Monday January 20, 2020
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Travel market uplifts as long holi weekend approaches

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New Delhi: The long holi weekend has got people planning about their 4 day holiday as Holi this year falls on a Thursday and Good Friday the next day.

Mansav Sethi, an IT professional, is very excited. For the father of two children, a long weekend with his family is always a bonanza.

According to travel experts, many Indians are travelling during the long weekend, from March 24 to Easter Sunday on March 27, within the country and abroad.

An increased demand for travelling places during the long weekend is witnessed, says Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holiday of MakeMyTrip.com, India’s leading online travel company.

“We are witnessing an increased demand for Holi long weekend travel. So far, we have seen a 25-30 percent increase in bookings for different destinations and we expect a further increase in demand in the next week or so,” Oak said.

Goa, Kashmir, Himalayan hill stations, Corbett National Park, Ooty, Udaipur and Puducherry remained the main attractions during vacations, he said.

“MakeMyTrip is offering a comprehensive product bouquet to cater to this demand for popular destinations like Kashmir, Himachal, Goa, North East, Rajasthan and Karnataka,” he added.

Arti Vij, a housewife, feels that a short getaway during the long Holi holiday is the best way to unwind.

“It is not often that one gets such a long weekend. I feel this is the best time to holiday as the weather is also good,” said Vij, who is planning a holiday in Manali.

She added that even her children, two daughters, are really excited about it and looking forward to a break.

“They are really studying hard for their exams and they will get over by March 15. The atmosphere at home is stressful for them as well as for us. The new session will begin from April and then they will get busy with their classes.

“So we all planned to go out of the city during this long weekend, which suits my husband too as he won’t have to take leave from office,” added Vij, whose husband is a government servant.

According to Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, a lot of people are planning a quick getaway because it is one of the longest weekends this year.

“Yatra has seen a tremendous pick up in hotel bookings and packages for the four-day weekend from all the major cities. We are expecting hotels and packages bookings to increase by three-fold as we get closer to the weekend,” said Dhall.

Besides Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and other domestic locations, travelers are also opting for international destinations such as Dubai and Singapore for short getaway, he added.

Hari Nair, founder and CEO of Holiday IQ, feels that Indians are holidaying like never before and festival tourism had taken off in the country in a major way.

“Every possible occasion is now a reason to travel. Till a couple of years ago, festival celebrations were limited to family homes. Today, entire families travel together for the celebration,” Nair said.

Nair said destinations like Gangtok and Darjeeling were also much in demand.(IANS)(Image courtesy: blog.travelogyindia.com)

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Balmain East: Then and Now

Balmain East has changed from a working-family suburb to a thriving busy area. Balmain East has changed from a working-family suburb to a thriving busy area

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Balmain
If you’re looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life in Sydney, Balmain is just a 10-minute drive away. Wikimedia Commons

Located just 6km west of Sydney’s city centre, perched on a peninsula in Sydney Harbour, Balmain cemented itself primarily as the home of working families. It has a strong industrial background and was the home to coal mines, shipbuilding, metal foundries, boiler making and engineering.

 Governor Hunter granted 550 acres to colonial surgeon William Balmain in 1800 and from then on, the first settlement of the Balmain peninsula was slow due to the lack of transport to the area. However, it’s now easily accessible by car, public transport and even by a ferry crossing.

Beyond Sydney

 If you’re looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life in Sydney, Balmain is just a 10-minute drive away. You will definitely want to visit the area, so be sure to compare car rentals in Sydney to find your perfect vehicle.

 The area is charming and well known for its numerous pubs and friendly village atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to while away the time with peaceful walks, a spot of shopping and tasting the local food – all with fantastic harbour views. Darling Street, running from Rozelle all the way to the water’s edge at Balmain East Ferry Wharf is the best place to begin your adventure in Balmain.

Balmain
Located just 6km west of Sydney’s city centre, perched on a peninsula in Sydney Harbour, Balmain cemented itself primarily as the home of working families. Wikimedia Commons

Admire the views

 As Sydney is just across the water, Balmain’s Thornton Park is the perfect spot to take in the fabulous views of the harbour, city and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The park has picnic tables available for you to sit and enjoy your lunch while you soak up the sights before getting back to your adventure.

Spot of shopping

 No visit to the area would be complete without taking a gander around Balmain Market, one of Sydney’s oldest markets with a history dating back to the 1970s. Stroll around the historic grounds of St Andrews Congregational Church, to find an abundance of handmade products, jewellery and giftware, as well as a selection of tasty food to suit everyone. The market is open every Saturday from 09:00 to 15:00 in summer, and every second Saturday of the month thereafter, weather permitting.

Wine and dine

 Balmain is known for its fantastic selection of eateries and bars. We’ve taken a look at the places you need to pay a visit to when you’re in the area:

 

  • Efendy Restaurant

 

Enjoy contemporary Turkish cuisine in a restored Victorian mansion. If that wasn’t enough, Efendy also has an intimate cellar cocktail bar. You know you’ll be experiencing genuine Turkish dishes; the Efendy kitchen team is entirely Turkish, with each member representing a different culinary region

  •  Our Place on Darling

This is a cosy bar/cafe with rustic wooden tables and a courtyard – a perfect place for all seasons. Our Place on Darling serves modern Australian cuisine with a range of events throughout the week. Enjoy live music every Sunday night between 18:00 and 20:00 and if you’re up for a challenge, Our Place also has tech-free Tuesdays where if you make it through dinner without your phone or device, they will give you a free chocolate brownie and ice cream.

Restaurant, Wine, Glasses, Served, Dinner, Celebration
Enjoy contemporary Turkish cuisine in a restored Victorian mansion. If that wasn’t enough, Efendy also has an intimate cellar cocktail bar and restaurants in Balmain. Pixabay

 

  • Rossopomodoro

 

For wood-fired pizzas, classic dishes and a fresh selection of Italian and Australian produce, including antipasti, prosciutti, pizza rosse, pizza bianche, and pizza vegane look no further than Rossopomodoro.

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 Balmain East has changed from a working-family suburb to a thriving busy area. For a relaxing day-trip soaking up the world-famous harbour and sampling local delicacies, this is the perfect destination.