Tuesday, April 20

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Arresting Landscapes – Must Visit Places in Hampi
Travel

Arresting Landscapes – Must Visit Places in Hampi

As you approach Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the 14th century Vijaynagara Empire, you will find yourself drawn in two directions. Here the ancient and the prehistoric vie for your attention. The set of ruins which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, intersperse precariously among granite rocks that are easily three billion years old! Hampi is nothing short of a work of art with its sky-high boulder mountains and lush paddy fields providing a perfect backdrop to the architectural marvels that Vijanagara’s artisans have created. While natural weathering has lent a distinct bulbous look to the rocks here, many of the carved architectural masterpieces have stood the test of time. The historic centre of Hampi, which embosoms most of the ruins is best explored on a two-wheel...
Seven Heavenly Plantation Stays in India
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Seven Heavenly Plantation Stays in India

I have often wondered why being close to nature acts as an antidote to many modern-day problems. While the reasons are plenty and might be different for everyone, the fact remains that it presents an opportunity to escape the frenzy of city life and contemplate. From the body to the mind, it bathes us in a sea of tranquillity. So whenever there is a chance, we make our way to the serenity offered by nature and surrender ourselves in its comforting embrace. Plantation stays in India offer one such opportunity, where the stillness is only intermittently broken by the sound of birdsong. Our dwellings in the city leave little scope for this tete-a-tete with the wild, let alone experiencing its many wonders. A quaint abode in a plantation estate, however, is where you can closely o...
Places to Visit During a Weekend in Lucknow
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Places to Visit During a Weekend in Lucknow

When we think of a holiday in India, Lucknow rarely makes it to the list. Although for lovers of food and Chikan work Lucknow isn’t a new name. However, very few look beyond its apparent veil, which, once lifted, gives a peek into what is probably the most eclectic of cities in North India, after Delhi. The city set on the banks of the river Gomti is bejeweled with architectural masterpieces rooted in history. Impressive monuments with a strong Islamic and British influence dot its skyline. There are fascinating bazaars and revered religious places that even today attract locals and tourists alike. It has managed to preserve its reputation as a city of rich culture, delectable cuisine, and intriguing history. This city of Nawabs is, therefore, a perfect way to spend an offbeat ho...
Six Beautiful Burial Grounds in India
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Six Beautiful Burial Grounds in India

Beauty, it is said, lies in the eye of the beholder. And therefore, we choose to see it only in certain places. For instance, when it comes to monuments, we find beauty in palaces and temples, but rarely in tombs, cemeteries, or burial grounds. The artistry of burial grounds is often overlooked owing to the taboo attached to death. One of India’s most visited monument, the Taj Mahal, is, in fact, a tomb. This detail is regularly overshadowed by its magnificence and popularity as a symbol of love. Though not as magnificent, many Indian cities are also dotted with intricately designed tombs that echo tales of love, respect, sacrifice, and reverence. Here are six burial grounds in Inda that you can visit and soak in their haunting beauty. British & Dutch Cemetery, Surat...
Update for January 2021: Carnival Cruise Line Cancellations Into 2021 and 2022
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Update for January 2021: Carnival Cruise Line Cancellations Into 2021 and 2022

Carnival Cancellation Update January 1, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line sends three ships into dry dock.  The cruise line doesn’t mention dates for when these ships will actually return to service, only how long they are canceled.  Ships affected include Carnival Magic with cruises canceled through September 24, 2021, Carnival Paradise through May 31 and Carnival Valor canceled through Sept 11, 2021. Guests on the Carnival Magic relax in the Magic Atrium. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise LinesAs you might expect, Carnival is offering those who rebook a 100 percent future cruise credit plus an onboard credit, or a full refund. Carnival Cruise Line reached out to guests and travel agents with another list of cruise cancellations.  This time it included select itineraries for specific depart...
2020 – What A Year It Was! Happy 2021!
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2020 – What A Year It Was! Happy 2021!

None of us can forget, 2020. It was unique in so many ways. Never ever has humanity seen a ‘Pause’ like this, collectively. Even with a sudden house arrest kind of situation, most of us quickly adjusted. Thanks to global connectivity, we never really felt isolated. We discovered our hidden talents and we rediscovered the hidden treasures in our own wardrobes. In a way, a lot of what we always wished for, suddenly fell in our laps. It just took us some time to realize that it was always there, we just never looked at it. At Chandigarh MuseumAs a traveler, I gathered a lot of sympathy for not being able to travel. People felt sorry for me, some of them even thought it would be a trauma for me. I, on the other hand, discovered that I am perfectly fine with not travelin...
My Overnight Adventure Aboard the Dacia Express Train to Bucharest, Romania
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My Overnight Adventure Aboard the Dacia Express Train to Bucharest, Romania

For most people, getting to Bucharest, Romania for a Danube river cruise is easy.  Fly to Bucharest, collect your luggage and you’re there.  Done. But because I don’t fly, the Dacia Express overnight train to Bucharest from Vienna was my only option. Carpathian mountain range still snow-capped in May.Across Europe by train to Bucharest for a Danube River cruise. My 24-day Danube cruise aboard Uniworld’s River Duchess began in Rousse, Romania, but Bucharest was our meeting point.  I just completed an MSC Splendida Mediterranean cruise but needed to leave the ship one day early in Marseille.  With my hectic and over-stuffed itinerary, I had only two nights had to reach Bucharest.  There was no time to spare and no margin for error. Reality check – too many trains to reach Bucharest! Here’s ...
Amtrak Guide: How to Buy an Amtrak Ticket Plus A Few Insider Tips
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Amtrak Guide: How to Buy an Amtrak Ticket Plus A Few Insider Tips

I took this photo aboard the California Zephyr as we traveled alongside the Colorado River.Whether you want to book a cross-country trip on Amtrak or simply ride the train from Orlando, Florida to Charleston, NC, the process to buy an Amtrak ticket is easy.  There are three different ways you can purchase your train ticket.  Three Easy Ways to Buy an Amtrak Ticket  There are really three ways to reserve and buy an Amtrak ticket.  It all depends on your comfort level and patience.  Personally, I do a combination of the first two ways listed below.  After checking online, I’m fairly knowledgeable to know what to ask Amtrak’s reservation agent to do.  1.  Buy Your Amtrak Ticket Online This is probably the easiest and quickest way to buy your ticket.   Go to Amtrak.com.  Then type in the two ...
48 hours in Sofia
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48 hours in Sofia

In Sofia, you realize that every stone indeed tells a story and my introduction to the Bulgarian capital starts with them. The first set of stones are the ruins, which give you a glimpse of the ancient Roman City of Serdica, which is over 1000 years old and has been unearthed recently. The second is, however, a little more than a century old and is a symbol of the present city of Sofia and they give the city a golden identity. Sofia has a 7000-year-old chequered history from prehistoric times to the socialist era, from the Thracians to the Romans, from the Ottomans to the Slavs, from Bulgars to Russians and there are many narratives over this period that tell a tale of conflict and strife. You can experience Bulgaria’s heritage in th...
Experience 2021
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Experience 2021

After a disappointing year, 2021 travel is hopefully going to be full of incredible journeys! If you’re excited to make up for lost time, it’s worth thinking less about the “where” and more about the “how”. How will you right those canceled dreams? How are you going to travel safely? How can you travel in a way that makes you feel that you truly experienced a country instead of simply visiting?Allow our destination experts to inspire you with our curated experiences for 2021. Between outdoor adventures, stunning journeys closer to home, responsible travel experiences, and lingering connections, these are all journeys of a lifetime.OUTDOOR EXPERIENCESIf you’ve grown tired of being cooped up indoors, make 2021 a year to explore some awe-inspiring landscapes! Step out into the open air and ti...