Travelling opens my mind to new experience, culture and history of different countries. Having travelled voraciously since the age of sixteen, while representing India at International beauty pageants in several countries, has given me enormous skills, on-stage presence and International exposure. Now, I travel mostly to rejuvenate. This past year, I have been fortunate to travel to a few countries for leisure; not each year is as fortunate, you know!!
This year I travelled with my brother to Switzerland, Nice and Paris. Beaulieu-sur-Mer, a beach front quietly nestled between Nice and Monte Carlo, was so peaceful with stunning views! Joggers, skaters and walkers parade on the strip, separated from the azure-blue Mediterranean only by a beach. I fell in love with the clean white sands, the food, the hospitality — and of course the proximity to Monte Carlo which was a ten-min car drive! My brother and I had the time of our lives!! Long been associated with glamour and exclusivity, Monte Carlo is as opulent and extravagant as one would expect; the luxury hotels, the multi-billion dollar yachts in the harbour, the shopping is part of the Monte Carlo experience. We also stopped in Cannes and St Tropez for a bit! Ahhh a must-visit again.
And then we travelled to Switzerland! The Swiss Alps; the shopping in Zurich; the scenic drive through The Black Forest which got its name due to its once impenetrable forests; the skydiving… Oh! My brother and I relished each moment in Jungfrau, the 3,239-m Mount Titlis which is a skiers delight and Rheinfall in Schaffhausen! The latter is the largest plain waterfall in Europe, near Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland. One of our favourite moments? We loved Jungfraujoch — the lowest point on the mountain ridge between Mönch and Jungfrau — in the Swiss Alps. Then we took a train to Interlaken: a favourite Bollywood location where we indulged in adventure sports again! This time it was the paragliding! That said, food was a major attraction!! The experience of dining in Michelin star restaurants like Kronenhalle, Old Swiss House and Fritchi is unparalleled. Reminiscing, I can just advise that a holiday in Switzerland is a must. PS We also visited Raperswill, Lichtenstein and Porsche Museum in Germany: an easy drive way from Zurich!
Two weeks passed by way too fast and then we were on our way to Paris for five days. The new Chanel spa at The Ritz was the star of the entire holiday. Is it any wonder then that Ernest Hemingway once wrote in a letter to A.E. Hotchner, “the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.” We also visited Picasso Museum where paintings are hung alongside sculptures, prints and drawings. A chronological route takes you from Picasso’s earliest works as a teenager in Spain — including The Little Girl In A Red Dress to paintings produced shortly before his death. There are also some interesting rooms grouped thematically — self-portraits, guitars, bullfighting, portraits of women. These were the highlights of the trip though overall it was a fabulous experience in its entirety. I am looking forward to visiting many more countries; travelling keeps me very happy and enriched!!