As May approaches, I am feeling really excited for a number of reasons, and the one that tops the list is my son coming home for the summer. Of course he will have a summer internship to focus on during this time, but that does not mean we cannot take a family vacation, however short it may be. Also, just the thought of having him around is, in itself, pure joy!
We’re making a list of places to visit, because the sooner we book tickets and accommodation, the better. It also means a lot of planning, since we have to manage our work accordingly. Somehow, we always end up making impromptu plans. I have to say, though, that we always have a wonderful time!
I remember, how, a few years ago, we were fast approaching the deadline to use up my husband’s leave travel perk. We had only two weeks left to plan and make the trip, and stressed over where to go. Being the end of the year, booking travel and stay was realllllly tough, so we decided to make a trip to Delhi. Also, Sury had a couple of meetings there, so it seemed logical to make that our destination. First we booked the tickets. Then we looked for hotels near Delhi airport, mainly because we didn’t want to get caught in the city traffic on the way to catching our flight. After we spent some time going through various options, a friend suggested Hotel Crowne Plaza.
With the dates finalized, tickets booked, and stay arranged, all that was left for us to do was pack.
We had a fabulous time in Delhi. It was only a five-day trip, but we made the most of it. We were able to meet friends and spend time with them. Then we explored some of the popular markets here. My son and I were looking forward to visiting the National Museum, which was absolutely amazing. I remember how excited my son was to visit and see all the places he had only read about in his school text books, or seen on TV.
The Qutb Minar was a glorious sight, especially in the beautiful winter lighting. As we walked around, my husband, who grew up in Delhi recounted childhood stories, and how much fun they had visiting the monument. We even tried to hug the Ashoka Pillar on the premises—apparently you can make a wish which will definitely come true.
The highlight of our trip was, of course, our day trip to Agra where my son and I saw the Taj Mahal for the first time. So breathtaking, so magnificent, so ethereal! My first thought when I caught sight of her (it’s a she, you know) was … so heavenly! We had a lovely time walking around, and exploring the area around this beautiful monument, one of the Seven Wonders of the World!
We were disappointed about not being able to look inside the Red Fort, as it was the weekly holiday, but we were able to visit the Jama Masjid and the enchanting Meena Bazaar market around it.
I felt a little sheepish to watch the pigeons on the terrace—such a peaceful sight, even if it isn’t so when they occupy my own balcony at home!
Of course we also spent time at the India Gate, a tribute to our courageous soldiers, where the “amar jyothi” burns 24×7. What a solid sense of patriotism envelops me each time I visit it!
We also saw the Lotus Baha’i Temple. Being a weekend, it was super-crowded, what with families out there to spend an afternoon. The meditation room is the best there, where people sit in silence. I think they have programs, but the day we visited wasn’t one of those days.
It was so much fun to return to our hotel and bundle up cozily for the night. I know Delhi is hot in summer, but when we travel and see places, and meet friends we love, we generally tend to ignore that discomfort!
This summer, we’re also hoping to make a few short trips around where we live. What a wonderful feeling it is to look forward to going places, that too with family!
What are you doing this summer? Got any trips planned?
Lovely watercolor image right on top of the post is from Shutterstock