Ankush Sethi, went on a 10-day honeymoon trip with his wife Rashi, to the land of castles and culture, Europe. They traveled to Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Budapest in a manner suited no less for a King and Queen. This romantic luxury cost them(including flights, hotels, cabs and sightseeing) INR 220,000!
I had considered many options for my honeymoon trip since I wanted to make it incredibly special for my wife, Rashi. Both of us lead busy lives being working professionals. Thus, this trip had to be romantic and all the more memorable. My search came to an end with Europe, which turned out to be an ideal choice. The cold weather reassured me of my decision.
A friend referred TravelTriangle to me. Himanshu, our Travel Expert from TravelTriangle ensured we got the best deal. TravelFunda, the agency that TravelTriangle linked me with, was efficient in providing us with a customized package that was economical yet enjoyable at the same time.
Day 1 – Welcome to Prague!
Leaving Delhi at warm 20 degrees, we made our way to Prague. Our stopover, Moscow, was 1 degree cold. It really set the tone of excitement for the rest of our trip. After a long 15-hour journey, we finally reached Prague. The first class treatment began at the airport itself, where we had a Mercedes waiting to take us to our hotel.
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After checking into our hotel, we had a quick lunch in our room and spent the rest of the afternoon resting. At around 6 PM, I got a city map from the hotel and we headed to explore the city by foot. We spent the evening discovering the city, exploring the local culture and shopping for woolens.
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Day 2 – Exploring Prague
The morning started with a lavish buffet breakfast at the hotel. We devoured all that was on offer, relishing every last bit of it. In lieu of our breakfast, we ended up missing the scheduled city tour, but we didn’t really mind.
After our meal, we set out to explore the city of Prague again. As a traveler, I’m incredibly keen to go around the place using the local methods of public transport. The day was spent visiting different places using the tram and the bus.
We went to many famous spots such as the Prague Astronomical Clock, Wenceslas Square. The latter is a very busy area of the city filled with restaurants, bars, hotels and places to shop making it very enjoyable.
During the day, we also got to try various types of European food. We had a fair variety of the same since my wife was vegetarian while I was non-vegetarian. We also tried the local variety of wine.
Day 3 – Shopping and the Opera
In the morning, we wanted to spend time shopping and experiencing the local atmosphere. So we found ourselves back at Wenceslas Square. The entire day was spent enjoying the same.
Rashi was very keen to watch the Opera. So we headed to view the same at 6 PM that evening. The entire ambience of the place was unique. Everybody was formally dressed to watch the show, in tuxes and dresses. Although in a different language, it was wonderful to watch the artists perform. It was beautiful and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Day 4 – Bollywood Entry into Vienna!
At 9.30 am our first class experience continued, as we were picked up in a Mercedes to be taken to the railway station. We got onto the Eurorail to Vienna. The train journey was a completely different experience. It felt like we were in a movie, like DDLJ.
Our hotel from the Vienna Railway Station was walkable. On our arrival in the afternoon, we came to realize that our room had been upgraded. It was Rashi’s birthday, so with the help of the hotel staff, I arranged a cake for her. We spent the afternoon cutting the cake and celebrating that special moment.
In the evening, we explored Vienna by foot and had dinner at a lovely Turkish restaurant.
Day 5 – Romantic Bicycle Rides and Palace Tours
We were both keen on traveling around the city on a bicycle. So, we rented cycles and discovered the city.
During the day, we had a City and Schonbrunn Palace Tour. This was informative and very well executed. The palace was beautiful in its true essence. Our day was planned very nicely, so we could enjoy each and every bit to the fullest.
We were surprised to meet a Sardarji serving Vienna Station. He told us how he served Langar there every evening at 7. Meeting him, made us feel at home in a completely foreign land!
Day 6 – So long, Salzburg!
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We left for Salzburg in our self-drive car. The 370 km long drive was comfortable because of the SUV and the open roads. This was a new experience altogether, because of the left-hand drive, lack of knowledge of the roads.
Even though we were equipped with a GPS, we got lost. A 3-4 hour journey to Salzburg took us the entire day. However, this did not let our morals down. We enjoyed this adventure even more with the snowfall.
We reached our hotel at around 8 PM. Our hotel was located in a village on the outskirts of the city. This gave us a chance to experience the local culture at its best.
Day 7 – Discovering Salzburg and the Salt Mines
The day began with a funny incident. We sat in the bus to visit the old town. The bus was comfortable and warm unlike the weather outside. However, due to the coziness of the bus, we drifted to sleep, missing our stop and ending up at the last one.
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The entire day was not supremely packed with activities, which was nice.
We got to observe the city and its sights at a comfortable and relaxing pace.
In the afternoon, we headed for the Salt Mine Tour. This was another unique experience. We had to travel a little beyond the German border to reach the same. We were given heavy costumes to wear inside.The tour was very informative and the tour guide-cum-bus driver was very well equipped. We were amazed to see how well preserved the salt mine was.
The day ended with a dinner enjoying the local food.
Day 8- Welcome to Budapest
It had a slightly tedious beginning as we had to drive back to Vienna to return to our car. We happened to lose our way yet again, even as I drove non-stop. The three-hour journey took us about six hours. However, we made it time for our 2 pm train to Budapest, with a very close margin. The train journey was relaxing after the relatively stressful morning.
We arrived in Budapest at 7 pm. Our cab was waiting to take us to the Hilton Hotel. The hotel was incredibly lavish, situated next to the WestEnd City Center, one of the largest malls in Hungary.
Our room in the hotel was another upgraded one. The hotel was very luxurious and lavish. Our room was comfortable, and, in fact, had some champagne and cake waiting for us on arrival. The day ended with a short walk outside to get a feel of the city.
Day 9- Cruising in Budapest
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We had the Hop On-Off Bus the next morning, which took the entire day. We spent around the first two hours just going around the city, observing from the bus. Later, we visited the King’s Palace and a few other places.
At about 4 pm, we had the boat cruise scheduled. Rashi was very excited to do the same. It was a beautiful experience, to be riding in a boat in the river, Danube. The water was surrounded by gorgeous palaces, making it visually stunning. We also enjoyed a drink with each other on the cruise.
Day 10- Experiencing the thermal bath
The last day of the trip was definitely one of the most memorable as well. We had the Szechenyi Thermal Bath experience lined up. However, we got delayed and missed our slot.
This was only a minor hindrance in our day, as I repurchased tickets for the same. The entire time spent there was worth the additional money. It involved three pools. The bath was incredibly enjoyable and relaxing. Definitely not worth a miss if one is there!
Early evening, we did a bit of a pub crawl by ourselves. The day ended with a lovely dinner of some desi Dal Makhani and Naan at a nearby Indian restaurant.
Day 11- Goodbye Europe
Our little royal dream came to an end. We were sad to pack our bags to go home but were definitely leaving with some memories that we will cherish for times to come.
After one last lavish breakfast in the hotel, in the afternoon, we boarded our flight back to New Delhi.
Our hotel made our stay all the more enjoyable.
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Our honeymoon trip to Europe was worth all the time, money, and effort. Rashi and I got to see explore new places, in the beginning of our new life together. Thanks to TravelTriangle, everything was well planned. On comparing with other friends, we realized our packaged had turned out to be a lot more economical as well.
Wow Moments: The self-drive was a big highlight of my trip. The hotels were very luxurious, ensuring we had the best of everything. Everything was pre-planned and well executed by our travel agent, which made our lives a lot easier.
Low Moment: Apart from wishing, that the trip was a little longer, we were a little unprepared for the cold. We had to buy more woolens after arrival.
Tips: Go well prepared for the weather conditions! The cold in Europe is a lot different to what we experience in India. Apart from that, try discovering the city using the local transport yourself! The experience is unbeatable.
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