5 Must-Visit spots when in Prague

Czech republic, globetrotter, Prague, Travel
Prague is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. After simply one visit it’s easy to see why. The old world charm that effortlessly meshes with new age wonders, offers a very unique experience to any tourist visiting the city – be it for the first time or the tenth! Read on to know more about some of the best spots in the city of a thousand spires.

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Charles Bridge

This is one of the city’s main attractions linking the two sides of Prague.  You will always find a hoard of tourists walking along this bridge, stopping at hot dog stands and appreciating the view of the magnificent Vltava River. This is truly the center of the city from where you can see the Prague castle towers against the evening sky. There are also innumerable street artists and jazz bands providing a bounce to your step as you walk along.

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National Museum
Museums are never first on my ‘to – be – seen’ list when I visit any city. But I decided to make an exception in this case after what I’d heard about Prague’s National museum. The building itself is splendid with a huge skylight and stone carved structures. It breathes royalty from the moment you enter it, and you left wondering whether you need to admire the magnificence of the majestic hallway, the red-carpeted stairs or the actual exhibits.

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 Old town square
Despite being such a touristy spot, Prague’s old town square has remained untouched since the 10th century. The cobbled streets, the street market selling all sorts of trinkets, the outdoor cafes where you can enjoy a glass of wine in the warm sun, an ever changing cast of musicians and street performers – they all add to the charm and beauty of the place.

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Prague Castle

The walk up to Prague castle is almost as enjoyable as the view from the top of the castle towers. The city is made for walking, stopping and admiring. The evident beauty of the churches and buildings is enough to stop any man who is least interested in architecture in his tracks. Photography isn’t allowed inside the castle, which is a good thing as, for once, you can feast your eyes on the sculptures, the arches, the intricate stone work and carvings, and of course the view of the entire city from the top!

Astronomical clock

It’s the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and still in working condition! Hundreds of tourists gather around the clock every hour, with their cameras pointed and ready to enjoy the fascinating mechanical performance of the clock. At the end of every hour, figures on the sides of the clock become animated. You will see a skeleton ringing a bell, a Turk shaking his head, a miser with a purse full of money, a Vanity looking in the mirror and two windows that open to reveal twelve apostles greeting the city. This comical performance ends with a golden rooster crowing and a huge bell ringing at the top of the tower.

Prague is called one of the world’s most beautiful cities and for good reason. It must be on every travel buff’s wish list. And with websites like Travel Tours offering such packages, Prague is just one click away! I absolutely love to travel whenever I get a chance (which doesn’t seem to be very often these days) but I am already on to planning my next trip hopefully sometime soon!

Share your travel plans for this year in the comments below. Maybe we’ll bump into each other halfway around the world! 🙂

Mahabaleshwar Photo Diary – Day 1

globetrotter, holidays, mahabaleshwar, road trip, Travel
There are some destinations that are never on your ‘to-be-visited’ radar only because, for reasons unknown, you have sorely underestimated the place. Mahabaleshwar was one such place that I never expected to find myself in because I honestly din’t think it was my kind of place. So when I got the chance to go there for a couple of days, am glad it proved me wrong in many ways!

We (me & family) went by road from Pune and reached in about 3 hours. The moment we entered the hill station we were greeted with an amazing view of the road, greenery and chilly mountain weather.

After a brief rest at the Bella Vista Resort, we set out to explore the place. The best way to see the sights and sounds of a new place (according to me) is to avoid the overtly touristy spots. So basically the ‘points’ were something we were keen on avoiding. Well every point has the same spectacular view but from a different angle. So we din’t want to be rushing to all the nine (or maybe more) points and pushing through crowds and trying to avoid monkeys grabbing our bags (And there were so many!)

So we decided on Kate’s point, which was nearest from our resort, had almost zero crowd and of course offered a breathtaking view of the Deccan traps.

After a couple of hours of frolicking around the mountain streams, enjoying the fresh green view and worsening my cold (sniff), we decided the time was perfect to go for a boat ride in the famous Venna Lake. It’s one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. It’s a man made lake where you can enjoy a boat ride in a row boat (no electric boats allowed). Ten minutes into the boat ride, a huge mist descended upon us making it impossible to see beyond three meters of our boat. Typical hollywood movie thriller where you except some sort of alien sea monster to jump out of the fog and swallow your boat whole.

Unfortunately all we managed to spot was a spooky looking tree branch and of course my cold got worse. After the boat ride, it was back to the resort, piping hot food while it poured outside and snuggling in bed with a hot lemon tea!

Holiday so far so good.. eh?

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A walk in Interlaken, Switzerland | Globetrotter

Europe, globetrotter, holidays, Interlaken, Switzerland, Travel
Switzerland has always been a popular destination for us Indians. Be it newlyweds who want a Swiss honeymoon or bollywood directors who want snowcapped mountains as scenic song backgrounds, this beautiful country is always the #1 choice! So naturally when I got the chance to turn a work trip into a full fledged holiday with the promise of swiss chocolates and frolicking in the snow, I grabbed at it without a second thought.

Interlaken is a little town in Switzerland, sandwiched between two lakes on either side. And of course it is famous for its popular Jungfrau Park. Every road you turn into is as picturesque as the previous one and its populated with cute Bed ‘n Breakfast places all over. Of course, it’s also very expensive but that’s the price you pay to enjoy this 

So let’s take a walk around town while I give you reasons why it is worth a trip!

You get to enjoy lush green views and snowy mountains at a distance. All this with warm and bright sunshine!

Pretty and colorful flowers are blooming all around (and so well maintained!). Instant mood uplift!
There is no traffic. No people. No noise. Which makes a walk on a rainy day so much more enjoyable without anyone around and without having to watch out for puddles and splashes of water

Trains are on time. Platforms are not messy. Trains are fast, neat and clean. Did I mention they are on time? And they come with a view! 😉
You never know when you’ll bump into someone ‘going to work’ on their horse. What? That’s a mode of transportation too! Also converts into a pet when you are having a bad day at work and you need someone to make you feel better.
When hotels look like this, you really have nothing to say except scream with joy for you have finally found yourself inside an Enid Blyton novel.
Your friendly neighborhood postman has a super cute yellow bike and is actually friendly enough to have a chat and pose for you!

You walk on the main street of the town and you find THIS. A refreshingly blue stream flowing through the town, with water so clean that you could almost drink it.
They have little ‘fountains’ or taps with continuously flowing fresh water from the melting mountain snow/ice. We filled out our bottles here and the water was ice cold! (*lousy tourist-y pose alert*)
Cobbled streets. Need I say more?

And it’s perfectly normal to encounter colorful little toy trains going about this too-good-to-be-true toy town. Wanna hitch a ride to the next station?
The other side of the stream. Still blue. Still clean.

Random works of art on the street. ‘Coz why let an old tree trunk just be, when you can do this to it?

And when you are back from your long walk, thinking it can’t get any better, you enter your Bed ‘n Breakfast and you see this. A little cabin common room complete with the famous Swiss cow bells (I bought a teeny tiny one back.. remember the DDLJ version?) and firewood chopped and ready to be put in the fireplace for the night!

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Venice on a stormy day | Globetrotter

Europe, globetrotter, Travel, venice
“You may have the universe, if I may have Italy”

There is nothing that I don’t love about this beautiful country. Right from the cuisine (we all know am crazy about Italian food) to the places and the fashion!

Spending just two days in Venice is not enough to satiate your senses. But when you have no choice and you are given a limited time in wonderland, you make the most of it by trying to soak in as many sights as you can possibly see.

The day we picked to visit Venice couldn’t have been more perfect. It was cloudy, windy, cold and stormy – not exactly the kind of ‘perfect’ that everybody prefers. But this city – that is already considered one of the most beautiful on earth, seemed to magnify in beauty on that stormy day. The dark clouds that seemed to shroud the entire floating city in a matter of minutes,  the soft play of lights on the water, made us see the city from a whole new angle. Rare, fierce and royal.

By daylight it is a bustling city full of tourists, delivery boats, and gondolas. By night – if you feel you are short of words to describe the place, then it is clear that you have truly loved and understood its beauty.

Previous travel posts (click here)

Globetrotter: Konigssee Lake, Germany

Destiny, Europe, globetrotter, konigsee, Salzburg, Travel
I had a really hard time trying to choose pictures for this post because there were so many and each one is as picturesque as the next one. Honestly it is impossible to choose and since I anyway hate taking such decisions, I went ahead and loaded the post with photos. The more pictures you look at, the more you’ll want to start making holiday plans and that’s exactly my intention! 😉 Because everybody deserves to go to a place like this. A place so silent and so pure that it makes you feel so small and insignificant with its majestic-ness, and at the same time fills you with wonder and a sense of accomplishment. All you have to do is go and look at this place that has formed its own beauty, and although you had no role to play in its formation, the very fact that you are able to see something so wonderful with your own eyes makes you feel, for one teensy moment, that you can achieve anything in the world!

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View from hotel
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Heated indoor pool which we din’t get to use(except as a background for pics)

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Literally translated as the “King’s Lake”, Konigssee is the cleanest lake in entire Germany, and its easy to see why. Only electric powered passenger boats, rowing boats and pedal boats are allowed in the lake. Either that or you could hike your way forward. One of the best things about this place is the silence. It’s rare for such a huge tourist attraction to be so peaceful and silent. The view of the lake, the mountains, and the stillness of the water automatically makes you just sit back and stare…. at everything. One way or the other they’ll make sure you are a well behaved crowd. They are Germans after all! Sticklers for rules. The guide on the boat speaks only German and blatantly refuses a kind request to explain at least a few of his points in English. You ask for a few words of English and he looks at you like you demanded his kidney! A yellow line on the dock that says ‘Do not cross’ strictly means DO NOT CROSS. A concept that we Indians simply can’t wrap our head around. So if you decide to take just one tiny step forward to peep under the bridge and look at those cute ducklings – bad idea. Angry Germans are worse than rude Germans. You’ll get the filthiest look that they reserve specially for dark skinned people. They are not big on welcoming foreigners. That’s something they can’t wrap their head around.

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Just look at that water!!!

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Pirate attack!!

There are two stops along the lake – St Bartholoma and Salet. To reach Salet, over the 8km stretch of the lake it takes about one and quarter hours. A 10 to 15 minute walk from Salet and you reach a smaller lake, the Obersee. If it’s possible to describe a hike as ‘cute’ that’s probably the word I’d use! Everything from the path, to the little restaurant mid-way, to the ducks that keep giving you company along the way, the fresh mountain water streams that you have to keep crossing over (straight out of an Enid Blyton novel!) is just picture perfect and adorable!

At the end of your little walk you reach a much smaller lake, almost hidden in the valley, with water so still that it seems to reflect everything around it. It doesn’t look real. Almost feels like its a set up where someone has planted perfectly symmetrical trees and painted a reflection that is too still to feel real. I don’t think our chaotic minds are used to such stillness. It didn’t come as a surprise that the instinctive reaction of most people over there was to throw a rock or pebble into the still waters just to see the ripples.

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Reflections

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Such pretty balconies!

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A few days of exploring got me convinced that I need to go back here not once but as many times as possible in a lifetime. How great would it be to just pack up and leave one fine day and just keep going, keep exploring and getting inspired? Some day! Until then, dream, dream, dream and make it happen!

Travel: Pondicherry

beach, Fashion, globetrotter, Look of the Day, pondicherry, Travel
2014!!! Eeeee! *does a dance* It’s not like me to get excited for a new year but this time it somehow feels different. It’s heart warming to read some of my fellow bloggers’ new year resolutions/plans/goals posts. Although a lot of them are also of the resolutions are passe and not for me opinion too. I don’t understand why some people are so against new year resolutions. I get that you can start something new any day, anytime and you don’t specifically need to wait for a new year to begin to change your life around. But do you start ? Really?? If you do then hats off to you, but me being the world’s biggest procrastinator I need something like this to give me a much needed push in the right direction.

Each day and every moment is a chance to learn something new and change something about your life that you aren’t satisfied with but, there is something about beginning a whole new year with a set of goals, a change in attitude and with those so called ‘resolutions’ that makes the future seem more… promising.

This year began with a mini holiday where I attended the mega alumni meet of my college, caught up with friends (and enemies 😉), walked around our awesome campus (which is like second home), talked about old times, laughed about the things we did, the hectic schedules and all the parties, outings and late night cups of coffee while trying to read up on case studies and basically had a blast! A visit to my alma matter is always incomplete without a trip to Pondicherry. This little beach town which was never ever on my radar before, has now become a favorite getaway – mostly thanks to the various delicious eating joints and cafes that it has.

Just about an hour and a half from our campus along the East Coast Road, which in my opinion happens to be one of the best scenic roads ever, and you land in this little french colony city!

Denim dress: AND | Shirt: Street shopping Mumbai | Bracelets: Accessorize | Bag:Boutique in B’lore |
Shoes: c/o DoneByNone (buy here)
pleated poppy

Globetrotter: Eagle’s nest, Salzburg

Europe, globetrotter, Salzburg, Travel
Before I even knew which country Salzburg was in, the place meant only one thing for me – the von Trapp family from Sound of Music! This was when I was in the sixth grade. Years later I was able to actually sing and jump around like a maniac at the very place where one of my all time favorite movie was shot. And the fact that it was shot in one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and not some lame studio was just icing on the cake! Austria has the world’s most well maintained cities… I swear!

Instead of staying in the city, we stayed in a quaint little spa town called Bad Reichenhall (in Germany), which is 20min away from Salzbburg (which is Austria). We were country hopping between Germany and Austria during our entire stay, and waking up to gorgeous views like the one below.

After breakfast ( of bread rolls, yogurt, eggs and lots of fresh fruit) it was off to Eagle’s nest. It’s a far away place in Germany and is a mountain home of Adolf Hitler. Its called ‘Eagle’s nest’ in english, probably because its only access point is through a tunnel and then an elevator through a 2000meter mountain.

You reach the base point where the tunnel starts by bus, and you reach the bus stop by car.
Tip: It’s best if you travel by road in Europe. Although definitely more expensive than trains, the roads are amazing, the scenery is breathtaking, you’ll never feel exhausted for the long hours spent sitting in the car, you can cover more number of places, you can stop wherever and whenever you like (our stop at this spa town was impromptu.. we loved what we saw and decided to spend a couple of days here before heading to Salzburg)…. and you’ll thank me for all this!

And I just can’t get over how green the grass is. For some reason each time time I see a stretch of grass like this, I picture a dozen white horses galloping (90’s bollywood influence)


I am now going to embarrass myself with my limited vocabulary by repeatedly describing the view from the top as breathtaking, picturesque and simply beautiful. Honestly even repeating the same words again and again does not justify the beauty, unless you coin a different word altogether in place of all these adjectives. I don’t deny that there are far more amazing places in this world, each as wondrous (or more) than the other. This place too has its own charm and attraction and definitely doesn’t disappoint!

There’s a short and really enjoyable trek to the top of the mountain amidst the ever present clouds (pic below). Although our innumerable stops for photos made it considerably longer.

After that it was back to base in the bus down a long winding road. We could learn a thing or two about driving skills from these guys. Honestly, the speed at which he was going downhill, I was amazed we dint drop down the cliff.

We really wanted to go on the Sound of Music tour but since it was already late it was closed for the day. After a lot of asking around and noses glued to maps, we managed to find a couple of places at least! Our whole family used to sit together and watch this movie (so many times) that it sort of became a tradition. So we had to see at least a couple of the places if not all.


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Not so long ago, a great man with super powers, had a look at my horoscope and made a fabulous discovery and told my parents “You put a steering wheel in her hands, and she won’t return home for hours. She is independent and loves to travel”. Well, turns out its completely true (the great man is in fact a family friend quite adept at chalking out horoscopes and not just those marriage wala kind).

I love being at home but not as much as I love to travel. I hate going to the same place twice simply because there is so much more to cover and see, and so little time. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend it all on travel and even if I was broke, I would beg-borrow-steal and somehow travel. Some of us are born globetrotters (I mean how can you not love it?!). For a while I’ve been wanting to start a travel series on the blog, but was unsure of the kind of response it would have. But the urge to share my love for traveling was too overwhelming to be suppressed any longer.

Since we have all read enough of those what to see, where to eat, what to shop type posts, am only going to share my (mis)adventures! The series will include all the places that I’ve covered in the past, the ones am getting a chance to cover now and the ones I shall cover in the future. 

Globetrotter: Prague

Czech republic, Europe, globetrotter, Prague, story, Travel
Did you know Bata shoes were originally founded in Czech Republic? Yes our very own Bata, which we rarely give a second glance to, because its that ‘cheap local Indian brand’. This was one of the first facts I discovered in Prague. The same Bata, where my mom used to buy me those hawai chappal as a kid (yes I was a 90’s Bata chappal kid), actually had amazing boots in Prague. But more on that later.. we need to start at the beginning.

That’s the view from the balcony of my room, where I almost dropped the camera from the second floor in my eagerness to start clicking photos. First time trip to Europe does that to a girl. If I go visit the same places now? Switzerland..? Phhttt.. I holiday there every summer *makes those annoying hand waves* Seriously though, I think I’d be awestruck even after a million visits and that’s the beauty and charm of Europe. Always leaves you wanting more and more. When we went in September the weather was unusually chilly, even the locals agreed. That translates into unbearably cold for me. I am a complete sunny-beach-side-summer kinda girl, who’ll pile on layers of coats at the tiniest drop in temperature. I can’t stand the cold! 

This baby was parked right outside our hotel

Hotel Villa

After a few touristy photos around the hotel (which was pink in color??) and a rather hurried meal we set out exploring. Best way to explore European cities – walk, walk, walk! I was not into blogging back then (this was in 2010 I think) so I have no proper outfit pics to show, but all I wore on the entire trip was walking shoes. Walk down the cobblestone streets in the center of Prague, and you’ll feel like you are in a different century. The city is made for walking, stopping and admiring. And the weather is so great that you will never tire of walking.

Walk to Prague Castle

See me already donning coats and knits? I even wore gloves inspite of the crazy looks I was attracting. Comfort first, crazy later right? (or is the other way around?)

Now I don’t anything about architecture, least of all about European architecture of churches and palaces but the evident beauty of these buildings is bound to stop even the least interested man in his tracks. Its hard not to be awed by the design, the intricate stone work, the carvings and the sheer majestic-ness of the architecture. If you are someone who appreciates art, of any form, you will appreciate this. That’s the entrance gate of the Prague Castle. Thanks to hundreds of people (out of which 80% were Japanese for some reason) waiting to enter and obstructing the splendid view this was the only pic I could manage.

Entrance to Prague Castle

Street musicians are a common sight, specially on the famous Charles bridge. Its so funny to see them suddenly break into a dance, even more funny when tourists join them, funniest when you find yourself doing the same. The guy in the middle reminds me of a Thom the gleeman (and if you are not an obsessed reader of the ‘Wheel of time’ series forget I mentioned that. You wouldn’t understand the reference)

Photography wasn’t allowed inside . Everyone read the sign and promptly fished out their cameras. Human mentality is something I’ll never understand. Most people were discussing the religious and historical aspect of the paintings and sculptures, but I was plainly admiring it for the artwork. Trust me these photos are nothing compared to what it looked like in reality.

Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy any sunny weather that day. It was cloudy and there was a heavy rain (according to them) which was a mere drizzle (according to me). I thought European countries have their fair share of rain and wind but apparently none of them have ever seen anything like out tropical monsoons. The walk from the castle to charles bridge is spectacular. If you need a break from all the walking, all you need to do is pop into the first little cafe that you spot and grab a coffee and an authentic french pastry and munch your way forward!

Walking from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge – the touristy spots

Me and mom on Charles bridge!

Charles bridge needs no introduction. ‘Bridge’ is only a technical term for it. Its a link to both the sides of Prague, providing a fairytale view of the city’s skyline and the Vltava river beneath it. Its truly the center of the city. During the day there are throngs of people walking over it, sketch artists (who are pretty good!), souvenir shops and street musicians. If you happen to be there look out in particular for jazz bands who happen to be quite entertaining! It’s also one of those customary photo locations for post-wedding shoots. This couple (below) was the third we spotted that day on the bridge!

What to remember when in Prague:

  • Its ok to drink beer at 11a.m
  • Beer is cheaper than water
  • You can walk across Charles bridge on any evening and find something lovely happening
  • Almost everyday, somewhere in Prague, there’s a random festival happening with food and drink stalls
  • Public transportation is AMAZING!
And that brings us to the end of the first post in the series. Phew! Photo overload much? 

Like what you read?
Join us on

____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Not so long ago, a great man with super powers, had a look at my horoscope and made a fabulous discovery and told my parents “You put a steering wheel in her hands, and she won’t return home for hours. She is independent and loves to travel”. Well, turns out its completely true (the great man is in fact a family friend quite adept at chalking out horoscopes and not just those marriage wala kind).


I love being at home but not as much as I love to travel. I hate going to the same place twice simply because there is so much more to cover and see, and so little time. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend it all on travel and even if I was broke, I would beg-borrow-steal and somehow travel. Some of us are born globetrotters (I mean how can you not love it?!). For a while I’ve been wanting to start a travel series on the blog, but was unsure of the kind of response it would have. But the urge to share my love for traveling was too overwhelming to be suppressed any longer.

Since we have all read enough of those what to see, where to eat, what to shop type posts, am only going to share my (mis)adventures! The series will include all the places that I’ve covered in the past and the ones I shall cover in the future.