I have seen a bit of the world, traveling as a family – first with my parents and siblings and then with hubby and kids. Over the years, every vacation to my homecountry also involved a mini vacation in vacation to explore some part of India, and living in the gulf meant a lot of road trips to the surrounding region. I have handwritten pages (and later phone notes) of travelogues some of them I wrote as a child, lots of great pictures and a lot of memories which bring joy to me every time I think of it. And then there are those in between moments – sometimes downright unpleasant but mostly the not-so-perfect moments that make for some of the funniest if not the fuzziest memories. I am joining this months travel link up with my list here of some of those moments – travel outtakes that we don’t blog about.
Not So Luxurious Chain of Hotels:
While most of our travels we have stayed in really comfortable to some amazing luxury hotels too, but then there were those, before the days of 4G internet, hurriedly booked, mostly for a short stay when we didn’t search so much, but many a times they made the stay even shorter for themselves.
Bugged! We were stopping in Mysore just for a day so when a hotel looked good enough for spending one night in, we went for it only it would be very memorable uncomfortable night in the company of bed bugs! Thank God we were off the very next morning. I never bothered with a picture or name of the said hotel but the physical reminder stayed with me for the rest of our trip with the angry red bites on my forearm.
So Hell! Ok, I actually remember the name of this one. An acquaintance had booked a few rooms at a certain “Hotel Sohel” for our rather large group when we arrived in Ahmedabad. After 24 hours of traveling by train, we were looking forward to a cozy nap in a comfy bed, only to find a tacky place with dusty beds which made us feel uncomfy just by looking at them. My brothers dubbed the place “hotel So Hell” as we walked out within minutes of walking in.
Welcome to Delhi. Another time a well meaning acquaintance who booked for us before we arrived in Delhi was at this place called “Lahori Mal” We as kids found the name so amusing and the place was so uncomfortable, that the name and us walking out a few hours later is all I remember.
Commissioned. We took a road trip ex Delhi to the hillstation of Manali in chauffered cars. Firstly, the driver in one of the car just couldn’t seem to get off the phone with his girlfriend, which was annoying to no end. And then when we arrived in Manali, both the drivers suddenly took charge and tried to make us stay at one of their ‘preferred hotels’ Looking to pocket the commission, they stopped at every tacky place we could imagine in Manali. We had our mind set on the Sringar Regency but on our repeated requests they kept making excuses, its too far off, a long uphill drive, etc etc. After driving us around the town for hours giving a tour of all the crappy hotels and driving us to the edge of sanity, finally they agreed to take us the the Sringar Regency – no it was’nt very far off and no it wasn’t precariously balanced and falling off a high edge cliff – it was just perfect!
The Perfect View Point:
I love hill stations, I really really do. Every step of the journey is a beautiful scenery. And when a place is marked as a viewpoint, I definitely have to stop and see. So I am pretty sure it was me who suggested we stop at one such place marked as a viewpoint amidst the terrace tea gardens in Ooty. I absolutely have no idea what ‘breathtaking’ view everyone else saw, but I just couldn’t breathe right on getting down as the place was stinking and then I got poo on my shoe! Human or not – I didn’t venture to find out but yeah it was right there on my shoe and I had a hell of a time getting it off. Even when cleaned, I still couldn’t stand wearing the same darned footwear for the rest of the day. So I never forget why I am so miserable in those pictures. My siblings won’t let me forget either.
I always say me and my husband absolutely need each other while traveling. I am such a lax person and so excited when exploring a new place that we would miss every single flight, train, boat to the next place and maybe even get locked and stuck after dark in a gated park. On the other hand, my husband is so anxious to be on time, sometimes he forgets to have fun and if he had his way our trips would only consist of waiting on planes, trains, buses and being back to the hotel even before my grandmother would expect. Here are some of our rushed moments and near misses.
Lunching in Lucerne. Yes, I know its 3:30 and the next train is at 4:15 but we can even take the one at 5:15 and I absolutely must have a frappe overlooking the chapel bridge, and maybe we can walk up to the lions’ monument too (it says only 2 km from here on the map!) and then walk back over the bridge to the station. I was sure we would even sit idly for 15 minutes on the train before it leaves. Reality: Frappe was delicious, lion’s monument ain’t happening, the walk back to station is more of a jog, the train is just about to leave, we catch it DDLJ style… (and we are actually in Switzerland! Bollywood fans will know it could well be one of my best memories there! 🙂 )
Just cant get enough of Interlaken. By all calculations this was the last train we should catch to Geneva so we can just barely jump aboard our flight to Amsterdam. And we did just catch the train, reason – I wasn’t wearing a watch and my husband kept telling me the time 5 minutes ahead and made me run for my life. And yeah we did get on that plane too, reason – it was 2 hours delayed…. don’t blame me, Interlaken is just too beautiful, I couldn’t stop taking pictures and I abso-freaking-lutely had to buy swiss chocolates – I was craving them, pregnant and craving them….
Don’t catch us. Ok, I know again partly it’s my mistake. Another itinerary stretched to breaking point and we found ourselves blazing through Amsterdam Centraal to get the train to the airport. In the frenzy, we got separated and l left the luggage for one teeny second to climb a flight of stairs and look for our train and the security people went ballistic, my husband just couldn’t figure out the ticket machine, managed to drop about a 100 euros or so from the wallet and we boarded the train ticketless anxiously hoping we dont get caught (we really really tried to buy the ticket, trust me.) Thankfully, it was just a four minute ride to the airport and yes, the flight was still boarding. Alhamduillah we made it!