Saturday, 1 October 2016

Trip to Kashmir Valley


I had a flight from Delhi to Srinagar, Kashmir today. We had taken a tour package of Thomas Cook. We reached the airport, checked in, got security checked and then boarded our GoAir plane. The journey was about 1 and a half hour long. When we reached the Srinagar International Airport, a person from Thomas Cook greeted us and some other families. There were 2 Force Travellers and 1 TATA Winger as there were total 39 people who had come from different places in India. I was in a Force Traveller.

From the airport all of us went to a house boat situated on the Dal Lake. It was a 30 mins drive from the airport to Dal Lake. On the banks of the lake we stopped and sat in a boat to go to our house boat. We were staying in the house boat named The Alps. It was located among the various houseboats in this beautiful lake.

My House Boat

One more family was staying with us in the house boat, there were 3 bed rooms in the house boat. It was an interesting place to stay with a hall, dining room and an open area to sit. After we got fresh in a short time, a 'Shikara' arrived to take us for ride on the Dal Lake. It was a pleasant ride, we saw the floating market and got photographed in Kashmiri traditional dress.

View from Shikara
After the Shikara Ride we went back to our house boat to have dinner. After the dinner we went to sleep. That night it had rained heavily.


The next day we had our breakfast in the house boat and left for Shankaracharya Temple. It is a very old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. To reach to the temple we had to climb 243 stairs. Then, from there we went to The Ruins of Avantipura. These were ruins of an ancient temple.
Me with my mother and sister at The Ruins Of Avantipura

From there we travelled to Pahalgam. On the way we visited saffron fields from where we bought saffron and walnuts. From the saffron fields we directly went to Pahalgam. The name of our hotel was Aksa Hotel. In that hotel we were staying only with one other family. That evening I was watching a movie in the hotel as today there was no tour plan. That night we had dinner at the hotel and slept. As it was cold, there were electric bed heaters installed. In Kashmir nights were extremely cold and days were partly sunny.


The next day first we went to Chandanwari, where we played with little snow. We climbed till a nice height in the snow and then we came down from a sledge. Chandanwari is also the place from where the annual 'Amarnath Yatra' begins in the months of July-August.

We all at Chandanwari

Then from Chandanwari we went to Betaab Valley which got it's name from the movie-"Betaab" because it was shot there. It was a very beautiful garden on the river side. We clicked many pics there and spent some quality time there.

Me with my sister at Betaab Valley

Then from there we went to Aru Valley and then proceeded to The Pahalgam city for lunch. We had lunch in a restaurant named "Sagar Ratna". I had a Dosa there. Then from there we took a taxi from the main city to our hotel. That evening we were in the hotel.

Our resort at Pahalgam


The next day we left the hotel early in the morning as we had to travel 140 k.m. to reach Gulmarg which was past Srinagar. On the way we stopped at a bat factory which manufactured bats for famous Indian cricketers. I also bought 1 bat from the factory. They also showed us how are bats made. Then from there we went to a handicraft showroom which had a good stock of Kashmiri carpets, jackets, caps, showpieces etc.

We stopped at Tungmarg for lunch. Then from there we went to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is located in North Kashmir and is famous for the world's highest golf course. The name of our hotel there was "Royal Park Resort". We had the view of snow capped mountains from our rooms. In the evening, we went around the place, visited a small Shiva Temple which was 101 years old and came back for dinner and rest.

Me with my sister at Gulmarg


After morning breakfast we went to the 'Gondola' station which was near our hotel to take the ride further up to the mountains. From the 'Gondola' destination, we took ponies to go a nearby place which had lot of snow and also a waterfall. After we reached the last point where the ponies could go, we took sledges to go further up near waterfall. Over there there was a small restaurant where we had some snacks and then I learned skiing. It was first time in my life that I was skiing in a natural environment.                                                                                                                                                                
Inside the Gondola
That is me skiing

After skiing and walking close to the waterfall, we came down which was quite a fun. Then we took the Gondola back to the town, had a late lunch and boarded our vehicle to proceed to Srinagar.

We reached Srinagar city by evening and visited the famous Shalimar Garden (one of the three Mughal gardens in the city), it was a beautiful place with variety of flowers.

@Shalimar Garden
After that we checked in to our hotel Paradise Gateway in the Nishat area. We had dinner and took rest.


After having breakfast, we drove to Sonamarg which is another hill station close to the banks of Indus river. We travelled on the Srinagar Leh Highway which is one of the highest roads in India. The view on this drive was one of the best but since it was raining, we couldn't go to the main snow points. We had lunch in the town and went around the place.
Me at Sonamarg

In the evening,we came back to our hotel in Srinagar. My parents went to a nearby bakery to get some Kashmiri biscuits.


Today we had flight to Delhi in the afternoon. Since we had some time after breakfast we visited the nearby 'Nishat Bagh', another Mughal garden. It is close to the famous Dal Lake and a beautiful place booming with flowers of all colours. This garden is ideal place for picnics and because it was Sunday, it was full of local people.

After that we went to Srinagar airport which is one of the most secure airport in the country with multiple layers of checking. Our flight was delayed by an hour but we could reach our home in Gurgaon by evening.

Overall the trip was great with lots of fun.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

My Trip to Bengaluru and Coorg (Karnataka, India)

On 30th December we travelled to Bengaluru for holidays. It took almost two and a half hour to reach Bengaluru from Delhi and luckily no fog delays this time. Last year when we were travelling to Mumbai/Goa, our flight was delayed by about six hours.

From the airport we took a taxi to one of my father's friend's house. As it was already evening, we did not do much that day and had evening snacks, dinner and took rest. My father had great time meeting his old pal.

Next day we went to a meeting another family friend. At their home I played PS3 with their son Vibhu who was of my age. Then from there we all together went to Science Museum. The science museum was very big. It had lot's of scientific stuff which we enjoyed.

Then we went back to the place where we were staying. In the society there was a new year party.

After the party we went back home as the next day we had to go to Coorg, a town near Bengaluru.

The next day we got up early and took a tempo traveller to Coorg. On the way we took another family of my father's friend. Then on the whole way to Coorg I was reading a book. We took breaks to have our breakfast and lunch. I had Idli, Dosa and Sambhar. That was enough. Authentic south Indian food was very delicious.

Then on the way to Coorg, we visited 'Golden Temple'. Golden Temple just before Coorg is a Buddhist Temple and there is a small community of Tibetans in that area. After visiting the temple, we continued our journey to Madikeri, which is district headquarters of Coorg.


We had booked a homestay atop a hill surrounded by Coffee plantation. The house was very big and there were two sevants who were cleaning and cooking. The house had a place where we could do a bonfire. There were two swings also. The view from the homestay was terrific.



The next day we woke up, had breakfast and went to Talakaveri, the starting point of the river Kaveri. It was a beautiful place. Then from there we went to Abby Waterfall. To reach the waterfall we had do a long hike. After we reached on the top where the waterfall was located, we captured many pics with the fall. The waterfall was very huge.
Then from there we went to Madikeri town, As the place is famous for it's spices we bought lots of them. In the same area from where we did shopping there was a good restaurant, where we had our dinner. The food was delicious especially the chicken. As it was getting late, we decided to go back to our homestay.

The next day we had to go back to Bengaluru so we left the homestay and went towards Bengaluru. On the way we stopped in Mysore to visit the Mysore Palace. The place was huge and pretty crowded. The palace was built by Maharaja Rajashri.

 Then we started our journey once again and now straight to Bengaluru. On the way I was playing games with other kids and reading books. Now when we reached Bengaluru we went to other friend's home of my father. As it was night time we went to sleep.

The next day we first went to Bannergatha National Park. It was a huge place. First we went to do a safari. The safari was divided into many parts such as lion safari, tiger safari, white tiger safari etc. The safari was awesome. We could see all the animals walking freely here and there. These are some of the pics of the safari.

After the safari we went to a butterfly park. It had many varieties of butterflies.

Then we went to Banergatta Zoo. The zoo was big and had many animals.

Then from there we went to meet my friend, Pruthvi, who along with his family had travelled with us earlier to Rishikesh. There we had our lunch and played at his home. In the evening, we went to Meenakshi Mall for short time and came back home for dinner and rest.

The next day we woke up early as we were going to Wonderla ! a huge amusement park and water park. We went to the amusement park and did lot's of rides which was fun.


Then we went to the water park section. Which was also huge and had many water rides. I did all the rides in Wonderla ! except for those which were not of my age. Then we went back in the evening, had dinner and went to sleep.

The next day we went to the airport as we had our flight back to Delhi. The trip had ended but I would not forget the rides I did in Wonderla !

Monday, 28 March 2016

My Trip to Rishikesh (Uttarakhand, India)

I was waiting in my house around 4:15 a.m. for a traveller to come and take me, my family and families of some of my friends. We all went down and found the traveller waiting for us. I sat inside and found my friends playing UNO cards.Then for around 30 mins we played only two games UNO cards and Jackpot. I could see sunlight after we ended our game. Then our mothers told us to take rest for at least an hour. I slept in 10 minutes while my friends Devesh and Pruthvi did not. My friends did not sleep at all, in fact they didn't close their eyes also!

After I woke up, I was surprised to know that I was the only one sleeping. We all played some games such as atlas, dumb charades, antakshari etc. After about about 1 hour we reached a restaurant named Bikanerwala to have our breakfast as we did not have breakfast in the morning. I had 2 big Idlis. It was enough for me. We went back to our traveller. We had many more hours to reach Rishikesh as it is in Uthrakhand quite far from where I live. To entertain ourselves we three played for hours and hours. After many hours we reached Rishikesh. We were staying in a resort named Ojas Resorts in Mohan Chatti near Rishikesh. It had rooms in the shape of a hut. The weather was sunny and cold in the morning, the weather was pleasant in the afternoon and evening and it was freezing cold at night.

On the first day we did not do much and just went to Ganges which was next to our hotel. Me and Devesh  held a competition that who would be able to throw a stone farthest. Later Pruthvi joind us too. No one won the competition as we went back to have evening snacks. Later that night we 3 were playing billiards. The scoreboard was the following :-
Me - 4 points
Devesh-4 points
Pruthvi- 4 points

The game ended up with a draw but we had lot's of fun.

The next morning I woke up and saw many people of our group already woken up and playing badminton, billiards and table tennis. I also joined them later I was also joined with my friends who were sleeping. We all had our breakfasts and then went to River Ganges to play. Everyone went together. We 3 were playing with stones throwing them in water, breaking the stones by throwing it on huge stones. We then all were splashing and playing in water.


Then me and Devesh went on a adventure. We climbed all the rocks and almost reached on the top of all the rocks. We took a round and then went back down this is one of the pic of our adventure,

After having sumptuous lunch that day we all went to do rafting. We all sat down in our boat and I was using the oars to row the boat. In the rapids the boat was shaking a lot. I also took a dip in the river. The water was icy cold.

The same day we went to Parmath Ashram to see the Ganga Aarti that is only done in a few cities like Rishikesh, Haridwar and Varanasi. After seeing the aarti we went back to our resort for dinner and rest.


The next day after having breakfast we went for hiking. It was a 2.3 k.m long streach of the hilly road which culminated in a water fall. We all took a shower in the water fall. The water was extremely cold. Our guide told us that there is a village further in the hills from where children walk 4 k.m. everyday to go to school.


We came back to our resort for lunch and then went for rock climbing and repelling. The height of the rock was 50 m. Both me & my dad did rock climbing.


Next morning we headed towards our home after having breakfast. It was a fantastic trip especially the rafting.


Friday, 18 September 2015

My trip to Florida (U.S.A.)

My dad had 4 weeks of work in his company's headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois, after which he took one week off and we flew to Orlando to visit NASA & Disney World.

Now, here I am sitting in O'hare airport, waiting for the flight to Orlando. Unfortunately the flight gets delayed. Then the announcement that flight has got cancelled made me upset since all our plans are already in place to visit NASA next day. Fortunately we got shifted to another flight which was via Miami, however the journey became longer and we reached Orlando airport pretty late at night, around 1:00 a.m.

It was quite late at night when we took a rental car, Toyota Corolla this time, and started driving towards Titusville which is on the east coast of Florida, close to Kennedy Space Center. The highway was totally deserted and we hardly saw any other car on the road. I slept in the car while my father was driving, totally dependent on GPS. We reached our hotel 'Best Western Space Shuttle' around 2 a.m., welcomed by sleepy staff there.

Next day morning, we went to my dream place, 'Kennedy Space Center'. I was very excited as from childhood I want to become an astronaut. We drove towards Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We reached there after approximately 15 minutes. At the entrance there was a huge logo of NASA.

At first there was a rocket garden where there were many used rockets. It told me about the various rockets, where had they gone, who sat in them and how small the rocket were etc.

Then I went to meet a retired astronaut Jon McBride. First he gave a pretty long lecture on space, introduced himself to the audience, showed a power-point presentation about him. I also asked him when will the first human beings go to Mars? He said the first human beings will be able to go to Mars when the human Mars rover will be built completely. At last I had a picture with him and took his autograph !!

Then I went in a building where the world's first space shuttle is located which has gone to space 33 times "Atlantis"!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw each and and every part of the Atlantis and also studied on the different parts of a space shuttle. I also played a game on how to fix a space shuttle if any problem occurs while in space.

Then I went to view the real place from where rockets, satellites, space shuttles etc. are launched, where they are assembled and the meeting halls all while sitting inside a bus. I narrowly missed a satellite launch that was supposed to be happening on 21st of June. I was early by 3 weeks !!

Then I went to see the place from where all the moon missions were launched including the world's first manned successful moon landing on 20th of July, 1969.

Me and my sister also played a game where we learned how to protect to space shuttle if it is going to get crashed by a asteroid or a comet !!!!

Then I also took a poster which has the picture of the Kennedy Space Center United States Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees. I then had to go back to my hotel as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was going to close at around 5 p.m.

Next day morning I went to Kennedy Space Center United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

There first place where we went in there was a space simulator in which I literally thought as if I was sitting in a space craft.

I then went to the main hall of fame, there were pictures of people like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Micheal Collins etc.Then I also saw various space crafts. There were various games also over there to educate and entertain.

From the Hall of Fame, we drove to nearby Coco Beach. A vacation in Florida is incomplete without a visit to sandy beach. I had fun at beach with my parents and sister.

Then we went to Orlando International Airport.  I had to take Disney's Magic Express ( a bus) to go to Disney World, Orlando.When I reached the airport my father returned the rental car.

Then I formed a queue to enter Disney's Magic Express. I sat in and it took us towards Disney World. I was watching TV which was telling about Walt Disney World.

After about 45 mins I reached Walt Disney World which has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 31 hotels resorts  and a downtown !!!!!!!!

Out of the 31 hotel and resorts I was staying in a resort name 'All Star Movie Resorts'. The resort was divided into 5 parts out of which I was living in the Toy Story section. The entry to the toy story section was Andy's door which was more then huge. There were huge models of Andy's toys. I captured many pictures with the toys.

Then I went to my room which was also decorated with Toy Story stuff. After taking a break of about 1 and a half hour I went to discover the whole resort. The 4 categories are 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, The Love Bug, The Mighty Ducks and Herbie. The resort was awesome !!!
At night we went to the nearest swimming pool from our room 'The Fantasia Pool'. Me and my sister swam a lot,  played a lot, splashed a lot and had lot's and lot's of fun.

The pool was quite big and full of people enjoying the warm water.

Next day when I got up I had to dress up quickly because I wanted to reach the theme park early so I could enjoy more. Today I was going to go to Hollywood studios. It had many rides, shows etc. First I went to a Beauty and the Beast show. It was awesome. The dresses the characters wore were superb. I saw many other shows, did many rides, did shopping etc.

Another great show was 'Light, Motors and Action' wherein there were many cars and bike travelling at high speed. I'm just giving you a glimse of this great show:

After having lot's of fun I went back to my resort. The stores in the resort were about to close. Before they closed I took a Happy Birthday batch as it was my birthday tomorrow. The batch was meant to tell people that it was my birthday

Till the time I reached my room the clock struck 12:00 a.m. It was 2nd June in Orlando, just a day before my birthday !!! I got really excited and kept waiting for the time for my birthday.

Next day morning I woke up around 9:00 a.m. in excitement as I was going to turn 10 years old at 5:00 p.m.!!! I was getting ready as quickly as I could because today I was going to Magic Kingdom the biggest theme park in Walt Disney World. I entered the bus and I received my first birthday wish by the driver of the bus. Everyone in the bus sang birthday song for me.

Inside the Magic Kingdom, we saw Cinderella's castle welcoming all with dance performances by Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora etc. My sister was extremely excited as her dreams came true to meet these characters.

The Magic Kingdom has six themed 'lands' viz Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland & Liberty Square. All of these sections has various exciting rides and shows.

Some of the shows which I enjoyed were 'Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin', 'It's a small world', 'Peter Pan's flight', 'Seven Dwarfs Mine Train', 'The Barnstormer', etc.

In a short time my parents and my sister took me to a restaurant and gifted me a 'Kindle Paperwhite' as my b'day gift. Since I was in Chicago I was thinking about my this year's b'day gift. I did not get to know when my parents got it for me. As I like reading books, I loved the gift.

We were there in the Magic Kingdom till 11 p.m. and the last attraction was 'Electrical Parade'. It was a fascinating journey of various Disney stories and characters. Almost all of their famous characters were there in the parade.

Next day morning, we woke up, had breakfast and headed towards Orlando Airport to catch flight back to Chicago. In the evening, we reached the same hotel where we stayed earlier and the next day we took our return flight to Delhi.

My longest vacation came to an end with great memories and lots of fun.