Travel Tales – The New Indian Express
Express news service
BENGALURU: Traveling has become such a part of some of our lives that when the pandemic swept across the world, I almost felt like your favorite activity had been ripped off. If the start of the year saw Bengalurians packing for the Maldives, the new hot spots are now Uzbekistan, Kenya and Serbia.
After staying indoors for almost two years, housewife Jyotsna M felt she needed a change of scenery. She came across an “irresistible” travel offer to Serbia. “It’s a place that I hadn’t really considered a vacation spot. But with limited options, I decided to follow, ”explains Jyotsna, who is currently in Belgrade. With her family, Jyotsna has a relaxing time for the next 10 days. “I had almost forgotten the joys of tourism and the general excitement that surrounds travel. Of course, travel issues are different these days, ”she says.
Entrepreneur Anita Sethi Ramakrishna has been in Uzbekistan since June with her husband and will return this month. The couple explored restaurants, shopping malls, tourist destinations now open to the public. “Can you believe we’ve been around the different metro stations?” Each of them is designed as a museum with beautiful chandeliers and magnificent artefacts. Each station is dedicated to an author, a singer, an astronaut, etc. », Explains Ramakrishna.
The people of Uzbekistan are fans of Indians, so when Ramakrishna and her husband went to a few restaurants, they noticed that musicians were playing songs in Hindi to them. When Ramakrishna’s husband is busy with his work, she spends time reading, talking to friends who are learning the Russian alphabet.
Chef and author Natasha Celmi recently returned from France after vacationing with her family. She says, “We went around mid-June and quarantined for two weeks. But we chose an Airbnb with a beach view so we could go out nearby and grab some take out. ” When they went to Paris, Celmi remembers the empty tourist spots. “It was almost like we had the Eiffel Tower to ourselves,” she exclaims. The family then visited Disneyland but had to be booked in advance. “We couldn’t kiss the Disney characters and had to cover up for photos,” says Celmi, who then traveled to Italy for a family wedding. “So there is a ‘Covid manager’ for every marriage there and everyone has to send their vaccination information in advance.”
To enjoy the outdoors, photographer Navaneeth Unnikrishnan traveled to Kenya with his photographer friends. He says: “It was my first time in Kenya. We were at Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park for two weeks. We explored the wildlife and took some great photos. When they weren’t busy exploring the wild side of Kenya, they went to a few restaurants nearby. “The area we were in is quite isolated. You won’t find many people there. But we had a lot of fun and got some great shots, ”says Unnikrishnan.
According to Nishant Pitti, CEO and founder of EaseMyTrip, travel bookings are on the rise.
With the ease of international travel restrictions, travelers mainly opt for Maldives, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia, which only require RT-PCR.
Countries that require a double vaccination and a RTPCR report are Germany, Spain, Switzerland, France and Mauritius.
Indians can also visit Qatar, Ukraine, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt and South Africa. “However, the number of Indian travelers to these places is limited due to quarantine requirements,” Pitti said.
(With contributions from Vidya Iyengar)