Euro Train

Being great fan of Shahrukh Khan and DDLJ. I had only dreamt about the Euro train journey. I first traveled to Europe -Germany for Siemens assignment in month of April.
My work was based in small village Kamplint Fort, North West Germany. I was almost living dream where only Shahrukh Khan was missing.  Suddenly my sweet dream got over and I came to know about the long Easter weekend. It would have been nightmare if I would have stayed in that small village without anything or anyone around for Easter weekend. Most of my team members were located in Munich, Germany.
Somehow the introvert girl in me took decision and I decided to travel to Brussels on my own.
A colleague of mine was located in Brussels with reference of whom I got service apartment for 3 days.
After too much of thinking, calculations, analysis and not disclosing it to any one of my Siemens colleagues - I took bold decision of buying Euro train tickets for 89 Euros. It might sound small amount today. But when i broke this new to all my SISL friends - it was big deal.
After  wait of week the day came when i was to step in the Euro train - which had witnessed the King of romance SRK and Kajol in DDLJ movie. Bus from Kamplint fort to Moerse. Moerse to intermediate station by regional train. And then after wait for around 35 minutes the ICE train arrived. My heart was pounding as if SRK was sitting inside the train and as the door opens he will reach out his hand to me. Ultimately I got into the train and grabbed one seat. I was so much excited with the soft cushion chairs, wide windows, etc.  The train traveled through the scenic grasslands. Sun was about to set at the horizon and one could see hot air balloon floating in the sky. Yes i did forget to take pictures in this anxiety as i was living my dream.
There was no SRK nor villan but I had to get up from my dream. As i realized that its First class and I had bought tickets for second class. Suddenly I started sweating in AC train. The thought of getting caught by Ticket checker in the First class compartment of Euro train with second class tickets in my hand made me shivers in my spin.
As i was barely 23 years old. After 5 minutes, I took account of the situation. I slowly got up and confirmed with the person sitting next to me - if its first class. Later I took my bag with Traveller cheques and Passport and found out the second class compartment. It was already occupied. After some hunt - I found empty seat. Came back and collected my luggage from First class compartment. For a while, I was still scared that the TC will come and fine me for misunderstanding the difference between two grades of train compartments. Once I was comfortable - I again started enjoying the train journey.
Would recommend travelling my Europe by train if you want to enjoy the scenery at its best.

Vengurla a cleaner and peaceful alternative for Goa

Vengurla in Konkan/Malvan, Maharashtra, is cleaner and peaceful alternative for Goa. Why not a cheaper ?You might guess - well those who holiday like me for peace of mind will give more importance to the first two adjectives.

Why Vengurla and not Goa

Vengurla is a small town next to the Beach flooded state of India - Goa. The scenery which was available in Goa is also available here. Its just one and half hours drive from Goa. Now you might ask me, Whats different then Goa? The beaches are still clean and pristine. The life in Vengurla is still slow and one can experience yummy malvani or konkani sea food dishes here.

Is this the only reason to visit this place -  

Whats more my life partner Abhi is born in this place. Not just that he completed his last three years of school there. So if you think its small town then probably you have to rethink. :D
Jokes apart - our motive was to have 3-4 days beach side vacation. And why not explore unseen Maharashtra being  so called proud maharashtrian.

Where to stay

My brother-in-law Amit Suki localite to that area (who is now settled in Kudal (home town) about 40 minutes drive from Vengurla) recommended us to stay in Hotel Gajalee. He being a hard core foodie, we blindly believed him. Its different story that he himself has turned into restaurateur in Kudal - The Coconut.
Gajalee is located at Vengurla Port / Bandar. Can you imagine getting  Sea facing hotel and restaurant during peak time of December end for just Rs 2500 per night in A/C Room. Again courtesy Amit Suki we got the best sea facing room.  I would say that this place and hotel is clearly under marketed and under rated.

Hotel Gajalee Stay

 They have around 4 sea facing rooms. Best part is that the sea facing side wall is just 2 feet high and rest all is transparent window. If you sleep in the bed, one could see the wide spread sea belt of Vengurla spanning in front of your eyes. Some moments cant be explained more in words for that we have digital camera. The rooms are clean and tidy. They have split A/C.

Hotel Gajalee Food

Awesome surmai and pomfret fry, sol kadhi, shell fish masala. They have chicken starters and mains. however we opted for fish dishes.
Since we were accompanied by our four year old son we ordered room service. They have roof top restaurant on the fourth floor which is worth trying out if you do visit that area.
One could hear the sea waves dashing on the rocks of the port and nothing else.

What to do around Vengurla

  • Sagar Bunglow - A five star government Bunglow on the edge of the mountain cliff near Vengurla Port. If one can manage booking at this place there is nothing like that. As per sources, its rented out to only Government employees. Normal visitors can climb up the steps and view the sunset from doorsteps of this bunglow. 
  • Vengurla Port is one of the favorite tourist destinations for all Konkan / Malvan Packages. The Port road is very narrow. And it becomes packed once the tourist vehicles start flocking in at evening. One can enjoy hot Vada pav or only vada at the local hawkers. This followed by the sweet Coconut savories is cherry on top of icing. We do call it Khopracha Wadi. They also offer junk food such as Mumbai Chat etc. Also Icecream. Our son enjoyed his boiled egg along with us.

  • Vengurla Light house - Since its cliff edge the government has set Light house on top of it. It gets closed at around 5 PM. Its advisable to visit the Light house in the morning as its less sunny. We completed our morning breakfast of omelet and bread at the Vengurla Port local vendor and started our treking to the light house. Yes after climbing the steep stair cases our son did potty on reaching the light house. We also spotted couple of dolphins jumping in the sea water from the edges of the light house area. 

  • Sagareshwar Beach - The wide stretch of  seashore visible from the Hotel Gajalees windows is known as Sagareshwar Beach. As per the localities its not safe to enjoy swimming in these waters. Since there are frequent under water currents in them. This is not safe. However the beach is clean and too good to just sit back and relax. 
  • Patkar High School- Last but not the least Patkar high School Vengurla. Its one of the many schools which my husband has attended, while my father in law was being transferred as banker. I have dedicated one full post for the same.

  • Local Food joints to enjoy

    Caution - Park car somewhere outside the main street of town and walk down the small street. Since parking the car in the small bustling streed is not possible. 
    • Quality Ice cream Parlour - Its home made fresh icecream which you will send your mouths tastebuds back in the childhood memory lane. Do try out for Cocktail - A combination of milkshake, icecream and fruits. Or might be classy Faluda. 
    • Ajobas wada - This is very small room kind of shop in the main street of Vengurla. Was wondering why my husband is praising it so much. Its worth mentioning it in the blog and visiting it too. One would get to taste delicious Bata wada, Sabudana wada and other Bhajis. 
    • Sweets and Savouries shop - One can buy all those items from Konkan - Kokam juice syrup, ladoos etc from this shop.
    • Misal pav shop - On the way to Sagareshwar beach there is a small food joint which serves delicious misal pav and wadas in the evening.