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Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians by Boria Majumdar is a recently released book on the secrets of the second most followed sport in the world. The novel, however, is not limited to tracing the profile of the game of Cricket itself, the sportsman, or the dramas of rivalry. The author adds much more to it. The book is strewn with considerations on politics, power, and current happenings.

Match Fixing, Captain-Coach fights, ICC domination, and IPL secrets to the era of the Ranji. These are some of the themes that intersperse the chronicle and that completes the fresco of the modern day cricket. There are many pearls of wisdom offered in the novel. Here cricketers move like crazy pawns in a neo-liberal, rather anarchic system, in which cricket plays its part.

Cricket, it is known, is the sport that the British have exported to the colonies, and which is still played and followed with a certain religiosity. India climbed world cricket in a disruptive way. With a sudden entry into the scene, it displaced the old sentinels like England and Australia. The IPL has traced the boundary line of a new era, recording the rise of the T20 cricket league to the top of the list of the game.

Cricket is the most powerful game that has appeared in India and is now an essential element of geopolitics like religion and business. The BCCI is a center of power that is more and more neuralgic. Together with the latest major IPL clubs of the subcontinent, the game to preserve its purity must come to terms with the real, new, owners of cricket.

Boria Majumdar Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians
Boria Majumdar tells about the power games and the cash flows, the corruption and the scandals that hide behind the global cricket. He reconstructs the red threads of a multi-billion dollar market that involves the political and economic super houses of India. From the politicians to the business tycoons, to the Bollywood actors, the bond that unites the interests of people to this sport is increasingly strong and often turbid.

The book reveals the names of stakeholders, companies, and politicians who want to take possession of the game and its teams. It shows that the game of cricket now is not just about the administration of a sport and its championships. It is also a source of revenues and legitimacy. Because cricket leads the masses in India, it creates social consensus.

Cricket is a theater that hosts games of power and financial wars, as pervasive as they are invisible in the eyes of the spectators. If the game is even more critical to the income it generates, it has become just as crucial on a political level. The book reveals the whole truth about who really controls global cricket and behind the scenes of the most popular sport in India.

In this context, cricket becomes a key to the interpretation of the reality and the existential dilemmas of the various characters. It is a journey that takes the reader in the spaces hidden behind the dressing rooms. With a formidable mention of true incidents, there is something more in every line. Precisely for this reason, it is perhaps one of the most fascinating narrative challenges.

From Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni to Mohammed Azharuddin everybody is on this team. As it is understood, it is a multifaceted novel. Boria Majumdar masterfully manages to bring out a compact and complete unit, mixing realities and in a broader sense the action. It's not easy to tell cricket in a novel. The book feels like watching a film or the game itself live on TV, with its two-tone transposition of black words on a white background.

Cricket is (also) our world. The author reflects its vices and virtues. The author tells the story of an addiction, a drug for monomaniacs that is called "cricket" and that brings with it others. The book is a kaleidoscope of very vivid images, transcribed with an inventive and loose prose that is extremely natural.

Melancholy and irony, bitterness and hope, are all elements of a chorus that intones a love song for cricket, the true protagonist of the book and the glue of the whole novel. In other words, it is a great novel written by an extraordinary cricket commentator of our times.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
We have already mentioned about the Kasol solo trip tips and Kasol solo trip experience. Many who passed by on the road spoke wonderful things about the place. They highlight above all the two qualities of nature, and incredible landscapes.

A valley in the middle of the Himalayas has to be amazing. The energy of the place can be felt but cannot be seen. For hippies the place emanates a special energy. Anyone who stops in the valley can feel it. We find the magic of the place. We came from many days in McLeod Ganj after coming from Leh and seeing nature in all its magnitude surprised us. Huge mountains are separated by the force of the river. One day we tried to count how many greens we saw and we lost the account.

KHEERGANGA night star

1. Bhuntar

We arrived at the Parvati Valley, in the region of Himachal Pradesh, with many illusions. To get there we took a public bus from Manali (New Manali Station) to Bhuntar. The journey was about 2-3 hours. Once we get to Bhuntar, we take another bus towards Kasol.

2. Kasol

Situated amidst a lush green valley, a majestic white-water river, and picturesque treks, Kasol is a major tourist yet an offbeat destination for backpackers and young travelers. The Israel of India is not just a delight for hippies but also for those seeking peace and tranquility. Here are the things to do in Parvati valley and a list of beautiful places to visit in Kasol to make the most of Himachal.

The most enchanting Himalayan Valley has the power to calm the dismayed soul. The most rejuvenating of all and most popular places to visit in Kasol for a backpacker is the Parvati River. Sit by the river for hours doing nothing and soak into the magical sounds of the water.

Known as the Amsterdam of India, Parvati Valley is truly a mesmerizing spot for relaxation. The hippie paradise is full of Israeli cafes which give it unique touch. One can also enjoy psychedelic vibes and rave parties in Parvati valley with mountains beautiful enough to leave your head spinning.

2. Kheerganga

A 9 km long but fairly easy, the Kheerganga trek amidst the beautiful mountains is a delight. The Kheerganga Peak is abode to a temple of Shiva and Parvati from where the hot springs originate. The night trek has its own charm as it provides you with a beautiful sky. Nothing can get better than a trek where all you are surrounded by a cluster of stars and a huge abode of forests of the Khirganga National Park.

Khir ganga trek is truly a heavenly affair! We did not see homes, only guest-houses, and restaurants, all prepared to receive people. Khir Ganga lends itself to see nature. We did that, alternating with thermal baths. Here we met the Rainbow. What is it about? A movement that was born at the end of the 1960s and takes as an object the meeting to camp and live in community.

There is shared cooking, shared music and a little meditation. The idea is that everyone can learn what they want and teach what they know. It is done on certain dates, in certain places.

3. Tosh

Favorite amongst Israelis is the village of Tosh at the far end of Parvati Valley. The architecture of the households leaves no stone unturned in pleasing the eyes of the spectator. Locals of the village live in wooden houses with slate roofs earning their major source of income from cultivating hash and apples.

This village again has an enthralling story to narrate. Because of hash in Kasol, Tosh is becoming popular by backpackers and hippies and is now a hub of psychedelic parties in Parvati valley. Initially narrow, this valley progressively opens up and provides a scenic beauty with every stroll. The beauty here is unreal!

4. Manikaran

The next day, we left for Manikaran without knowing what we would meet. We only knew that the Israelites were not going (they are the local rules, we do not know the reasons). Legend has it that somewhere in the valley, more precisely in the village of Manikaran, Shiva rested after making love with Parvati.

From there, the special and spiritual nature of the place emerges. Another legend tells that Parvati lost a jewel in the river and that she got back in a hot water stream. Parvati Valley is a green and leafy valley that grows around the Parvati River. Knowing the history, the legends and the reason for the names of the places gives an extra charm.

We arrived in Manikaran Sahib and understood why. It is the most Indian village in the valley, so to speak. Pilgrims from all over the country come to bathe in its thermal waters. Both Hindus and Sikhs. We had the feeling of returning to India deep after a long time.

A holy place located in the middle of a spectacular landscape and River Beas welcomes devotees throughout the year. The major reason why one should pay a visit here is the hot spring that originates from the peak which is believed to wash away the sins of someone who bathes in it. The delicious langar (free food offered at Sikh temples) that they serve is a cherry on the cake.

The most beautiful thing about Manikaran is to climb the mountain that is on the left of the village and go to Gargi and see how the people of the mountain live. In Manikaran there were no amenities for tourists, nor continental food, nor many offers to stay. But it has mysticism.

We feel very comfortable in these environments, although the food sometimes gives us the feeling that our mouths catch fire. From the mysticism of Manikaran, we go to see the rural life of Kalga and Pulga, two peasant villages with some guest houses lost in the forest.

To go to these towns it is as easy as waiting for the public bus opposite Kasol and getting off at the last bus stop, Barsheni. Once there you have to walk, the beauty of these towns is that you can make a route, first visiting Kalga, a mountain town full of pomeros and Mariguana plants, with a restaurant for a drink.

Then follow the path indicated by red arrows towards Pulga, crossing rivers and contemplating beautiful landscapes. Pulga has given us some beautiful views of the valley, which will be in our retinas for a long time. If you want to stay for the night, there is another Tosh town that you can also visit.

5. Sar Pass

Grahan Village is a beautiful hidden jewel of Himachal Pradesh, set at an altitude of 7700 feet above sea level. 8 to 10 Km trek is the only option to reach this quaint village. The journey of walking into the pathless woods with the thunderous roar of River in your ears is a delight for every nature fanatic. This place is an absolute delight for avid trekkers.

It is a haven for backpackers around the world and is perfect for beginners. The Sar Pass trek offers all kinds of terrain with forests, old villages, snow-capped mountains, and green fields. It is a five-day trek starting from Kasol. The days can be reduced as per your strength obviously. It has tons of budget-friendly places to crash as well as high-end accommodation. Get ready to get some unbelievable views of the Himalayas!

6. Malana

Way up in the hills, in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh is a small village called Malana. It is isolated from rest of the world. Malana is famous for Malana cream, a strain of Cannabis hashish. Malana cream is also the most expensive hashish in the Amsterdam menu. It is also one of the oldest democracies of the world with a well-organized parliamentary system, guided by their devta (deity) Jamlu rishi.

The Malana village is much more than a small town attracting hash lovers but is one of the popular places to visit in Kasol for backpackers. It is a total case study in itself. The Malanese think that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great and have rituals and rules of their own and their local court system even today reflects the ancient Greek system.

The green eyes and sharp features lay the claims that they belong to the Aryan race. Its culture is completely isolated from the rest of India which makes it perfect for explorers to unveil the mysteries of this village. The story of Malana will keep you hooked! Stay in the Waichin valley also known as Magic valley in a warm and cozy room. An additional day in Malana may also be worth learning the customs and unique traditions of the people.

Malana has many interesting stories associated with that. Some people claim that it is the oldest democracy in the world, while others trace the remote village to a wandering group of soldiers of Alexander the Great's army. Drink some unpasteurized milk obtained from Gujjars. Run into an isolated Malana dogri (part-time in the fields) and experienced the wonderful hospitality that simple rural people provide to complete strangers.

Malana has its own code of conduct for outsiders. In the village, strangers are expected to stay on defined paths. Visiting temples or even touching temple walls or stone slabs is prohibited. Violation of the rules results in a fine. In many places, there are tables that show warnings.

The outsiders cannot touch them or their belongings without their permission. Outsiders are told to keep distance and not touch anything in the village. The shopkeepers will ask you to keep the money on the counter and place the goods on the counter, without any physical contact. In case of any contact, they will rush for a bath.

In recent years, the fame of Malana cannabis has also brought unwanted habits and, occasionally, unpleasant visitors. Outside the main village, on the south side, there are some guest houses and a tent settlement where the accommodation and boarding house are located.

7. Great Himalayan National Park

Tirthan Valley is one of the many underestimated valleys of Himachal Pradesh. It is located in the Kullu district and is the gateway to several walks in the region. The Tirthan Valley receives its name from the Tirthan River whose banks it is located in. There is plenty of good reason for Tirthan Valley to claim to the anglers' paradise sobriquet. Being neighbours with the Great Himalayan National Park is no small boast.

The next three important places of pilgrimage are located within the park, which is at high altitude and is accessible only during the summer and autumn months. These sacred sites are Raktisar, which is at the head of the Sainj River; Hanskund is located at the headwaters of the Tirthan River and Sirikhand Mahadev, which is a sacred lake in relation to Lord Shiva, located on the southern border of the Great Himalayan National Park.

Then, there is a pagoda style temple of Rishi Manu, and the temples of Gushaini and Galiard with wood carvings in the Tirthan Valley of prime importance.

The Banjar Valley is very narrow and steep, bristling with huge conifers and very rarely visited. The road to Sainj, Bahu, Jibhi and Shoja in fact is very nice! Shangarh is popular as an offbeat village and known for its huge natural ground. The large ground stands at the heart of the village, and the fringes are decorated with the flora and fauna of the Great Himalayan National Park. The Jibhi waterfall is beautiful.

Head to these places if what you are seeking are peace and tranquility! Do not just travel, explore bizarre cultures and people.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Are you wondering about how to pack for a week in a backpack and how to travel light for a week? A week long trip means you are going to take a lot of luggage with you which include different clothes, shoes, etc. But do not forget that how difficult it will be for you to carry that big luggage backpack in those 7 days.

So to avoid that difficulty you should always try to take only important things with you and avoid taking large number of clothes and shoes and other useless things in your lightweight travel backpack.

The less clothing you bring the better it will be for you. I advise you to take 5 shirts with you wear each of them twice. But there is no need to bring 5 different pants to match with those 5 shirts. A pair of pants will work for you. Similarly two pairs of shoes will be enough for you, don’t overload it by putting number of shoes.

When it comes to the digital nomad packing list, the key is to focus on what you really need but how to pack in a backpack for a week. Forget about the stuff that is not vital, and make a plan. It is all about thinking smart and being versatile. The more multi-tasking items you can take the better, even if that means you are leaving some of your favorite things behind.

Traveling light and digital nomad lifestyle is not about being haphazard but it is about being smart. For example, just because you might not be taking your most stylish outfit does not mean you should not be careful when packing your clothes. Make sure toiletries and pens are sealed so they do not leak.

Other than clothing there are also some important factors that you should consider while packing a backpack for a long trip. Now let us look at some tips to help you travel light on your next trip.

Check the useful things you will need once on the road like the travel documents, insurance papers, means of payment, clothes, medicines, toiletry bag, electronic devices!

1. Traveling papers

You should have your VISA (if needed), Plane and transport tickets, Informational Guides, and maps of the areas you wish to visit.

Scan and keep all your documents in your emails or on cloud like in Google drive. For destinations where the connection will be poor, take photocopies!

2. Toiletries

You should carry Soap, Conditioner, Shampoo, Body Lotion, Toothbrush, Deodorant, and Toothpaste.

3. Medications

This is really important if you or your loved one take prescription drugs. Make sure not to forget our medications and to ask for a prescription ahead of time. It is also best to let your physician know where you're heading. He or she might suggest you bring something useful and beneficial to your health while they are out of reach.

Keep your medicines in a ziplock bag. Make sure they are clearly labeled, and you have a proper prescription with you.

4. Keep water bottle

Hydration is critical you wish to be healthy and achieve young and beautiful skin all summer long. However, some activities can you sweat a lot more. The heat of the sun won't be helping either, so make sure to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Choose a reusable one and refill it as needed. This way, you get to lessen your trash plus lend a hand in reducing plastic waste.

Wherever you go in the world water is something that you will always need. Having water bottle in your backpack is always a good thing. With this you do not have to waste your time roaming here and there in search of water at the time of thirst. You can simply bring your water bottle out of your bag and drink water. You can also refill it again and again from wherever you find water.

5. Keep umbrella

Who wants rain to destroy their adventure? Absolutely no one. For that it is always a good habit to put umbrella in your backpack because with volatile weather it can be sunny in one minute and have torrential downpour the next. So if you want to protect yourself and your stuff from getting wet you should have umbrella in your bag. It is not necessary to have a big one. You can have a small folding umbrella which can fit easily in your bag. Umbrella can also protect you from the heat of the sun on a hot sunny day by providing you shadow.

6. Keep Portable Charger

A portable charger often acts as a life savior as it provides life to your phone battery. On a trip or an adventure to an unknown place your mobile phone is your guide. It helps you provide access to the map or to connect with other people. Ever wondered what will you do if you are lost between mountains and you are using the map in your phone to find way and your phone battery dies? There is nothing you can do except from regretting yourself. To escape from such situation portable charger is not less than a blessing.

7. Keep Sunglasses

With weather being so unpredictable a gloomy day can turn into a bright sunny day in a matter of minutes. So to shield your eyes and retinas from burning in this type of situation you need to have sunglasses in your backpack.

8. Keep Snacks

Hunger can hit you anytime anywhere. Having a pack of snack in your backpack can help you from untimely hunger.

9. Embrace technology

Your phone and tablet are not only highly useful, and some would say essential, they can also help you pack light. As long as you download the relevant apps there is no need for travel guides or phrasebooks. It is much easier to watch all of your favorite films and shows on a handheld device rather than having to carry around your tablet or mobile or laptop. You could even download plenty of books to choose from, rather than having to fit them all in your case.

how to pack light travel luggage tips and tricks

10. Clothes

• Take enough socks and underwear
• A light jacket may come in handy wherever you go
• Raincoat
• Swimwear
• Boots

Your pockets are also great for carrying small extras like pens, glasses, notepads and even socks. Now that you know how to pack a backpack for a week long trip and are armed with some top tips for traveling light you can put them into action on your next trip.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Visiting Copenhagen in 5 days is a luxury that we granted ourselves this summer, during our on the road of more than two weeks in Denmark. Copenhagen is a beautiful city ​​in Denmark. It is full of wonderful places to visit, many of them related to the magical world of fairy tales. But Copenhagen is also the enchanting nature of Jutland, the Danish peninsula of which the city is the capital.

Go sightseeing, see castles, parks and statues in the water. Copenhagen is for those who want to have fun, eat well and enjoy life - and in the summer you can even swim in the center. The villages that right on the outskirts of the city, offer glimpses of northern life to the tourist, the villages in which the Viking epic has been cemented.

From the border with the German north of the countries of the Hanseatic League to Copenhagen, Denmark is an extensive plain. Among the islands a few kilometers from the coast, to the capital, different naturalistic scenarios are excellent opportunities to learn about an intriguing aspect of the village.

Since 1443, Copenhagen, is the capital of the country and owes much of its fortune and its wealth to the presence of a very large and well organized port where hundreds of ships arrive every day. It is considered one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant northern cities. Clean and tidy, it also boasts efficient and functional means of communication and is easily traveled by bicycle.

The city ​​of Andersen, its immense port, is also the ancient landing and berth points of the glorious Viking ships being Copenhagen not far from neighboring Scandinavia to which the city is connected with a long bridge that leads overland, suspended over the North Sea, to southern Sweden. Find out how to visit Copenhagen in 5 days thanks to this simple guide.

I am happy to have managed to cut out 5 full days for this city, because the attractions there are so many to see and it is rather difficult to make a selection by eliminating some. Here is my advice on what to see in Copenhagen in 5 days and without haste, using in the itinerary that I suggest you various means of transport.

Itinerary to Copenhagen

Day 1

The first day we arrived in Copenhagen in the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day discovering its immediate surroundings. From Copenhagen airport it takes a quarter of an hour by train to get to the central station of the city. We had just enough time to pack up our booked accommodation in the Frederiksberg area, and we immediately left to explore the city for the remaining hours we had.

1. Stroget

The first day you could visit the city starting from Stroget, the large pedestrian area in the historic center but also the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It unites the main square, Radusplatzen, considered the pulsating center of the place and the Kongens Nytorv, the largest square, where you can find bars, restaurants, bookstores and shops for shopping.

2. Kongens Nytorv

Here, freshly graduated students arrive by means of transport to celebrate, and in winter a large skating rink is set up. You should know that one of the most ecological and healthy ways to travel around Copenhagen (as in many other northern European cities) is by bicycle, which we have hired, which turned out to be quite comfortable despite the initial problems in unlocking some padlocks.

3. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

With a ride of about half an hour, we reached the only attraction that we would have visited in the evening, namely the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, specially selected for that day because it remained open until 10 pm on Thursday. The museum was founded in 1888 by Carl and Ottilia Jacobsen, patrons and owners of the Carlsberg breweries.

It consists of two buildings joined by a Winter Garden, in which more than ten thousand works are collected, including sculptures and paintings. The first section focuses on civilizations that flourished in the Mediterranean and in the Fertile Crescent, while the second is dedicated to modern French and Danish art.

It presents a collection of ancient Greek and Roman pieces, a permanent exhibition of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, an exceptional collection of works by Gauguin and works Degas, Pissarro and Van Gogh.

4. Statens Museum for Kunst

Statens Museum for Kunst is, instead, located in a building built at end of 1800 and is the most important museum of fine arts in Scandinavia. It boasts works from the Italian school (Tiziano, Tintoretto and others), Flemish (Brueghel, Rembrandt), and Scandinavian. Munch's well-known paintings are not missing.

In my opinion, visiting a museum in the evening is really suggestive, and I suggest you always take advantage of this possibility in the attractions that allow it.

5. Nyhavn

We end the day in Nyhavn, the ancient port. Here are colorful houses, in three of which the writer Andersen lived. Visit the charming Nyhavn canal boats.

Day 2

For the second day discovering Copenhagen, we opted instead to use the car in our travels, since we had planned attractions that were further away from each other.

6. Experimentarium

The first of the morning was the Experimentarium, a center dedicated to science and technology, which we visited with the knowledge that it was more suitable for families with children.

In fact this impression became a certainty once inside. The exhibition space is in any case avant-garde and very interactive. We too have tried some experiments and we stayed here for about an hour and a half! If you travel by public transport, you can reach the Experimentarium with bus 1A departing from the central station, while if you are driving like us, the parking of the nearby shopping center will allow you 3 hours of free parking.

7. National Aquarium

In the late morning we moved to the Blue Planet - The Copenhagen National Aquarium, considered the largest in Europe with more than 400 different species from all over the world. Here the distinctive element is the spectacular tunnel in which it really seems to walk at the bottom of the sea.

To visit it all calmly we spent at least a couple of hours, and once the tour was over we stopped to eat in the internal cafeteria, as it was already lunch time. As for the parking we were really lucky, because we found one near the park where we could leave the car for free for 4 hours.

8. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum

In the afternoon we chose to visit a particularly unusual attraction, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, the bizarre collection of Robert Ripley with the strangest and most absurd objects from all over the world; to this we have also combined the Hans Christian Andersen Fairy-Tale House, an interactive exhibition focused on the famous Danish writer, which is accessed from the same entrance.

9. Guinness World Records Museum

Besides these there are two other attractions on the genre in Copenhagen, namely the Guinness World Records and the Mystic Exploratorie, which we visited the next day. If you like the unusual and you intend to discover all 4 of these places, you will want to buy the cumulative ticket, which will allow you to save a little on individual entrances.

We reached the first two exhibitions by car, and being in the center we had a lot of problems with parking (at the end choosing one covered and very expensive), while the two of the next day we included them in a walking itinerary.

Day 3

On the third day we rented a bicycle again.

10. Rosenborg Castle

We cycled all the way to the center to reach Rosenborg Castle, a luxurious residence built as a place of pleasure by Cristiano IV at the beginning of the 1600s. The visit is a succession of salt, a more opulent salt. another, and in the basement there is the Treasure, composed of a sumptuous collection of precious objects of the kings. The complete tour of the interior rooms of the castle and its gardens lasts about an hour and a half.

11. The Round Tower

Not far from Rosenberg Castle is the Round Tower, characterized by a helical ramp that makes the climb not tiring (ideal for me!), except in a short stretch of stairs at the end of the route.

In the middle of the tower is the Library Room, now home to exhibitions and cultural events, while from the top you can enjoy a 360-degree view over the roofs of the city. In the afternoon we went to the discovery of a hidden treasure of Copenhagen, the Victorian Apartment. To visit it, you have to buy tickets at the ticket office of the National Museum, then wait for a guide to pick you up in the lobby, and take you on foot to destination, which is a couple of minutes away.

The groups are small (about 10-20 people), and on Saturday at 2 pm the visit is done in English. The complete route lasts an hour and winds through 17 rooms, the first of which are set up in full Victorian style to amaze guests, while the others are kept more sober.

12. Tivoli Gardens

To end our afternoon in the best way, we spent a couple of hours at Tivoli Gardens, the most famous amusement park in the capital, which for 175 years has cheered the days of adults and children. The entrance to the park alone is 20 Euros, to which you will have to add the rides on the individual rides if you want to try some of them (which we did not do), and also the prices of the restaurants inside it are quite high.

Founded by Georg Cartensen in 1843 on an area of ​​eighty thousand square meters, it has millions of visitors a year from all over the world, both adults and children. Everyone comes to them and is fascinated by the beauty of the places, especially for the Christmas markets that are among the most suggestive in Denmark.

Do not miss the opportunity to climb the roller coaster to enjoy a view of the city from losing your head. The gardens are beautiful during the day but at night they offer a wonderful spectacle of colored lights. However, you can't really leave Copenhagen without taking a walk through its avenues.

Day 4

Also the fourth day began with one of the royal residences of the city.

13. Christiansborg Palace

We start for the Christiansborg Palace, which we reached with the 9A bus that dumped us right in front of it. Take into account an adequate time to visit this attraction, which consists of 4 parts.

It is worthwhile to buy the cumulative ticket for the royal apartments, the ruins (the castle is in fact burned for 2 times), the kitchens and the stables (but pay attention to the latter because they are only open between 13.30 and 16.00).

Right in the middle of the building, the tower also stands out, reachable only by elevator, but we were not able to climb it because there was too much line and we gave up.

14. Amalienborg Palace

The reason for our haste was that the second luxurious residence of the day awaited us, the Amalienborg Palace, for which we actually spent less time than expected, since only a small part of the entire building can be visited.

The refinement of the rooms on the royal floor is certainly worth a visit inside. The entrance ticket is therefore lower than the average of Danish attractions. To end the day, we tried one of the must see of the Danish capital, or the one-hour tour on its canals which is also free with the Copenhagen Card.

The route allows you to get to know the historic center from a different angle. It is possible to open the roof of the boat in order to enjoy the view or take better pictures, which instead did not happen when we tried the same experience in Amsterdam (although it was evening and December temperatures were much lower!).

We then go to Christiania, called the Free City. It is a hippy, colorful and unusual district of Copenhagen where about 1000 people live. Before entering it is advisable to consult the list of what you can and cannot do and it is good to know that you should not take pictures, especially near Pusher Street. In Copenhagen the clubs close at 1, except those in the Meatpacking district that stay open longer.

Day 5

On the morning of our fifth and last day discovering Copenhagen started with a visit to the Zoo, very convenient from our accommodation.

15. Copenhagen Zoo

Since this kind of attraction is not among our favorites, we visited it a little quickly, but still using at least two and a half hours for the complete route, in an alternation of sun and rain that often characterizes the Danish days.

Overall, we still managed to see many animals, even though when we were there the panda area was still under construction. The car can be left in the parking lot next to the entrance for 2 hours free. We then proceeded to Visit Carlsberg, the brewery that produces the most famous Danish beer, in which it is possible to make a guided tour of about an hour, to discover the fermentation processes of the same and make a small tasting.

With the entrance ticket, in fact, you will have a free beer or soft drink. The parking of the attraction is unfortunately only for a fee (20 DKK per hour). After returning to the apartment for a quick lunch, in the afternoon we visited the Planetarium, catching up with the 9A bus, but I must admit that it didn't really impress us.

The ground floor exposure was a bit disappointing, with some non-functioning games, while the short video about space was not bad. Particularly suitable for families with children, I feel however advised against it if you have little time to visit the city.

16. National Museum of Denmark

We then moved to the National Museum to see the exhibition we missed outside the Victorian apartment visited in the previous days, where we arrived about an hour before closing.

17. The Little Mermaid

For the last day we also reserved for one of the undisputed symbols of Copenhagen, or its Little Mermaid, the bronze sculpture located at the entrance of the port, depicting the protagonist of one of the most famous fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. The statue rests on a stone in the middle of the water, and is certainly one of the most photographed attractions in the city.

Copenhagen is the fairy-tale world of fairy tales: this is, in fact, the city that saw Hans Christian Andersen grow, author of a wonderful narrative for children like The Little Mermaid - the famous statue lying on a rock is dedicated to her - The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and others, including the sad story of The Little Match Girl.

To reach it, we anticipate already that we will have to do a nice stretch on foot because it is quite far from the historic center!

Despite the sadness at the end of our stay in Copenhagen, we decided to close the last big day, with a dinner at street food and an evening at the Tivoli Gardens, which we were able to admire even as night fell.

Unmissable is the spectacle of lights, fumes and colors projected every day at 10.45 pm on the lake, a really good way to worthily bid adieu to the Danish capital!
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Vietnam is a pleasant as well as a peaceful country around the Southern East of Asia. Vietnam, one of the most unique countries in South-East Asia, is a promising destination for those looking for a perfect mix of culture and heritage. With an extended coastline line from the North to the Southeast along with high foothills as well as highlands, Vietnam offers both beaches as well as mountain scenery.

Vietnam is among the many densely-populated nations on earth. The Vietnamese New Year is by far the biggest celebration in Vietnam. In Giao Thua, midnight of New Year's Eve, the whole family meets at the table, lights incense for the ancestors. Every year, millions of people fly, drive and float to their hometown to spend quality time with their friends and their families.

The meals are great, the songs are noisy and everyone is in a good mood. The Tet in Vietnam coincides with the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls around the end of January or the beginning of February. A week before the arrival of the Tet, the families rejoin and together prepare the traditional food in Vietnam like the typical dessert of the party called Banh Chung, a typical cake with rice attached, boiled soy and pork.

In addition, another important moment, typical of the Tet are the Lucky money or Li Xi sachets, which are a gift for people close by and for children. They are strictly red and yellow, the colors of luck and prosperity, and contain new banknotes.

With many islands of Southeast Asia, you will find fantastic vacation spots you could wish to visit while traveling Vietnam.

Best Tourist Destinations In Vietnam

Take a look at a few of the many tourist destinations and things to do in Vietnam which provide exceptional types of encounters which you will not find anywhere else in your life.

1. Sa Pa

Nestled in the North West of Vietnam, Sapa Valley was once a road less travelled. It is home to some of the lushest trek routes, scenic views of the local villages, and home to the tallest mountain in Vietnam: Fan Si Pan. It is also well known in the travel world for responsible and sustainable tourism practices!

Close to the China border, it is a quaint but beautiful space. Take a walk around this lovely town, enjoy some street food, unwind in a spa, ride across the countryside in a luxury train. Take a road trip to Sapa...but in a comfortable limo van that will take you gliding from the capital to the valley.

Once a French hill station, now a gorgeous valley, home to multiple ethnic tribes of Vietnam, Sapa Valley is one of the most underrated and overlooked spots of South East Asia. Undulating hills of green, terrace farms with paddy fields, and the rolling fog parting around the tallest peak of the country - Fan Si Pan - are what await you.

Home to the highest mountain in Vietnam - Fansipan, Sapa should be your next holiday destination especially if you are a mountain lover. Cat Cat Village and Ta Phin Village are also a part of this park along with the cave which are all tourist attractions. So with hiking options, the beautiful mountain, Hoang Lien National park and an opportunity to visit tribal villages - Sapa makes for the perfect travel destination.

2. Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital city, is quite overwhelming in every sense of the word. The sights and smell while walking through its many streets and alleys is a sensory overload that will stay with you forever. Hanoi, besides being the capital and the gateway for all those who visit Vietnam, is one of the most interesting, chaotic and exuberant cities of Southeast Asia.

In this post I tell you places to see in Hanoi besides things to do in Hanoi, where to stay in Hanoi and many other tips.

Undoubtedly the best area to stay in Hanoi is north of Hoan Kiem Lake or the Old Quarter in Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most recommended places to see in Hanoi. Stay in an oasis of calm and serenity. Not only is it an epitome of comfort, but it gives a stunning view of the Old Quarters of the city! Enjoy the Old Quarters of the Vietnamese capital, take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, and enjoy a bamboo cultural show!

Check into a stay that is an enchanting mix of haute couture and hill tribe culture. It brings with it a strain of classical nostalgia from the French Indochina era. Curl up with a book, or even enjoy the spa. Get to see the highest peak in Vietnam via the world's longest cable car system, enjoy the French district in this colonial hill station, visit paddy fields, and do some brocade shopping.

Spend a night in a comfortable cabin on a luxury, overnight train - with vintage, dark wood furnishings and the mystery of the night and twinkling stars.

Of all the points of interest that the lake possesses, perhaps the most important is the Ngoc Son Temple, located on Jade Island and dedicated to the national hero Tran Hung Dao. You have to cross the Huc Bridge, a wooden construction whose red color stands out in the surroundings of the lake.

Inside the Ngoc Son Temple is one of the biggest curiosities to see in Hanoi. It is a giant turtle found and dissected in the 60s and which is believed to be more than 500 years old and may be the famous turtle of the world. Among all the things to see in Hanoi, perhaps the most surprising is to see the train pass by Train Street, close to the wall and with a Hanoi Beer in hand.

One of the most beautiful and popular places to see in Hanoi is the Temple of Literature, built in honor of Confucius. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is one of the must see places in Hanoi. You can see the Tower of the Flag of Hanoi over 33 meters high, and a palace reminiscent of Beijing's Chinese architecture. Right next to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda.

Located on the outskirts of the city, specifically between West Lake (Hồ Tây) and Truc Bach Lake, is Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the most important to see in Hanoi. Hang Buom is an area where you will find an infinity of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Hanoi. One of the most popular attractions to see in Hanoi is the water puppet show.

Perfume Pagoda, at the top of the Perfume Mountain is one of the most popular excursions to do from Hanoi. if you are planning on visiting the train Market and watch the train zip by you need a local shop owner as a chaperone. You cannot walk on tracks without a shop owner for your safety. The train comes by several times a day at high speed.

Two of the most characteristic dishes of Hanoi are the Pho, a kind of very rich noodle soup, and Banh Cuon, a mass of rice. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that the local vendors can prepare in seconds. Generally, all they need to do is put the solid ingredients in a bowl followed by hot water and other liquid ingredients, such as broth. Another of the typical dishes of Hanoi are the Bun Cha.

3. Ninh Binh

We started a new route to Ninh Binh, a town south of the capital. The surroundings of Ninh Binh hide dream landscapes. Many call it Halong Bay in land. The well-known Vietnamese bay is famous for its karstic islets jutting out from the sea, with a vegetation of such intense green that when you visit it it seems that you have strained into Jurassic Park.

The difference with Halong Bay is that here the sea gives way to the rice fields. Trang An located about 8 kilometers from Ninh Binh is a natural park declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To visit Trang An, you have to do it by boat. Tam Coc is the sister landscape of Trang An. Just do not hesitate to take a bike ride around Tam Coc.

There are beautiful landscapes between rice fields and mountains, and other places of interest, such as Bich Dong or Mua Caves, are nearby. It does not hurt either to shop around the town because it is very lively. The grace of Mua Caves is to climb the 500 steps that cross the zigzag mountain and reach their viewpoints, from which you have spectacular views.

Near the start of the climb to the Mua Cave viewpoint is a lotus pond with a wobbly bamboo bridge on top of it. Even if it is not the season for lotus to bloom, the entire experience of walking on top of a wobbly bamboo bridge over a lotus pond is very exciting, to some extent even better than the trek.

You will see the Tam Coc river and the boats that make the walk, which are tiny from the heights. Also, if you like dragonflies, you will go crazy because it is plagued! With 700 hectares, temples of Bai Dinh is the largest Buddhist complex in Vietnam. The site is so large that it is recommended to take a minibus that transports you to the lower part or symbolic entrance.

To climb up to the different temples there is a way in which 500 statues of Arhats (in Buddhism, someone who has gained a deep understanding of existence) accompany you at every step. I would recommend that you take your time and go see all the temples and pagodas that you find on the way.

The temples of Bich Dong are not as spectacular as those of Bai Dinh, but they also have something that makes them special. Its peculiarity is that this small complex is formed by 3 temples, which are located in natural caves of the mountain. Very close to Trang An and Bai Dinh is Hoa Lu, which was the former imperial capital of Vietnam in the 10th century.

Nestled between the mountains of the Pu Luong nature reserve in Vietnam, Kho Muong village charms the visitors with a wild landscape and well-preserved cultural traditions.

From Ninh Binh you will easily find transportation to the busiest places, such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cat Ba, Sa Pa or Hoi An.

4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Sanctuary offers much scenery. However, nothing is indeed well-liked as the caves. The Phong Nha Caves consist of many cave systems, lots of which are massive enough to contain whole town blocks. The greatest, as well as most remarkable, is Hang Son Doong. Access to the caves is Son Trach, an ample township which is the center of many transportation links all over Vietnam, local dining places as well as conference places for directed trips to the caves.

5. Hue

The world is full of unknown places, lost corners to discover, wild scenes that have never before known the human presence. It seems surreal that there are still places around the globe, virgins, that do not know what that is about the human footprint. Humans believe that we have control over all things, but, luckily, the planet is still a little more powerful than we are.

Also, there are abandoned places, where man has left his trail without any purpose. It seems that we enjoy the idea of ​​transforming things to our liking, as if only the evolution of the planet depended on us. We are not alone in this world. We are not the owners of anything.

We are known for getting tired of things quickly. Why do we build something, often we do not even finish it, and we abandon it? This is the case of the Ho Thuy Tien water park, just one of the many thousands of abandoned places that exist. In the center of Vietnam, between the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi is an abandoned water park, a rather terrifying place that has become a must-see for the most daring adventurers and travelers.

This place is practically unknown, because neither the travel agencies know that it exists, but Ho Thuy Tien is there. Its existence is transmitted from backpackers to backpackers and thanks to the photographs of the visitors. Its location does not appear in Google Maps and not even the inhabitants of the area know where it is.

It is an authentic ghost park in the middle of the wildest jungle in the area. It is located near the Thien An monastery. Among the jungle undergrowth, the visitor can discover in the center of Ho Thuy Tien a giant sculpture of a dragon from which to see the wildlife that surrounds the Park.

6. Bach Ma National Park

The 26 years old, country Local Park boost of rich floras plus faunas with 233 varieties of wild birds. It has also fifty-five varieties of mammals, more so it has over five hundred plant varieties. The Bach Ma National Park covers 22, 031 hectares; the sanctuary is among the biodiversity sites of Indochina. Guests have been touring locate since the 1930's. This Park offers you the best Vietnam Travel experience. A visit to the park comes with lots of benefits to say the list.

7. Da Nang

Many travelers eliminate Danang from their travel list or simply use it as a stopover to get from Hue or Hoi An. Is it worth visiting Danang? The answer is yes. Here are my reasons and what you need to know to visit one of the most unknown places in Vietnam. There are five marble mountains, as the name says, hiding caves, temples and Buddhas. They are inside the city of Danang.

Bảo tàng Đồng Đình is a museum that goes unnoticed but that is worth visiting. It shows the evolution of the homes of the inhabitants of Da Nang.

There are 5 different types of houses surrounded by a magnificent garden. It is on the way to the famous sculpture of Lady Buddha. Da Nang Museum is a very interesting museum to know the history of the Cham ethnic group, majority in this Vietnamese region. You can see traditional costumes and ancient sculptures.

Ba Na Hills is a complex that combines Buddhist temples, a replica of a French village, pagodas and themed gardens. And, if that were not enough, all this is reached by traveling on the longest cable car in the world. The river walk in which the Dragon Bridge reigns is ideal for walking or working for a while in one of its cafeterias.

Hai Van Pass is just around where you can enjoy stunning views over the city and have an unforgettable driving experience. Also, Son Tra peninsula is just around with numerous hidden beaches, breathtaking views from various places, a lot of hiking trails and just amazing driving experience.

Also, Quang Nam province is just next to Da Nang and the nature there is simply amazing! It’s very convenient to just jump on the bike and drive one of many loops around Quang Nam.

8. Hoi An

Over 1,600 years back, the Cham folks from Vietnam started building on several Hindu shrines around the township of Duy Phu. Under the shadow of Cat's Tooth Mountain, which is enclosed by an eco-friendly valley, many of these historic temples still endure. Well-known jointly as My Son, lots of the historic temples are, yet that naturally enhances the ambiance.

Touring My Son is a lot like walking way back in time, thanks to the out-of-the-way location with insufficient touristy system. Cau Lau is a typical dish of the city of Hoi An made with noodles, pork and vegetables. Apparently they cook it with water from a well of Cham, whose location is completely secret somewhere on the outskirts of the coquette Hoi An.

In all the restaurants of Hoi An they include it in the menu and they will say that it is the best Cau Lau of all! White Rose are a specialty of Hoi An. In almost all restaurants in Hoi An you will see them announced. Vietnam has one of the best street food in the world and nothing is better than a well-made Banh Mi, it is in fact a work of art.

Banh Mi is a typical Vietnamese food cataloged at the top of the best cheap restaurants in each city. Banh mi is a type of sandwich on a baguette, and it doesn’t take long for locals to cut a baguette and put the good stuff inside. The classic fried rice that is in any Asian country, is also eaten in Vietnam at any Vietnamese restaurant. And special mention deserves the Bia Hoi, which is said to be the cheapest beer in the world.

9. Dalat

Bao Loc, in the heart of a fertile region, is known above all for its silk factories, although what attracts tourists are the Dambri waterfalls. The torrent rises from a bamboo forest to fall 60 meters below with a deafening clatter. An elevator (for a fee) allows you to get off without any effort, although the truth is a bit of a sight to the landscape.

10. Cat Tien National Park

The Cat Tien National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Here, in the tropical forests of southern Vietnam live some of the most threatened species in the world. Apart from the great variety of unique and endemic species, Cat Tien is perhaps most famous for its Java rhino herd, which for 40 years was thought to have become extinct.

11. Ho Chi Minh City

For many years it was the main port of Cambodia before the region was annexed to Vietnam. Saigon was the old name of the capital of South Vietnam. But after the war in Vietnam and the triumph of the north (communism), Vietnam reunified, Hanoi became the capital and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh, in honor of the communist leader.

Ben Thanh Street Food Market, a food court with a delicious, inexpensive and infinite offer of Asian food.
Precisely the Backpacker Quarter is another place you should visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Here the offer of accommodation, restaurants and entertainment and services is inexhaustible. Beer is cheap, t-shirts are nice and photocopied travel guides are on offer.

Bitexco Tower, at 260 meters is the highest in Ho Chi Minh City. Although by day they attract a lot of attention, at night it is truly spectacular. The city at night is just as chaotic as at 8 in the morning, but it has a certain touch of elegance that is almost invisible during the day. It is impossible to understand this city without the Saigon River, the absolute protagonist of Ho Chi Minh's daily life.

The passport must have a minimum validity of six months. In the case of having planned more than one entry within that period or a stay of more than 15 days, a visa must be obtained.

If you travel more than 15 days to Vietnam you need a visa. And to get it you have to request an invitation letter, fill out an infinite document at the airport, hand in a passport photo and pay 25 dollars. At least the airport of Ho Chi Minh do not accept credit card. As always, I recommend AirBnb. A great option to sleep cheaply and meet local people. Here are the best places to visit in Vietnam.

Interesting Reads: Best Beaches in Vietnam
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

Business consulting can be a good option for your career. It is not surprising that the best students of our universities are recruited as consultants by companies. If we talk about consultant salaries, in general, the consulting sector is characterized by having salaries above the average. However, it is a demanding profession, physically and intellectually. It needs a good qualification and special personal skills for which you will need to prepare.

Being a business consultant is not an easy task. It involves a great effort to be up to date, and at the same time understand the client's business and its mentality. An added difficulty results from the opacity with which sometimes the client shares its internal information. The consulting work then becomes a futile and frustrating task for both parties.

What Makes a Good Consultant

Who is a consultant?

A consultant is a professional who offers expert advice. He advises companies in a certain area so their specialization is usually high. It is a generally well-paid profession but is demanding. Being a consultant has very high requirements at the level of knowledge as well as personal skills. He has to have strong relationship management and communication skills.

Why are consultants required?

Any business needs to increase its competitiveness, productivity and initiate an intense process that diversifies its market. Facing these challenges means a profound change in their business models and processes. It has to change their way of operating, and their way of doing things. It means betting on innovation and the talent of its professionals.

To achieve this transformation, the company needs to address the change following a method that ensures success. It needs fresh ideas to do things in a different way, infuse new knowledge to adapt the business to the new reality of the market. It has to have impartiality in the analysis of any situation and reflect on the present business approach.

All this is what a consultant offers. He brings experience and specialized knowledge to a company. Most importantly he brings an approach that, sometimes, may not be found within the organization in the current way of doing things.

How to be a successful consultant?

A good consultant in addition to the capacity, expertise and technical knowledge must have among others the following qualities:

Ability to listen: Only in this way a consultant can understand the situation and requirements of each company and the keys to address the problem. He must be able to understand all the constituents of the business from workers, suppliers, customers to even competitors.

Flexible and patient: The consultant has to develop his work by involving the key members of the organization but without altering the day to day of his functions and responsibilities. A good consultant must achieve the objectives and perform after adapting to the dynamics of the business and the client, but while respecting the defined work plan.

Objective and impartial: The consultant must analyze the situation by extracting any judgment and propose all possible solutions. A consultant's mission is to perform an objective analysis, from a position of independence. He has to detect the most viable solutions, avoiding random judgments or biases during the process.

Analytical: The consultant must be able to obtain analytical information that supports their proposals. He should research, generate and relate different data and decision elements. He has to arrive at alternatives that are feasible and rationally supported. A consultant has to be able to identify the essential functional areas of the business. He has to ascertain its processes, importance, and way of relating.

Generator of alternatives: This is a fundamental quality in the consultant. Any client expects valid alternatives for their company and its environment. These alternatives must be innovative, useful, practical and concrete. There should be a clear justification of their genesis and their feasibility and suitability.

Communicator: A consultant has to be able to speak fluently and be able to be understood. It is the only way to ensure that proposals are understood and accepted by the client organization.

Organized and methodical: The consultant must be able to manage a project as a whole or the activity entrusted to him. He has to organize his tasks or those of a team of people to achieve his goal. That is why a consultant has to be able to decompose the work into phases, activities, tasks, and steps.

A consultant should establish the deadlines. He should acquire the necessary resources and adequately distribute the responsibilities. Time management is fundamental to the performance a good consultant.

What Makes a Good Consultant

How to be a good travel consultant?

A good travel consultant should be able to put together a perfect experience in a city or in a country. He has to do everything to make the travelers connect with the best of the local flavor of the chosen place to spend a vacation.

Whether it's a family trip or a photo safari in the savanna. Whether it's a visit to encourage an exclusive shopping experience or an immersion in a little-known aspect of a local culture. A good travel consultant has to give what the words of a travel blog will never give.

A good travel consultant has to be in continuous training. He should attend workshops and travel conferences, and participate in familiarization tours. He should visit hotels, restaurants, and attractions with the objective of knowing more. He should be able to advise with the perspective that a traveler needs.

A good travel consultant strives to understand the accommodation needs or very personal culinary aspects. He has to combine times, stays, visits, excursions and experiences.

But do not deceive yourself. There is no secret to be a good consultant. Everything is reduced to the dedication, time and hours of work.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Where the hell are the best places to see the northern lights? Can you see the northern lights anywhere in Scandinavia? Fed up with typical travel experts? We present you here few of the best places to observe the northern lights with complete peace of mind. Although it is not always possible to do it, one of the great dreams of travelers is to be able to witness the Aurora Borealis in Scandinavian countries like Norway.

The weather in Norway is usually milder than in other parts of the world where you can admire the northern lights, whether you are in Lofoten, Tromsø, North Cape or surroundings, in the mountainous plateau of the Sami in Finnmark, or in Svalbard.

The Aurora Borealis only happens above the magnetic poles of the planet. In the northern hemisphere they are called Aurora Borealis, and in the southern hemisphere, they are called Aurora Australis. The spectacular colors are formed when the particles of the sun that are electrically charged enters the atmosphere of the Earth. The display is often referred to as dancing lights. Some people say the lights of Scandinavia swirl and seem to wave at you.

The colors of the Northern Lights vary. The most common are pale yellow, green, and blue. You may also see shades of pink. The most unusual color is red. The colors are determined by the types of gases in the air when the particles collide with the atmosphere. Regardless, you will see an incredible and otherworldly display.

Best Places to See Northern Lights in Scandinavia

Here are some of the best place to see the northern lights in Scandinavia.

1. Tromsø, Norway

We dare to say that Northern Norway is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable and interesting places to see the northern lights, since hundreds of thousands of people live in this geographical area. If you have decided to see northern lights and your chosen destination is Tromso, we give you the keys for your trip.

From May 20 to July 20 the midnight sun shines, which makes it possible to participate in various activities 24 hours a day. If you are looking for a cultural holiday, Tromsø hosts the Tromsø International Film Festival and the Northern Lights Festival and both events attract visitors from all over the world.

Between the end of September and the end of March it gets dark in the early afternoon and there is no light until well into the morning. It is the best time to see the northern lights. Install the app for iPhone, Android or Windows, a forecast of auroras that helps you know when you can see auroras wherever you are.

2. Svalbard, Norway

Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard Islands is located halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole and is one of the best places to see the northern lights in Scandinavia. Some tourists think they need to travel to the end of the world to see the northern lights, but my motto is that there is no reason to go further than what is necessary. While one is involved in the darkness of Svalbard, this magical experience will be the same anywhere.

Use the aurora forecast app, which alerts you when the phenomenon may occur, so as not to leave it at random. And so as not to miss the opportunity, one should be well prepared to take some decent pictures of the northern lights. Photography lovers should bring a tripod, something that will have a huge effect on the outcome. Trying to capture the Northern Lights is like trying to take a photo of a hyperactive child.

3. Finnmark, Norway

Finnmark is one of the best places in Scandinavia to see the Aurora. The main advantage of coming to Finnmark to observe the Northern Lights is that this area is much less publicized than other Northern Lights destinations with which it rivals. There are also a lot fewer people who live here and a lot of unaltered nature and observation points full of peace. The center of Karasjok is so small that you only have to get away from the main street for clear views of the northern lights.

Regardless of the distance, remember to take warm clothes. In winter it can get very cold in this mountainous plateau in the interior. The coldest day was registered in February, at -38 degrees. The colder, the better. When temperatures are low, the chances of having a clear sky are greater. Despite being cold and small, Karasjok has three hotels and camping areas with modern cabins perfect for winter. The main Norwegian road, the E6, also passes through this town.

Within an hour's drive from the city of Lakselv you will find a signposted lookout that is also a fantastic place to observe the northern lights. On the same E6 main road, but in the other direction, towards Finland, you will find other lookouts just as good. Of course, when in January the sun announces the beginning of the end of the polar night, this event is considered of great importance.

4. Lofoten, Norway

Few things can be compared to the feeling of kayaking while watching the northern lights on you and also under you, in the water, a light effect that in Norwegian is called morild. Morild is an effect in which the sea becomes milky, a phosphorescent phenomenon caused by bioluminescent plankton. At the end of the night tour, you can decide whether to return home or simply spend the night outdoors, in hammocks with sleeping bags in total isolation.

5. Andøya, Norway

Seeing waves of light above you while you're surfing in the sea is a really special and also rare experience. The biggest challenge is, in addition to the darkness of the season, the fact that the only light that you glimpse when you are trying to maintain balance on the board is often that which comes from the northern lights.

The useful rules of the Norwegian mountain code about wearing clothes suitable for unforeseen weather conditions, or doing everything possible to stay safe can also be applied to the sea. The largest breakwater in northern Europe, which is located in the port of the city. Of course, there are many more ways to see the northern lights.

Scandinavia Travel Tips

Because this part of the world is unique, most people travel here and secure what they need upon arrival. The trip can take a while, so savvy travelers look for ways to transport their luggage. Having your bags sent to your destination is easy and safe.
  • Book your accommodations before you go. Look for hotels, lodges, hotels, and rentals that are centrally located so you can have daytime adventures and return to your base in the evening. This is far less costly. Use the 2-mile rule. If the attraction is less than 2-miles from the room, walk.
  • Determine your food budget before you go. Eating out is a major expense. Even grabbing fast food can break your budget at their inflated prices. Prepare your meals yourself. Make a trip to the grocery store and buy foods you can prepare in your room.
  • Book your travel well in advance. In places like Norway, you can get economy fares on trains if you buy them a couple of months in advance. The planning time is well worth the savings.
  • Carry enough money with you. Who knows, there may be bank holidays in Scandinavia at the time you arrive.
  • Do not get trapped in tourist attractions. There are many natural wonders that are free. Take the time to plan your adventures. Use the internet and guidebooks for recommendations.

Obviously, this is trip of a lifetime. It can be costly. However, with planning and research, you can have a wonderful time without breaking the bank. The holiday season is just around the corner. The time for planning this trip is now.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Are you looking for some Germany travel tips or traveling to Germany for the first time? Germany is one of the best places to visit in December as it has many Christmas markets spread throughout the country. Contrary to what you may think, Germany is cheap, especially if you move through rural areas as is our case. The ideal is to enter some Gästehaus (tavern) of some town.

Have you booked a flight to Berlin, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne or Hamburg for a visit to the Black Forest area? Are you wondering now how to get from the airport to the city center at the cheapest and without unnecessary additional costs? The major airports in Germany are served by many different means of transport.

It is sometimes not so easy to find out which option is the fastest and cheapest. However, this article explains exactly how travelers can best reach the city center from each airport. The various options are clearly displayed in the respective illustrations.

How to Get from German Airports to City Centre

1. Berlin

The federal capital Berlin has two airports: Tegel and Schonefeld. There are various options to get to the city center from Tegel Airport with a variety of attractions and sights. By taxi, you can get to Alexanderplatz in less than half an hour, but the approximately 12-kilometer drive is not quite cheap at around 32 euros.

Much cheaper, namely for only 2.70 euros, travelers can reach the center by public transport. Two bus lines go within 35 minutes to Alexanderplatz, and an express bus puts the route back at the same price even faster.

Slightly further away from the city center is Schoenefeld Airport. It also offers excellent access to the public transport network. Travelers can also choose to use the taxi as a means of transport. You can go at much less than 50 euros in the approximately 23-kilometer route if you take the bus or the S-Bahn instead.

For the 45-minute the bus ride rate is 3.30 euros. The same price is payable for the S-Bahn, which, however, only takes 35 minutes to Alexanderplatz. The regional train Airport Express offers the fastest connection to the city center with a travel time of only 30 minutes.

2. Munich

Munich Airport has already been voted the most popular airport in Europe six times and is one of the best airports for a stopover during flights cancelled due to weather. If you want to see the many attractions in the Bavarian capital, there are several ways to get into the center. After your flight in the Lufthansa A350 premium economy class, the best way from Munich airport to city centre for the 35-kilometer route is best traveled by Lufthansa airport bus for 10.50 euros or by taxi for 70 euros. The journey takes only half an hour.

Only for a few minutes longer, you can take the S-Bahn train from Munich airport to city center, with which you can reach the main station for 10.80 euros within 45 minutes.

3. Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main offers excellent international connections through two airports. Frankfurt am Main airport is one of the largest airports in Europe. It is located southeast of the city and is easily accessible by public transport. To get from the airport to the city center, you can take the S-Bahn, which covers a distance from Frankfurt airport to Frankfurt city centre of about 23 kilometers to the main station for 4.55 euros in just 15 minutes.

For the same price, but 5 minutes longer, you are traveling by train. A taxi ride to the center takes 16 minutes and is the most expensive option with a price of around 30 euros. You can book cheap flights to Frankfurt now.

A little further away from Frankfurt am Main is Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. It is located 124 kilometers west of the city center and is also well connected to the public transport network. You can travel by bus for 15 euros that take 1 hour and 45 minutes from the airport to Frankfurt main station. The trip to the city center is a little faster by taxi, but it is not the cheapest option with around 220 euros.

4. Dusseldorf

Only about 10 kilometers north of Dusseldorf is the airport of the city. A ride to the center takes about 12 minutes by taxi and costs 23 euros. S-Bahn as a means of transport costs 2.60 euros only and at a fraction of the price you can still arrive just as quickly at the main station.

Cologne city center is also within easy reach with about 45 kilometers from Dusseldorf Airport. Travelers to the center of Cologne can travel for only 2.60 euro in an hour and eleven minutes by suburban train. The regional train backs the route a bit faster: for 11.30 euro Cologne Central Station can be reached in just 55 minutes.

5. Dortmund

Dortmund Airport is only about 14 kilometers east of the city center. The quickest way to get to the center is by taxi, which takes only 20 minutes for the ride, but with 30 euros, is not the cheapest option. For just 8.50 euros, but almost as fast, travelers can cover the route to the Dortmund main station directly with the Airport Express.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Trying to write about a city as well-known as Rome isn't an easy task. Rome is an ancient 2800 years old, bursting full of incredible artwork, architectural masterpieces and globally influential culture. Described as the center of Europe at least during predominantly Catholic times about 500 years ago it wasn't given that majestic title for no reason.

From history books to travel guides, countless words describe this city. But that isn't the only difficulty. Even if I knew what to say or how to say it, I wouldn't know where to pinpoint the beginning of this trip.

My trip to Italy began long before the captain's voice announced that in 15 minutes we would land at the Fiumicino Airport. But surely my trip to Rome began much earlier. In fact, it took me almost 30 years to reach a part of the map that had always been present inside me; almost 30 years to discover images, faces, smells, and impressions of the capital of a country that is deeply rooted in my dreams.

My Trip to Rome

Discovering the Roots of Our History

I flew to Rome, get to know Italy, visit the Vatican and St. Peter's Square, and see the roman Colosseum from the Palatine Hill. The weekend trip to Rome was not only a trip to discover the roots of our history but also a journey into the history of humanity. It is not only the setting for films by Federico Fellini and Woody Allen but also that of books, poems, dreams, and fantasies. Rome is the cradle of an entire symbolic universe. It is the starting point, the origin, and the place to which all roads lead.

Many people construct images of faraway places from books, the stories of other travelers, or the movies. I had imagined Rome lined with narrow alleys and countless pizzerias with tables on the streets and in the squares. I found these aspects, but I also discovered much more. I found the broken paths and cold water sources that only the Romans know how to use. I discovered a balcony with dried plants and a priest hosting a mass of 40,000 people.

I even found a subway station that houses a granite column dating back several centuries. I also find vestiges of the wolf that nurtured Romulus and Remus as well as a guy disguised as a Gladiator charging 10 Euros for a photo. I spotted a sign indicating that John Keats once lived in a nearby house, and I saw Trevi Fountain without Sophia Loren but with selfie sticks.

A Nostalgic Song

I ate the Arancini and drank a beer and a Negroni at a bar. I walked through Trastevere, cross the Tiber River, and watched the sunset from one of the hills. I saw domes, pigeons, and in the distance, the Coliseum between the surviving scaffolding.

Rome is a nostalgic song. It survives by reinventing itself, and I feel at home. Rome shows me everything I hoped to find. It is true that the city is a trap. Expectations often interfere when visiting a place, but Rome is an exception. It is much more colorful and much more romantic than I had imagined.

Rome is the origin. It is the city of all. Perhaps that is why talking about Rome is so easy. We all come from there. Visiting the Eternal City is not easy, even for the most experienced traveler, so check out what not to miss in Rome in this Rome city guide before you visit.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
You could buy a souvenir as a masterpiece or something you use every day. Then there are other elements that are available throughout the country, although of different textures and designs. Here we refer to traditional jewelry in India. We will explore some of the unique essentials! You can say that it is Indian jewelry simply because of the look of it, but to say what part of India it belongs to can be quite a challenge.

In any case, you should not end up buying something that is not really exclusive to India. Also, you should not buy something that does not belong to the region. For example, you do not want to end up buying tea leaves in Rajasthan, which is the specialty of Nilgiris and Darjeeling.

India is a country of many cultures. The rich heritage makes it apart from all the other places in the world. Our people are from different castes and religions making us a land of diversity. Being a thickly populated nation the people living here belong to different states. Each state has its own language, fashion, and culture. This makes us unique as the cultural diversity gives us so many options and variety when it comes to fashion, food, architecture and several other things.

Types of traditional Indian jewellery

Jewelry in India is a fundamental element of women's clothing. You will find designs of all kinds with materials as varied as wood, leather or glass. If you plan to buy jewelry in India, here are some valuable tips. Here I would be stating a list of states and the jewellery fashion adopted by them.

Traditional Assamese Jewellery

This state is known for its beauty, a small but thickly populated area widely famous for its culture is a major attraction for tourists. The people of Assam follow their old customs and traditions with a minimal touch of western culture. Their traditional values and rich heritage makes this state one of a kind. Jewellery is worn by both men and women.

Most of their ornaments are directly influenced by the rich natural habitation of the state and are purely handmade. The personal touch to the jewellery makes it special for the people purchasing and wearing it. Typically the jewelleries are made of gold and the most popular colours among the buyers are red and green. Here is a list of different ornaments widely famous.

Doog doogi, and Biri moni are the ornaments largely demanded by the people. The uniqueness of its design and pattern makes it different from other necklaces. Senpata, Horinsakua are the types of rings well known in the state. Lokaparo. Thuriya is other ornaments widely famous.

Traditional Maharashtrian Jewellery

Everything about Mumbai is special and different, be it food, culture, fashion or language. The jewellery worn by the Maharashtrian ladies are special and exclusive. Red is the prime colour used in the occasion of weddings. Nath is a type of ornament generally worn by the Maharashtrian women in the event of weddings or puja.

It typically depicts their culture and makes it apart from other nose-pins worn by women in various different states. The jewellery of a Maharashtrian bride is incomplete without a Nath. Thushi is another beautiful ornament loved by the ladies. Inspired by choker it is a gold necklace usually worn at the time of weddings.

Thushi holds an important place in the state's culture and rituals. The Kolhapuri saaj is another beautiful work in the jewellery fashion which is primarily worn in Maharashtra. It is a necklace which shows the rich tradition of the state.

Traditional Bengali Jewellery

Bengali jewellery is one of a kind. The pattern or designs used to form an ornament is remarkable. Gold is primarily used in the making of any Bengali jewellery. Its rich customs and traditions are pretty visible in the type of fashion they follow in terms of jewellery and clothing. Durga Puja is one of the most important occasions in the life of a Bengali. Pati haar is a necklace generally worn by the ladies on Durga Puja and other such ceremonies. Jhumko is another jewellery in the form of earrings which is loved by the bongs.

Traditional Kerala Jewellery

Gold is the preferred metal in almost all of India with the exception of Rajasthan, where silver is most popular. Even though several new types of materials have entered the market but still, love for gold has not changed. In occasions like wedding and other religious ceremonies, people decorate themselves with beautiful gold jewellery. Thalikettu is one of the most important rituals in Kerala and it is considered very sacred.

When we talk about necklaces the first names that come to our mind are Manga Mala Necklace and Mulla Mottu. These are purely made of gold and their beautiful pattern and design never fails to attract the attention of people and tourists. Payal also holds a great significance when it comes to dressing up. Girls prefer Kolusu payal for their jewellery.

Traditiional Rajasthani Jewellery

Popular for its rich heritage and traditional customs, Rajasthan is a state of colours, rituals, food and many other things. Widely known for its alluring jewellery work, this state stands out on my list when it comes to royal and majestic work of art. People here prefer their old traditional handmade jewellery rather than latest artificial ones.

Lac bangles are very famous among ladies because of their beautiful designs and ancient significance. Another type of jewellery that is famous is jadau. These not only make you look royal but also vibrant. Jaipur in Rajasthan is the biggest tourist attraction in the north of India and, at the same time, also the biggest center of India for the cutting and polishing of precious and semi-precious stones!

The culture of accessories is deeply rooted in Indian women and jewelry is of great importance in the beautification of everyday life and in the wedding trousseau. There is more to visit Jauhari Bazar in Jaipur to observe entire families selecting the jewels of the bride and his future dowry.

The street markets are a good option to buy jewelry in India of little value. In any small town you will see the metal or crystal bracelets that tinkle with the Indian women. These bracelets or churiya are worn in combinations of different finishes and are bought by the dozens. The market in front of the Palace of the Winds of Jaipur or Sadar Bazar in Pushkar have many options.

In Rajasthan you can see how the colorful resin bracelets are made or select a wide variety of bindis, the dots that decorate the forehead. Jaipur is probably the best city to wander around and choose from all kinds of combinations with semiprecious stones, since it is the capital of carving and jewelry.

A few meters from the Palace of the Winds, the Jauhari Bazar is located where the best artisans of the city meet. It is the best place to buy dance anklets, foot rings or silver anklets. Only in Rajasthan will you find that predilection for white metal, antique pieces and classical forms.

High quality jewelry is found in more exclusive markets. Brands such as Tanishq or D'damas are very oriented to Indian taste, that is, combinations of 22 carat yellow gold and diamonds. To buy jewelry in India, ethnic and modern, first quality you should go to Indian designers who exhibit their work in the market of Khan Market in Delhi and in MI Road in Jaipur.

Types of traditional Indian jewellery

This was my list of famous jewellery and their significance in different parts of the world. These days due to the busy schedule and harsh working hours people do not get enough time to shop it offline. I have come across many online platforms where they are selling beautiful work of jewellery at a reasonable price.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

Moving abroad is an opportunity and a challenge for those sent by a company, those who look for work, or those who go for studies. I would like to move abroad - how often do we hear or say it ourselves? The wish to settle abroad may be a novelty. But then, when the dream acquires the concreteness of the purpose, this immediately tastes like a challenge.

A stay abroad can be wonderful and an opportunity for personal growth. But it's not all that simple. In front of you, there would be problems and moments of crisis. Moving abroad is more than just a pleasure trip or a visit to friends who live far away. It is about questioning who you are and what you really want from yourself.

It involves leaving your roots and being immersed in a new world. It is a parallel universe so to speak. Life with its basic functions (eating, sleeping, working, etc.) will have to be lived in a totally different context to which you are accustomed.

At first sight, living abroad seems like maximum fun and unforgettable moments. In the beginning, when you are about to leave, you live an almost unreal phase. Then the beginning in the new country is like a honeymoon. Everything is to be discovered and is full of charm. But staying abroad is not a journey, its real life.

Afterward, in daily life, one will come up against difficulties and differences. Where do I go? How can I live there? These are the questions to be addressed. You have to face the challenges and stress of every day. And your support system, your family, and your friends are far from you and from the problems, you may encounter.

It is easy to settle in in a developing country for work reasons, but then the salary will be expected to be lower. And then there would be professional challenges. The key points related to this change in life would range from health services to the possible choice of school for children. A new country would have variables that are not so obvious.

overcome challenges moving abroad

You can get health insurance that also covers the ingrown toenail, but may not have all the holidays you have in India. There can be bonuses and incentives all year round, but you cannot celebrate Holi, Dussehra, and Diwali, like in India. And the taste of tandoori chicken tikka is different anyway.

One will ask, for example: how is the man-woman relationship there? How is the organization of time? Does individualism or collectivism prevail? What are the boundaries of privacy and what is the dress code? Finally, we arrive at integration. If after a few years you decide to fall back, the shock travels in reverse, because you look at the old reality through the experience of the new one and nothing can be as it was before.

The frustration is increased by the sense of ingratitude. You will probably find yourself interacting with a culture different from yours and you will face a cultural shock. You will experience a progression of emotions ranging from euphoria to the worry of having to recreate a life in a new place. A different language, different social norms and new and unknown food can make you feel lost and disoriented. There could be language barriers, different food habits and a chaotic and immoderate city.

Here is how to overcome and better manage the challenges of an experience abroad

We are told since we are children that learning English is essential for living in a globalized world. However, in India English is not (yet) indispensable or completely integrated into professional life. The only way to master the language is to live in the country where it is spoken daily. This does not mean you have to live a whole life in the United States or in Great Britain.

Then after you have moved to the place try to reconnect to the place where you are with a renewed spirit. Try to remember the reasons that led you to choose that experience and that particular place. Visit the museums that you wanted to see or relax in the bars that struck you when you arrived. Try to appreciate the city where you are living. Take some time to enjoy it authentically. It is only when you integrate fully you can perceive a place teeming with life.

Pay attention to your real needs and allow yourself moments of relaxation. Then you will have more energy to enjoy other activities. If you used to exercise, do not lose the habit that you like best. There are a thousand opportunities to continue your good habits abroad and this will allow you to release stress and feel better.

But even the most intellectual hobbies can help you like reading a book, writing a blog about your experience and taking pictures in the most interesting places. It will allow you to link your passions to your experience abroad. It is not just about what, but also about how we eat.

In Greece and Turkey, it is common to order voluminous trays rich in meat, vegetables, and cheeses surrounded by different types of spices. In Northern Europe, eating hamburgers does not necessarily mean going to McDonald's. The culture of meat and vegetable sandwich actually involves the use of a wide variety of types of sauces, meat, and vegetables.

While you are having your best time in Spain during the Nochevieja or new year eve, you can discover that having dinner with tapas and a good beer is normal despite the small portions. Why not give an opportunity to the different and be enchanted? The vegetarian Romanian food is more and more appreciated internationally. First of all there will certainly be a Romanian fish soup. For second you can not taste the saramura de crap or of torpedo (carp in brine), grilled torpedo or a turbot with tomato sauce and garlic. In Austria, Grøstl is very popular.

Try to speak to someone having same problems like you. While your family and friends at home may not understand exactly what you are experiencing, other international students and travelers can understand exactly what you are feeling.

How many times do you complain about some aspects of your life that you wish to change? Mathematics can help you in this case. If the habits you want to change are greater than those that satisfy you, you simply have to take action. Staying abroad in a country where you do not know anyone and every detail is new can be a very effective solution.

Every little daily challenge becomes an adventure to be lived in full. You will discover yourself much more active and you will find energies that you did not think you had. The cherry on the cake is that you will have the opportunity to set your life exactly as you want.

Do you want to have brilliant stories to tell during dinner with friends? Living abroad can only help you expand your repertoire! In Finland, you may experience bathing in a frozen lake before being in a hot sauna again. If you participate in a Hungarian wedding, maybe after midnight you can dance with the bride dressed in red and you can try a few glasses of palinka.

If you want to travel to Spain, while the best time to visit Spain or any other European country is during Christmas in your winter holidays, during the summer in Bayonne, in France, you can certainly see groups of staggering young people wandering, dressed in white with red cowboy kerchiefs. Whatever experience you will experience, it will remain forever in your memory.

And a final tip - whenever you live an unforgettable moment, touch your ear or listen to a song. When you have a particularly heavy day at work retouch your ear or listen to that song. You will magically feel the wonderful sensations that have made you feel so much alive!

Each of us has our way of seeing and living things, but an experience abroad today is a great opportunity to grow professionally, humanly and culturally. Sooner or later, we should try what it means to feel like a stranger.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

A few winters back I was looking for a warmer destination to spend my vacations. I was probing through different destinations in the Mediterranean when my eyes fell on Greece. I have been interested in visiting this country with its rich cultural legacy for a long time now. I did not think twice and decided to go for two weeks of this gorgeous Hellenic republic.

I was clear that I wanted to see not just the mainland but also some of its stunning islands. After much research, we finally decided on a route through Athens, Meteora, Peloponeso as well as Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos. While preparing the itinerary, I had to choose between two islands called Zakynthos and Kefalonia.

After much deliberation with travellers to Greece and reading lonely planet and numerous guides, I decided on the Ionian island called Zakynthos. It is not as well-known as the Cyclades, Mykonos or Santorini, but there is an award-winning beach called Navagio, known for being one of the most beautiful ones in the world.

Trip to Zakynthos and Navagio - The Shipwreck Beach of Greece

Travel insurance is mandatory to enter the Schengen area while traveling Greece. Additionally, the fact that I had to travel long distances every day made the purchase of a travel insurance quite a necessity. I had some apprehensions about driving on Greek roads, as I had heard about both rash driving as well as thefts on the highway.

Though it was my first time purchasing a travel insurance, I had heard about troubles my friends had experienced while travelling internationally. Baggage losses can happen to anyone - whether through theft or because of carriers misplacing them. Flight carriers are even known to reroute luggage which can delay your luggage. In general, it is always good to also ensure that your insurance covers you in case of loss of baggage or cancellation of the trip due to unforeseeable events.

What really kind of worried me, however, was the fact that falling sick while traveling was not uncommon too. Not everyone can get easily accustomed to a particular destination's climatic conditions. In case of an emergency, the costs in Greece were very high and with health, it is always advisable not to take a risk. Travel insurances are known to cover sudden medical expenses including unexpected illnesses and accidents.

So for this trip, I decided on purchasing a travel insurance. I decided on the Schengen Travel Insurance from Reliance General as it had coverage above the average benefits and also offered a personalized and fast treatment. It is super economical too. You can save quite a bit in a single visit to the hospital or a health centre. They have destination specific benefits as well which cover most of the medical emergencies, including illnesses, bodily injury due to accidents and emergency evacuations.

I was ready to begin one of the most awaited vacations of my life! I stayed at Athens for the day and explored the exquisite city, filled with grandiose landmarks of history we had only read about in books. It was a surreal experience visiting the Acropolis, Theatre of Dionysus, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus and so much more. It was as if my entire childhood of obsessing over Greek mythologies came alive in front of my eyes.

Trip to Zakynthos and Navagio - The Shipwreck Beach of Greece

I was wondering on how to get from Athens to the shipwreck beach in Greece. After completely being smitten by Athens, I rented a car, the cheapest I found including insurance, and headed for Zakynthos (or Zante for the locals). I travelled 287 km from Athens to Killini Port, where I had to take the ferry to cross over to the island.

Zante is sure to mesmerize anyone with its dreamy beaches and an infectious air of simplicity that made me literally feel at home. Unlike Mykonos and Santorini, or the Cyclades islands that lie in the Aegean Sea, Zakynthos is not made up of white houses with blue painted windows and doors. Zante has Italian influences. And the place was pure magic!

On reaching the island I searched for the hotel address on the GPS and came across another insightful learning. Many streets in Zakynthos have no name. So one cannot always find the hotel on Maps. One had to head to the locality mentioned in the hotel address and physically ask around to locate it.

I stayed in the village of Amoudi, at an inn. There is a market like street with several options for eating, buying souvenirs and so on. I spent my day looking around and in the evening, after an early but lavish Mediterranean dinner at a restaurant in Greece, I headed to the Laganas neighbourhood known for the nightlife. And quite the thrill it gave us - the energy is incredible and you find people of all ages enjoying themselves to the fullest.

The next day, we quickly finished breakfast and rented a motorbike for two days to move around the island. On the first day itself, we drove to Porto Vromi. Unfortunately, the port was closed that day due to a rough sea - the officials reported they were experiencing waves of more than 2m in height.

I left for another beach called Dafni Beach, recommended to us by one of the Greek natives I had met at a restaurant. I ended up enjoying the rest of the day right there. At the end of the day, I headed back to the city and strolled around for a while before returning, having bought the cruise tickets for the next day.

I stayed at a hotel that is right at the entrance to the beach. I have no complaints about the service - it was top notch - however, the Greek food, though tasty, didn't agree with us. It was the Greek yoghurt which was troubling us - it is known for being rich in lactose and something which is not suited for everyone. This was another situation where our insurances came in pretty handy. We called the travel insurance company, enquiring about doctors we could consult and they sent one almost immediately, who gave me a good pack of medications. If I had to take care of the expenses myself, trust me, it would cost a fortune.

The quality of life in Greece is higher than in India. But without a doubt, the main challenge you will face is dealing with the language barrier, especially in remote areas since almost no one speaks English. So make sure, you pick basic Greek and Italian words to help you get through daily situations.

Trip to Zakynthos and Navagio - The Shipwreck Beach of Greece

The next day, I wonder on how to get to Navagio beach. I took a bus almost from our doorstep to head to the port from where I boarded the cruise. After seeing so many photos and wonderful views, the time had finally arrived for the start of the trip to Navagio Beach. I confess that it is very difficult to write about this beach because no amount of words are enough to express its beauty.

The blue of the sea is amazing and there are white pebbles everywhere. It almost seems as if someone had dyed the water. On the beach, there was a ship mysteriously stranded since 1980 that came from Turkey - one that caught everyone's eyes - intrigued tourists flocked around to admire it and wondered how did the shipwreck on Zakynthos happen? It is worth mentioning that the water is very cold, but once you get into it, the temperature almost soothes and trust me, you wouldn't want to get out for hours.

I realized that we had to return only when the ship whistled. From there I went to see the Blue Caves. These too were stunning beyond words. It's no surprise that many of them have been locations for various movies and advertisements - the Blue Caves were truly a sight to behold.

Trip to Zakynthos and Navagio - The Shipwreck Beach of Greece

I also passed Marathonissi, a turtle-shaped island, which coincidentally is the spawning ground for "Caretta caretta" turtles. Also known as the big-headed turtles, these creatures are unfortunately close to extinction. I managed to stop at a beautiful place to bathe and went swimming into one of the coves. I love to dive, so I could not miss this opportunity in any way. Honestly, I did not want to return - I was so ready to settle down by the beach!

Returning home that day and eager enough to begin the next, I did not realize that we were almost at the end of the trip. The very same evening I got a call about a family emergency and we all had to rush back home the same night. This was probably the best way my insurance helped me. It covered all my expenses, from flights to accommodations with almost negligible deductions.

Though we had to head back home suddenly, it was not before we had experienced almost 4 days at this amazing destination, soaking in all the once-in-a-lifetime-experiences. Greece is a place I would recommend to everyone - whether you want to travel Greece solo, along with your partner, your family or in a group. However, what this trip also taught me was the importance of a travel insurance and made a strong advocate of it - it is an absolute must if you are heading out of the country. So go ahead and plan your dream vacation to Greece, but don't forget to be protected with an insurance.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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