Aalok Khurana

Festivetraveller

Aalok Khurana




Europe » Greece August 1st 2017

It was a perfect day today with the winds calming down to a cool breeze, the sun shining brightly and sea looking blue and calm. It would have been an ideal day for sailing, an activity which is very popular here and takes you to amazing places. However we were late as all the boats were booked for the day. So we booked for tomorrow, a catamaran sun set sailing tour of half day and checked out of our hotel. In Santorini, we had planned two days of stay atop the caldera while two days by the beach. Our next hotel was right beside the Kamari beach or the black beach as it is called. Our hearts weren't content as we descended the caldera and wished we had a day more, but all those thoughts vanished ... read more
By the Kamari beach
Many a beautiful shops
Kamari beach by the night

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands July 27th 2017

It was an early start as the alarm went off at 0500hrs. We got ready in an hour's time and left the beautiful house of Ada as the dawn broke over the eastern skies. We had a 3 hour's drive from Githio to Athens airport. It was more or less the same route we took while coming to Githio. After a brief halt just before the airport to fuel up the car and the passengers, we were off to the most visited island in the world - Santorini. Santorini is a crescent shaped island, reformed after a 3000 year old volcano eruption giving it it's distinctive features namely the steep Cliff side called caldera, multicolored soils and rocks, different colored beaches, islands and it's rugged exterior. Also against popular belief back home, Santorini is a big ... read more
Crescent shaped Santorini
Patio with grape vines
Wine tasting

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese July 25th 2017

I got up today to the bright and beautiful view of the sea and as is the habit, of most of us, checked my phone to see the WhatsApp messages. Akshay had sent one at 0445hrs that said 'do not knock or call as Pradnya hasn't slept much". Actually before going to sleep yesterday, there were 2 dolls in the lower bedroom where Pradnya was going to sleep, and I had teased her about them being haunted and coming to life at 0310hrs, unknowing that it would cost them a sleepless night. After an hour of Swati and me getting up and Swati doing yoga in the picturesque terrace, Pradnya and Akshay came up to the living room cursing me for my prank. Pradnya looked more embarrassed than scared as we all had a good laugh. ... read more
Arriving on Elaphenisos by ferry
Paradise - entry to Symos beach
First view of Symos beach

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese July 24th 2017

Today was going to be special since we had last minute made changes to our plans. According to the original plan we were to visit the Salamina island and stay in a cute Flintstone themed house. However the island didn't have much to do so we decided, just previous night, to check out the countryside of Greece province Peleponesse. The Peloponnese is the stuff of legends. Literally. It is here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion and gods walked the earth, meddling in mortal affairs; it's from here that Paris of Troy eloped with Helen and the Argonauts set sail in search of the Golden Fleece. Celestial and mythological charms aside, this region bears tangible traces of the many civilisations that once called it home, witnessed in its classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities, and Ottoman, Frankish and ... read more
Greek country side
Jimmy Jimmy aaja aaja
Stone Church

Europe » Greece July 22nd 2017

Day 03 & 04 - Athens The day started early as we left the hotel by 0600 to catch our 09300 flight to Athens. Next 8 days are planned for Greece, which is our main destination for this vacation and so we all were very excited as the taxi took us through the better part of Cairo which we had not seen while coming. This part looked modern with huge domb's of the many beautiful mosques, hilltop fort ramparts, sprawling gardens of universities and modern buildings housing big companies. After an uneventful 2 hour flight we landed in the land of philosophers and gladiators. As we approached the taxi bay we were told by a cop that 5 persons cannot board one taxi. When I tried to be Indian style cheeky, saying actually we were 4½ ... read more
Awesome crepe
Shopping break
Parliament building

Africa » Egypt July 21st 2017

Day 02 - Pyramids! It was the much anticipated day today, as we had planned to visit the Pyramids of Giza! Aalah, our driver from yesterday, suggested a brilliant idea of converting our half day taxi from yesterday to full day, 24hrs, taxi by paying just the balance amount which would entitle is to keep the taxi till 1600 hrs in which he would take us to the Pyramids. This 'jugad' would save us quite a few pounds and also we had got comfortable with friendly Aalah. Aalah is from Cairo and has 5 kids, don't know from how many wives, and works as a security guard too so carries a gun along Everytime in the minivan. On his suggestion we decided to start early at 0800 hrs so as to beat the crowd and the ... read more
Indian Jones style
Base of the pyramid
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Africa » Egypt July 20th 2017

It was 0500 hrs local time when our plane landed in Cairo from Mumbai, after a 6 hours flight. Swati, Akshay and me could lie down and sleep the whole journey since we had grabbed empty seats. However Pradnya hadn't slept at all, sacrificing her seats and sleep for her daughter Anvi who slept peacefully. This motherly act of love could potentially put our sightseeing plans offtrack for today. As we disembarked the aircraft, one thing struck all of us; how empty the airport was! We had been cautioned by some well wishers about going to Egypt considering the recent uprisings and violence that the country had seen. We had done our due diligences and had decided to carry on, backing the best of our wisdom and craving for adventure. We were out of the airport ... read more
Sun set by the Nile
Pretty Ladies at Hilton Cairo
Sun set over the Nile

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai » Bandra July 19th 2017

It was that time of the year again when Swati and I start making plans for our annual summer vacation. Actually it's more of a monsoon vacation as that is the time when our business slips into off season. However it coincides perfectly with the holiday season in Europe. Last year, our travels took us to Switzerland and France where we were accompanied by my childhood friends; the Chitnis's and the Mirajkar's. We had a blast and as is the norm made a pact to travel every summer together. By the time summer turned to winter and winter to spring, the pact was forgotten or buried under the debris of everyday grind and responsibilities. Unfortunately this year Mirajkar's would not be able to make it. So it was going to be Swati and me along with ... read more
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