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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

For Mumbaiites, it’s globetrotting by road

A chance glance at an old quaint church nestled on the postcard road connecting the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Innsbrook made Marine Lines-based homemaker Arti Bhatia stop her car.

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2011 02:03 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
Hindustantimes
         

A chance glance at an old quaint church nestled on the postcard road connecting the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Innsbrook made Marine Lines-based homemaker Arti Bhatia stop her car.

The 46-year-old mother of two had no clue that the time spent inside the vintage structure would become one of the most cherished moments of her 15-day vacation in Austria last month. “It was possible only because we decided to do a road trip. The calm and the peace while driving through the scenic landscape was unimaginable,” reminisces Bhatia. The family of four also stumbled on a Nazi concentration camp that wasn’t part of their planned itinerary.

A small but growing set of city travellers are getting drawn to the idea of exploring foreign cities by driving past their landscaped roads, say travel agents.

“Road trips make travel extremely flexible. And, these days people prefer to discover a destination via its small towns instead of big cities,” said Subhash Motwani, director, Compact Travels.

Such trips though are far more expensive than others, but city-based lawyer Radhika P is not complaining. She returned to Mumbai after a two-week long road tour across Germany, Austria and Italy. “The difference in cost was not much. But the experience was ten-folds better,” said Radhika.

With a chauffeur-driven sports utility vehicle at their service, the family of three had the convenience to stop by a countryside cafe or spend hours raving at the natural beauty. “We stumbled on a monastery in Germany that makes a special wine. It was beautiful,” said Radhika. The family chose to stay in a vintage wooden house in the vineyard region of Rhineland in Germany. “I still can’t get over the breakfast served to us. It was like a king’s meal,” she added.

Travel agents said that road trips are very popular. “Bookings for road trips particularly for Europe, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa are very popular,” said Jay Bhatia, western region chairman, Travel Agents Association of India.

First Published: Jun 06, 2011 02:03 IST

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