Ok. 1 more Europe trip. 1 more set of mayhem. What is it with Europe and the Sanghvis? Some sort of jinx, or crazed attraction? Tough to say. What is easy to say, however, is that the Sanghvis and their relatives (by blood or marriage) share a weird relationship with Europe. We want to visit Europe. ……….and Europe is doing all it can to keep us out.

So this time, we thought of the lesser known (actually unknown to me before 2016) Slovenia and Croatia. Why? Loooooong boring story. We went from going to Spain and Portugal to Vienna, Prague Budapest to actually going to Slovenia and Croatia. Thanks to Shalil who told me that r (my 11 year old daughter) would get bored in Spain, and me who thought r would get very very bored in Vienna and Prague. So while searching these places, I chanced upon images of lake bled in Slovenia and Plitvice lakes and was hooked.

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Lake Bled, Slovenia

 

 

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The magnificent Plitvice lakes in Croatia

 

Who wouldn’t be, looking at that scenario? Fast forward 2 months, huge fights, an almost booked kesari tour, 2 full weekends driving Yogesh crazy with itinerary planning, and flight tickets were booked to Slovenia and Croatia. The greatest credit for this trip is to Yogesh ……..The only other person who had heard of Croatia and. ……..wonder of wonders, actually wanted to go there and had researched it. A huge huge thank you to Yogesh, my trip planner, supporter, midnight pal, and the main reason I could visit these amazing places.

 

 

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Slovenia and Croatia on the map of Europe

 
 
Destination, trip, tickets, all set. Now visa……and more fun. Now I can explain how Europe planned as hard at keeping me out as I planned getting in. Visa fun (deja vu Paris……). So we land up at the visa tpa office with a record amount of paperwork, and a day off from work, just for finger printing (coz we haven’t been to Schengen in 3 years……..haaaan third world gareeb doctors) and are told to go to the consulate for an interview in Delhi. Delhi? ?????!!!!!!??????? What???Were they nuts? They let in refugees by the millions and they want personal non telephonic interview from paying citizens with valid air tickets in and out of the country???????!!!!!!!! Which was one of the many things I told the lady in the vfs office. To whom hd (hubby dear) didn’t say a thing.

Final conclusion was our signing that we weren’t going to Delhi, unfortunately without all the expletives running non stop in our minds. ……getting finger printing done (with all fingers instead of just the one that they deserved)……..and an agonising fortnight wait for a reply. Positive thinking, healthy abusing , days of terror alternating with days of firm conviction, lots of batti from hd about lousy countries that don’t deserve us or our money and multiple secretive messages from vfs global  took us through those 15 days. Then one day, the passports turned up at home with the much coveted stamp and I started planning again (and breathing).

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The coastal road that prompted the decision for the drive

 

 

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The final route that took donkeys years to plan

 

Multiple plans, travel blogs, crazy food ideas, thousands of messages to Yogesh and an extra 32gb card finally saw us in May, almost ready to leave. Only to discover that Europe was undergoing a cold wave. Out came the swimming things and sleeveless clothes and in went loads and loads of cold weather clothing (that weren’t enough). A special note of thanks to Neha and Jui for ensuring that r and I stayed warm and looked chic. 3 small bags and the one mandatory gujju food bag  and thankfully some rain gear accompanied us to our much awaited summer holiday.

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This is the sunshine we had packed for…..and then unpacked

Was it amazing? Was the trip worth all the mayhem, all the chaos, all the madness? Yes, yes and yes again. Just that next time, I will take a longer holiday, space it out more, stay in Bled or Bohinj and stop at more places along the way. Oh, and carry waterproof shoes…….

4 thoughts on “Eastern Europe 2016

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