Guest Post by Nikhil Singhvi
Kaikoura is a gorgeous beach town nestled on the North east coast of the Southern Island. Kissed by the Pacific Ocean, the drive itself to Kaikoura is reason good enough to visit the town. The promenade is lined with maroon-washed bottle guard trees which bears a striking contrast to the pristine blue of the water.
As our flight drew close towards Queenstown, hundreds of clouds floated around us like balloons suspended in the sky- outlining the panoramic views of Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki in the Tasman region. It was a gorgeous sunny day- a sight uncommon to the island, which purportedly receives rain over 300 days a year.
Over the days that preceded our trip to Russia, I had wrecked my brain into planning a perfect trip. For some reason, the websites indicated that a day in Yaroslavl was enough on the Golden Ring tour, believing which was my biggest mistake.
The Golden ring is a ring of cities near Moscow. They are appropriately referred to as ‘open air museums’, with beautiful Russian architecture, cathedrals and Kremlins. Suzdal and Yaroslavl are true gems of the Golden Ring and are easily connected to each other by bus, car or train. Both the cities deserve two days each at the very least. Having visited these places, I am shocked by the number of tour companies who try and finish all of the cities in golden ring in 3-5 days! Yaroslavl especially deserves at least 2 days!
Moscow, once the seat of the Russian czars, proudly wears its tiara of onion domes, armed with intimidating buildings, dressed in varied colours of pastels- marching on a strong foothold in history. It has a story to tell- of its captures and horrified tortures, of autocracy and then its transformation into a powerful democracy (or whatever version of it exists as of today) and of still keeping true to its basic communist nature. Every little detail of the city is symmetrically aligned, which can be noticed in the layers of manicured trees planted accurately on either side of the road or even a monument – as if like obedient soldiers aline on a command. But the symmetry feels very organic to its design and surrounding.