My family has been known to have travelling in their blood. Both my parents were shifted around a lot during their childhood. My sister and I also moved around a lot as children. We were also exposed to different places because our parents were of the opinion that travel was a good form of exposure and education. Our last international trip was to Turkey, which was incidentally a surprise trip for my 16th birthday.
Therefore it made very good sense that to celebrate my mother’s 50th birthday, we organize another international trip, this time not a surprise though. This will also be the first time my brother in law is travelling internationally with us. Therefore, for the next 7 days, this category will detail our exploits as we tour the beautiful country of Bhutan.
To go to Bhutan, you need to take a flight from Kolkata. And we decided to spend one day to check out the ‘City of Joy’ since my sister was the only one who has never seen Kolkata. 45 minutes after we landed from Bangalore, the Bombay gang arrived and our trip had begun.
We checked into the Monotel Hotel, in Salt Lake, the outskirts of Kolkata. If people who have been to Kolkata are reading this, then there will be no need of explanation. For those who haven’t, imagine Kolkata to be your regular everyday man. And Salt Lake is the celebrity that everyone admires. Not to disparage the government’s effort in developing an area where companies can come set up their branches, the old world charm and rustic feeling of Kolkata is lost when one comes to Salt Lake. Our evening plan was to carry out restaurant hopping on one of Kolkata’s most famous streets, Park Street. Interestingly, Kolkata has kept most of its old street names from British times. This adds to the quirkiness of Kolkata. Our three stops included – Peter Cat, an authentic Bengali restaurant famous for its Chelo Kabab and Dansburg beer; Moulin Rouge, famous for its Chicken Tertazine; and Flurry’s, a restaurant famous for its desserts.
During that time too, the Chennai Super Kings vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore match was going on and that kept me occupied along with the various dishes that we needed to eat. Wine and beer were our pals along with the delicious food that we had. In Peter Cat, the kabab dish was served with fried tomato, capsicum and buttered rice which incited a grimace from my sister (for the huge chunks of butter on the rice) and a lip smack from her right after that (because it tasted soooo good!) The Chicken Tetrazine was creamy and cheesy, everything that we needed and expected after a spicy kabab dish. One amusing observation that my brother in law and mother both made was that when we entered, there were no ladies at Moulin Rouge. My mother started thinking that it might not have been a family oriented place but her fears were quickly put off by the appearance of more ladies. Flurry’s was a quick stop because it was already 9:15pm and as enquired earlier, the last order was 9:30pm. A brownie, a chocolate boat and a large strawberry and vanilla ice-cream sundae later, we were tired out and ready to sleep.
The next morning saw us checking out of our awesome business hotel and on our way to the new and improved Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport to board our flight to Paro, Bhutan.