A very long break indeed! Almost 3/4th of a year has passed without a single post. Time instead flew with no considerations to being 'forever young'. Lost time is never found again; they say, perhaps one of the greatest lessons 2020 taught us. With abundant time at my disposal, retrospections forced me to notice my stagnant bucket list. The list grew longer as I watched more and more vlogs, and I could not do anything more than heaving a sigh.
Howbeit, if pandemic didn't happen, would I have set out to explore? Ha! In dreams... With only time, and a tad bit of data left in hand to spare, the best way to explore the world is through Google Earth. And believe me.. it is fascinating and addictive. Nevertheless, isn't it captivating to dream about a phase in life when you can embark on your voyage worry-free of money and time? Well… it's never too late to empty your bucket!
So as rightly guessed, this post is about what's there in my list. You may not find any countries but cities, landscapes, meadows etc., and what's so special and unique about these spots. So here is the heaven which tops the list…
1) Santorini Islands
I'm pretty sure that you have seen this place at least once, either in images or fancy romantic Bollywood songs. This place is arguably the best island to visit in Greece, adorned by the whitewashed cube houses draping the stumbling hills adjoining the beach. The blue domes complement the crystal seas and are no lesser than Picasso's landscape art. The landscape is too rugged as the island basically sits over the remains of a mega volcanic eruption that happened 400 years ago.
Welcoming over two million visitors every year, the best time to visit is said to be in April or May when it is warm. But make sure that you have enough not to leave a big hole in the pocket as Santorini is damn expensive! Most expensive place in the whole country. Widely acclaimed as a romantic getaway, the city has a lot to offer for couples with cruises, mud-spas, breathtaking sunsets etc. Singles also won't get disappointed if you are brave enough not to whine over the lack of company. That being said, think of the money you are going to save if you visit there alone! Almost enough for your next big trip. I'm not gonna drop my jaws over the variety of seafood the place has to offer for your buds. So what is unique about this place? Ever jumped into a hot spring from a kayak? Had a mud bath in volcanic ash? Stayed in a cave house? Watched the sunset over the Caldera? Dived in a volcano? Ran? Jumped? Swam? Gazed? Dropped?...?...?...? This place has got it all!
From crystal sky blue beaches, let's travel to the rusty craggy mountains now. This place is the maximum we can experience Mars in our lifetime. Cappadocia, as strange as it sounds, is one of its kind in the world, hosting alien-like clustered cone-shaped rock formations. Located in Central Turkey, the region is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is most famous for its picturesque hot air balloon trips! If it is not for this, Cappadocia would have remained in the shadows. Let the pictures speak!
The best time to visit Cappadocia is said to be in May when the heat is bearable and the crowd is sparse. Here, tourism is at its peak in August, just before the winter. A hot air balloon ride is expected to cost around USD 200, including pickup, breakfast, balloon ride, a bit of champagne party, and a drop back to the hotel. Cheap?
Cappadocia has a lot of history to tell, which is linked with the cave dwellings you see all around the place. There are cave restaurants, cave hostels, cave spas, and cave what not! Also, be amazed to see the awe-inspiring sunset at Red Valley, giving Santorini a tough competition. Unlike Santorini, this is a region that enthuses solo travellers. There are innumerable hikes and trails in all dimensions. And Turkish food???
If you ever had a bucket list, chances are damn high that you had included Switzerland in it. I was fortunate enough to strike off this paradise from the list 7 years ago until the country made a return through this gem of a place. Lauterbrunnen – meaning 'Many Fountains' is abode to 72 waterfalls; the most famous being the Staubbach Falls. This is a small village in the country's outskirts, sandwiched between two rock faces of the mighty Alps. As twisted is the pronunciation, this place came into the limelight only a few years ago with the support of Switzerland Tourism.
This hamlet is no less than a fairy tale and has shown its presence in movies like Lord of the Rings. Being under the shadows of prominent tourist spots like Zurich and Geneva, Lauterbrunnen is for those who love to dissolve in nature. If you go there expecting an adrenaline rush, you might get disappointed. The best time to visit the place is, of course, in summer, with all-around connectivity to Grindelwald and Jungfrau regions that would complete your trip of a lifetime!
Alas! The list is never-ending, but the post cant be. More posts may come as a series, which only time can tell. So these are my top three favourite places in the world which I would visit sometime in the future..fingers crossed. Let me know what tops your bucket list in the comment section below. Till the next article comes, "In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take – Someone"