Wine Tripping #Stellenbosch

The wine guide of Stellenbosch

South Africa is quite well known for producing one of the best new world wines but, what surprises me most, is the lack of knowledge about one of the best wine tourism destination, there is.. Yes Stellenbosch is totally a breath of fresh air and comes as a wonderful surprise. I must share that I was excited to begin with ( that’s why it was part of the itinerary .. ), but to be truthful I never expected it to be this outstanding.

I don’t even know,  if the beauty and charm of stellenbosch is possible to be described without experiencing it first hand,  however, I will try. So here goes..

Navigating the South African roads from Capetown, we reached stellenbosch in no time, 45 minutes to be precise. What struck me most was the amazing transformation of the landscape as we neared the lovely town.

The stunning vineyards of Stellenbosch

Soft hills took place of gentle slopes and amazingly enough, soon we found ourselves surrounded by vinyards and estates. Capetown crowds just melted away into the solitude of the beautiful countryside with myraid colours.

As we headed for the Delvera estate, where we were booked for 2 nights, I was wondering if that’s going to be enough to soak all this beauty,  but as we had to travel to so many places within South Africa, time was definitely limited. That ended my wayward thought.

The picturesque Delvera wine estate, is a great place to stay

Stellenbosch is a unhurried and laid-back destination, complete with amazing food and awesome wines. While you are there, do try The Basic Bistro for some lip-smacking delicacies and don’t forget to head towards the drakenberg mountains for some wonderful wine tasting, my favorite was the Delaire Graft Estate their amazing collection of wines, cheeses and the wonderful organic fig preserve is to die for.

Delaire Graff Estate the ultimate vine tasting experience

Other than that, just lie back and enjoy nature at its best, and yes a glass of wine.. doesn’t hurt.

Next up is the pretty village of Hermanus, on the western Cape of South Africa, travelling on the scenic garden route.

Stay connected.

– The Gypsy Gurl.

Hiking in the vineyards Delvera Estate

Do you also have an amazing experience of stellenbosch? Did you like my discription of the destination? I would love to hear all about it in the comments section. 

Lost in transit Β #JohannesburgΒ 

The colourful Johannesburg

Every one told me that one day in Johannesburg is not enough at all. All reviews and suggestions suggested at least 3 days there. But, let me tell you it’s all about whether your adventure finds you or not and mine embraced me the moment we landed.

High adrenaline, high intensity and positively gripping, let’s just say I lived at least 10 folds in one day ! It’s a feat, I tell you, by any standard.

To give you a gist, I lived through getting my documents held at the airport for the most insane reason, going through the toughest security checks… Twice!  ( within 30 mins ) getting lost  ( well,  that’s my staple,  I somehow manage that everywhere and this time it was in record time…oops! ) and finally going through an episode of lost passports while trying to catch a flight to Capetown..and all this within a span of a day !

…and to top it all I still managed to be everywhere on time,  catch all flights, got found ( had Mexican dinner afterward… He he) and even enjoy.

While all this drama was unfolding I managed to catch a glimpse of a magnificent city. My takeaway from Johannesburg is.. colour, it’s so colourful, the streets, the shops, the houses and even people.

As I board kalula airlines for a flight to Capetown another story is itching to be told,  but hang on let me experience it first.

Take Care

– The Gypsy Gurl.

What is your most cherished travel adventure? Do share in the comments, I would love to hear all about it. 

Finding AfricaΒ 

Inspiration is a funny thing, it can find you through almost anything, the most exquisite or the most mundane.

My inspiration the mundane (understatement) view from my seat.

My inspiration came from the sheer length of my flight (9 hours and it’s just the first leg of the journey…aaargh! ).

It’s really interesting how craziness hits people, out of boredom and a combination of sleep deprivation, travelling over time zones etc etc. So just to save my sanity I decided to escape into an alternate world populated by words and phrases and ruled by imagination, feelings and experiences.

So then, here I am at 40,000 feet in the sky somewhere over the African continent escaping into my own world, bringing to life the wonder of my first footsteps on the African soil.

Let me share the feelings of my first contact with the majestic African breeze laden with the perfect and intoxicating aroma of spices, musk, freshness and something totally indescribable,the zing that reverberates through everything here.

As I stepped outside the aircraft in Kigali, Rwanda  after a long long ( I really mean it) flight. The pleasant African breeze lifted my spirits and the unmistakable scent of the continent just took over. The beautiful hill country had already announced  its presence through my aircraft window.

Having travelled all the way from India, I think I am bound to get awestruck, it’s a whole new world out here, raw, untainted and somehow extremely thrilling.  The Kigali airport is right on top of a hill and the view it presented was superb. The early morning haze that greeted me at the runway was well worth the long flight. The 4 hour halt at Kigali was a welcome step because that led me to witness my first African sunrise over the African hills, the first in the long list of firsts. It was totally spectacular.

After such a wonderful little break I am back on the road or rather in the sky for the second leg of my journey to Johannesburg, North America of Africa (I read something about it somewhere, at some point of time and it generally stuck with me).

As the seatbelts are being fastened and the aircraft is getting ready to land at the Johannesburg airport, I am ready with the huge bucket of expectations from my bucket list, to soak in the beautiful multicultural, dynamic city of Africa, or so I have heard. It’s about time to find out.

I will be back with the story of Johannesburg and thereafter. As for now, I need to get in a queue to get out of this aircraft and that …couldn’t be sooner.

Till later.

– The Gypsy gurl

Have you ever been to Africa?  How was your experience?  If not, does it feature in your bucket list?  Do share your thoughts on Africa in the comments, I would love to hear all about it. 

Flashback to 2016- Episode 2 # Happy feet in London and sojourn de la Paris

30th June 2016

Its been almost ten days since I last sat down to write. Its not only my new experiences that have captured my attention but the sheer joy of being with loved ones. It feels almost wrong to let anything get in the way of that.

But then I do want to share my joy and all of the wonder that I am feeling. Its like being a wide eyed girl in a candy store, with such delicious sights, aromas, colours and taste. Before I begin, let me tell you where exactly I am right at this moment, well ..I am in the French countryside somewhere in the Alsace region, travelling through the most beautiful French chateaux, green fields and vineyards on the way to Zurich. By evening today I will be in Lucerne Switzerland where I start my swiss story but that’s for another time.

Let me start with where I left off last time. For the first few days I was in London just exploring the beautiful English city, here we went to the usual London city tour with madam tussads, the Windsor castle, Eton, oxford, datchet village and also … shopped vegetables and fruits from the royal farms.. yes !!

With all this action in the background we were soon packing again for the much awaited Europe trip which was to start in the fashion capital of the world …Paris. After a lot of jostling and an almost missed flight in London we landed in Paris. Well my first feeling the moment we stepped out of the airport was how very French Paris is … well that actually sounds funny but there is just no trace of English. I had always heard it, but the enormity of the language problem hits only when you are in France. That’s funny too but I guess you get my point. Anyway I managed splendidly as I can speak French ! Ha ha ..I always did think I had a working knowledge of French having studied it for two years and kind of kept in touch over the years but well while in France I realized how little I know the language, and now that’s another life goal … improving my French.

Back to the topic, the moment we hit Paris I realized why it is the mecca of tourists the world over, Paris is beautiful and that’s an understatement by any measure. It is captivating, heartstopping, breathtakingly gorgeous, the Eiffel tour is the crowning glory and muse la louvre is the soul especially for art and history buffs like me and not to miss out the Dan brown fans also like me. The chateaux de Versailles and jardin Versailles ( palace of Versailles and gardens of Versailles ) are even prettier than imagination. Disney land Paris is whole fantasy world in itself … full of drama, thrill and yes magic…

We ended the Paris sojourn with the night cruise of Paris on the river siene and I can say that it is really as good as it is said, especially if you are on the top deck under the open skies and a light drizzle. And then we got lost Paris… at night… and it was wonderful. That was the end of our Paris holiday and I did everything from getting inspired, feeling stupid by talking in French with strangers and being totally misunderstood..getting lost and also getting awestruck. Then we hit the French countryside with quaint little villages, groves vineyards and occasional castles on either side of the road and then to the French alps, to the swiss alps through the Franco swiss border and then through the swiss towns to Zurich.

My takeaway from Paris ..French food ..yes but French fruits, vine and cheese.. oh yes ! I just could not get enough of fruits and cheese from cherries, plums, peaches and all the different variety of cheese. Apart from food I takeaway a whole lot of beauty, experiences, memories and moments of wonder. The end of this journey starts another one.

Sharing with you some pictures of the true Parisian beauty. 

Le Louvre Paris 

The Iconic Eiffel Tower at night lit up with a thousand lights

Disney land paris

So like the pirates say Switzerland Ahoy !

Till later.

-The gypsy gurl.

What does Paris mean to you?  If you have an experience of France, do share in comments, I would love to hear all about it. 

Flashback to July 2016 – Episode # 1 Emirates Experience

20th June 2016

As cheesy as it may sound but it does deserve a mention here, simply because out of the last 24 hrs we spent close to 14 hrs with Emirates airlines, on and off the flight. So emirates was definitely the theme if not the highlight of our Delhi – London journey.

We started at the crack of Delhi dawn with oversized and overstuffed baggage, full of as much a slice of india as the baggage limit would permit and as much as we could carry. Early morning at 6 we were in our cab for the T3 Indra Gandhi International Airport. We boarded our flight to Dubai after a very amazing breakfast at the GMR lounge in T3, a must try for anyone who dares to be called a foodie.

Going back to the point of our journey, the first leg of Delhi to Dubai was over in a blink and soon we were on the legendary Arabian soil. But wait ! Rewind a bit …there is something I missed, Β the aerial view of Dubai. It’s definitely not to be missed. Dubai skyline is a treat to watch. The view from up above is simply splendid… chunks of barren desert with the most wonderful network of roads crisscrossing the entire panorama.

Now coming the airport, it is really a super airport in terms of … well everything. The Dubai Duty free is Β heaven for shopoholics and non shoppers alike. We were super charged to see all that it had to offer and with that done soon we were on the second leg of our journey from Dubai to London.

The 7 hour flight was a jumble of movies for me… well lets see Β ‘The Dressmaker’ and ‘Alex and Eve’ …and by end of the second movie we were already landing in London.

London, 8:30 pm local time, it was a bright day outside and 18 degrees as per the flight announcement. The first thing that struck me as we got out was the clear blue skies and the brush stroke clouds. Well I know what inspired the Victorian landscapes.

The second thing that struck me was the sheer number of people coming into England and the diversity of so many different nationalities was striking at best. Then, there in the midst of all this was family waving and rushing to us with big smiles and outstretched arms. The warmth was both inviting and uplifting.

Day one of our journey is over and I am getting ready for the onslaught of sights and experiences to sharpen my bohemian aura.

So that’s all for now, because London.. is waiting….

– The gypsy gurlimageproxy (1)

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It’s time for Africa!

I do believe, very sincerely, that people don’t take trips, Β trips take people. Once again I have been chosen by one such trip, this time to the wildest continent in the world..Africa.

So like shakira says.. It’s time for Africa, well, South Africa to be precise.

As I am typing away from the sanctuary of my cocoon right now, Β I can’t help but wonder at the time left at hand.. 5 measly days. Stuff is being stuffed in travel bags, things are being bought with much gusto, work is being completed or procastinated till after I come back (..meh).

Well, I guess you get the picture, preparations are in full swing. A few days from now I will be basking in the South African winter chilling away the accumulated heat of a solid Indian summer. One month of idling and exploring the African life, from lively Capetown, exciting stellenbauch, scenic garden route, southern city of Durban and finally to the African Bush.. The iconic Kruger national park for a true blue African Safari.

The wait.. is on.

– The Gypsy girl.