International

My love-letter to Prague!

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The boat restaurant at night that floated on the water with Jazz musicians performing live, with candles on the table-tops and lights on the bank of River Vltava shimmering on the water, bits of chicken and sips of Czech white wine entering the elementary canal calming and soothing my senses…what else were I born to do on this Earth?

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Hiking Big Four Ice Caves in Washington

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It is better not to venture into the caves. Don’t be coaxed or cajoled into entering the caves, even if for a bet, an adventurous picture of you inside the cave, or to impress your friends into believing how brave you are. Accidents and deaths are not unheard of.

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Phnom Penh in Cambodia TO Can Tho in Vietnam by bus

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We called up our hotel in Phnom Penh as well as Can Tho, but no luck. Everyone shared the bus routes but all of them were going to Can Tho, via Saigon. It seemed so lame and dumb to do that. When everything fails, Internet comes as a savior so we started scavenging sites like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and what not. To our luck, we found one hard-to-believe post saying that

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Our Dubai Trip – Reaching the land of Skyscrapers

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So lets start from the Radio Taxi, Easycabs, which dropped us in-time. We were flying Emirates (23K odd per person return includes Visa and Insurance) since that meant that you get Visa easily. Also, with a small kid you tend to get a little more protective. There are other flights which would come out a little more economical and it can come down to as low as 15K per person return. Since its a short-haul, I would think that one should actively explore these other options and save some moolah for a good Himalayan-break after you are back from Dubai.

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Best place to stay at Angkor Vat Siem Reap, The Bayon Villa

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No one aspires to be in Siem Reap for the city. Everyone comes here to go and experience the Angkor Vat. The temple complex is a bit away from the main city (under 30 minutes TukTuk ride) but then the reality is that after you done with all the walking and awe-ing on the scale, the craftsmanship, the stories, you look forward to some un-wind time. And for that, the city has a great street, aptly called, ‘Pub Street’. Good news is that the ‘Pub Street, as well as the other city-city places like Siem Reap night market is just a walk-away.

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The Sunset on Mount Everest

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Into the thin air, I was struggling hard for a breath of air. I’ve not climbed above 5300m before and with only 50% oxygen in the air, was struggling even more walking across the ridge. I sat down on a boulder to rest, grasp more air and stop my heart pounding high. This morning, for the first time, oxygen saturation level in my blood dipped below 80 and the altitude began to take toll on me. But no way could I give it up. I was so close of my dream destination, Everest Base Camp! I climbed up this much and was only an hour walk away from it. “Come on Anupam, you can do it!” yelled my guide. I stood up again, mumbled under my breath “Slowly Slowly, Bistar Bistar”, the Nepalese Mantra I learned from my guide for climbing high altitudes. The sense of following the footsteps of many legendary Mountaineers who conquered Everest was boosting my morale and finally I reached the head of downward trail to the Base Camp. I could clearly see from there, the Base camp, Khumbu Ice fall and the Mt Everest. It was then a few minutes’ walking down to the base where rocks were piled up and covered with colourful prayer flags announcing the destination, Everest Base Camp at 5364m!

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Christmas in Italy

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Unlike the other European countries Rome station turned out to be real messy with thousands of people running in and around it. Mostly there was no queue and no prepaid taxis available. We managed to grab one and all we had to say is “Pantheon”.

Hotel Albergo Abruzzi was the destination. Located in Piazza della Rotonda, this old restored building stands across Pantheon, the ancient roman temple, dedicated to all the gods of Rome. Unlike Paris, Rome is quite a small city and if you stay at the heart of the old city almost all the sights and historical buildings will be very much walk able.

Receptionist lady smiled and quite cheerfully gave us an introduction and before we left she handed over us two copies of Rome street maps.  Having already been to Paris I had no false expectation regarding the size of the room. Small and cozy would be the apt description. It all made sense when I opened the window. There it was. Pantheon.

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