Away from it all



Are you looking for a respite from the hot scorching sun? With the summer months looming ahead, do you wish to escape the grind of the office but can’t afford to take a long break? Take a break and go away from it all for the weekend. You will come back feeling recharged and rejuvenated.
 
Weekend trips need not be elaborate. It may be a couple of hours away by road or by air – depending on your budget. But the whole point is to relax somewhere with family and friends, away from the constant presence of mobile phones, fax machines and other such gadgets that tend to encroach on our private lives.
 
Weekend trips are fun and come with many advantages. To name a few, it does not eat into the annual leave, thus you can indulge in such getaways as often as you please and it also does not cost the earth since the duration in most cases is limited to 48 hours.
Here are some holiday destinations that you can head for to honour the spirit of discovery that nestles in each one of us.

India

 
Do you wish to escape the scorching heat of summer without having to travel far and wide and spending through your nose?
 
Dharamshala located in the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh  in India and is the perfect short-break destination. Delhi is just three and a half hours away from Dubai, UAE, and if you are racing to pack the maximum within those 48 hours then you can fly to Gaggal airport from Delhi and Kulu. The best time to visit Dharamshala is between mid-May and mid-October.
 
Some of the major attractions of Dharamshala are the Kangra Art Museum, St. John's Church, McLeodganj, which is home to Dalai Lama, War Memorial, Bhagsunag Falls and Dharamkot. 
 
If you are feeling adventurous, you can indulge in some exciting adventure sports such as trekking and rock climbing in the Kangra valley, short trekking around Mcleodganj and Dharamshala, angling and  fishing in and around Dharamshala. Plus you could try your hands at hang gliding, paragliding and parasailing.
 
For those who love shopping, do browse through the McLeodganj Bazaar. You are likely to find good bargains for carpets and handicrafts, jewellery, jackets and even hand-knitted cardigans and gloves. Also, don’t miss the Kotwali Bazar (market), which will give you a flavour of the place.
 
The place has lots more to offer. But you can only so much within 48 hours.

Turkey

 
Istanbul, they say, is a city of unlimited scope. The city is filled with hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, carpet and souvenir shops, museums, mosques, markets and historical sites. If you wish to explore and learn more about the history of the old city, head to Divan Yolu which hundreds of back streets and alleyways. For those who wish to beat the heat, they can head to Kilyos. Those wanting to shop, don’t forget to bargain for those local goods, handicrafts and trinkets. And if you can’t speak their language, don’t fret, for the shopkeepers seem to know every major language.

Bahrain

 
Holidayers can also visit Bahrain, the smallest nation of the Arab world. With the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix coming up on April 6, a visit to the grounds of Bahrain International Circuit will bring some added excitement. The visit to Bahrain will be incomplete if you don’t go to the gold souq and its malls are a paradise for those who love shopping. Don’t miss the golden opportunity for some retail therapy!

Jordan

 
If you do a quick search on the internet on Amman, you will discover that it is ‘the modern and ancient capital of Jordan’, and ‘one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world’. The ancient Citadel, the beautiful carvings in the Umayyad Palace, the regal columns of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the elegant capitals of the Byzantine church will leave you mesmerised. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at about 400 metres below sea level. Don’t miss an opportunity to take a dip in the land-locked sea for an unforgettable experience.

Oman

 
Closer home, you can head to Oman which is home to pristine beaches and rugged Jebel Mountains. The country’s 1,600 kilometre coastline, its aesthetic architecture, the turtle-nesting beach on the eastern side of the country - Jebel Shams and Jebel Al Akhdar – will leave you wishing for a longer break.

 

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