1 month 17 destinations: My May 2017 travel itinerary

May 2017 was a month full of journey, travel, explorations, conversations and experiences with family, friends and my own self. Every destination has a story to tell and so in this post I will simply share my itinerary.

This post will be followed by dedicated posts about all the destinations and their respective stories: age old historic stories that already existed and the secret stories that were created around us, by us or those that were just witnessed by me. This is what I love about the world. Every moment is an overlap of stories: the first story is the story of the canvas being born, followed by generations of extraordinary narratives been written on this canvas by every form of nature including us, and then these defined layers of narratives being overlaid by a dense mesh of personal secret stories being written every moment by everything.

What gives me inspiration to write is this knowledge that no matter how much I see, no matter how much I witness, no matter how much I write, I will always be making a microscopic contribution to the humongous epic that nature has been writing since the beginning of time. Sometimes I imagine time and nature being an old writer and artist couple, totally in love with each other, sitting in space, continuously creating. All things negative happen when they have one of their domestic disagreements.

But, anyway, I have drifted way too much from what was meant to be a very factual post. In my defense, I just gave you a very brief example of my journeys within during my journeys outside.

As you must have realized by now that I am totally incapable of sticking to the point, it becomes necessary for me to get into a detailed account of every destination in a separate post. Therefore, in this post I only intend to introduce you to my list of destinations.

Starting from my first international travel and ending with my first travel to the eastern part of India, this travel itinerary is as random, yet as beautiful as it gets. Two places I have been craving to visit for a long, long time: a European country and North East India were on the travel cards this time. The beautiful beautiful Italy and the most underestimated state of North East India, as far as tourism is concerned, that is, Tripura, became the chosen destinations. A family trip to Italy in the first half of the month was planned for 12 days followed by a short cooling-down-warming-up break for the trip with friends to Tripura in the last week of the month.

I’ll stop talking now and, beginning with some sketchy Google maps showing the destinations and routes, I’ll move on to a day-wise glimpse of the beautiful destinations that will be admired thoroughly in my upcoming posts (which means keep an eye open for the next 15 posts at least!!!).

It all started from Italy

May trip destinations - italy
The trip began with an Oman Air flight to Milan from New Delhi via Muscat. The map shows our travel that started from Milan and ended in Rome. Spread over a 12 day journey this is how the route looked.

Day 1: Destination 1
MILAN

1
View from the Milan Duomo Rooftop

Day 2: Destination 2
COMO

2
The famous lake of Como. A beautiful town at the border of Italy and Switzerland.

Day 3: Destination 3
VENICE

3
Gondolas, canals and the beautiful architecture. One visit not enough!!

Day 4: Destination 4
BOLOGNA

4
I would not have counted Bologna as a destination because we didn’t have the time in our hands that this town truly deserves. But in our short visit to the museum and its square we got a glimpse of the Italian music and dance culture. An experience that is pasted an ear-to-ear smile on each of our faces making this town unforgettable for us.

Day 4: Destination 5
BADIA DI PASSIGNANO

5
A view of the Abbey from the beautiful cottage that was our home for three days.

Day 5: Destination 6
VOLTERRA

6
A view of the rooftops and the beautiful landscape from the main square of the town.

Day 5: Destination 7
Lajatico

7
An enchanting place we discovered owing to our naivety around a foreign landscape and culture.

Day 5: Destination 8
PISA

7
Finally reaching the planned destination of the day!! The Leaning Tower of Pisa welcomed us with a bright and pleasant day!

Day 6: Destination 9
FLORENCE

8
View of Florence along the Arno river from the Ponte Vecchio

Day 7: Destination 10
SIENA

9
The central fan-shaped square, Piazza del Campo. Sienna. I could easily spend days in the streets of this town. Truly unique.

Day 7: Destination 11
ORVIETO

10
Recommended to us by our hosts in Badia, Orvieto was again an unplanned discovery for us. The unique town on a hilltop with private caves under every house is truly a marvel.

Day 8: Destination 12
VATICAN CITY

11
The smallest country of the world and the headquarters of Roman Catholic Church is not only a religious center but also holds one of the most beautiful collection of the works of Renaissance geniuses.

Day 9,10,11: Destination 13
ROME

12
We gave most of our time to Rome and yet it was not enough!!!! Rome contains and preserves its history like no other place.

Rome was our last destination on this trip, but not for me!! I had another travel plan coming up. As luck would have it, one of my friends who belongs to the state of Tripura invited me to his wedding. I have been travelling extensively in India for many years now but all my travels were somehow planned in the Northern, Southern or Western part of the country and I was looking forward to grab any chance to go East! And lo and behold!! Here was the opportunity!! And so the plan was made to explore the state of Tripura. We did not receive any good reviews about Tripura and were being told continuously to go towards Meghalaya, but we were hell bent on not ignoring any state of India! And Tripura gave us more than we expected!!

And so the trip to Tripura began:

May trip destinations
Once again the journey began from Delhi. I took a connecting flight from Delhi to Agartala via Guwahati. Except Unakoti, we kept Agartala as our base for all the sites. For the areas we had decided to visit only taxi was a comfortable option. To anybody planning to visit Tripura, I must say that May is the wrong time to go. The heat and humidity was crazy!! But then, if you are as crazy and determined as we were this time, it won’t stop you!

Day 1: Destination 1
AGARTALA

13
Ujjayanta Palace, houses the State Museum, which, I am not exaggerating, is one of the best State Museums I have visited during my travels in India so far. It provides information about the state with a lot of clarity. Just listen to the museum and go visit the places it is talking about and your trip will be a success!

Day 2: Destination 2
UNAKOTI

15
Beautiful, beautiful rock cuts sprinkled in the middle of wilderness is nothing less than bliss.

Day 2: Destination 3
NEER MAHAL, MELAGHAR

14
A palace built right in the center of the huge Rudra Sagar Lake is quite a spectacular view during sunset

Day 3: Destination 4
DEBTAMURA HILLS locally called CHABIMURA

16
Rock cuts along the river Gumti with a dense forest on both sides is one of the most pristine natural sites I have visited till now. The experience of walking in the dense forests barefoot was breathtaking and we could not think of anything better to end our trip with.

17 unique and beautiful experiences that cannot be narrated in one post will be coming up soon. I hope I have generated enough interest for you to look forward to my upcoming posts. As for me, I’m more than excited to revisit my experiences, one at a time!!!

 

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