Dalhousie, India

How would it feel to wake up to the chirping of the highland birds, a spectacular view of the mountains and a slight gush of the morning wind? Dalhousie has it all and much more.

About 314.5 km from Chandigarh by road, the transportations available are numerous. This is the destination to enjoy the view from your hotel balconies with occasional visits to the city centre and sight-seeing places.

  1. City-Centre: There are abundant shops and restaurants accessible. It is preferable to go on foot to the city-centre as the roads are narrow and there is some difficulty in getting a private vehicle stationed. There are two small but beautiful churches. However, they are not open all day long, so it is suggested that the locals be asked in advance about the timings.
  2. Khajjiyar: At a distance of 24 km from Dalhousie and after an hour of rigorous, broken roads and narrow paths, we come to the ‘Mini-Switzerland’ of India. Khajjiyar resembles Switzerland in terms of the alpine grown trees and the lush, green grass. However, everything else very much has an Indian touch to it. There are small vendors selling maize, fruit chat masala, maggis and other delicacies that make one’s mouth water. Horse-riding, paragliding, and zorbing are some of the activities that are quite engaging.
  3. Dainkund Trek: A small 30 minute trek through a slightly sloped land, gives a spectacular view. This is the perfect picnic spot to spend time with family and friends in a peaceful environment.

Puerto Banús

I crave the smell of the warm sea breeze, the sound of the crashing waves and the soft sand squishing in between my toes. Puerto Banús has left sensationally phenomenal imprints in my mind and soul. The tranquil and serene atmosphere at the beach while sunbathing and reading is one of the escapades worth remembering.

This wondrous beach in the southwest of Marbella, Spain on Costa del Sol is a place that should not be missed by a wanderlust. Malaga is the nearest airport at about a distance of 50 kilometers where rental cars are available along with taxis for transportation.

The expensive shopping malls, the luscious meals served by the restaurants and the much needed drinks from the bars provide for a soothing and pacifying time. Sports car lovers will find high end cars like Ferraris, Lamborghini’s and Mercedes Benz a recurrent sight especially in the summers with an all round temperature of 18 degrees celsius.

So if you wish to take it easy on your travel destination and enjoy the simply beautiful architecture of snow white buildings shining under the glare of the burning sun, the exotically massive resorts with exceptional services, then Puerto Banús is a place where you should pay a visit.

The Girl

The waves lashed against the jet-black rocks. The two coconut trees danced in the humid breeze and the golden shining sun was halfway hidden in the white clouds. The bluish sky descended into the shades of purple creating the perfect gloomy atmosphere for her. She sank into the dry, brown sand, her face in her hands. She could here the continuous sussing of the wind and the buzzing of the bees in the nearby plant growth. Her dark hair was dancing in the wind and she was pink with all the crying. She had a flawless and an immaculate figure,ideal for a model. Yet she was here in this small village of Cadaques weeping till her eyes turned red.

Isabel was grief-stricken and tears rolled down her cheeks. She had just attended her late Aunt Flora’s funeral held in the village Cathedral. Almost the whole of the village had come to pay their respects. Her parents had died a long time ago,when she was 5 years old. And so there being no other distant relative, Aunt Flora took on her responsibility. She was an extremely affectionate and benevolent person and all the villagers loved her.A year after taking over Isabel, she had a brief encounter with a handsome sailor, Mr. Nicholas who had come along there with a group of friends. Aunt Flora fell in love and married him within a month. They decided to stay back in Aunt Flora’s house as he had no home of his own, being at the sea most of the time.

Aunt Flora owned a tiny house on the outskirts of the village along the blue sea. There were two rooms, a small kitchen and a living room. The house was painted white from outside like all other structures in the village. There was this small beach nearby where Isabel is presently mourning her Aunt’s death due to a massive car accident. Isabel personally had extreme hatred for Mr. Nicholas as in the absence of Aunt Flora he would be as drunk as a lord.Recently her hatred for him grew as he had started beating her hard when her Aunt was away. Flora was not aware of any of Nicholas’s irksome and perilous behavior. Mr. Nicholas would often threaten Isabel that he could go beyond his very limits with her without Flora ever noticing, leaving her terrorized.

Isabel was at that moment more glum about what was going to happen to herself with her Aunt gone now. She could not trust Mr. Nicholas a bit now. At 17, she had no one to go to.No one was ready to take on her responsibility. She was always distant with people. Hence having very few friends and they were all married according to the local customs. However Isabel was as unique as a phoenix. She always wanted to do something. Getting married was not obviously what she wanted to do at 17. She wanted to be an independent,carrier-oriented woman. Sitting there in front of the sea as the glowing sun gave away its last light, she wiped her tears, plucked up courage and decided that she would move on.She was not in the least mood to go home as she was scared that Mr. Nicholas would do something even though he looked quite sober at the funeral.

Isabel then remembered the money she had saved all these years and together with what Aunt Elizabeth had left her she could make a decent living for a while. But for that she would have to go home. The thought of it made her shudder. Mr. Nicholas would be there and she was in no mood to deal with him. She thought of all the possible ways to go to the house and collect the money without him noticing. She then decided to reside at a nearby small inn for the night. She felt so restless and anxious that she could not sleep. She took a quick bath and was ready by the crack of dawn. Isabel paid her bill at the inn and made her way towards her house.

The moon was just setting and a small part of the yellow sun was visible. At 5:00am in the morning only the chirping of the birds could be heard as they sang their melodious tune while the sun rose slowly. She creaked open the front gate as slowly as possible, being careful not to make the slightest noise. She entered the house from the backdoor and tip-toed to her bedroom. The house was as dead as a grave and the light snoring of Mr. Nicholas could be heard as she walked past his bedroom. Her bedroom door was open and her entire room was in a big mess. It was quite obvious that someone had entered her room. She checked the windows to make sure that no thief had intruded but they were tightly shut and locked from inside. Her heart was pounding in her chest wondering if Mr. Nicholas had realized that she had her savings there and came in search of them in her bedroom. She rushed quickly towards her study table and found that her books were all untouched. She opened her drawer,grabbed her envelope containing money and as quick as lightning packed her bag with only a few clothes andran towards the main door.

Just as she opened the main gate she heard Mr. Nicholas screaming and stumbling down the stairs.

“Wait,where are you going?”, he shouted.

Isabel’s heart was pounding but she made her way towards the bus stop, knowing Mr. Nicholas’s intention very well. At the bus stop she realized that the next bus was due in the next 10 minutes. Isabel was all anxious, her hands were cold and sweaty from all the running. She had decided that she would go to her dream city, the place were she was always craving to go to,Madrid.She boarded the bus to Madrid, bought her ticket and sat in her seat which was by the window. She stared out of her window throughout the journey. All the vivid memories of her childhood days in Cadaques flashing in her head. They were like the imprints in the sands of time. Every moment in which she was elated, gloomy, petrified and astounded were all clearly etched in her memory. The garden in which she played with her only friends when she was eight, the evening walks along the beach with her Aunt during sunset, the beautiful white snowy buildings and the colorful butterflies were all left behind as she went ahead to fulfill her dreams. She would surely miss the serene village of Cadaques where people were all generous and friendly. But she was quite of an introvert than mixing with people. She wanted more of an independent life excepting the fact that she was fleeing her village because of her erie and dangerous Uncle.

Moreover she wanted to abandon all the past unhappy memories, all the people with whom she’d lived with and were now dead. Isabel wanted to start afresh, live life according to her will and wish, not wanting to let anyone control her.

So there she was on her way to Madrid where many of her hopes would be fulfilled or not……?