Traveling with Chhavi is not new for me. But mixing tennis with a holiday was a first for us! In June, we were traveling to Biograd for a week of tennis and holidays with Tennis Holidays Croatia.
Traveling with a 11 year old on a connecting flight to Europe almost always results in one thing- a cranky child at the end of it. I was thankful that our pickup from Zagreb to Biograd was super smooth and organized by Tennis Holidays Croatia.
We were greeted by Bojan Dvorsek in the car park itself. Check in was a breeze and he left us to rest and recover. We were meeting later in the evening to discuss the plan for the week.
We loved the view of the Kornati Marina for our second floor balcony of the Ilirija Hotel. While I stood there, I was quite convinced about tennis, but I was not sure how our holiday part would pan out!
While I tried to catch up on sleep, Chhavi would wake me up every five minutes as she slept in the car! I woke up when I could no longer take her constant nagging!
Soon it was time to meet Bojan to discuss our plans. Chhavi had 20 hours of tennis and she was playing in one local tennis tournament in Zaton. However, we would also visit the fun park in Biograd which was on top of Chhavi’s agenda even before we left home. For me there was a trip to Kornati National Park to look forward to! I was now assured about the holiday part too.
Coming from Gurgaon, we found the weather in Biograd perfect. Gurgaon was constantly above 45 degrees Celsius. Biograd was 31 at its peak which was pleasant for us!
We arrived at the Ilirija Tennis Center the next day looking at bright blue skies! Chhavi played with two coaches Bojan (on the left) and Mladen Gerovac during our stay! Both Chhavi and I got to learn a lot from them.
Chhavi tells me she enjoyed learning the slice and volley the most! By the end of the trip Chhavi was much more confident as a player and she is carrying on with the same attitude back home too. Playing in the local tournament was another high for her. But that is the topic of another post.
While the tennis front was well done, I enjoyed my holiday too. After tennis Chhavi and I would go for a swim. On any given day we could choose between an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and the sea.
I loved my walks by the beach! Chhavi had a spiral potato, slushy and ice cream ritual. I was happy she wanted to eat something on her own!
On our trip to Kornati National park, we spotted dolphins in the sea. It was a first for Chhavi. But for her, the highlight was the Biograd fun park. We both came out with a vertigo but sparkling eyes.
I asked Chhavi if she would like to go on a holiday or a tennis holiday next? Her answer is an emphatic yes for a tennis holiday every time!
Tennis Holidays Croatia has the tennis bit thoroughly sorted but then I expected nothing less. I was pleasantly surprised that they know the holiday bit as well and customized it so well for my daughter. It has been a truly memorable vacation for us! I can now emphatically say we can mix tennis and holidays together!
PS. Tennis Holidays Croatia sponsored our stay, tennis and trips in Biograd. Do check them out for a memorable vacation.
Metro or subway is my favorite mode of transport in any city. It is cheap, it is convenient, it is environmentally friendly and it gives you a taste of the local life!
When I look for a hotel I try to find it near a metro station. In Paris we stayed at the Hotel Ibis Styles Paris Crimee La Villette, which was about 300 meters walk from the Cremee Metro Station. It suited our needs perfectly. It is the M7 line but once you are on a metro you can interchange and go anywhere! I had downloaded a Paris Metro app and I had data, and we were ready to explore Paris on our own!
Even though this was a personal trip it was made special by Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Tourist Office who helped us discover the city of lights at our own pace by providing two 6 day travel cards for public transport and 2 Museum Passes. It was only on the first and the last day I bought tickets for metro. If you use the vending machine you can use notes and coins. But if you wish to buy from the cashier, you can only use card!
Other than taking a taxi back to the airport we either walked or took the metro. As we had 3 day cards we found that the gates would not open on my sister’s ticket even though it was valid. The station staff was always helpful, they would open the gate for her. We managed to get the ticket changed before our trip to Palace of Versailles. They suggested us to keep the ticket away from mobile phones.
We found great art on the walls of the station of Bastille. I would have loved to go station hopping like I did in Moscow. But with so much to see and do in Paris, it never really happened! I anyway wish to go back to Paris and if I do, I would make time to just go metro hopping!
One of our favorite spots in Paris was Bir Hakeim, it is walking distance from Eiffel Tower and gives you a fabulous opportunity to click some stunning pictures both of the tower and the bridge. You can see some of them here.
I keep documenting my metro and tram experiences under #themetroproject I love to collect the cards too! In the picture you can see Paris, Singapore, Prague, Dubai, Moscow and Delhi Metro cards!
I could simply go back to Paris to click more of these signs which are all over the city! I do hope Alka and I will return to this beautiful city one day!
I went on a trip to Israel in 2016 with the Israel Tourism Board. I visited Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Haifa and Tel Aviv as a part of the trip. I remember it as a hectic trip with mostly one night in each city except for Tel Aviv. But then a majority of blogging trips are like that.
I was looking at my Israel pictures as I was planning to upload them to Shutterstock. I have recently dabbled in stock photography, particularly Shutterstock and that is how I ended up looking at the pictures from the Israel trip!
Can you imagine visiting Jerusalem and not doing an exclusive post on it? Looking at the photographs even after 3 years brought back such memories!
My most surreal experience in Jerusalem was at the Western Wall. It is the holiest place for the Jews. I am not particularly religious, I am not superstitious and I a Hindu! But when I touched the wall and closed my eyes, it felt as if I was standing in an open field alone! I was shocked out of my wits and my eyes flew open! I didn’t dare to touch the wall again. It is my most surreal experience till date. I can only state what I felt, I have no way to make any sense of it!
I flew with El Al to Tel Aviv. That is quite an experience in itself, you can read about it here! However, I remember the flight because of a movie I watched, Apples from the Desert, which depicted the lifestyle of Orthodox Jews! Watching the movie gave me some clue about the people I observed in the country!
I remember this moment so clearly. My group was running through this courtyard towards the entrance to the Western Wall. I was in love with the courtyard, the olive tree at one side and the arched gateway near it! I paused for a moment to click a picture, praying that I will not get separated from my group! And on cue, an elderly gentleman walked towards the gate! This picture is in some sense the essence of my blogging trips, hurried like anything and yet showing me the beauty of travel!
I spent just a few hours in the Old City of Jerusalem, taking in the historic sights sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the sunrise clicked from my hotel room in Jerusalem!
By the end of the Old City tour I followed the excellent example of the young boy sitting next to me. I sat on a the pavement to give some rest to my aching feet, I was that tired.
The Israel Museum at Jerusalem has many great collections both historic and modern. However, within the White Dome some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display!
Mahane Yehuda Market is popular both with the locals and the tourists. It is a great place to eat, click photos and do some people watching!
It is fun to talk to people in Israel as a lot of them have visited India and remember it fondly!
As I continue uploading old pictures for stock photography, I wonder what more I am going to unearth and write about. Going through my Israel pictures was so worth it.