Hull is a port city in England, founded circa 1200. You can read up more about this city here. I went there for an official purpose for a day and got to see around the city area for three hours.
Incidentally, Hull or Kingston upon Hull is also the ‘UK city of culture 2017’.
After my business visit, I had lunch at this Italian place called ‘Ask Italian’. Wonderful food, service and the view was great too.
What you see are the domes of the Hull Maritime Museum:
After the wonderful lunch, we went for a walk to the dock.
Where we stumbled upon The Royal Navy Memorial
and the Humber Estuary
Then we walked back into the city taking in the beauty of the place.
Hull Minster (Holy Trinity Church) – dates back to 1300.
It was a sunny day and couple of kids and some boisterous adults were playing in the fountain opposite Hull City Hall.
It was a wonderful afternoon for me – great food, good weather to walk, marvelous & beautiful ancient buildings and joyful folks. What I would have loved to do was explore more of this city (alas, there was no time) and visit the coast which is 30 kms from this city. Maybe some other time.
There is a long weekend coming up (Sept 7, 8, 9) and here are a few places that I’ll recommend for you. If you love driving, all these places are definitely approachable by road and believe me, Tamil Nadu state highways are great. If you do not want to drive, take a train or bus(chances of getting tickets is very less)
1. Chennai to Pondicherry (Pondy)
Distance – 160 Kms.
Genre – Coastal
You can take the scenic ECR or you can take the GST. Both roads have their benefits. If you take the ECR route, you can stop by at a lot of places (Dakshina Chithra, Crocodile bank, Mahabalipuram). If you start early morning by around 8, you can see all these places and reach Pondy before sunset. The next day you can roam around in Pondy in a relaxed, no hurry manner and start back from Pondicherry on the third day.
2. Chennai – Pondy – Pichavaram – Tranquebar
Distance – 280 Kms
Genre – Coastal, Historic
First day morning start from Chennai and reach Pondy, chill out in Pondicherry that day. 2nd day morning start from Pondy and head to Pichavaram, less than an hour away.
Pichavaram has only one thing to offer. Boat ride in the mangrove forest. It is humid and hot during the middle of the day. So if you wish to enjoy this place, you need to go in the morning around 9 and the boat ride with get over by 12 or 1 PM. After that you can have lunch in Chidambaram or head to Tranquebar. Tranquebar (known as Tharangambadi) is popular for a Dutch fort which still stands in a good condition. It has a Dutch governor’s house and a Maritime museum. You can have lunch or dinner at a Neemrana hotel there. You can either stay there (bit costly) or stay in a Tamil Nadu house (property maintained by Neemrana) which is cheaper. OR you can just drive back to Pondy that night. 3rd day morning you can look around Pondy or Chill out there and start from Pondy around 3PM and be back in Chennai by 6 PM.
3. Chennai – Masinagudi
Distance – 600 Kms
Genre – Hillstation
The driving is a bit too much, so if you are a road trip enthusiast and have one more driver with you on this trip, it’s better. Masinagudi is a great place to relax, you can go on a jungle safari or just relax in your resort. On your way back you can even stopby ooty and come.
4. Chennai – Rameswaram
Distance – 550 Kms
Genre – Historic, temple town, superb beaches
It is a hidden gem, I would say. Not many know about the beautiful, white sand beaches and Dhanushkodi.
5. Yercaud from Chennai
Distance – 350 Kms
Genre – Hillstation, Trekking
Amazing place for relaxing, superb weather, fresh air. The best thing is it is not even that far away from Chennai. If you are trekking enthusiast, you should really try this place. Rent out a tent-accommodation at Heaven’s Ledge and rent a guide. He will take you through the coffee plantations, through rivers and show you some superb viewpoints. My post on my Yercaud Trip
Blog on this whole experience coming up soon.
Roadtrip to Yelagiri from Chennai
This year my resolution was to do a trip every month, so far so good! January was the beautiful, relaxing Varkala and February I got a pleasant surprise to review a car, so took it to Yelagiri.
Yelagiri is a hill station, located 220 kms from Chennai and 160 kms from Bangalore. It is more of a trekking spot than a sight-seeing place. On the other hand, Yercaud (which is another 150 kms from Yelagiri) offers both the experiences.
The right plan…
I will write about what we did, below, but before that I would like to give you an idea of how to do this Yelagiri trip. It is a trekking spot and the best time to trek from my experience from Yercaud trek, is in the mornings.
Plan a two day trip to Yelagiri. Try to reach your resort/hotel by sunset, so as to catch a glimpse of the sunset, I’m sure it’s stunning. Stay the night in your resort and preferably ask the resort to arrange for a guide to take to trekking to hidden waterfalls and temples in the forest in the hills.
Day2, get up, get ready and start your trek early. Come back to your hotel around lunch time, enjoy the lunch, take a nap, watch another sunset and drive back home. There is a small lake, Punganur lake, in Yelagiri where you can go baoting as well. That would make a perfect weekend getaway.
What we did!
We reached Yelagiri by noon, with a lot of stops to take some photos of the car and highway, stopped in Vellore for breakfast. As soon as we reached there we found out that it wasn’t as good as Yercaud and it was too late in the day to go trekking, especially when one is not mentally prepared. So we headed back home with a lot to write about the car and the driving experience.
IF there is more to do in Yelagiri, please do let me know, I will try to go there again.