Pick your vacation spots from these Puneites’ travel pics | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Pick your vacation spots from these Puneites’ travel pics

City travel enthusiasts share their favourite summer holiday destinations. From offbeat locales to exciting food, these places are a must-visit.

pune Updated: Jun 10, 2017 16:11 IST
Anjali Shetty
Pune’s Dimple Somji says every inch of Greece is beautiful.
Pune’s Dimple Somji says every inch of Greece is beautiful.(HT PHOTO)

American writer Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Living by this very thought are Puneites who chose offbeat and exciting places to visit this year. Back from their summer leisure, they share their experiences of meeting new people and experimenting with new cuisines. From Greece to Iceland, here are top four vacation travelogues for you to experience.

Dimple Somji, educationist and entrepreneur

Greece

Every inch of Greece is beautiful – and not just your regular run of the mill beautiful, I’m talking jaw-dropping, wow-inducing, pinch-me type of beautiful. It’s like being in a miniature world, where everything is included: from countless beautiful islands and beaches to huge spectacular castle – cities.

Food: The world’s most exquisite Mediterranean flavours are before you. I am almost certain that Greece consumes more cheese than any other nation. The all mighty Greek Feta-I would literally start and end my day with it. Souvlaki and Gyros was my food on the go every time I didn't care much about a sit-down meal. Fish and calamari are incredibly tasty and cooked with minimum fuss-grilled whole and drizzled with ladholemono. The greek wine and cheese experience is a must-do. After all, Greek vineyards are among the world’s oldest.

Verdict: In general, Greeks are exceptionally friendly and curious. It's easy to strike a conversation. They are extremely kind and well mannered. Truly enjoyed their hospitality and not to forget their Greek-god looks.

Awanti Warde, owner, cupcake factory

Fjords Norway

Norway is simply beautiful and untouched. We selected to be on a cruise trip of the Fjords Norway. We were left mesmerised with our visit to cities of Stavanger, Ålesund, Bergen and Geiranger. The highlight of the trip was the hike to Pulpit rock in Stavenger. The view from the said point is breathtaking and it should be on everyone’s to-do list. We reached Gerianger just after it snowed and that gave us the chance to experience a different weather altogether. A journey throughout had waterfalls, which are beautiful. We spotted one such waterfall which resembled the packaging of a popular vodka brand. 

Food: The local cuisine majorly comprises the raw materials available in the region. Fish is the main focus in most of the cities. We tried reindeer meat and steak.

Verdict: We were a family of 13 on this trip and had a blast. The locals are friendly and helpful. A short drive is all it takes to go from urban life to quiet countryside or prime wilderness.

Dr Anupama Mane sampled local cuisine every day in Bhutan. (HT PHOTO)

Dr Anupama Mane, breast surgeon, Jehangir Hospital

Bhutan

In Bhutan, we travelled to Thimpu, Punakha Valley and Paro. What's more the population is only 7.5 lakh. It's a very serene place with a lot of natural beauty. We attempted a lot of treks. They are not simple - simply because the altitude is high and the air is thin. Being city dwellers, you need to be prepared and be physically fit. One of the most amazing treks was up to Taktsang Monastery in Paro district. It means the Tiger's lair and 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley. Not only do you have to trek up, but also climb 700 stairs to reach there which is a humongous task.

Food: We only sampled the local cuisine every single day. One of my favourites was Ema Datshi, which is green peppers mixed with cheese making it hot and spicy. Another variant is Shamu Datshi which is mushrooms cooked with cheese. These are usually served up with red rice or noodles.

Verdict: It's a little restricted as you have to go through the tour operators. It was a place which was on my bucket list and so I decided to go there. Bhutan lived up to that and more! 

Sensitive to cold, NIdhi Taparia travelled to Iceland during summer and enjoyed hanging out in warm blue water, sipping a glass of wine with blue air hitting theface. (HT PHOTO)

Nidhi Taparia, CEO, Kacima Digital Media 

Iceland

Most people travel to see the Northern Lights but given I can't stand the cold, I decided to travel in the summer. But Iceland has the most fickle weather. It can rain, be chilly and sunny all in a matter of a few seconds so my bubble jacket was my best friend. My favourite place in Iceland was capital Reykjavik. They have endless summer nights and there is light even at 3 pm in the night. I loved the hot thermal baths and being to the Blue Lagoon a geothermal wonder located in a sprawling 800-year-old lava field in the heart of the Reykjanes Peninsula, which is a UNESCO Geopark.

Food: A big worry for me as a vegetarian was what could I eat in Iceland. I carried multiple ready-to-eat meals from India. Surprisingly, Iceland had multiple options for vegetarians like me. However, for the meat eating traveller, Iceland is a paradise.

Verdict: Imagine hanging out in warm blue water, sipping a glass of wine while the blue air hits your face. Golden Circle which covers a 300-km loop across the city lets you experience the power of the Gullfoss Waterfall (golden waterfall) which is just outstanding over and above volcanic geysers and more.