Monday, July 4, 2016

Travelling Solo? Think Spain!

Who doesn't know the joys of travel, the power it brings with itself, the richness it offers each time, and the memories it leaves behind to cherish forever ?? Probably, the one who has never travelled, especially SOLO!
Yes, there's nothing like travelling solo, particularly when the destination is not just exotic, scenic and historic, but safe and sound at the same. Oh, that's like a total bliss for any woman! And, that's exactly what we decided to go for, and planned a trip to one such sought after, safe & scenic destinations, Madrid in Spain. The country, which a lot of women could relate with or did go gaga about, post the Bollywood movie ZNMD (Zindagi Na Milegi dobara) makes a fantastic choice for a fun and adventure travel, and this feature will give you more than enough reasons to plan your next international trip... to Spain, of course!

Madrid From the Top...

Why Madrid?

Now, you may like to know why exactly did we zero-in-on this particular city. Well, first thing first, the city was hosting the 17th IIFA Awards, which we got accreditation for, and secondly Madrid is the capital city and for someone's who's travelling solo for the very first time, a happening and buzzing destination is the right choice.. isn't it?

Supriya Himanshu, Founder & Editor of Allwhatshewants travelled to Madrid last month, and we bring to you the exclusive first-hand experience from the woman herself...

" Don't wonder if I reveal that it was my first Solo to an international destination and I like any other woman who hasn't travelled solo in her life had many apprehensions before I decided to go ahead with my trip. While I have traveled solo to many exotic destinations in India, this was different in many ways, and I did my thorough research before planning my Bespoke itinerary for Spain. Europe had been on my wish-list for the longest time, considering my better half had visited a few countries in Europe for work and came back home with amazing teaser stories and experiences. But I would be travelling solo to my dream destination never occurred in my remotest of all thoughts. Anyways, work took to Spain finally and trust me, I had the best week-long solo holiday in one of the world's most beautiful countries...

Atocha Railway station... It's a Visual Retreat!
The Station's Instde...

My Madrid Diaries With My Best Buddies

Solo doesn't mean you are all alone, which a lot of women assume and thus have a huge reluctance to adventure travel. No doubt, there's no person joining you on your trip as that's how you want it to be and that's how it must me but in today's digital-savvy world where everyone's just a click away, you actually realize that there are many others who happily accompany you to such amazing destination. So, for me, my lovely #Honor5C was by buddy during #MyMadridTrip as this is one new smartphone from Huawei India that not only offers you an excellent picture quality (all the pictures in this feature have been clicked by Honor5C, sans any edits or filters) but also helps you stay connected and updated with the world around. So, I left Delhi with this stylish-looking gadget to explore and experience Madrid.

Cybele Palace, A Perfect Example of Neoclassical Architecture..
It's a Landmark Square of Madrid!
I had my hotel bookings in advance so I was pretty sure of the stay and the hospitality. With a smartphone like Honor5C at your disposal, you actually don't need to worry much about like in my case, I had the off-line city Map already on my mobile (downloaded in case of network issue) and the Google Maps too to figure out the routes. Thanks to the amazing Taxi services in Madrid that come loaded with navigations, I reached my hotel in no time. Madrid roads are simply amazing, and since the speed limit is no big concern as the vehicles are driven on high speed only, and all you do is sit relaxed, and simply enjoy the taxi ride. Post getting fresh and having my breakfast, I stepped out bang on roads to enjoy Madrid, with my Honor5C of course! I was never alone, you see!

Madrid is a Beauty...

Buen Retiro Park, the Green Heart of the City...It's the Happening Place on Weekends!
This city is a fantastic cultural, heritage and monumental destination and yet it offers you the modern day pleasures be it the night-life, the pubs & bars, or the gastro experience. During my 6 days stay in this happy city, I managed to explore both monuments & palaces, nightlife & food. Like any other solo traveller, you too would find the first day to be the difficult one, especially when you are in a non-English speaking country but it's just your confidence and the presence of mind that keeps you going in an unknown land. Same happened with me, I got a city map (thanks to the hotel), marked the places that I wanted to visit and check out, and decided to hop on the city buses and metro to enjoy the real-life experience. Once you get in the flow, you realise that neither language is a bar nor being alone is an obstacle. Rather, it's your smartphone that you are hooked to most of the time as you are busy taking pictures, updating your social media or sending Whats App to your near and dear ones in India.

Museo Nacional Del Prado
The Main Nationa Art Museum of the Capital!

And, so I visited many such beauties in Madrid. Right from Atocha that's famous for it's historic Railway station that has high-speed Renfe, & AVE running, Buen Retro Park where you can spend hours just like that, Museo Nacional Del Prado, Royal Palace of Madrid, to shopping hub like Grand Via,  F&B destinations like Opera, and business & exhibition centers like IFEMA.
Madrid at 9 o'Clock in the Evening. A City Where Sun is Just Not Ready to Set...

Royal Palace of Madrid
Almudena Cathedral...
It was Closed When We reached here!

While some of the historic places can take hours to explore, there are others that are more like glimpse and if you are on a short visit, I would suggest & recommend you to go for the ones that have an interesting historic story to be shared and narrated later.

Solo Means Bespoke 

The best part of any solo trip is primarily the way you experience a city. Everything becomes 'Bespoke' here, be it the things your carry, or the way you decide to wander around. I enjoyed the bus ride, and at the same checked out the Metro stations seem like centuries old but are pretty decent and clean. It was fun to click pictures during these rides. Not just this, Madrid is a paradise for a foodie who loves the non-veg variety as the city has immense styles of cuisines to offer you in this category.

Today, I'm back to Delhi but the pictures clicked by Honor 5C keep reminding me of the all the fun I had there. You will be surprised to know that I'm soon planning my next solo, and this time it will not be work for sure :)," She sums.

It's time for you take your chance and visit Spain for your first Solo...

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