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Old 24th May 2014, 06:23   #1
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Default London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Yes you read it absolutely right, a road-trip from London (UK) to Jammu (India).

No, we are not the first ones to do and we (me and my wife) actually got inspired by one another Indian couple who did it via Russia, and another Indian who did it all alone via Pakistan .

We started planning about it mid 2013. To give a little background, i am a Software Professional who loves to drive/ride and my wife is a Travel Consultant who loves to travel. So she popped me this question one fine day if we can do a cross country, i loved the idea but had to run it through our mother. Once she agreed, there was no looking back.

We are planning to get all formalities done by end of August 2014 and flag off.

Internet helped us in gathering as much information as possible to conceive this trip and this is an effort to help some other souls who might also want to traverse the same adventure.

The countries we will be passing through are:
  1. UK
  2. Belgium
  3. Germany
  4. Switzerland
  5. Italy
  6. Austria
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Slovakia
  9. Hungary
  10. Croatia
  11. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  12. Montenegro
  13. Albania
  14. Serbia
  15. Macedonia
  16. Greece
  17. Turkey
  18. Georgia
  19. Azerbaijan
  20. Turkmenistan
  21. Uzbekistan
  22. Tajikistan
  23. Kyrgyzstan
  24. Kazakhstan
  25. China
  26. Nepal
  27. India
Current plan looks like as below:
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I am on Indian Passport and my wife is on British Passport, so she has to apply less Visa's than mine (benefits of British Passport, but i dont care i want my Indian Passport. Jai Hind).
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* For additional information you will have to refer the website. We have tried to provide some information on how to apply for Visa and important places that are not supposed to be missed once in that country.

We would be more than happy to answer any question that any of the members might have that may assist them in any such similar planning.

Till now we have done the following:
  • Purchased the vehicle of choice (i have a gut feeling that i am going to get a lot of negative feedback on this ).
  • Planned out the route.
  • We are going to collect funds for charity and have finalized the cause we will be supporting.
Things that are pending are:
  • Getting all pending visas.
  • Getting Carnet for the vehicle.
  • Ready the vehicle for the road-trip. In addition to bringing up the car to a cross-country condition, there are few upgrades planned and we are looking for sponsors as well. Wishlist includes:
  1. Roof Rack
  2. Front Bumper Mounted Winch
  3. Jerry Cans
  4. Oxygen Cylinders
  5. Two Additional Spare Rims + Tyres
Proposed look and feel would be something like as below minus the colour:
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Will update the thread as and when we take the next step.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th April 2015 at 18:31. Reason: Spacing
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Old 14th August 2014, 14:59   #2
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Default re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

So .. As the flag off date is finally approaching, we are busy with pending tasks. There are still visa's that need to be stamped. Overall update is as follows:


1. Most feared was the Chinese Visa, and we luckily got that.
2. I got the Armenia Visa stamped as well.
3. I got Schengen Visa stamped and it covers major bulk of the countries that we are going to cover.
4. Aarti got her Indian Visa stamped.
5. She also got her Nepalese Visa approved.
6. We both have got approved invites for Uzbekistan.
7. Pending are Visa's for Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan.
8. Turkmenistan rejected my application, so we no longer going through Iran & Turkmenistan. We will take a detour viz Russia now.


1. Carnet has been applied and takes up to 4 weeks to get a quote, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the quote is not huge.
2. Also applied for IDP (International Driving Permit) through RAC as well.

Dhanno (Car)

1. Got her diagnosed and there is one issues that needs immediate attention i.e. Automatic Transmission. Have fixed an appointment for coming Friday.
2. Customized roof rack has been ordered and will get it on by next week.
3. Additional lights were ordered and i have already received them.
4. Still looking out for a deal on winch. This is the one i am after:

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In the light of rejected Turkmenistan Visa, we will now be driving through Russia, also route within China has been updated so that we get to drive hassle free.

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

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Old 22nd February 2015, 02:52   #3
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Hello Guys,

We completed our trip in November last year and have now started to put it all together, please do let me know if you have any questions related to anything regarding this trip. We had researched a whole lot and will be glad to help anyone with that information.

This is how "Dhanno" finally looked totally decked up :-)

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dhanno_ls.jpg
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dhanno_rs.jpg

And below is the description of Day 1 from our journey log, rest of the logs with follow:

Day 1: London To Paris

(UK/FRANCE): Finally the day came. We have not slept for more than 2 hours in last 24. Absolutely hectic but the thought of visiting 28 countries is keeping us super energetic. Oh! Did I tell you that we are also moving to US for good so we had to pack all our bags, vacate the house and arrange sea freight from UK to USA as well. So we had two jobs at hand – Moving from one continent to another and our BIG Roadtrip planning!!

Saturday morning came and we got up at 8 am, started loading our car and pasted the car stickers.

Now was the time Dhanno had dreamt all her life, she looked very beautiful with all the accessories fully loaded! Few of our friends and Kapilians joined us at Priya’s Tandoori (Bath Road, London) for the last supper. We had Paranathas (Oh!! This place is heaven and best for Paranathas just in case you are in London and want to try) and after that we did our last good byes and they all flagged us off (bit of cry and those emotional hugs – You know what I am taking about). Surely we were sad but had to say good bye with a heavy heart to all of them.

Our Precious Friends
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-kapilainslondon.jpg

I bought euro tunnel tickets a week in advance which came around for GBP 79.00 one way. We decided to choose this boring journey because we wanted to cross the country ASAP. We were running late to reach Euro Tunnel, as they wont allow you if you are late and any last minute ferry tickets, they can be quite heavy on the pocket!

Euro tunnel takes only 35 mins from Folkestone to Calais as compared to Ferry from Dover to Calais which takes roughly 2.35hrs. Our Euro tunnel departed at 15:50 hrs and we are in France at 16:35. Wohoooo!!!

Me having my supernap
London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-20140906_1619271024x576.jpg

And as we entered the first leg of out journey i.e. France, driving pattern changed. I am not so comfortable driving on the opposite side and i have been doing all of the travel planning, so it comes down to my personal driver i.e. Akhil Pathania to display his skills .. he he

Now, we are on right side of the road while our steering is also on the right side, double whammy .. init!

We took our first pitstop in Paris, staying at Akhil’s old mates and it was an absolute pleasure meeting them In France. Thanks Priya Soni & Pankaj Singh :-)

As we crossed Arc-De-Triomphe roundabout, our GPS screamed “Take the 7th Exit”, we were like did I hear that rite. Yes 7th exit! Something not very common in UK/USA/INDIA. By the end of our first day, we strongly believe, had this been UK, we would have received 2 penalty tickets at least! Let’s see if they send us tickets to UK :-)

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Old 31st March 2015, 01:31   #4
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Day 2: Breakfast in Paris, Tea in Luxembourg & Dinner in Belgium

In the morning we had amazing crepes at Montparnasse (Creperie Josselin) and drove to Eiffel tower and then we drove off to Luxembourg around 2PM.

Reached LUX by half 5. There is nothing much to see/do here, just roam around the city center and eat out. We had tea and decided to move on.

Entered Brussels at night and had amazing Kadai Paneer, Chicken Curry with rice at friends place (Thank you Mrs. & Mr. Vijay Singh and the cute little Princess). This trip is actually giving us an opportunity to meet friends we had not seen in a long time and we are loving it.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0475.jpg

NOTE: You cross lots of tolls on the way. Since we had a roof rack as well, our car’s height is now 2.4 M roughly and at one booth we had to pay EUR 22.00 .. Wow!
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Old 31st March 2015, 01:39   #5
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Day 3: Belgium & Netherlands

Its 9 in the morning, Akhil worked for few hours (remember we work from home) and then we grabbed a quick cup of Tea and decided to visit Grand Palace & Manneken-Pis. On the way we met a did the Grand Palace was full of Waffle shops and the fragrance .. Ummmm. We surely did not miss the opportunity and grabbed one.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-img_20140908_14124311024x1024.jpg

We strolled around Grand Palace, Manneken Piss, clicked few pictures, had a little drive around in Brussels city and then we started towards Brugge by 2PM. Brugge has been in my list for long time now. Especially after watching “The monuments Men”. If you have seen the movie, I am sure you know what I am taking about. “Ghent” and “Church of our Lady” both were in our list but due to limited time we decided to do just “Church of our lady”. We reached the museum but a little too late as the area was closed where “Church of our Lady” is kept <Heartbroken>!! The saving grace however was the doorman who gave in to my cat eyes and let us in to have a glimpse of church excluding the main area which is other side of the church. “Church of our Lady” is Michelangelo’s last painting and we really wanted to see but due to shortage of time and since we had to be in Amsterdam same day, we decided to continue and promised each other to come again to Brugge and do it peacefully.

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For all Belgium fans: I must say you need 2 nights stay if you really want to enjoy Brugge. It’s one of the most beautiful towns I have even been and definitely very underrated. It’s like stepping back in time. Everything is so pretty, boats all around, pubs around canal, medieval buildings, stunning architecture, those cobbled lanes with beer museums, chocolate factories, diamond shops, vintage tea rooms – Ahh!! What a beautiful walk in the town! It is 27 degrees today and we are making most of it.

We left Brugge around 1700 hrs and reached Kontich by 1800 hrs to meet other friends on chai. We stayed with them for an hour and then drove to Amsterdam. After 3 hrs of driving, we realized that we are heading down south… Nooooo!! I had accidentally used wrong post code and now we are delayed by 3 hours! So took a U-Turn and we reached Amsterdam around midnight. Had dinner with awesome hosts Nitika & Sachin Mukesh.

FYI – We have started noticing the difference in our car mileage. Normally with full tank (100 Ltrs) it would go roughly 480 miles but now with more than 200 kilos in our car (Winch@front, Roof Rack with 2 Spare Tyres on top, 50cc Scooter etc.), it has come down to 350-400! Moreover with so much additional weight, we could not see “Dhanno” doing higher speeds on Autobahn – What a shame !! <Sniff Sniff>

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Old 31st March 2015, 01:44   #6
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Day 4: Netherlands & Germany

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_06241200x500.jpg

We left home around 1300 hrs and headed towards Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, IAmsterdam sign, strolled around the Canal for a while. Spent roughly 4 hours there and then called it a day in Amsterdam with fresh mint tea with traditional Dutch Pancake. Happy me again.

You can get good quality Magic Mushroom and bit of Marijuana. After all it’s all legal in Amsterdam ;-D

Around 1700 hrs we started driving towards Frankfurt, around 1800 hrs we noticed that speed limit had vanished from our GPS! Guess what! We were on Autobahn .. Yey!! But we ended up being moderate drivers in the middle lane, thanks to 1000′s of KG’s we have laden in our Dhanno Darling. Dhanno was not willing to move beyond 160kms/hr and we had no choice but to be content with that. We reach Frankfurt around 10 PM, booked Flemings Conference Hotel. Quiet a decent hotel and great location. Parking and Wi Fi has been two important parameters for our all Hotel reservations. I would give Flemings 7.5 out of 10

We chose this Hotel as it was closer to Iranian Embassy and Frankfurt city. We knew next morning at 9 am we have to reach Consulate of Iran to get our Iran visa. Dozed off around 0100 hrs. Akhil has been working hard, long drives and then work from hotel for quite some hours and then again next day ready to drive further – Tough one!

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Old 31st March 2015, 01:48   #7
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Day 5: Germany

We finished our breakfast, got all the paperwork ready and left for Iranian Embassy. It was a 10-15 minute drive. We reached and approached a counselor, we passed them our approval codes and to our surprise they replied that they have not received confirmation on any of our approval codes. They told us that nothing can be done unless they receive the confirmation and they were going to close as their work hours are only till 1200 hrs.

The guys at Iranian Embassy were very supportive and helpful, one counselor who was dealing with us took our number in case they need to contact us, we took his number as well.

No began countless calls between Aarti and Travel Agent in Uzbekistan (whose services we have been using to get approvals from few countries), we checked again in another hour and Iranian Embassy confirmed that they have received approval code for me but not Aarti. We thought lets apply for mine at-least and will see if we can apply for Aarti’s from any other country.

We requested the Embassy guys and they were kind enough to accept my application after work hours (very sweet of them). By the time we reached there, Aarti’s approval had arrived as well and we were all happy. Catch was that they would need a day to process the Visa, so we had to stay another day in Frankfurt and we were more than happy to do so.

Went back to the parking and settled there for sometime as i had to take some office calls. While we were sitting there, one Uncle Ji approached us and asked if we were from India. Chit chat happened and he was sweet enough to offer us Tea, to which we jumped with a BIG yes. He brought us the tea and it was one of the best tea’s we have had in recent times and the snacks were super yummy as well.

He invited us to his house, and we spent good 10+ minutes with his family. Goes without saying that he saw “Comedy Nights With Kapil” sticker on the car and approached us, so obviously he was a Kapil Fan and we did our customary Fanpage photo shoot

Mrs. & Mr. Surinder Pabla’s warmth and hospitality brightened up our day and we went up and checked into Radisson Blue Hotel to go on with our rest of the day.

I had quite some work from office, so started clearing my backlog and spent rest of the day inside. For dinner we explored one of the Hotel’s restaurant and it was a great dining experience.

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Old 4th April 2015, 03:59   #8
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Day 6: Switzerland (Wildkirchi – An Adventure to REMEMBER)

Woke up with the excitement of getting our hands on our Iranian visa finally. Quickly enjoyed our breakfast, put our stuff back in the car and left for the Iranian Embassy. Upon arrival our eyes were searching for that familiar face who had helped us a lot yesterday. There he was on his counter, the smile he gave us as he saw us approaching widened our smiles further.

He gave us the good news that visa has been approved and now we need to go get the money order to pay for the visa expenses. There was a bank outside that issued them, so without wasting any time we were there in a jiffy. They asked us for our passports, we explained it to them that passports are with the embassy but they did not issue us the money order without the passports. so we had to go back to the embassy. Counselor refused to give us the passports without we paying the fee as the visa was already stamped, and suggested if we have the cash, we can pay cash so any other customer present in the embassy and request them if they can let us use their credit card. We found one kind gentlemen and in few minutes we were out of the embassy with our passports in our hands. Iran embassy had been very kind to us, and we were happier to see that they had stamped us a month visa .. Yey!!

Next milestone for us now was getting the Turkmenistan visa done as well. We both still did not have Turkmenistan Visa, Frankfurt is one of the places where Turkmenistan has their embassy. So, our plan was to visit the embassy on our way towards Switzerland.

It had started raining and we were kind of enjoying the weather. We arrived at the embassy but since we were not sure about the parking, Aarti stayed back and i walked into the embassy. By mistake i ended up ringing their bell twice (it was more of a house converted into an embassy). The ambassador come out to see a guest off and was pretty upset of me pressing the bell twice. His counselor told me to come in and explain why i was there. She is working their on internship and was very kind and helpful. Once i explained to them that me and my wife are looking for Turkmenistan visa and could not apply earlier as perquisite for Turkmenistan transit visa was to get Uzbekistan & Iran visa first. And since now we have both the visas we wanted to get started with the Turkmenistan procedure. There were no officials present in the embassy that day, so ambassador had to help me out himself. He was very kind and helpful as well. After gathering all the information (took me around 60 minutes), i left the embassy and we started for Switzerland.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_07351200x500.jpg

Our plan was to dine at Wildkirchi and call it a day. We were running late and we wanted to reach Aescher (location where restaurant was) while there was enough sunlight to enjoy the view. We tried our best and by the time we reach the station, the last cable car was awaiting its last departure (1800hrs) for the day. The moment we entered Ebenalp station to buy cable car tickets for Wildkirchli, the station guy looked at us and told us that this was the last cable car for the day and there is no way we will find any transport on the way back. We started convincing them that we were expert trekkers and our plan was to trek our way down and that we were aware that it takes more than an hour and we came prepared. He looked at both of us and said, “Sorry with those shoes”? I was wearing Converse trainers and Aarti had her Hunter boots on! He he.

Aarti ran back to the car, changed her shoes to “Scarpa” and obviously that did the trick and they agreed to let us go. Took us 10 minutes and we are at the Wildkirchli station. We still had to walk for another 5/10mins before we could reach the restaurant. We crossed few caves which were quite amazing and let me tell you that 5/10 minute walk is going to be one of the most memorable walk of your life. You will end up spending lot of time on top of the hill capturing pictures. You have to force yourself to keep walking. If it is a sunny day then consider yourself to be lucky, we sure were.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0700.jpg

Lovely people, delicious Rosti, great laugh and you see people getting drunk with the schnapps. We enjoyed our meal and decided to walk back around 7.45 PM. It has started getting dark and we still had 1hr 30mins walk back to the town where our car was parked.

Now comes the funny part as the trek was not going to be as easy as we thought. So we started trekking back after our meal talking how amazing day we had, lovely food and were patting ourselves that well done, bucket list ticked.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0714.jpg
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So after 15mins of trek, we realised that we have no clue which directions to follow. We got to one point where you see the signs but there were signs for different village but nowhere for Wasserauen (where we parked our car). We were supposed to follow signs for Wasserauen. Still i told Aarti that lets follows signs for this village and then via main road we can reach our car but do wives listen? We started following our own way and realised after 40 mins we are in the middle of woods. I was kind of enjoying the adventure and things got scary for Aarti when some wild rabbits decided to run around in the dark making all kind of scary noises. I was carrying a torch and it was getting dark pretty quickly, switched it on but the battery was not showing much promise. We reached end of the woods and then there was no way forward but sudden drop which i thought we should try, fortunately or unfortunately Aarti was in no mood for adventure and decided to go back to the restaurant. I had no choice but to follow her. Torch was getting dimmer and so was the sun and we could barely see where we were going, Aarti was getting impatient and out of nowhere we saw two twinkling light coming down the hill. She started walking towards them and i like a sensible husband, just followed

In another 20 minutes we were stone throw distance from the lights and were happily surprised to know that it was another couple who was walking down to the same parking spot we were. We request if we could join them and they were happy to help. They took us the same trail i was asking Aarti to take and the trail was not pointing to a different village but said “Hiking Track” in German.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_0740.jpg
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After 40 mins walk, it started raining heavily. I was slipping and sliding in my Converse while all of them were trekking down the hill effortlessly. By the time we reached Wasserauen station, we were totally drenched. Our DSLR, shoes, clothes were all fully soaked but we were not complaining, it was an amazing adventure. This experience made our Aescher visit even more memorable and we had great laugh in the car on our way back. Experience which will live in our heart forever.

We changed out clothes and dried ourselves, then started looking for direction for the hotel we had booked. Aarti called them up as we were running and to our surprise, they told us that we cannot reach the hotel now as we need to take a cable car to reach them, now it was too late and last cable car was already gone. My personal travel expert immediately looked up and arranged for another accommodation, three cheers for her .. Hip Hip Hurrey!!

We drove to Zurich and checked into Marriott, the hotel staff was very kind to throw in quite some goodies complimentary. Three cheers for them as well

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Old 5th April 2015, 18:33   #9
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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What a drive!

Congratulations on doing this cross country trip. Eagerly waiting for daily updates on this thread.


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Old 6th April 2015, 01:20   #11
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Originally Posted by Irish View Post
What a drive!

Congratulations on doing this cross country trip. Eagerly waiting for daily updates on this thread.

Thanks Irish. I will try my best to update this thread as frequently as possible :-)
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Old 6th April 2015, 01:34   #12
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Day 7: Switzerland (Contd…)

After a drenched night and an amazing adventure in the hills, today was going to be a lot more civilized. We had planned out the day to checkout the following:
  1. Schilthorn, Switzerland
  2. Interlaken, Switzerland
But it was not turning out to be a great day to enjoy the mountain views as it was foggy and drizzling. Plan was to reach Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel (read review here), check-in and then continue with out outing plan.

Sygic (Offline Android/iOS GPS Software), had been guiding us every since we started our journey, and we will taking its lead to our hotel as well. As we got within 5 miles of our hotel, the road started becoming thinner and thinner. I was loving it as I like these kind of reads but not Aarti. Our Dhanno (our car) was taking it well when suddenly after few amazingly steep and sharp turns, we were going uphill a 40 degree gradient and no jokes, while Aarti was screaming OMG.. OMG, I was trying to keep my cool and accelerating steadily and hoping our car which already weighed 2.8 Tonnes with another 0.6-0.7 tonnes of stuff on it including us, would not go backwards and keep on moving. I only wish that we weren’t scared and had recording the climb but the reality was different. The way the car moving ahead effortlessly, made us believe that getting a Range Rover indeed was the best possible decision we took

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-road1024x895.png
* The path marked in RED is that dangerous road. There is a proper way to the hotel from the other side, and thats what we used for rest of our commute to and fro from the hotel.

There was a white Audi behind us ever since we took on the narrow road, and as it turned out to be they were lost and following us to catch us and ask for directions. They were an Arab family of four, and Aarti told me that lady in the family too was terrified on the way up.

We were happy, scared, lucky and excited at the same time. Trying to digest that we almost got lost in the woods yesterday and today again could have been in trouble but there we were in one piece. Spoke to the lady at the hotel desk but she wasn’t amused and suggested that we should have taken the proper road. We told her that we saw direction marks for the hotel on the road directing people this way, to which she agreed and replied that they will be removing those signs soon .. Duh!

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dsc_00041024x680.jpg
Aarti enjoying the view from balcony.

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View of Alps from Hotel entrance.

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Don’t know whether the hotel was empty or she was moved by our experience, she upgraded us to a Junior Suite and that was simply amazing. We checked in, refreshed ourselves and started for Schilthorn, as per the lady at the desk we were running late and if we missed it today there was not time to visit it again tomorrow. Took the proper road this time and reached our destination, only to find out that the observation point on top of Schilthorn was too foggy and there was no visibility. At the reception counter, the lady showed us the live feed via the cameras at the top, and it was no point buying the ticket.

Schilthorn has a revolving restaurant and this is where James Bond movie ‘On her Majesty’s secret service’ was set. This restaurant, Piz Gloria revolves full 360 degrees. Disappointed we got back into the car and left for Interlaken.

On the way to Interlaken we came across a cow processions taken out by local villagers. Cows with big bells tied around their necks, here is a video of the same below:

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-gopr09671024x768.jpg

We take our selfies very seriously.

Our food was followed by cup of coffee and hot chocolate. The cafe we had our drinks had lot of flyers lying around regarding para jumping, there were videos also being played on big screen and it was quite luring. Me and Aarti looked at each and decided to give it a go but when we spoke to the company who did this, they mentioned the weather was not great and they cannot really confirm if they will be doing the jumps today. We got out of the cafe and clicked few pics.

Some videos from our time spent on the beautiful roads of Switzerland (ignore the wind sound please ;-D):

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Old 6th April 2015, 07:13   #13
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Default re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Now this is what I call an adventure of Epic Proportions
You have me hooked.
Bring it on!!
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Old 6th April 2015, 08:11   #14
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Default re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Amazing Trip or should I call it adventure

It's been my dream to drive from London to Bangalore and it is yet to materialize. I have been planning from years and speaking to like minded friends, not sure when?

Photos of toll booth, roads, Border crossing, check post would be fantastic if you could post it.

I am waiting for the next update

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Old 6th April 2015, 11:09   #15
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Hats off guys. You have just lived my dream brilliant
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