25th Dec 2022
I am writing here about our last vacation trip happened from Dec 2022 to Jan 2023. Our journey started from Bangalore on 25th Dec. Our Flight was in afternoon around 3pm for Ahmedabad. We were going to my wife’s elder sister’s place who is staying in Ahmedabad. We reached airport around 12 pm. Waited there and boarded the flight at around 2.30 pm. We were returning back to native around 1.5 years back. During Covid time, we went to native Rajasthan in Oct 2020. We were there until Sep 2021. Now after coming back in Sep 2021, we were going back for vacation. So, it was a long period. Though our parents visited us and stayed for few weeks in July 2022.
This time we wanted to visit many places and really wanted to ensure that we make this vacation a memorable one. We had plans to visit Somnath, Statue of Unity in Vadodara, Kumbhalgarh, and local attractions in Ahmedabad. In addition to these, we wanted to visit my wife’s native, Pali also. So, it was going to be a packed trip with very less time to stay at a single place.
We reached Ahmedabad around 5.30 pm. As usual we had luggage in full capacity. I always have this issue with cabs in Ahmedabad. Most of the cabs have CNG gas kit fitted in the backside of the car, so you would have a very less space to keep your luggage. Now people like me, who always travel with full luggage capacity, find that very uncomfortable. I remember last time, while going and coming back, we had a total of 8 bags. 4 bags for check-in and 4 bags with us in cabin. Now, how to keep 8 bags in that space where there is already a CNG gas kit?
In oct 2020, when we reached Ahmedabad and looking for cab, we had to struggle like anything. I was booking cabs and the moment a driver accepts, I had to call and ask whether there is any gas kit or not. If he says, there is a gas kit I cancelled the cab. This happened for multiple times. Finally, we had to look for a cab available at the airport and ask the same thing.
Around 45 mins went in this circus, finally we got one cab which was not having CNG but he charged some good amount. We did not have any other option, so we had to take that cab. This time also had the same problem, hence after waiting for around 30 mins, we had to call to my brother-in-law who came in another 15-20 mins. So overall we were waiting for around 1 hour after landing. Finally reached home. That day was just for travel and rest. Nothing else was planned that day. But we kind of finalized plan for going to Somnath on 26th Evening.
26th Dec 2022
We decided to go Somnath by train. There was one Veraval express which starts from Ahmedabad at around 10 pm in night and reaches Veraval next day morning around 6 am. We contacted one agent and got our tickets booked for same train. Veraval is a station near to Somnath. Though Somnath also has a train station, but it was under maintenance, hence trains were going till Veraval station only.
Photo by Author
Now we had full days’ time with us. We thought to visit Kankaria lake. Kankaria lake is in Ahmedabad city only and a good place to visit during anytime of the year. We got ready around 12 pm and took an auto and reached there. There was some Kankaria carnival going on that time. So, there were lot of stalls available for different types of food. There was a handicraft mela also going on the same area.
Kankaria is a round shape lake beautifully built and maintained. There is small train also runs which take you around the lake in a circular route. It is a good sight to see lake from the train. Along with train, there were some boating options also available, and there was a cruise also which could carry 10-15 people at a time. So, we went for boating and then took a round till the stalls were.
It was a bright sunny day and I felt like summer was going on, though it was end of December only. We then sat there for some time and went to see the handicraft mela also. Finally, it was around 3 pm. We were tired, as it was after long time, we went to see some place, walked little bit in hot afternoon. So, we decided to go back home. Again, we got an auto came back home.
One thing I felt very good about Ahmedabad about transportation is auto rickshaw is easily available all the time. I never had to wait long for an auto more than 5-10 mins. The same thing does not happen in Bangalore. Sometimes I have waited for cab/auto, for around 45 mins also, then also I could not get anything. So, it pathetic in Bangalore. But the same thing I liked in Ahmedabad specially availability of autos. Though I had trouble with cabs when I had luggage, but the availability wise it was still better.
So, we reached home and started packing things for journey. We started from home to railway station around 8.45 pm. In around 35-40 mins, we reached main railway station from where we had to catch the train. This time also we took two autos as we were 5 people, reached in time to railway station. We reached the platform from where the train was supposed to come. It came at 10 pm. We booked third AC tickets. We boarded the train, and it started on time.
I was travelling in train after a long time. Such a long time that I don’t even remember when it was. But yes, train’s journey is a different experience. My kids have hardly traveled 2-3 times in a train. It’s been always bus or flight journey. It takes a good 50+ hours from my native to Bangalore. So, we don’t prefer going by train.
Dec 2022 – Winter Vacation Trip – Part #2