As 2016 draws to an end, I reflect back on the year and its sweet and sour moments.
The year has been quite fruitful but it is ending on literally a sour note for me….Why? ‘Coz I got infected by the Chikungunya virus after a mosquito bite in November and it has been really crippling with my joints all paining as if I were a 90-year-old! But now that I am on road to recovery…I look forward to the new year with a lot of hope and optimism!!
Lot many people make new year resolutions, promises, a list of dos and don’ts and even make a bucket list…
Well, resolutions are meant to be broken they say….and I am very adept at that. So no resolutions this time over….And I don’t like to call it a ‘Bucket List’ because as Robert Frost puts it… “I have miles to go before I sleep….” and I am definitely not looking forward to kick the bucket yet.
I wonder actually why everyone is eager to make a bucket list….I would like to instead create a “WISH LIST” for the coming year and add a new year, new destination every December!
With Christmas just round the corner, who better than the jolly plump Santa to show my wishlist to? Santa Claus resides in a little village of Rovaniemi in Finland and not only during Christmas but all the year round!
Also known as Santa Claus village, Rovaniemi is declared as official address of the big old man who slides down the chimneys to surprise the little ones with gifts of their choice.
Finland definitely features on my travel wish list. And while I am dreaming about visit to Santa, crossing the magical Arctic Circle…it wouldn’t hurt to dream of spending a night under the sky to witness the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis!
Norway, Finland and Sweden make up the Scandinavian Peninsula and are a part of Nordic countries. That means these countries were home to fearless warriors, the master builders of ships, Vikings! Now I would love to travel back in time and watch the original Dragon trainers with their horned helmets and sail down the frozen seas.
And I guess the closest that my fantasy will be fulfilled might be at the canal in the heart of Copenhagen…
2. Italy and Greece
Having been a student of Architecture the ancient architecture of temples, aqueducts, arches, arenas fascinate me…Roman architecture was largely influenced by Greek architecture and it has its own added features but after so many years it is not wrong for me to say that ‘It’s all Greek to me!‘
So I need to remember the difference…. And a visit to Greece and Italy has long been on my wish list.
Athens, the Greek capital city is one of the oldest named cities of the world and has been always been inhabited…that makes 5000 years of being occupied by humans! It is in Athens that the western civilization took birth.
Roman Empire was established later than Greeks but later Romans annexed parts of ancient Greece and took many elements from Greek architecture.The stories of gladiators fighting it out in Colosseum, the “Et tu Brute” of Shakespearean Julius Caesar while being murdered at Capitol, Cleopatra and Antonio Caesar’s love stories, all have left me curious….
The idiom “Rome was not built in a day” is not off mark at all because indeed once the world’s largest city gained prominence over a period of 100 BC to 500 AD.
Besides the beaches, basilicas, bridges etc….I love my pizzas, pastas, moussaka, dolmades and cheese. Where better to learn firsthand the art of making that perfect pizza and sauces than Italy and Greece?
I was a teenager when the Berlin Wall came down and for longest of time the only thing I knew about Germany was Hitler and the World War! That is no more the case and the history of Germany intrigues me.
The more I learn about popular Nuremberg Christmas, Munich’s October fest and beer halls, Cologne’s twin spire cathedral, castles, bridges, north sea beaches… the more I itch to travel and explore Germany. Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg…all are mystery to me…
My knowledge of Germany is very limited…The country definitely features on my travel wish list!
I haven’t have been to the land of Czars but my husband has, not once but twice for work. He can’t seem to get over Moscow and St Petersburg! In fact for two years now we have been planning a trip to Russia only to push it for next time for some or other reason.
The historic fortified seat of power Kremlin awe me, the grandeur of Czars unimaginable…
Spy stories often make me wonder the strict and secret life of KGB operatives…war stories fascinate me…the colorful basilicas attract me…Yes, Russia is intriguing for me and scores a place in my wish list.
A vegetarian, my husband had a tough time in Moscow however and survived on cheese, vodka and wine, he laments. Well I don’t mind any of those either….
USA is a large country and in my earlier trip I did travel from east to west coast covering many destinations but yet there is a large part that remains a wanderlust. Honestly, before I traveled to USA, I felt intimidated…but surprisingly nothing untoward happened. In fact I fell in love with the landscape.
Though we drove along the Pacific coast highway but couldn’t spend enough time at Big Sur…haven’t been on Route 66….not seen Falling Waters designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I have been to Washington but not visited the White House…
The wave-like rocks of Antelope Canyon, Yellowstone hot springs, Arizona, Volcano National park, Arches National park….and many more places fascinate me and USA still stays on my travel wish list.
Whether my travel wish list materializes this new year is yet to be seen. Till then however, I haven’t forgotten about the dear motherland, the Astonishing India.
And I travel to Puducherry again…to ring in the new year with a bang!