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Pizza Hut nostalgia

Ever since Pizza became a dinner option, I would constantly order from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. There was never a clear winner as to which was better until Pizza Hut made me an offer I could not resist.

When i started my MBA, I knew i was dipping in to my savings to get through the 2 years of education during which time, spending was only on necessities to avoid taking on a huge pile of debt. I had a group which i was always happy hanging out with. Whenever there was a birthday, the entire class would celebrate together with cake and birthday bumps. But when it was one of the members of the group, the day meant we headed for Pizza Hut to eat like a king on a pauper’s budget. Back then, Pizza Hut had released an offer of meal for 1 consisting of a personal pan pizza, 2 pieces of Garlic Bread and 1 Drink; all for Rs 99. This was a huge hit among the student populace and with us too. For us, it was a special day too where we would just go for some yummy pizza and bread.

When i was talking to Mukul, i realized, half a decade has passed by but some memories and moments are cherished and treasured alike. Mukul reminisces of the days when he passes by a Pizza Hut. I practically make it a point to visit a Pizza Hut when i am in a city with one (P.S. Netherlands does not have a Pizza Hut). When Swapna and me were in Berlin, I made her walk 4 kms to get to Pizza Hut and also in Ghent, Belgium when we had lunch at Pizza Hut when the city had so many better options to choose from Whenever we meet up, we will make it to a Pizza Hut and have new moments and memories to cherish

Nik

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BeNeLux: Belgium

Belgium trips in the past have mostly been day trips or weekend trips, this was the first time we actually did some slow travel and not covered a whole lot of places in one day and decided to stretch out the stay a bit. This trip was also the first with Yeshwin and Deepika for us 🙂 . This trip was somewhat put together after exploring quite a few options on whether or not to take Yeshwin’s car and the possibility of public transport and so on. The trip was planned around Liege, Ghent and Bruges.

Day 1: Eindhoven to Liege

I have passed by Liege before on my way back from Spa and also knew it would be a changeover location for Aywaille towards Remouchamps caves. But I have never considered Liege as  city to explore on its own.

We started off from Eindhoven by taking a train towards Maastricht and then switching over towards Liege from Maastricht. The entire journey went off quite smooth and without a hitch while we managed to get some shut-eye as we had risen quite early to make it to the trains and at Liege, we got on to the bus for the caves. The Liege station is actually remarkable and is absolutely a delightful design to look like a mountain itself a single peak.

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Kwak and La Corne du Bois Des Pendus

Baltics: Krakow, Poland

Although, We have not visited other Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, I am still naming this post as Baltics as we might visit those countries in the future.

A visit to Krakow was hastily thrown together within days as I realized that the trip has been extremely delayed and that the ticket prices are only increasing as days pass and the winter season comes to an end.

In Poland, the main attractions for me were infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration camps and  the famed Tatra mountains. After research of exactly 15 minutes, I found organized trips on Viator which would take us to Auschwitz Birkenau and Tatra mountains. Due to scheduling issues, we had to Tatra mountains first when we would have preferred the other way round. Also, these organized trips were our third and fourth organized trips as the entire trip was hastily cobbled together.

Our trip began by taking a flight to Katowice which is the neighboring city of Krakow and an hour away. We had airport transfer bus taking us directly to the Krakow on arrival. getting out of Katowice was a breeze as it is a very small airport and no checks courtesy Schengen agreement.

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Balkans: Bosnia i Herzegovina

The bus journey toward Mostar was long and winding. Even though we had to travel just over 45 kms into Bosnia to get to Mostar, the bus was creeping slowly and had taken nearly an hour just to get even half way. the bus then turned toward Međugorje which was not even on the route map. At Međugorje, the bus stopped, a different bus came to take us to Mostar.

As the Bus entered into Mostar, the stark scenes of conflict come into picture. Buildings shredded by bullets and left to rot. Sharp demarcations of conflict areas are visible. Amidst all this, the thought that was running in my mind was what had i got us into. but as we were already here, i thought let us go ahead with the trip.

We had been given ample instructions to reach the room by Miran and was sufficient to get us comfy, The weather outside was a raging -18C and the heater was hardly sufficient for one of us to be warm. Turns out we had arrived in the harshest winter in the last 10 years in Bosnia. I got a message saying we would been heading out for a trip in the morning to Tito’s secret bunker as Vjetrenica Cave was not available as the ground was covered with ice. We had dinner at a restaurant nearby. To our surprise, the entire Bosnian cuisine is reliant only on 3 elements: Pepper, Salt and Vinegar. No other spices or herbs are used. Method of cooking is either grilled, baked, or fried. meat is beef, fish or pork, nothing else. Chicken and vegetarian dishes have only recently arrived to provide more choice for the tourists.

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Bright day ahead

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Pool time

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An order of Frozen lake with topping of snow

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Balkans: Croatia

Even though we had started off in Croatia for the trip, we didn’t explore it one bit except to get an incomplete picture the first time round.

We arrived from Ljubljana in Zagreb and made our way to Airbnb apartment which was only a short walk away from the bus station and was primarily one of the reasons for choosing the apartment. When we arrived at the apartment, we were dismayed as it looked decrepit and old, reminiscent of the Soviet/ Yugoslavian era which have now become living relics. Irena arrived on time and showed us to our apartment and suffice to say, we were truly blown away by a fully modern and tastefully done apartment. The decor was warm and made us feel welcome.

Irena suggested we do a city walk and guided us to the place we could see the advent activities going around Trg kralja Tomislava. At Trg kralja Tomislava, we saw Ice Skating rinks filled with people enjoying a nice winter evening out. Lots of stalls selling meat dishes, stews, soups and beers abounded the area. I bought cider to partake in the revelry going around. We had to return back to the apartment as we had an early morning bus from Zagreb towards Plitvice lakes and then on to Split.

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