Thursday, 16 April 2009

Chocolate for thought!

Someone who loves food is called a foodie, similarly someone who loves chocolate should be called chocolatie! Nice chocolate (food) for thought, isn't it!

I am a chocoholic! I may crib and cry and sulk looking at my bloated self in the mirror, but my craving for chocolate never seems to die!

I have tasted quite a large variety of chocolates from different parts of the world. Of all the kinds I have tasted there's one kind that was just extraordinary, not only for the taste, but also for the pricing. Godiva chocolates are a kind and class of its own.

When I went to Brussels, an acquaintance told me about Godiva chocolates. I ensured that going to the Godiva shop was part of the itinerary even in the really little time we were given to see around. It was quite a small shop with a wide variety of chocolates, situated at the Grote Markt square. I wanted to try some before buying a box. So, I ordered a small quantity of dark chocolates. Each of those roughly 20 gm truffles cost about a euro! In my currency it comes to 65 rupees per piece!

Though very steep in price, it was worth tasting one of world's finest chocolates!

Saturday, 11 April 2009


Joy and I wanted to take a quick break from the mundane Hyderabad life. The idea was to go somewhere and rest rather than going on a sight seeing tour. So we chose to go to Lonavala and Khandala.

We took a shared cab from Pune and reached Lonavala in the evening. We had a couple of names of hotels on our minds, so we started looking out for them. We checked into one, with the help of an auto rickshaw guy who took us around to find hotels.

The next afternoon the driver took us to Karla Caves, which was about 9 kms from where we were staying. These caves are the largest Chaitya caves in the country. We took the uphill, a little steep, road to reach the Karla Caves. When we reached there the driver told us that we needed to climb about 300 stairs to get there. For a moment it seemed like a monstrous task, almost impossible to achieve, but I am not the one to give up too easily. Joy was quite unsure whether I would be able to make it.

I did make it to the top, but to be very honest, it was not worth the effort. It was extremely hot, didn't expect that kind of heat in January; very unkempt entrance. Nothing looked nice! At the entrance of the caves there were three broken pillars with lions; the stairs to the caves were so dark that I chose not to climb anymore.

The driver was very surprised too see us back so early. He said, normally people take about one and a half hours to get there and come back, and we took about 45 minutes only!

Then we went back to where we came from, that is, back to the city of Lonavala, to go to Ryewood Park. I had heard about this park earlier, so I was quite excited about going to the park and sitting there for some time. As we reached there we figured it was just another park, and it was extremely hot to even step out of the car. We drove past that place with the quaint hope that we may take a stroll down the road and sit at the park on a pleasant monsoon evening.

The next place we passed was the Lonavala Lake. We didn't get off because it was absolutely dry. The city pamflets boast of this place as a replica of Chowpati, there was not a single soul around!

At this point we were rather disappointed with our plan to do a sight seeing tour. Therefore, we weren't even interested to see anything anymore. We reached Bhushi Dam. The place did not seem remotely interesting from the outside. As we went inside we realised that the place wasn't all that uninteresting. It was quite cool. So we decided to sit on the rocks, and we sat there for more than half an hour. Joy even had some tea.

After this, we set for the most awaited part of our day trip, Khandala. I just have one thing to say, this place is hyped beyond any limit. If anyone is planning a getaway from the maddening city life, it is good to check into one of the resorts and rest. There is nothing else to see.