Saturday, July 20, 2013

Posted On 7/20/2013 by Team iCynosure.


Even before the exams have begun we are finalizing where we want to spend our holidays before the results hit us right in-between our eyes, and we get into the professional grind. From kindergarten to university we stuck around each other, so a getaway before we moved on with our lives was a must. Luckily we are going to embark into our most awaited holiday soon ... a road trip to witness the treasures of Europe.

It was a tough task convincing parents of three single young girls women, that they are perfectly capable of taking a road trip abroad without a chaperon. We argued, fought, cried and refused to eat … when finally our parents gave up and said "YES"… 


With tons of DO's and DONT's Sadia, Poonam and I were all set to fly to London to my maternal uncle’s house and start our trip. We promised ourselves just one suitcase, so we would all be back with loads of goodies. My uncle was sport enough to lend us his Aston Martin Virage Volante provided we passed his driving expectations and our international license was in place. And that would be indeed be a dream come true!

So here is the drill….

After a few driving trials with uncle, we shall drive to Dover which is about a couple of hours away from London. Though there are numerous ways to cross across to Calais from Dover, we shall take the most unique route which luckily will also be the fastest - The Shuttle Train.

Imagining the fantastic experience it will be, all vehicles are to drive on board the train to park within it. Once parked people can move around in the cabins to witness the train zooming through an under water tunnel.

Clicking pictures against the backdrop of the massive cabin, with glass windows overlooking into cyan waters our trip will indeed start on a high note. And even before we shall be able to savor it all, everyone will be summoned to go back to their vehicles and be ready to disembark. Its Dover to Calais in straight 30 minutes.

Driving through France we will definitely make numerous stops to enjoy the scenic beauty, slowly yet steadily zipping towards Strasbourg. A stop over at a hotel to relish the famous French wines is on our list of things to do, that we shall ensure we enjoy almost immediately with staple local cuisine. It’s our little secret…. Mummy se mat kehna…

After resting, the morning shall invite us into the lush Black Forest region of South Germany compelling us to forget all about the hectic Mumbai traffic. A pre-booked afternoon slot at the Cuckoo Palace for a demonstration of cuckoo clocks will give us loads of time to move around on wheels to witness the forest path change colors from lush green to dark brown and finally a serene black through the morning. After the demo, while checking the collection we'd be reminded of our early playschools days. Singing the long forgotten nursery rhyme, “Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse ran up the clock…” we'd pick up souvenirs to bring back home. I better not forget the ornate cuckoo clock that mom has made me promise to get her.


Since we’d share the driving responsibilities, we‘d be able to pack more things into each day to maximize our crazed adventure. After gorging on the world famous Black Forest Gateaux, we shall cross the border to Switzerland. The Rhine Falls will be as inviting as ever and will lure us into climbing upto the Viewing Platforms to get a spectacular view of the water body.

Poonam has vertigo, so we've been insisting that she give it a shot with us, as it's going to be her only opportunity. A pact to hold her hand throughout while gazing at the skies above and water below has already been made.

I am going to conspire to drive from this point to the next – Luzern, to the Lion Monument.


The Lion of Lucerne, as it is known was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution. Visiting the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion which is not only the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world but also is the most photographed monument will mark our moment in history.

They say “When in Rome, do as Romans do.” so in Switzerland we plan to spend the night in a log cottage at the base of the humongous mountain ranges; sleep in cozy swiss blanket bags and have goat milk, cheese and loaves for breakfast.

The third day will be dedicated to enjoying the scenic beauty of Switzerland and depending upon our mood and if weather permits we'd embark on the Mt.Titlis hike. Else we'd love to enjoy the panoramic view of Bollywood's favorite romantic destination; driving around sipping hot chocolate and shopping. A Swiss knife for my brother, loads of chocolates for everyone back home and a nice watch for myself.

After a chilling and leisurely stay in Switzerland how about being unable to set foot on land? asks Sadia when outlining our plans. Yes that sure sounds exciting; we shouted in unison! Hence next on the agenda is the city of water, the city of romance - Venice. Famous for its architectural marvels, beautiful and serene waters, entertaining people and romantic gondola rides it will be dreamy to live on a boat, listening to waters caressing and smoothing our souls. No on travelling through Europe would want to miss this city, would you?


How about setting eyes on an absolutely gorgeous man while loitering around St. Mark's Square, since we will be in Venice the city of romance, a little fling would be most appropriate, isn't it? Ah ha…..dream dream…

Venice opens many doors for the tourist….one can drive down to Rome or Florence or Geneva or Pisa. It sure is going to be a contest between the Leaning Tower in Pisa and the Jet d’Eau in Geneva…. We are divided on the next stop and it will be a spur of the moment decision that day or we'd flip a coin to decide our next stop.

Where ever we go next, our final destination will be the Mecca of Fashion – Paris. It sure will be a longish drive of the tour anywhere between 7 hours from Geneva to 12 hours from Pisa. Phew that sure will be tiring!

Once in the dream city the 3 friends are going to enjoy the 3F's of Paris!

Hahaha not what you're thinking… the 3F's of Paris are – Fashion, Food and Fragrance!

Like most girls I'd love to meet my Prince Charming in Paris. Setting eyes on each other while walking down the Champs-Élysées to exchanging a few words at the Arc de Triomphe. Wouldn't it be a dream to search for him under the illuminated Eiffel Tower to then finally sail away hand-in-hand over River Seine.

Since Paris is our must-visit, must-enjoy location we've reserved a couple of days to enjoy every aspect of the routine site-seeing recommendations. Apart from those we sure want to spend a night at the Eiffel Tower gazing at this man-made marvel, camping at the base with the besties… cracking jokes, munching on french take away dinner, clicking pictures, and dreaming about love….

Paris is not only famous for fashion, food and fragrances but also for its vibrant nightlife. Dancing girls, sequins, feather and cabaret – we have booked our table for Moulin Rouge. Yes pre-booking works out comparatively inexpensive and you're able to get the best seats in the house, with super views… 

Going Café-Pub hopping to enjoy the local cuisine, shopping from brand boutiques and local shops, visiting a perfumery and climbing right to the top of the Eiffel Tower to get a bird’s view of the city,sailing over river Seine are all packed in a day. We are completating whether to take the hot air balloon ride or not, havent decided as yet, we'll see.

One day has been reserved for shopping.... window or otherwise. Clothes, perfumes, accessories, hats, shoes, you name it and get it. Hope our shopping bags all fit into the booth of the Aston Martin Virage Volante as we shall go crazy shopping in the Marais and the specialty boutiques all over Paris.

And finally after a fun-filled super-duper girly getaway we shall head back to London via the same route we arrived, Calais-Dover-London.


Do we need to end the trip? Do we need to come home, back to our jobs? Is there a way we can add an element to our trip? 
- Heena

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