In the last days of December ’18, I made my first non-business solo trip. If you remember, I mentioned here in the beginning of the year that I want to take a non-business solo trip before the year ends. Now, this wasn’t a resolution at all, because I know that I am not someone who is too excited about a solo trip as I feel it might get boring. I just ‘wished’ that it happens so that I can check it off my list. I never made any effort all throughout 2018 to make it happen either.
Just when the year end came, somehow it all fell into place. I had the option of either doing nothing or go on a solo trip during the last weekend of the year. As much as I thought that a solo trip might make me miss chilling at home even more (sometimes even regular vacations do that to me :P), I still wanted to take this chance. In fact, as soon as I zeroed in on Pondicherry as my destination, I got all the more excited.
Reason – Pondicherry or Puducherry or popularly known as Pondy is a cute, little coastal town in Tamil Nadu which was colonized by the French at one point, so it has a character mix of French colonial hangover & Tamil culture. Add to that, an alternative spiritual township that Sir Aurobindo started here known as Auroville. When you are not spending your time roaming around the French Quarters or trying out world cuisines in the cute cafes, you can explore spirituality or a harmonious style of co-living in Auroville, or you can take many self-growth classes like French cooking, yoga etc. Basically, the point I am trying to make is that Pondy seems like a perfect choice for a solo trip because it has a lot of things to offer that one would rather do alone.
I was here for 2 days. And my prime attraction even before I came was to roam around the French Quarters for walks and food (because if there’s anything which makes a solo trip better than regular trips for me, it is food. I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want without other people’s interventions. :P) Hence, I ended up dividing my time over the 2 days this way:
- Reach Pondy & cover all the prime attractions in the French Quarters (Aka White Town) on day 1. This includes Rock Beach, all the memorials & Churches on Rock Beach’s Promenade Walk, Pondicherry Museum, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Sri Ganesh Temple. If you really want to walk, this is doable on foot 😀 which is also what I did. There’s nothing I loved as much in Pondy as just walking around (White) Town!
- I kept the second day to go to the farther parts of the city to visit Auroville & a beach or two. Auroville was quite a different experience, there is the main centre of Auroville called ‘Matrimandir’ which is a meditation centre. I didn’t go inside but I did visit the Auroville cultural centres which have a lot of information to read up on Auroville’s principles & how it was created. I also went to Serenity beach. I am not a big beach person but this was so dirty that it will probably depress a beach person as well. There are 2 more famed beaches in Pondy – Paradise & Auro beach. I gave them a miss because I never feel like I have to cover each & every beach in a city and I was itching to go back to White Town anyway. 😀 However, I have heard good things about them.
Pondy is filled with cafes & restaurants of all sorts of cuisines, and it is not just the food that attracts you. Its the overall experience of beautiful ambience, cutesy decor and the idea of taking life slow while slowly sipping on coffee. Therefore, I have already done a post about what all I ate in Pondy. Please do read it. 🙂