Travel checklist : 2016

2016 was a year of adventures, big and small. Early last year, Mr.A and I prepared a 2016 Travel Wishlist. And we went though quite a bit of it, of course, missing some here & there, but adding a few more in the end. By the end of it, I had ticked off 9 totally new countries! Whoa, I’m so lucky!! So, continuing on the tradition set down by my Travel checklist: 2015, here’s the lineup from 2016…

#1 Germany : Around my birthday in February, we visited Berlin, a city rife with such poignant history, yet so contemporary at the same time. It was an eye-opener, trying to imagine what the city might have gone through during those war-torn years.

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#2 Czech Republic : In spring, it was time for beautiful Prague, together with our friends N&G. The city of a hundred spires was as intriguing as we had expected. Like Berlin, here too, we experienced some heartrending snippets of history.

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#3 Croatia : May brought in a terrific week of road-trips, when we travelled through the length of Croatia, from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. We visited several cities and witnessed amazing geography, enjoyed traditional food and met some really nice people along the way.

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#4 Estonia : Around midsummer, we took an overnight cruise to Tallinn, to see its charming old town and relax at a spa hotel. Mr.A’s little sis joined us on this fun trip.

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#5 Latvia : A mere 4-hour bus ride from Tallinn brought us to Riga, another really winsome town with its many spires, squares, parks and cafes.

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#6 Iceland : In fall came our epic road-trip around Iceland with our friends S&S, one of our most awe-inspiring trips ever. To say that the landscape is stunning, is a gross understatement. Every step of the way was a revelation in beauty and wonder.

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#7 Switzerland :  In September, Mr.A and I took my parents on a trip to Switzerland, the enchanting land of endless green fields, glorious mountains and postcard villages.

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#8 United Kingdom : And then there was a bonus office trip to London. Though it was short & snappy, I got a chance to see a couple of prime spots and became even more excited about returning to this groovy city.

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#9 Hungary :  In November, keeping up with an unsaid tradition of ours, we celebrated Mr.A’s birthday in Budapest. We were charmed by this city of bridges, and felt knowledgable while comparing it to its almost-twin, Prague.

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#10 India : And finally in December we spent time in India to connect with our beloved friends and family. I know this is cheating, ’cause I am from India, so this is not a new visit, but I just couldn’t resist the fun of getting down to a square ten-pointer 😉

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How was your year in travel? Keep going!!

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Foodies in Budapest

Mr.A & I love good food, it’s one of our common denominators 😃 On our latest weekend getawayBudapest pleasantly surprised and pampered our tastebuds. My favorite places, you ask? Here you go…

#1 The Bigfish Seafood Bistro

Mr.A & I were completely wowed by the excellent quality of the food here.We are seafood paella and fried calamari and vegetables. Both turned out super! The portions were quite hearty. The restaurant’s decor is quite neat. You could also choose fresh a la carte seafood from a glass counter if you fancy. The location is very close to Oktogon, right on Andrassy Avenue. If you are in the locality, give it a go.

#2 The Book Cafe

What a gorgeous cafe! This is one of the most elegant cafes I’ve been to. The ceiling and chandeliers are so luxurious, I couldn’t stop looking & clicking pictures. The food is mostly cafe style sandwiches and cakes. We tried some & liked them. They serve both alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. It’s a very nice place to feel fancy without having to spend a lot!

#3 Cafe Gelarto

The speciality of this gelateria is that they fashion roses out of your dessert. Delicious and pretty at the same time. You can choose two to four flavours – I picked chilli chocolate with lime sorbet, a brilliant combination. It’s surprisingly cheap, two euros for two flavours! This place is right in front of St. Istvan Basilica.

#4 Kozmosz Vegan Restaurant

It was my first visit to an exclusively vegan restaurant & I was glad to be here. Both gyros plate & Mexican plate were delicious. Although Mr.A thought the bean dish extra garlicky, but I was happy with it. The best & pear juices were absolutely fresh. It wasn’t much crowded, they played nice music & the waiter was so polite. I’d recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to give vegan a go.

#5 Cafe Vian

This was our first meal in Budapest. We had the local goulash, that was good enough the and chicken paprikash, which was better. They served pálinkas with honey, and the Hungarian red wine was smooth. The Hungarian sponge cake dessert was decadent. Though the waiters seemed a bit clumsy, I heard three crashes in the couple of hours we were there! I guess it just means they are quite busy 😉

Postcards from Budapest 


Hello friends, this weekend Mr.A & I are in beautiful Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Today we cisited the hilly Buda side of the city. I want to share some of the lovely sights we’ve seen to so far…

We rode the funicular, the “Budavári Sikló” up the castle hill. The view of the Chain Bridge from the funicular and from the hill is beautiful any time of the day.

The Buda Castle, first completed in the 13th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a huge castle complex that boasts of many rulers through history.  

The iconic 19th-century Chain Bridge was the first of many to connect the twin cities of Buda & Pest. A lit-up Buda Castle sparkels in the background.

Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour! Wish you a wonderful weekend 😊


Travel wishlist : 2016

Did you guys check out my Travel Checklist from 2015? Go, go, take a look & tell me how cool it reads 😉

It might be pretty evident that being the travel-hungry people that we are, Mr.A and I surely have a Wishlist for 2016 ready and waiting to be ticked off!

  1. Berlin, Germany : We also love history, and Berlin has so much to offer on that front. In fact, we are going to be on a flight to Berlin tonight; we definitely believe in a good start!
  2. Prague, Czech Republic : Picturesque Prague has been on our list ever since we moved to Europe. Finally we go there during the Easter break. Can’t wait!
  3. Dubrovnik & Split, Croatia : Go Game of Thrones! Everyone knows that Croatia is featured heavily in the series, and we both are totally hooked on to it. Remember my excitement when the Game of Thrones Exhibition came to Stockholm? I am already making lists of places we need to check out.
  4. Budapest, Hungary : I hear this pretty city has so much to offer. Some friends have even quoted Budapest as their favourite European city. So that puts it high up on our must-visit list.
  5. St. Petersburg & Moscow, Russia : We have flown through Russia many times, but haven’t yet had a chance to see one of its cities. I really want to see the Church of the Saviour on Blood, which to me seems quite an unusual architecture for a church, but extremely fascinating at the same time. And I must buy myself some matrioskas, of course! We have friends in Moscow, and it would be lovely to visit them. Always good to have local insights about a foreign place, right?

Of course, we have a never-ending urge to travel and see more all the time, but I guess this is a reasonable set to start with for this year. And then again, we aren’t ones to stick to plans either, so who knows where to end up by the end of the year 😉 As long as we continue to make the journey, I think we will be happy enough 🙂 Right, Mr.A?!

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P.S. I don’t have photos of these amazing places yet, but I thought this happy photo of me walking on ice was nice enough to share 😉