Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Europe Calling!

2014 has been tough. Dealing with the departure of loved ones never happens. Perhaps it takes a lifetime. There were some sparkles of joy amid the tough times. The European vacation was one such breath of fresh air. I am writing this post to keep an account of the fact that we made our first trip to Europe in 2014.

Trinity College, University of Oxford
We travelled to three destinations – London, Paris, and Switzerland over 13 days. Thanks to Kesari Travels for organizing such a wonderful tour and sending such an amazing tour manager like Mr. Kedar Billay with us. My mom always wanted to visit Switzerland and she was thrilled when we reached her dream destination. My husband on the other hand wanted to spend time loitering around the streets of Paris. He did it too. And I had my heart set on London - especially as I wanted to visit the University of Oxford.  Done :)
Inside Louvre Museum, Paris
Though it is difficult to choose between any of the three destinations, I would say I loved Switzerland the most. It may be because we spent the maximum number of days there.
While the Trafalgar Square in London is amazing and nothing beats the Paris Eiffel tower, Switzerland is like a dream. Heaven. I haven’t been to Kashmir but now I know what they call it the Kashmir of Europe. 

While we were on a cruise on Lake Geneva, the tour guide told us an interesting story that left me in awe. Am sure aspiring authors would be inspired by this story.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Story synopsis: Sometime in the 19th century, the famous P.B Shelley and his wife Mary were on a holiday with Lord Byron and his wife in Villa Diodati, near Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The weather was too stormy and none of them could go for any outdoor activity. Since they had no option but to stay inside the house, Lord Byron suggested that to keep boredom at bay, each of them write a horror story.  Nobody took Mary seriously as she was a novice amid the great literary stalwarts. Mary was just 19 and took up the challenge to pen her story on that rainy night.

Guess what story she came up with? She created Frankenstein. The rest is history.

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
Surprisingly, all through this trip, I had my favourite author Paulo Coelho's new book 'Adultery' in mind. When will I get to read it, would it be better than his previous books... I had been wondering. The book had not yet been released in India at that time. I knew I would pick it up as soon as I was back in Mumbai. When I finally got hold of the book a couple of weeks back, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the story is set in Geneva! Coelho also mentions about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein in this book!! Besides, currently, Coelho is residing in Geneva! It was a wonderful connect though I was a little upset that I didn't know he was in Geneva when I visited. I feel good thinking I breathed the same air he did for a day at least. Simple joys of life :)

I have to go back to Europe again – to explore the English countryside and spend some more time in London and Paris. Besides, I have always wanted to visit Eastern Europe. I want to travel there, live there, and just enjoy the coffee there.
Till then, I wish all my friends a Happy Mahalaya and a wonderfully fulfilling Durga Puja. May all your dreams come true. Stay blessed.


  1. Nice account. Loved Mary Shelley's story. Definitely motivating. I was in Paris last year. Haven't been to Switzerland. Will plan now. Isn't Kesari expensive? Did you travel with a group or was it a customized tour?

    1. Thanks Kunal. It was a group tour and wonderfully organized.