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Old 1st May 2015, 13:09   #61
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by shashanka View Post
Hello cooldudesunny,

As someone has already remarked earlier in one of the comments here - this has got to be the mother of all travelogues !
Thanks Shashanka, we are really humbled by your kind words and support :-)

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Originally Posted by Aditya_P View Post
Absolutely amazing traveloque!!
Thanks Aditya, i will definitely keep on updating until i post all the images and videos. And please dont stop yourself from a similar adventure, if you are waiting for the right time, right time is "now"!

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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Man O man... you are the man! Woooaaaaaaaa what a trip! Congratulations Akhil and Aarti! This is stuff dreams are made of.. surely ours, me and wife. Been planning this from Mumbai to London, all planning ready, but the Pakistan crossing part was scary, so did it in bits n pieces.
Thanks Ramky, wow i will look up for your travelogue as there is always something to learn from fellow travelers experiences. Kudos to you and your wife as well and all the best.
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Old 1st May 2015, 13:16   #62
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Day 13: Breakfast in Austria, Lunch in Slovakia & Dinner in Hungary
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-vienna_palace_panorama_small.jpg

Linz is a beautiful place, neat and clean as rest of Austria is! We woke up fully charged, plan was to reach Budapest via Bratislava.

But before that there was no way we were going to give Vienna a miss. We finished our breakfast, got ready, checked directions for Schonbrunn palace, Vienna and left.

Vienna seemed quite calm and running at a slow pace, maybe we did not visit the downtown that's why it seemed like it! Normally, you would like to spend 2-3 days when you are in Vienna but we just had an afternoon and it was well spent.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0012.jpg
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0087.jpg

We took a u-turn to get back on track from Vienna, weather gods were totally with us as the sky was clear with sun shinning bright. Bratislava was 80 KM away, thanks to butter smooth roads and amazing view, we were in Slovakia in no time. When we enter Bratislava, it seemed like a place outside Europe! The roads, building, shopping complexes seemed to have taken up some beating. We decided to find a nice dining place in downtown and sit down for lunch but the whole feel about the downtown was not very comfortable. We saw a Subway and decided to go in, parked the car in parking area of a shopping mall. The moment we stepped out, we noticed a mysterious looking old fellow trying to scan things inside the car and that was good enough to freak out Aarti :-D







I reassured her that he was just looking because we have so many stickers on the car, deep inside he had got me worried as well. Anyways we carried on as mind stops to follow when there is a thunderstorm in your tummy! We finished our lunch, took a round in the downtown area and carried on towards Budapest, it was 200 KM away and evening had started to settle in.

By the time we entered Budapest, it was already 8 PM or something. Budapest's streets were all lit up and there was something refreshing about the whole city. We navigated through the congested roads to find our hotel, we eventually reached the hotel but the underground parking was not high enough for our car with a roof rack. So, another hour went by looking for a safe place. Surprisingly, private parking seemed like a flourishing business in this city because there was one every 100 Mtrs.!

We checked into the hotel and decided to grab dinner followed by a long walk. Even thou it was a weekday and time close to midnight, there was so much zing in the air around us. Crowds of people on the streets, taking a stroll, dining in roadside restaurants/pubs, sitting and chatting in public parks! We have been to many popular tourist cities but Budapest was different, it seemed more comforting and the moment you start paying for your shopping, you will have your jaw dropped looking at the prices, they are CHEAP!

We so hoped we had a day or two to spare, but we dint! Budapest is just plain WOW, to put it in simple words, Budapest is no underrated. It should have been the preferred destination for people who want to enjoy a mix of architecture, food, drinks, weather, hospitality, services without burning their pockets.

While walking on the crowded roads we ended up getting mesmerized by amazing view of Buda Castle, we weren't carrying the camera so no shots for you guys, sorry! :-)

After absorbing this view for sometime, we went back to our room and flagged off the snoring championship! :-D

The hotel we stayed in was:

Queen's Court Hotel & Residence (Read Review)
Dob Utca 63,
Budapest
1074, HU
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Old 26th May 2015, 05:21   #63
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Hello Everyone,

First of all, apologies for such a late update. We had been hiking through Utah and what an amazing place it is. We were there for 4 day and what views, simply breathtaking.

Coming back to London 2 Jammu ...


Day 14: Hungary to Croatia via Slovenia
[Written By Akhil]

We woke up to another bright beautiful day, this time it was Budapest. After realizing how cheap it was to have a good time in Budapest, we decided to get our bones the treatment they deserve. You guessed it, massage it was :-)

Aarti found a place nearby and we were excited. For an hour of massage each, you will be shocked to know how much we paid, the total came out to be GBP 6.00, and we tipped her another GBP 2.00.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-map.png

Plan for today was to reach Vinjerac, Croatia via Maribor, Slovenia. A total of 725 Kms, so was going to be a hectic day. We had our breakfast, and after a relaxing back massage we were back on the road.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-budapest.jpg





Let me take a moment here and let you guys know that Budapest is an amazing city and will get you more bang for your buck, and if you are looking for a place to have a good vacation, take our work and come to Budapest :-)

Even though Slovenia was not on our route, we wanted to check it out as well. The closest town was Maribor, so we headed towards it. Once at the border, in addition to regular insurance that we had to buy there was an additional permit we had to spend our money on. We reached Maribor post noon and it was a nice little quiet town. We bought some bakery and tea from a local shop. Stayed there for some time, clicked some pictures and started towards Zagreb.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-maribor_town_slovenia_bridge.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-maribor_town_slovenia_bridge_2.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-maribor_town_slovenia_market.jpg





It was getting dark already, and rain had started to trickle down as well. Even though we were on the coastal road now, because it was dark we could not see the amazing views running with us :-(

We reached Vinjerac a little late in the night, there was no shop open at this time, so we had to eat some fruits and call it a day.

We stayed at (Read Review):
Tamarix Residency,
Vinjerac, Croatia

Last edited by cooldudesunny : 26th May 2015 at 05:23.
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Old 26th May 2015, 23:17   #64
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Brother, that must have been one hell of a trek, given the time between the previous update and the last one...!! Even I was looking closely at Budapest, but my friends were doubtful if it would offer that european feel to it. Your take on it has changed my opinion about it. Thanks once again.
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Old 27th May 2015, 00:33   #65
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

I don't know Europe (I come from that little island off its coast ) )but I suspect that that Eastern side is different in nature and feel (and cost of living by the sound of it!) to, say, France, Germany and all those places to the West.

The pictures of Budapest are very appealing --- and its nice to see another chapter in the epic journey.
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Old 27th May 2015, 13:40   #66
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Brilliant trip, something I would want to do later in life.

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I don't know Europe (I come from that little island off its coast ) )but I suspect that that Eastern side is different in nature and feel (and cost of living by the sound of it!) to, say, France, Germany and all those places to the West.
Very true, from my experience of living in Germany and travelling to eastern Europe, the look and feel is quite different compared to the generic template that is followed in France, Germany et al.
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Old 31st May 2015, 22:38   #67
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by Doc_nikhil View Post
Brother, that must have been one hell of a trek, given the time between the previous update and the last one...!! Even I was looking closely at Budapest, but my friends were doubtful if it would offer that european feel to it. Your take on it has changed my opinion about it. Thanks once again.
Hi Nikhil .. Yes bro, it was an amazing 4 day adventure in Utah.

Budapest is not to be missed, take my word on it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I don't know Europe (I come from that little island off its coast ) )but I suspect that that Eastern side is different in nature and feel (and cost of living by the sound of it!) to, say, France, Germany and all those places to the West.

The pictures of Budapest are very appealing --- and its nice to see another chapter in the epic journey.
Thanks Ginathom, yeah we were taken up by surprise when we entered Budapest. This is one place where we would like to go again with more days on hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
Brilliant trip, something I would want to do later in life.

Very true, from my experience of living in Germany and travelling to eastern Europe, the look and feel is quite different compared to the generic template that is followed in France, Germany et al.
Thanks BatteryLow. Indeed cannot agree more :-)

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 2nd June 2015 at 15:01. Reason: Edited out link to external blog. References to external blogs not permitted. Thanks!
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Old 2nd June 2015, 14:53   #68
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Hey Akhil and Aarti, you are definitely one of the 'most-envied' couple here on team-bhp.com. A superb adventure that has me hooked since I discovered it a coupla days ago. Please keep up the good work and also please try to update it a little faster (at your convenience of course). I wish you both many a happy times in your travels and endeavours
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Old 2nd June 2015, 15:39   #69
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Hi Akhil and Aarti - Dreamy stuff !! Here we are mere mortals thinking of doing Europe slowly, 1-2 countries at a time. And then come across your travelogue about both of you gallivanting your way . Makes us jealous and red !!.

Kudos to your drive and enthusaism. Keep the pics coming. The only grouse - too less space devoted to each country. Maybe after you finish this Maha travelogue, you can start individual country travelogues

Cheers

Last edited by ampere : 2nd June 2015 at 15:42. Reason: Formatted Post
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Old 4th June 2015, 14:09   #70
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Stuff dreams are made off. You guys have lived the dream of a true blue roadie!! Hooked onto your thread looking forward to it with bathed breath. Keep it coming bro!.
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Old 7th June 2015, 03:21   #71
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by laferrari View Post
Hey Akhil and Aarti, you are definitely one of the 'most-envied' couple here on team-bhp.com. A superb adventure that has me hooked since I discovered it a coupla days ago. Please keep up the good work and also please try to update it a little faster (at your convenience of course). I wish you both many a happy times in your travels and endeavours
he he .. Thanks for your kind words La Ferrari. I was hoping Aarti would help me with the writing but the lazy person she is, i have to do all the writing now, so please bear with me. I really appreciate your kind words and wishes, may god bless you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mentalmaxout View Post
Hi Akhil and Aarti - Dreamy stuff !! Here we are mere mortals thinking of doing Europe slowly, 1-2 countries at a time. And then come across your travelogue about both of you gallivanting your way . Makes us jealous and red !!.

Kudos to your drive and enthusaism. Keep the pics coming. The only grouse - too less space devoted to each country. Maybe after you finish this Maha travelogue, you can start individual country travelogues

Cheers
Awww .. Thank you MentalMaxOut. It was a hard decision and i am glad we took it. We actually did not spent too much time in each country, and since i am doing all the writing now, what you read is what all i recall so there is quite some stuff that got lost because of the gap (first time bloggers you see), but i am trying to do my best with pictures helping me to remember what i can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameer sultan View Post
Stuff dreams are made off. You guys have lived the dream of a true blue roadie!! Hooked onto your thread looking forward to it with bathed breath. Keep it coming bro!.
Thanks Sameer, it was indeed quite an experience, and comes highly recommended in case you want to plan something like this.
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Old 7th June 2015, 04:12   #72
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Day 15: Vinjerac to Cavtat via Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

[Written By Akhil]


London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-togethersince2011.jpg
It was Aarti's idea to get these T-Shirts, something you guys might want to try to please your wives and thank me later :-D

The host of Tamarix Residency is a very nice and warm lady, we woke up on time as we did not want to miss her hospitality during breakfast hours.

We couldn't see much of Vinjerac as we got pretty late in arriving here last night. So, after having our breakfast, we got our stuff back in the RR and decided to explore the surroundings. Hotel has a nice view in the back, we spent quite some time enjoying the fresh air and the view.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-view_from_tamarix_residency.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-another_view_from_tamarix_residency.jpg

How can we miss the selfies :-)

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-anotherselfieattamarixresidency.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-selfieattamarixresidency.jpg





Plan was to reach Cavtat and check into Hotel Croatia, and on the way we wanted to check out the oldest bridge in the old city of Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina), a UNESCO heritage site. It was a 3+ hour journey till Mostar and we wanted to reach before the sun sets it because it was a must see destination and light plays an important role in bringing the beauty out of anything!

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-vinjeractocavtatviamostar.png






It started raining heavily, so we got a little disappointed and in between also had thoughts of returning, another reason was that we had to go out of Croatia and then come back again! Every entry into any country means 2 stamps on the passport. I had already crossed into Croatia twice, meant 4 stamps already (empty pages can become a privilege when traversing a route through 25 countries)!

When you are doing a cross-country, you need to have car insurance for the country you are entering either prior to entering the country or you can purchase it at a premium at the border. Point that needs to be remembered is that if you are planning to cross a border at night hours then chances of finding an insurance guy at the border are as good as spotting a dinosaur. So, plan accordingly and if possible purchase car insurance beforehand. We could not find a way to buy insurance beforehand and have to shell our dollars at each border crossing. Within Europe, something called “Green Slip” can be purchased and it accepted all throughout.

By the time we reached Mostar, rain had stopped and sky cleared. Old city of Mostar was living up to its name, we found parking on the side of the road thanks to one gentleman who paid our parking as we dint had coins.



One thing that we noticed was, be it any place we visited, whether famous or a remote hidden location! Our friends from China were always there, mostly groups, these guys definitely know how to travel and where to travel :-)

After enjoying the views from the bridge and wandering through the streets selling stuff which had resemblance with stuff in India as well, we decided to settle down for a meal.



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-oldbridgeinoldcityofmostar.jpg
Old Bridge (UNESCO Heritage Site) in the Old City of Mostar

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-oldbridgeunescoworlheritage.jpg
Scribe with details on the Old Bridge

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-shopatoldbridgeoldcityofmostar.jpg
Ornament Shop in the Market

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-oldbridgeinoldcityofmostarwalking.jpg
View as you ascent the Bridge

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-anotherviewfromoldbridgeinoldcityofmostar.jpg
View from the Bridge

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-viewfromoldbridgeinoldcityofmostar.jpg
Another view from the Bridge

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-selfieatoldbridgeatoldcityofmostar.jpg
Selfie on the Bridge

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-marketinoldcityofmostar.jpg
Night view of the Market

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-nightviewofoldbridgeinoldcityofmostar.jpg
Night view of the Bridge

Aarti figured out a place called Hotel Sadrvan, it seemed like a good restaurant, there was a lady at the entrance greeting all the guests in a unique outfit (it must be a regional attire). Aarti jumped to the opportunity and got herself clicked with her.

Interesting thing about the restaurant was that there were 10’s of cat sitting, roaming inside. It might be because the restaurant served fish in many varieties and secondly I did not spot even a single dog either on the street or anywhere else! Meal was good, nothing to be proud of and we continued towards Cavtat.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiposingwiththegirlwelcomingusintherestaurantinmostar.jpg
Aarti posing with the host as she stands in regional outfit welcoming the guests

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-mannequinesinsidetherestaurantdressedaslocalpeople.jpg
Mannequine's dressed in regional attire inside the restaurant

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-catsittingnexttoaartisbaginrestaurantinmostar.jpg
Cat sitting next to Aarti's bag

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-enjoyingfoodatoldcityofmostar.jpg
Aarti had Fish

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-enjoyingmorefoodatoldcityofmostar.jpg
That's my Lamb

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-restaurantsonthesideoftheriverinmostar.jpg
Restaurants as seen from the bridge on the riverside


The hotel we stayed in was:

Hotel Croatia
Frankopanska Ulica,
20210, Cavtat
Croatia
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Old 29th June 2015, 08:50   #73
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Day 16: Pit Stop in Cavtat, Croatia
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-cavtat-3.jpg

Today we were going to just relax and check out Cavtat (Dubrovnik). Hotel Croatia itself is quite magnificent and checking out the whole complex it quite and effort. We happily decided to not leave our beds early, and by the time body felt recharged it was close to afternoon. I switched on the TV and was delighted to see our Prime Minister Sh. Modi on CNN, may god bless him and give him the vision and strength to guide India in the right direction.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-primeministershrimodioncnn.jpg

We left hotel in the afternoon, way to the Cavtat downtown was quite a walk and by the time we reached there we were hungry again. There were many options available in the market area and we happily choose to feed on some French cuisine. After grabbing a quick meal (which was not as quick because service was not that good), we continued checking out the nearby shops and tried to strike a good deal on a boat ride and sea diving but it was not our day.

We went back to the hotel and after relaxing for a while spent rest of the day checking out the Hotel. To sum it up, Cavtat is a beautiful town and should not be missed if you are in and around Cavtat. We decided to stay in Cavtat instead of Dubrovnik, thanks to the popularity of "Games of Thrones" Dubrovnik is not a cheap play to stay ;-)

The hotel we stayed in was:
Hotel Croatia

Frankopanska Ulica,
20210, Cavtat
Croatia
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:09   #74
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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[b]Day 16..............
Cooldudesunny, its been a long wait for Day 17 and more stories. Please take out some time to complete this epic of a travelogue.
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Old 1st July 2015, 16:16   #75
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Originally Posted by cooldudesunny View Post
Day 16: Pit Stop in Cavtat, Croatia
[Written By Akhil]

Attachment 1387325

Today we were going to just relax and check out Cavtat (Dubrovnik). Hotel Croatia itself is quite magnificent and checking out the whole complex it quite and effort. We happily decided to not leave our beds early, and by the time body felt recharged it was close to afternoon. I switched on the TV and was delighted to see our Prime Minister Sh. Modi on CNN, may god bless him and give him the vision and strength to guide India in the right direction.

Attachment 1387323

We left hotel in the afternoon, way to the Cavtat downtown was quite a walk and by the time we reached there we were hungry again. There were many options available in the market area and we happily choose to feed on some French cuisine. After grabbing a quick meal (which was not as quick because service was not that good), we continued checking out the nearby shops and tried to strike a good deal on a boat ride and sea diving but it was not our day.

We went back to the hotel and after relaxing for a while spent rest of the day checking out the Hotel. To sum it up, Cavtat is a beautiful town and should not be missed if you are in and around Cavtat. We decided to stay in Cavtat instead of Dubrovnik, thanks to the popularity of "Games of Thrones" Dubrovnik is not a cheap play to stay ;-)

The hotel we stayed in was:
Hotel Croatia

Frankopanska Ulica,
20210, Cavtat
Croatia
Hats off to you guys! All the best!
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