Monday, July 25, 2011

Honeymoon Travels… (The journey begins)

When I saw Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge during my college days, there was one thing I fell in love with apart from the movie’s songs and Kajol. The scenic landscape of Europe – especially Switzerland. The green country side and beautiful wooden houses always fascinated me. I had dreamt of touring Switzerland ever since. So when my fiancĂ©e – now wife J – suggested Switzerland as our honeymoon destination, I was excited. A perfect location for a perfect occasion, I thought.

We applied for tourist visa at the Swiss Embassy and thought our application will sail through. Of course, we did get the visa – but not before facing some nervous moments. The embassy guys wanted our marriage pictures before giving visa and we were supposed to leave just two days after the marriage. Thankfully, we got the visa a day before our flight. And, here I was on Emirates flight that took off from Ahmedabad international airport in the wee hours of June 22, 2011. Me and Nidhi (my wife) were very excited. Instead of opting for a group tour, we had decided to explore Switzerland and Dubai on our own. Once we landed in Dubai, we to travel and survive on our instincts.

It was about 8 in the morning when we landed at Dubai international airport where we had to spend three hours before boarding a connecting flight to Zurich. Must I say that I was dazed with the sheer enormity of the airport that seemed like a centrally air-conditioned mini-city. Hundreds of boarding zones, dozens of diversions and number of checking in counters. One had to keep eye on instruction signboards constantly to stay on right track. Nidhi was very hungry and so the first thing we had to do was change currency notes from dollars to dirham. Thankfully, the airport has plenty of currency exchange counters. A 100 dollar note was converted into dirham and our hungry stomachs took us to a Mc Donald’s restaurant. Nidhi being strictly vegetarian, we started looking for veg options.

There was only one – veg burger L. I shelled out some dirham notes and asked the guy on the counter to count them as I didn’t quite understand the currency. One thing I learned immediately was – never convert foreign currency into Indian rupees or you will die of stress attack. One dirham is equal to 12 Indian rupees. We bought two burgers for 28 dirham that when converted into Indian rupees made Rs 140 for one small burger J.

While munching on the veg cheese burger I looked around and saw that I was surrounded by people from almost every country of the world. Right from Chinese, Sri Lankans and Pakistanis to Europeans, Americans and Africans. I felt like the airport was one big global family. Not even for a moment we felt alienated as people around us were very helpful. Even if they didn’t understand English, they would give us directions in sign language and with a warm smile. The brief stay at the airport was very engaging and thrilling.

We took a round of the airport, did some window shopping and headed to the Emirates flight that was waiting to take us to the heaven on earth – Switzerland.

1 comment:

Young Turk said...

hi ...pls do keep writing as i had told u earlier ...dont let this blog go as a waste ...write more.
I hope u enjoyed Switzerland with me and are raring to go back again after some years! Once more for Honeymoon