Your cue for indulgent active holidays
Nature trails, daring acts and harvesting floral blooms this season can add much fun to your trip
TIME TO CHILL
BEAT THE HEAT BY GETTING CLOSER TO THE ALPS
On your European trip this summer, include Innsbruck in Austria. Also called Capital of the Alps for being closest to the mountain range is popular for its spectacular views, impressive imperial and modern architecture, multiple festivals, activities and to top it all with such pleasant weather. It is at least worth a 3 night stay that can be clubbed with other destinations in Austria or nearby areas of Germany and Italy.
Hike through the alpine landscape or take a mountain bike tour on the Nordkette range. Whatever you choose, the reward is undoubtedly going to be a mesmerising view. Fore more adventurous souls, there are rock climbing and horse riding options too. Kids will love the cable car ride to Hafelekar up the mountains. Even the shell shaped stations, inspired by natural ice formations, command a look with their unique futuristic design blended well into a traditional city. Soak the view of Inn River flowing through the town.
The 15th century Hofburg Imperial Palace is one of the three most significant cultural buildings in Austria. Every nook and corner inside is drenched in opulence giving an insight into the luxurious lifestyle of the royals. It is also a must-visit for its hall with family portraits and ceiling fresco. Twelfth century Hofkirche, houses the nearly 400 years old tomb of Emperor Maxmillian. There are 28 larger than life bronze statues representing his ancestors. Nearby, there is a historical foundry, run by Grassmayr family since 1599, if you want to see casting of bells.
Another attraction is Ski Jump Tower on Historical Bergisel hill. The place has a olympic stadium with 28,000 capacity and a Gondola ride takes you up to the panoramic viewing platform and restaurant, a place with amazing views.
In downtown, Rathausgalerie shopping center offers some retail therapy. You can go on the terrace bar and unwind watching the sun go down as a mild breeze hits you. Also a great place to see aeroplane taking off with a beautiful backdrop. A stroll in the town center will leave you gazing its Medieval Gothic buildings with beautiful artwork on doors and windows. Climb on top of 450 years old majestic City Tower and recap your visit with amazing views of downtown Innsbruck, the gorgeous rooftops, river Inn, Nordkette mountains and Bergisel Ski Jump.
(Contributed by Naveen Soni)
DARE YOU TO EAT ‘FRIED TARANTULA’
There is so much more to witness and indulge in than sunset and sunrise watching spree at the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. On top of the list is an experience that we dare you to try. How about gobbling down a new-age super food that is deep-fried and is considered an excellent snack in Cambodia? We pique your palate to eat fried tarantulas, which are basically fried spiders. To make it more palatable, they are often rolled in sugar or garlic and then eaten by the handful out of street vendors’ carts. The residents find this routine but for the adventurous tourists who visit here, this act is one that goes down memory lane.
Another indulgence is to witness a traditional Cambodian performance at the Bayon Temple complex. The Bayon is a wellknown and richly decorated Khmer Temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Some trivia for you: Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom. Historians state that Bayon’s distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling stone faces on the many towers, which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.
WITNESS HARVESTING OF WORLD-FAMOUS ROSES
Region: Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Jabal Akhdar is famous for its pleasant weather and the whiff of rose blooms during the summers. In fact, the mercury levels fall below zero on some of the days in winter. This also helps in making the environment suitable for multiple agricultural products and increases their yield. As Jabal Akhdar roses are considered of superior quality and are available in abundance, the rose water industry has become a profession for the locals as they see a huge demand for Omani rose water. Becoming a tourist attraction now, the season of harvesting roses in Jabal Akhdar has become a major attraction, of late.Visitors are free to walk in some of the agricultural areas, watch the locals pluck roses and explore the blooming rose terraces. You can also visit some of the traditional factories to see the traditional method of manufacturing rose water. Along with this, adventure enthusiasts can trek the mountains and relax with a special rose petals bath.
Compiled by Nimisha Tiwari TNN