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    Posted on 31 March 2012
    CULTURE & SOCIETY  

    Be there, do that

    I know what you can do this summer in europe, writes Nandita Mehta, who also has all the lines

    Photos: Nandita Mehta


    Mykonos, Greece
    If you choose Greece, you will only be faced with the predicament of choosing from about a thousand beautiful islands. Most claim that, there is nothing to beat the beauty of the Greek island Santorini. Maybe that’s true, but there’s nothing to beat Santorini’s prices either. So head to Mykonos, the second most popular Greek island at half the price of Santorini. You have to plan your flights to Mykonos early; there aren’t too many of them, most of them don’t fly direct and they don’t fly daily. Another option, could be to fly to Athens and then take a ferry to Mykonos. Oh, and yes, don’t go by the Mykonos Airport. It may look like a warehouse, but you cannot imagine what lies beyond. A charmingly small island, the houses are pristine white and its shutters a gorgeous blue. Once you’ve finished gasping over the sheer blue waters of the Aegean sea, ask the bartender for a chilled cocktail. Another thing about Mykonos, you’ll never wonder about the potency of the drink, they are so potent.
    A good line to know: ‘Stin iyia sou’ (cheers)

    Cliffs Of Moher, Ireland
    The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland is a beauty. And like everything else in the Irish land, has the wind or rain for company. The cliffs soar 214-metre high and is a listed unesco Geo park. Right from the top as far as the eyes can see, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South are all clearly visibly on a good day. But good days are rare and waterproof clothing and umbrellas are a must. On those rainy days head to a good old Irish Pub. A good one is Doolin with its live music sessions and generally happy crowds.
    A good line to know: ‘Knee ohl-hee mey gu brawkh
    u-reeshch’ (I’m never ever drinking again)

    London, UK
    In what new way can London be described, most adjectives have already been overused. But still if you do find yourself making your way to the city make sure you plan this trip around the Royal Ascot. The centrepiece of the British social calendar as well as the ultimate gathering of the who’s who, this year the Royal Ascot will be held from June 19-23. Tickets can be booked online. On the day of the race the usual 50-minute drive from London can easily become 2 hours 50 mins so leave well in time. As per the rules, bare chests are strictly not allowed. Wacky hats with fruits and feathers and coat tails are the norm. In between the champagne, the strawberries and Pimms (liqueur -based fruit drink), do lay your bets as well, it is kind of about horse-racing after all.
    A good line to know: ‘This is the way to the bar, innit?’

    Paris, France
    So many descriptions; the city of romance, the city of famous sights but the city of gastronomical delights seems to be the most appropriate of all. Paris dining is known around the world for its unparalleled quality and taste. It’s a heavenly destination for gourmets and culinary delights; From freshly baked croissants to the cheeses, from celestial wines to the latest dessert fad around the world, the macarons. Yes the macarons are a meringue almond-based, ganache-filled, button-sized French delicacy. It originated in France in the early 20th century. So, safe to say, its very unlikely anyone can bake it like them. You could also try a two-hour macaron making class at La Cuisine, Paris. On right through the months of May, June and July you may not come back a professional. But what could be more satisfying than making macarons in Paris?
    A good line to know: ‘Pouvoir j’ai un macaron dans le chocolat, la fraise, la lime, le café, la banane, la framboise, les parfums de myrtille s’il vous plaît’ (May I have a macaron in chocolate, strawberry, lime, coffee, banana, raspberry, blueberry flavours please)

    Lake Garda, Italy
    Every time — and there have been many times — that I’ve made my way to Italy, I always make a promise to my tummy and it goes something like this: ‘I promise to eat every slice of pizza, every strand of spaghetti and every scoop of gelato. And I promise to never step on the weighing scale again.’ And so my tummy and I exist in perfect harmony. Try this tip when you make your way to the Italian lakes. Lake Garda is a charming italian town in close proximity to Milan and Verona. If life in the rest of Italy is slow, Lado di Garda is on another timeline completely. So you can gaze at the pretty lake and enjoy your spaghetti pesto or take a boat ride in the evening for a glance at the revered sunset while enjoying a dark choc gelato.
    A good line to know: ‘Era squisito’ (That was delicious)


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    Posted on 31 March 2012
 

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