Tag Archives: first trip

A helicopter ride #LifeList

I’ve always thought that helicopters are way cooler than planes. They lend a sense of urgency to the surrounding, in the manner of which you have to board a chopper and I associate a VIP feel to them, thanks to its smaller seating capacity. I also love it how you need to crouch and hurry and be mindful of the strong wind that the blades churn up. Now compare this to how you board a flight. Yawn.

It was last month in Canmore (close to Calgary, Canada), where I participated in heli-yoga, run by the guys at Kananaskis Heli Tours. The concept involves being taken atop a secluded and spot on the Rockies and amid that calm and lush surrounding, practice yoga to vitalise your soul. Yoga guru Kristen Stuart – who by the way, has the most magnetic personality – accompanies you (and the small group) up the mountain to train you in yoga.

Being all cool in the chopper with my earphones, with our yoga instructor Kirsten Stuart (right), on our way up on the Rockies.

Being all cool in the chopper with my earphones, with our yoga instructor Kirsten Stuart (right), on our way up on the Rockies.

Down at the office, before the short flight, we were briefed on the chopper etiquette by owner, the jovial Ralph. We were supposed to bend low, move around only when asked to, and generally be more aware of the surrounding. Upon landing, it’s possible that the wind from the blades cause a yoga mat or a personal belonging to be flung away, but we’re not to make a run for it, and remaine crouched till the chopper leaves, and retrieve the item later.

That's me striking a yoga pose next to the helicopter that transported us.

That’s me striking a yoga pose next to the helicopter that transported us.

The ride in the chopper was uber cool, as we put on large earphones with mics and could only communicate with each other through them. I’d only seen people in films do that and have always wanted to do it! The experience of practising yoga in a spot that we chose in the Rockies was one that will inspire me during low times. But as far as memories go, the helicopter ride wins all the way!

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Euro-tripping

One of my biggest dreams is about to come true – I am going to Spain! 😀

Beginning over this weekend, I leave on a month-long trip, visiting Hong Kong, UAE, Switzerland, France, Monaco and Spain! While it’s not my first time in Europe, it’s definitely the first in these countries. I’m travelling solo and hope that you guys have useful tips to offer. My schedule for Hong Kong and UAE is pretty much fixed; it’s only with Europe that I need help sorting. Any must-do’s and don’ts are highly appreciated… As are any other recos or people to meet. I have no particular itinerary or places in mind presently, and will make plans upon reaching a destination. Anyone around here on CouchSurfing?!

I’m sure that I’ll probably end up ticking a lot of items off my bucket list and I’m totally kicked about that. If you are in Switzerland, France, Monaco or Spain, I’d love to meet you. I’m going to be in Zurich from the last week of Sep and then follow the order in the previous line till about 3rd week of Oct.

Moving to Goa’s suiting me well. Chilling with monkeys on Arambol beach in north Goa, India.
Erm, the orange bandage is not a fashion thing (as a couple of friends thought); I had hurt my knee.

So yeah, let  me know – where to go, what to do, what to see, who to meet!

*So super excited!*

Stories from southwest Germany

In May 2011, I visited southwest of Germany, covering Stuttgart and neighbouring areas. I had awesome experiences and was overwhelmed by the trip, as it was my first one to Europe.

I participated in various activities and was fortunate to gain access to several places, thanks to my Press Card. The best moment though, was when I got to sit inside the Audi R8 Spyder series.

I wrote a short article for JetWings magazine,  recounting my one week spent in Germany. This is one of my favourite stories till date, and I would love for you all to read it and let me know how you found it.

Travel story on southwest Germany (The file is a tad heavier than usual ones; please be patient as it loads.)

At the Automobil Sommer 2012, posing in a swanky new Mercedes SLS AMG, at the car show in Stuttgart.

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Old Manali – Small town surprise

Forget beaches, mountains and palaces. How about a holiday in an orchard with some marijuana to go with it? If the idea reads interesting, head to Himachal Pradesh, the ‘apple’ capital ofIndia. The small town of Manali, divided into old and new areas, is a holiday experience as quirky as it gets.

 

A 15-hours drive fromNew Delhi, new Manali is your regular town. But it is old Manali which you truly want to visit. Unending apple orchards, friendly locals, an eyeful of foreign tourists, a playful riverBeas, inexpensive lodging and a good connection to the Internet is just the start of a memorable trip.

Apple orchard in Old Manali, India

 

Old Manali is dotted with little cafes decorated with the most unusual art. We are talking glow-in-the-dark curtains, drawings by customers, and animal antlers. Most cafes expertly whip up excellent Irish, Italian, Spanish and Jewish cuisines, apart from Indian, of course. Courteous waiters and freely available marijuana are incentives to get you to try the foreign fare. Do sample some Yak cheese available in select cafes.

 

On the singular main street of old Manali, there’s scope to shop for silver jewelry to your heart’s content. Be wary of the prices though, and quote less than what you pay for the item in a city. Knitted woollen wear in all sizes can be the next on your shopping list. Also not to be missed are the skimpy dresses stocked for foreign tourists that belie the fact that you are in a small Indian town.

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