Posts in Europe
5 things to know about the Eurostar between London St Pancras Int'l & Paris Gare du Nord

Eurostar tickets can be purchased 4 months in advance and become more expensive the closer you are to your travel date. I bought my tickets two months in advance from www.eurostar.com and paid as less as 29 GBP from London to Paris and 44.50 GBP from Paris to London! There is also a special price for youth under 24 years of age. Tickets can either be downloaded and printed at home from the Eurostar website or picked up at the railway station. In my case, since I had booked two passengers on one ticket, I was not able to print them at home and could only pick them up at the railway station. This meant arriving half an hour earlier to ensure I had enough time to pick them up!

2. Boarding at St Pancreas

The Eurostar between London and Paris runs between London St Pancras International and Paris Gare du Nord. Boarding at St Pancras involves scanning your tickets at the automated check-in gates, x-ray screening and passport control. Sometimes the queues are long which is why you need to ensure that you have enough time to check-in before boarding the train. My train's departure time was 8:31 a.m. and I did not have the slightest idea about the check-in process. I reached around 7:40 a.m. to pick up my tickets and meet my friend (who was traveling with me) for breakfast at the railway station. However, when we saw the long queues at the check-in gates, we had to sacrifice our breakfast and get in the queue to make it in time for our train! We eventually did get our breakfast-to-go - hot croissants with cheese and tomato with coffee, which we had in the train! I would give it atleast an hour before the train's departure time for picking up tickets and checking-in for the Eurostar.

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Victoria Market, Inverness, Scotland

Hi friends, if you have been following my blog, here is another post on Inverness. Victoria Market is a charming shopping mall in Inverness that dates back to the 1890s. The original market was destroyed by fire in 1889 and rebuilt over the next two years. Here you will find shops selling souvenirs, jewellery, kilts, flowers as well as fish and meat. This market makes an ideal spot to enjoy a cup of coffee at one of its cute little cafes, especially when it is raining outside. In the short time I had at Inverness, I made sure to visit the market as it was strongly recommended to me by the Mercure hotel staff where I was staying. Here are some pictures of the market.

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First Class on Virgin Trains East Coast from Inverness, Scotland to London Kings Cross

Scotland by rail is an experience to make and I strongly recommend traveling First Class on Virgin Trains East Coast from London to Scotland or back, to get the best out of your visit to the U.K. I traveled First Class from Inverness, which is a city on Scotland's northeast coast, to London King's Cross on Virgin Trains East Coast and had a journey to remember. From the moment I boarded the train in Inverness and till the time we arrived in London, a journey of almost 8 hours, I enjoyed every moment of the comfort and luxury the first class had to offer. The thing to do is to plan your journey in advance and get really cool deals on ticket prices - you will be surprised how little you have to pay for the extra first class comfort!

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Mercure Inverness hotel, Inverness, Scotland: hotel review

I stayed at the Mercure Inverness hotel from the 27th-29th of July, 2016 and booking on accorhotels.com, paid 327 GBP (170 GBP + 157 GBP) excluding breakfast for the two nights I was there. Despite the Accor Hotels member's discount and considering that Mercure Inverness is only a 3 star hotel, I found the price per night very expensive but that's what happens when you visit a top tourist destination in Scotland during holiday season and book last moment. Traveling by Scot Rail from Edinburgh Waverley, it took me approximately 3 1/2 hours to arrive at Inverness. The ticket cost me only 16.20 GBP as it was an advanced single valid only for the train I was traveling on. Even though Mercure hotel is only a 6 minute walk from the Inverness train station, thanks to my heavy suitcase, I was forced to take a cab.

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Designer outlet Roermond, Netherlands: 6 things to know before getting there!

Hello everybody! I was at the Designer Outlet Roermond in Netherlands, a few weeks ago and it has become one of my top shopping destinations, thanks to some great deals I found there on shoes and bags at Gucci and Prada! Here is a little insight from my trip-some of the things you might want to know before planning your trip there.:) P.S. I am wearing jeans from True Religion and pure cashmere kimono sweater and pure cashmere infinity scarf, both from Jjill.

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6 reasons you absolutely need to visit Baden Baden in Germany

Baden Baden is a beautiful spa town located at the foot of the Black Forest mountains in South Germany, not very far away from Germany's border to France. It is famous for its curative waters and healing baths and has attracted the likes of Queen Victoria, Barrack Obama and many more celebrities over the years. I spent a few days there recently and totally fell in love with the place! Here is why I think you absolutely need to make a visit to Baden Baden!

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First class train travel in Europe: 5 things to expect on board the Deutsche Bahn ICE, the German high-speed train

Some of the most precious moments in my life have been spent in solo travel through Europe on long distance trains. It's my retreat from the world, an almost Zen-like experience when I can be alone like this, silently concentrated on the beauty of the picture-perfect quaint European villages as they roll dreamily past...Recently I was traveling in Germany by the German high-speed train ICE (Inter City Express) and for those of you who want to know more about the Deutsch Bahn first class compartment and service aboard the ICE train, here are some pictures and some information from my very recent visit.

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#VisitBerlin with me: 15 pictures from my trip to #Berlin

A couple of years ago I was in Berlin for the first time and took the hop-on-hop-off Berlin bus tour to see Berlin's top tourist attractions. The weather was cloudy but I still managed to take pictures of anything and everything as the bus driver took us to the most important places to see in Berlin. The guide did a good job of explaining to us the historical significance of the places we visited, even though his accent was a bit difficult to get at first. What I understood was that most of Berlin had been destroyed by the war and then build again exactly the way it was before war. For those of you who are interested in art, culture, history and DDR, you will really enjoy your visit here.

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A #skiholiday for #singleparents in Austria!

Hi friends, my cousin Ruchi just did a skiing holiday with her two sons in Tyrol's world famous Zillertal in Austria and I thought it would be interesting to put it up here on my blog. It's particularly exciting because she booked through singleparentsonholiday.co.uk (yup, she is a single parent) who organize holidays for a group of like-minded one-parent families at carefully selected family friendly star rated hotels. Here is a picture tour of her holiday and all the fun she had with her kids! While they stayed at the 4-star Gartenhotel Crystal, they were driven by bus to the ski slopes in Hochfügen, a thirty minute drive from the hotel.

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Why the #BadPyrmont #SpaResort in Germany makes for an ideal #vacation spot!

Bad Pyrmont is a famous spa resort located in North Germany close to the city of Hannover. I was there for fall and was completely blown out by the sheer beauty of the place! To begin with, I stayed at the 5 star Steigenberger Hotel and Spa, located right on the world famous Kurpark, voted as Germany's most beautiful park in 2005 and Europe's most beautiful park in 2006. The Steigenberger hotel with it's perfect location (Bad Pyrmont castle and its museum are only around seven minutes walk away, and the historic center is only one minute away)...

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A pilgrimage to Konnersreuth Germany--visiting the village of Saint Therese Neumann

It was the month of February and even though it had been snowing heavily in Germany, I decided to make a pilgrimage to Konnersreuth in Bavaria, Germany to visit the house of Saint Therese Neumann, which had been a long cherished desire in my heart after I had first read about her in Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. 

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#Nice, France--celebrating gratitude!

Sometime ago I had posted some photos  of my giro in Italia when I was a still a student--by the way, giro in Italian means a 'round' and can be translated here as 'my trip around Italy'; so now it's time for some français! I had also visited Nice in the French Riviera and from all the French I can remember, people said 'c'est bon' a lot, which means 'it is good', either while exclaiming something or asking a question or answering a question. For those of you who haven't quite gotten to the post on Italy, this was almost 15 years ago!

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Bella Italia--my memories of Italy!

A few days ago, I discovered some old photo-albums from my college days when I was still studying fashion in Italy. Lying forsaken in an old drawer, they refreshed past memories of friends and fun and the summer of 2002, when I had traveled all over Italy alone. With one pair of black trousers, a couple of tops and a jacket and very little money for the trip, I remember myself as happy and as carefree as one can possibly be at that age.

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My pilgrimage to Lourdes France, where Saint Bernadette had visions of the Mother

A few years ago, I was blessed with a pilgrimage to Lourdes and even as I was thinking to post it here, a friend called and wanted to know all about my experience! So here it is, my most beatific day at Lourdes, one of the most heavenly pilgrimage spots in the world!

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Your #guide to #Eurail #travel-10 things to remember!

Did you know that even if you had a first class Eurail pass for train travel in Europe, you still might need a seat reservation on some of the trains? And did you also know that even with the first class Eurail pass, you still might need sometimes to pay for first class?!  In any case, I always prefer to reserve a seat in advance (first or second class) to make sure that I will have a place to sit especially when the trains are overflowing!

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#South #Germany by train: 10 inspiring photos

A couple of summers ago I took a train from Munich to a little village called Bermersbach in Black Forest in South Germany. I present my train journey in the form of ten photos I clicked from the train. Germany is beautiful and I strongly recommend train-travel in Europe to enjoy the beauty of the passing picturesque landscapes as one looks out of the window. P.S. The photos may have a reflection of the glass window of the train. 

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5 reasons to love Ingolstadt shopping outlet!

Ingolstadt Village is a chic shopping outlet conveniently located about 80km north of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Since I have been there twice, I wanted to share with you why this shopping outlet is definitely worth a visit. Ofcourse it cannot be compared to the Desert Hill Shopping Outlet in California as far as brands are concerned, but it has it's own unique European charm and a quaint atmosphere that makes it very attractive. 

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Getting around in #Munich-5 things to do

Munich is very well connected through it's excellent public transport system (öffentliche Verkehrsmittel) called the MVV consisting of underground metros, trains, buses and trams. You don't need a car  to get around the city because in Munich you are never more than a few minutes away from an underground, bus or a tram stop. It is good to know that the S Bahn is the regional train service in Munich and the U Bahn is the underground metro. 

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Arriving in #Munich:some useful tips!

It was the middle of May and my first ever break abroad after quitting my job. I flew Lufthansa as always reaching Munich airport in the early afternoon. I followed the signs at the airport to the Lufthansa Shuttle, an inexpensive and comfortable way to get to the center of Munich. One way ticket costs €10.50 but if you want to take the shuttle back, it is better to buy a return ticket at a reduced price of €17. You can either book the ticket online or get it on the bus itself. The bus leaves every 20 minutes and passing through Munich-Schwabing...

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Munich when it snows!

It was October 2012 and I was in the middle of my German course B2.3 at the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany. Some friends had planned a photography workshop for the weekend and I was really looking forward to it all week long. Imagine, what joy was ours when on the day of the workshop, we woke up to a white morning-it had snowed all night long and was still snowing, the first snow of the winters heralding the arrival of an early winter!

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