My Amusement Park Survival Guide

I had my childhood dream come true last year when the husband and I spent a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida whilst on our honeymoon. We spent the next day covering Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure (Yaay, Harry Potter!) bringing my adolescent dreams alive. Managing to successfully cover three huge theme parks in two consecutive days, without skipping out on any of the important rides has been a feat I pride myself on. I’ve been an amusement park junkie all my life, so I decided to compile everything I have learnt along the way to make your next theme park visit seamless and enjoyable. Read on!

Islands of Adventure
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Immensely crowded but equally exciting
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Kerala Beyond the Backwaters – A Five Day Itinerary

For most travelers, a vacation in Kerala has become synonymous with the backwaters experience – cruising down the labyrinthine waterways in your own houseboat or enjoying the sights and sounds of nature through the eyes of your resort. While the waterways of Alleppey and Kumarakom, the cultural experiences in Kochi or the idyllic beach life in Varkala are major crowd pullers – we decided to forego all of the above for a tête-à-tête with Kerala’s mountains and forest reserves. This was my second time in ‘God’s Own Country’, and I decided to travel to the eastern part of the state this time. If like me, you’re returning to the southern state the second time around or looking at extending your trip post the mandatory backwaters experience, this Kerala itinerary may be of help to you. Read on –

Valara Waterfalls
Captivating Kerala

Spice Gardens, Munnar
Truly God’s Own Country
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Five Free Things To Do In Manchester

When we think of Manchester, we think of football, and justifiably so. Manchester is the second largest city in the UK and home to two of the largest football league clubs in the world. But the city has a lot more to offer apart from football stadium tours and live matches. (Though I really think you should see atleast one United match at Old Trafford if you ever happen to visit.) 

But Manchester’s history is long winding and arduous. It is the world’s first industrialized city owing to it’s significant contribution to the textile manufacturing industry during the industrial revolution. It is culturally rich with a vibrant art and music scene that is constantly evolving. And more recently, Manchester has been voted as the most LGBTQ-friendly city in the UK, and has the largest LGBTQ population outside of London. All these reasons make Manchester a cultural hot-pot, often overlooked by tourists and overshadowed by it’s larger more popular siblings – London and Liverpool.

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Meet South Africa – The Mountains

In the last of my three part series documenting my travels through South Africa, we explore and appreciate South Africa’s Drakensberg mountain range located in the Kwazulu-Natal province.

Great things are done when men and mountains meet. ‘

William Blake

As we left Durban and drove down further into the countryside, I couldn’t help but notice the landscape undergo a drastic paradigm shift. We were leaving the hustle and bustle of the sunny city, and driving into an idyllic countryside filled with lolling fields, grazing cattle and wooden barns – not to mention a random ostrich strolling down the highway. A drop in the temperature, pristine air quality and plenty of greenery around could only mean one thing, we were approaching the mountains!

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is South Africa’s highest and longest mountain range stretching to over 200 kilometers in length. The original Dutch settlers christened the mountain range as ‘Drakensbergen’ or ‘Dragon’s Mountain’ owing to the sharp peaks that may have resembled a dragon’s scaly back. Apart from being home to some of the most picturesque views, what makes Drakensberg a popular hiking tourist destination are its accessible passes and slopes. It is also home to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park – a world heritage site where you can find rock paintings of the San Bushmen from 40,000 years ago. While these mountain ranges offer plenty of options right from hiking and white water rafting to horse trails and canopy walks, here are my recommendations to enjoying Drakensberg and its beauty to the fullest…

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My Favourite New Restaurants of 2019

It’s barely been a month and a half into 2019, and I haven’t been doing a lot of eating out lately. “Then how can you have favourites already, Zenia?” Well because these few places I ate at have been absolutely exceptional and I can foresee them making a distinct mark into Mumbai’s food scene. Here are my favourite meals from 2019 –

1. Tresind, BKC

Modern Indian restaurant Tresind made it’s way to Mumbai after an extremely successful stint in Dubai. Now I know what you’re thinking – ‘Does this city need another Indian fusion restaurant?’ But Tresind is different and here to stay! Firstly none of the dishes feel contrived or forced, and inspite of the occasional fumes and foams the food retains all the classic flavours. Their nine course chef’s tasting menu shows technique and finesse, and is still able to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and comfort.

Chicken Cafreal (Image Courtesy: Tresind)
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