WHO DOESN’T want to travel in twos — with a partner, of course, but also being able to cover two destinations on a single vacation? In the time it may take to, maybe, grab a meal, watch a movie, or shop at the nearest mall while on a holiday, why not make a short trip to another country? Here are some ideas for your next vacation:
If you are stopping by at the Swiss metropolis on your way to the more touristy Lucerne or Interlaken, how about a short train ride to Germany? The university city of Konstanz, located along Lake Constance, in southern Germany, has around 81,000 inhabitants. It is only 40 minutes away, with 40 trains plying between it and Zürich. The Rhine, which starts in the Swiss Alps, passes through Lake Constance. In a striking contrast to Zürich’s urban, corporate aura, Konstanz is replete with history — its roots go back to the Stone Age. Among the city’s famous landmarks, the 9m-high statue of Imperia stands tall at the entrance of the lake’s harbour. The lady with two men on either hands — a pope and an emperor — tells the story of a courtesan, inspired from Honoré de Balzac’s story, La Belle Impéria.
A flight to Isfahan in Iran is less than two hours from Dubai — the Emirati city of a zillion skyscrapers and expansive shopping. The contrast will be apparent. One must have heard the Persian proverb Esfahan nesf-e- jahan ast (Isfahan is half of the world). This getaway from the luxury-and-extravagance-soaked Dubai, presents a world of Persian–Islamic architecture, palaces, mosques, minarets, boulevards and covered bridges. The Sheikh Lotfollah, Shah, and Jameh mosques and the imposing Imam Square all inspire awe. The Unesco World Heritage site of Naghsh-e Jahan Square is one of the largest city squares in the world. But you do need to spend a couple of thousands of rupees on the visa to Iran.
Travel between the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö is a breeze. Since it is easy and economical to travel between Sweden and Denmark — a 40-minute train ride and €12 (around Rs 960) is all it takes — many Danes have bought homes in Sweden to take advantage of lower housing prices in Malmö and commute daily to work in Copenhagen. Swedes go to Denmark to buy grocery and liquor since it’s a little cheaper that side. The two are connected by Øresund — the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, over the Baltic Sea — considered the most visible symbol of European integration. While cobbled streets, gabled houses and colourful buildings dot Copenhagen, Malmö is known as the city of parks.