As we wrap the year amidst the valleys of Nilgiris, sipping the famous tea on a foggy morning, happily looking back on our travels last year we feel ecstatic of all the opportunities that we got and were blessed to work with some of our favorite brands and tourism boards.
Though the year started quite low with not much travel on the first quarter and struggling with health issues all year long. But we are happy that it ended on a high note and looking forward to lots of amazing travels planned for 2015.
We would like to thank all of you who have been part of this journey with us and have constantly encouraged to try something new and deliver quality post managing our day jobs. We still do struggle to be regular on posting and still there are so many travel stories that are screaming to be heard and pictures to be shared.
Without further ado, here are the places we have been lucky to visit last year.
The year started with a quick escape from Mumbai to the land of strawberries. It was around 6 hours drive from Mumbai. A welcome break from hot and scorchy summer to unseasonal rain. Though May was not an ideal time to visit Mahabaleshwar as the season of strawberries had just ended and most of the strawberries farms were out of strawberries. But the monsoon had painted the entire valley with the hues of green, as we absorb the beauty of the western ghats and devoured on yummy Strawberry ice cream at Mapro, we couldn’t complain. It was definitely an amazing weekend spent.
In the month of April, we went on a road trip to the most loved and frequented hills station of Western Ghats. It was just a day trip from Mumbai. As we drove along the winding roads of the western ghats, crossing numerous tunnels, breathtaking views of the valley unfolded and the temperature started dropping by the time we reach the Lonavala. We visited numerous touristy points and had lunch at the famous Fariyas hotel. It was an inviting break from Mumbai’s heat. And of course, how can we miss gorging on famous chikis.
This was my third visit to Chandigarh and it was after 10 years. One of the best-planned city’s of India. Chandigarh is definitely the greener and cleaner city, areas divided into sectors and a perfect base to explore nearby places like Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Amritsar etc. With the launch of AirAsia direct flights from Bangalore to Chandigarh at quite reasonable rates, we couldn’t resist booking a flight to Chandigarh, we stayed there for a day and then headed to Shimla. Whilst on our stay we visited the famous Rock garden and spent our time at the pristine Sakuna lake and shop at one of the biggest mall’s of Chandigarh.
We drove from Bangalore to Munnar with our friends during the month of August. It was almost a 500 KM drive and the road was dotted with beautiful and scenic views. We stayed in a resort which was situated atop a hill and offered tents and tree houses as accommodation. Due to the onset of monsoons, Munnar from the hill looked amazingly beautiful. It was a welcome break for us to get away from the hustle and bustle of our lives. The best part about the stay was that there was no TV and no network connectivity.
( Read: Road Trip to Munnar, Nature Zone Resort Review )
It was an impromptu day trip that we took. Just 2 hours drive from Bangalore landed us in the ruins of Vijayanagar dynasty. The temple which is tucked at a sleepy village of Lepakshi of Ananthpura district. Andhra Pradesh is a treasure trove for history, art and architecture lovers.
We bid goodbye to the year 2014 with a visit to Ooty. We gorged on the home made chocolates and loved the Masala chai soaking in the beauty of the valley. Ooty was cold during this time of the year but it was a wonderful experience to visit some of the places where some of the famous Bollywood movies have been shot. We visited the famous church in Ooty where the climax scene of Saajan was shot and we also managed a ride on the toy train which plies between Ooty and Coonoor.
And not to forget the amazing trip that was sponsored by brands and tourism boards that we love.
NewYork : ( Official Trip – Sponsored 😉 ) :
After experiencing the shivering cold winters of NYC for four months last year, this time, we were there for just 2 weeks to enjoy the Summers. New York is one city which we can never be bored of. There is something new every time we visit. But the highlight of the trip was definitely the experience of flying business class with Etihad and staying at W – Hotel for two weeks which is right at the famous Times Square.
Goa: ( Thanks to Ramada Caravela)
A facebook contest that landed us in this lap of luxury tucked in a secluded place at Varca beach is a perfect escape for a city dweller like us. We lazed around at one of the cleanest beaches of South Goa, enjoyed the Goa monsoon hearing the pitter patter of rains and chirping of birds from our patio.The resort is stunning with a private beach and staffs were cordial and helpful.
( Read: Ramada Carvela Resort, Goa )
Shimla: ( Thanks to Oberoi Cecil, Shimla )
We have stayed at some of the famous luxurious hotels and resort but this was our first time at Oberoi groups. And Oberoi Cecil is one of the oldest property, a perfect blend of the colonial era and modernization close to the Mall road and at a walkable distance from the Viceregal Lodge. The hospitality and the care by each and every staff are commendable. We were upgraded to the luxury suite and it was freaking awesome, perfect place to experience the bygone colonial era. Will soon be posting video and post of our experience.
Scotland ( Thanks to Scotland Tourism and Rabbies Tours and Travels ):
A trip that has been etched in our memories for a lifetime. Be it walking down the royal mile midst the stone buildings which looks spooky as the sun sets or the exhilarating feeling of walking on the sets of Harry Potter. Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful city we have ever visited. A perfect base to explore Scotland mountains to the coast. We took a 3-day road trip to Isle of sky with Rabbies Travels traveling to Portee and Inverness passing by valleys, lakes and castle more than in the Games of Thrones series. If you ever plan to visit Scotland and we would highly recommend planning day trips with Rabbies, as they have the best guides and there is never a dull moment. The fascinating stories, Scottish music will accompany you throughout and above all the knowledgeable guides and their tremendous talent of storytelling will transport you back in time.
Republic of Ireland ( Thanks to Irish Day Tours and AirBnb )
We had never thought of visiting Ireland until one of our friends recommended it to us. And from the moment we landed at Dublin, it was love at first sight. Stunning countryside, breathtaking road trips passing meadows, cottages by sea, numerous castles was insanely beautiful. it was one helluva trip. We can’t wait to go back for a month exploring the nooks and corner of Ireland.
Northern Ireland ( Thanks to Irish Day Tours )
Being a crazy Game of Thrones fans, a trip to Belfast and driving the coastal topped our list for quite long. Peppered with fairy dust, the drive was magical with every turn we took. We drove from Dublin to the wild Atlantic coast. Stunning views accompanied us throughout the trip.
England ( Thanks to British Airways )
And the best of all was when British airways sponsored business class tickets for two of us to London. That was the best and happiest moments of 2014 as visiting LONDON was always on the cards. Our stay at Le Meridian Piccadilly was sponsored and we were invited at the Landmark Hotel, London for their famous afternoon tea. Lucky us!!!
( Read: UK Country Side )
And we ended up the year working on projects in collaboration with London City Airport promoting #NoFilter Dublin and Nokia’s Connects Trial program for #NokiaLumia1520 and #NokiaLumia630.