An Inner Journey

Will you be called this year to visit this holiest of all holy mountains? Will you be invited by its famous resident to make the divine trek and seek his blessings?

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2. ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – Evolution, Not Revolution 

No amount of study can prepare you for the absolute magic that the Galapagos Islands hold. From the world’s only seagoing marine iguanas to giant turtles to stunning boobie birds – every inch of this volcanic island bubbles with life. 

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3. ZAMBIA WALKING SAFARI – Spectacular Wildlife Viewing in Comfort and Style

Live it up in the spectacular African bush. Enjoy terrific sightings of the magnificent wild animals of Africa in great comfort and luxury in the well-appointed lodges in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

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4. ANTARCTICA – The Last Continent

The ultimate travel destination. Go on an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland
Islands to experience the fascinating and extreme part of our planet – the last pristine region of Mother Earth.

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5. GLAMPING IN THE ARCTIC – Canadian Beluga Whale Watching

Somerset Island in the far Canadian North is the world’s best place to spot the beluga whale. That too, in the comfort of a well-appointed lodge strategically located at a migration site.

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6. TRANS–SIBERIAN – The Last Great Train Adventure

A railway journey that covers almost one-third of the Earth’s surface. Get on board the Tsar’s Gold Train, and watch the landscape unfold from Moscow all the way to Beijing via Lake Baikal and Mongolia.

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If blue is your favorite color, we have just the place for you. Discover ‘The Blue Pearl of Morocco’ deep inside the Rif Mountains. And capture your blue feelings with help from an internationally acclaimed photographer mentoring you.

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Go on a photo tour with an international award-winning photographer. Discover the lives of throat singers and traditional nomad families who are an intrinsic part of the distinctive Mongolian landscape.

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9. NORTHERN LIGHTS – Lights, Camera, Action

Deep inside the Finnish Lapland, sleep under the stars (literally) as you plonk yourself on a bed in a glass igloo.
Resign yourself to the most sought-after travel experience in the world – catching the ever elusive Northern Lights. 

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10. CENTRAL EUROPE – Europe’s Beating Hearts

Imagine a trip that combines three majestic cities of central Europe – Vienna, Prague, Budapest! Stunning architecture, evolved culture, resplendent parks and gardens, exquisite cuisine and heaving with modern history. Great for kids, brilliant for adults.

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11. BHUTAN – Boost Your Happiness Index

Imagine a country that measures its productivity by Gross National Happiness! This beautiful kingdom is tiny but large of heart. We have a special itinerary for senior citizens who can enjoy this exotic land in great comfort.

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12. FAMILY FUN IN SWITZERLAND – Picture Postcard View In 3D

Switzerland is great fun for the whole family. Its natural beauty is incomparable, while its manmade charms are unbeatable. Go on a chocolate tour, zoom in a toboggan, and make fairy tale towns come alive.

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13. CANADIAN ROCKIES – Rockies-N-Roll

When Nature shows off, she does it in Canada. Visit some of the most scenic landscapes on Planet Earth and take it all in via various modes of transport – on land, water, and air. It will leave you mesmerized.

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14. JAPAN CHERRY BLOSSOM Visit Yesterday And Tomorrow… Today

Japan is a country where the future and the past have a blissful coexistence. Absorb the unique Japanese culture,
observe their terrific attention to detail and bask in their hospitality. Compose a haiku as the sakura blossoms.

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15. EGYPT – From Here To Eternity

Explore this timeless land in luxury and style. Relive its magnificent history as you visit its greatest monuments.
Take a relaxing cruise along the Nile. Dive right into the buzz of Cairo. Pause and wonder about it all.

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Prague: Indeed the best..

When it comes to cities in Europe –  Paris, London, Berlin, Rome –  none of these well-known cities have really made it to being the most beautiful city in Europe.  Yes, these cities have their own charm and a sense of beauty and while it’s not easy to make a categorical statement, my recent trip to Prague put it right up there with the best in the continent.

(Disclaimer: I haven’t come close to seeing all the cities in Europe, but I do have to my credit a few sojourns.)

Prague is a very underrated city in the sense that it’s not usually the first place which comes to mind when one talks about Europe.

However, friends who had visited Prague vouched for it and this was my impetus to visit the city.

Once the center of the world, today, the city is bustling…It has seen many rulers in its time, and it’s only since 1989 – when Czechoslovakia became a democracy that Prague took off as a tourist destination.

What it has:  Gorgeous monuments, great architecture and one of the most thriving classical music scenes in Europe.

The gorgeous Jewish quarter, the old town square, the river side of Vlatva are just some of the main attractions of the city. I was fortunate enough to  experience the exceptional Royal Philharmonic perform Mozart and Strauss at the lovely Municipal House.

I’m no classical music aficionado, but these guys were real professionals. The ballet and singing also added to the experience, but for me the music was the standout aspect.

I’m reliably told that Prague has a great nightlife, but sadly that’s not my thing. Whatever be the status of Prague as a hip night spot, Prague the city, is breathtaking at night. No photograph does justice to the skyline as you walk along the river – the castle on a hill in the distance, the illuminated buildings and bridges.

Decadent Delight

The food wasn’t spectacular in the Italian sense of the word. But it was very good. We went to a restaurant named after Marie Antoinette’s mother, which we were told serves traditional Czech food. Although we did play it safe by ordering pork goulash and a solid Czech beer, the food was wholesome, the meat tender, the service hospitable and the Medovnik (a honey cake topped with crushed walnuts) a delight. The white bread dumplings served alongside the bread reminded me of sannas served at Mangalorean dinners, as an accompaniment  with curry. There are also local liqueurs to be sampled – the Becherovka flavoured with cinnamon, anise seed and more herbs is one potent combination.

The people. Hmm… that’s an interesting one. Perhaps because I travelled from the Netherlands, the people came across as not particularly friendly. They weren’t courteous, but were never really rude either. They didn’t smile so much, but the fact that they don’t speak much English also adds to the distance. But at no point did we feel unwelcome or unsafe, even though we walked in the city till past midnight. I read only after my trip that the city has some problems with pick pocketing. Thankfully I didn’t experience it firsthand.

A relatively cheap city as far as Europe goes, especially for food and drink, although I have heard of restaurants overcharging people by charging them double tax as well as taxi drivers taking tourists for a ride.

One thing you shouldn’t try to do in Prague is try to pronounce all the names. Many words and names sound like they are missing vowels, but don’t tell the locals that. They probably know their spellings.

All in all, Prague’s a gorgeous city – worth visiting and spending time in. I know I’m going there a second time!

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