2012, London Olympics… Besides my plan being already fixed, UK wasn’t certainly on my list this year. U.S was, but that unfortunately didn’t work out. Nonetheless, if I had an opportunity, I certainly would have tried to make it to the Big Ben! Personally I’m a big fan of watching a lot of the track and field events and of course, shot-put, since I was a shot-put thrower myself when I was in school! So it would have been one of the best things to do, to pack my bag and head off to London. That’s certainly on my list of things to do!

After all London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom is also the largest city in Europe. An epicenter of finance, fashion, culture and politics, London has the most concentrated number of major attractions in the UK (two hundred of which are free) and is the home to four World Heritage Sites. If you’d like to see the entire city in one go, why not make a visit to the British Airways London Eye. Here you will be swept over by breathtaking 360 degree views of the city from over 130 meters in the air above the south bank of the River Thames. See the Crown Jewels guarded by Beefeaters in the 900 year old Tower of London. Marvel at the age and grandeur of St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Palace of Westminster, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. If you’re lucky, find yourself waving to a member of the Royal family when visiting   Buckingham Palace. Tower Bridge is another famous landmark featuring magnificent decorative high towers and drawbridge, a must see feature of London. If it had a centre then Trafalgar Square would be it, adorned with the well recognized lions, Nelson’s column and once home to thousands of pigeons!

Travelling to UK at this time would certainly be a big ordeal, considering the expensive flights, in case you have decided to travel. Tried to check out some other sites, than the ones I book on regularly. Found an interesting website, specifically offering flight tickets abroad.

So if you compare cheap flights to UK from Jetabroad, there are some options out here on this site that you canOne of the things I did realize was that Jetabroad can fly you to London at a much cheaper price than any other travel agent and they have the most complete range of international flight options online and can have you in London significantly cheaper than you expected. Here are a few reasons that would be much more significant as to why one could book from this site.

Why book with Jetabroad?

 

Flights Prices from Mumbai-London

 

They also offer hotel partners that you may explore, so overall a certainly interesting site for your offering.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Aurora Borealis

                                                                                                    Aurora Borealis

First day of the week and Monday blues had already kicked in early in the morning. One of the worst things to add to a manic Monday is the fact that there weren’t any autos plying on the road. Auto strike seems to be a once in a Month occurrence, pretty much like a regular feature of the buzz of this City that never sleeps… Having said that, one of the best part about such days is the chilled beer at the end of it all, especially when it’s with one of your best friends talking about the long lost journeys and travel tales from our past… most importantly planning out some future trips.

Over a couple of hours of regular small talks and nostalgia that we shared of our travels, he casually mentioned that his brother in law is planning  to visit the Northern Lights, (Aurora Borealis) and with the same casual tone he mentioned that we should join him too…

Now imagine me, the traveler that I am, this, for me is certainly an enthralling proposition… And yes, that is where we stop running our imaginations wild and mentally start preparing for the trip… As a travel writer, the first thing that comes to my mind is, what are all the things that I’d require to take along with me to make this trip, one of it’s kind. Very few people are lucky enough to visit the land of the Northern Lights, and luckier are those who get to view the enchanting sighting after long hard days sometimes weeks of waiting… Whether the plan materializes now or later, this place is one on my bucket list for sure. A holiday worth taking, an opportunity that’s certainly not to be missed! Not in my book, sir, no… never. 🙂

Now a lot has been written and a lot has been captured about the amazing sights of the beauty that lies at the far end of the world… One of the most amazing and enchanting things about what I’ve heard and the stories that are told out here is the fact that one has to wait there, pitching a tent for days and sometimes more than a week to be able to sight the phenomenon. While there is a lot of patience that is required and it certainly tests you, ultimately the sight of the Northern Lights at the end of your long haul wait is something you’ll never forget.

For those who haven’t heard of it yet, here’s a little bit on what ‘Northern Lights’ and Aurora Borealis is all about.  An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude Arctic and Antarctic.  In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction.  Interestingly ancient ancestors believed the Northern Lights were variously the reflections of dead maidens, the spirits of the dead, swans caught in ice, a terrifying force which killed those who mocked it and an omen of war or disaster. While it actually is caused when solar particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere emitting burning gases which create the light. The colours are created by the different gases.

Where can you see it?

Generally,  the oval rotates with the sun, and it may grow and shrink in size considerably in only a matter of hours. The most spectacular displays occur in the northern parts of the following areas: the Nordic countries (including all of Greenland and Svalbard), Alaska, Canada and Russia.

Northern Norway is a particularly good spot for sightings.

When to get here?

Displays of the lights are notoriously unpredictable and cannot be forecast in advance. In the northern hemisphere, the aurora season runs from late September/early October to late March. The lights may be seen at any time during this period, but late autumn and early spring tend to be the best bets.

In my book, this place is a must visit and certainly deserves one of the top spots on my list.