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Most Memorable Travel Experience - Contest for the month of May

Discussion in 'Topic of the Month - Contest' started by Laxmi, May 6, 2007.

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  1. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place>Niagara</st1:place> caves

    We all knew about <st1:City><st1:place>Niagara Falls</st1:place></st1:City>. But have you ever heard about <st1:place>Niagara</st1:place> cave? Through internet Madhu our daughter in law came to know about <st1:place>Niagara</st1:place> cave. <st1:place><st1:placeName>Niagara</st1:placeName><st1:placeType>Cave</st1:placeType></st1:place> is a limestone cave with some formations and nice river cave profiles. It has a small river which forms waterfalls, the largest being 18m high. This waterfall is called <st1:place>Niagara</st1:place>, after the <st1:City><st1:place>Niagara Falls</st1:place></st1:City> at the Canadian border, and is the reason why the cave is called <st1:place><st1:placeName>Niagara</st1:placeName><st1:placeType>Cave</st1:placeType></st1:place>. The limestone contains several fossils, like Sunflower Coral. One room of the cave contains a wedding chapel, where more than 300 weddings took place.
    <st1:place><st1:placeName>Niagara</st1:placeName><st1:placeType>Cave</st1:placeType></st1:place> is one of the most fascinating and unique geological attractions in the <st1:place>Midwest</st1:place>. During the one-hour guided tour, visitors will witness a waterfall, nearly 60 feet high, stalactites both delicate and massive, calcite flowstone, fossils that have been dated to over 400 million years old, and a wedding chapel in which over 300 weddings have been performed, plus much more.
    <st1:place>Niagara</st1:place> cave is a constant 48 degrees year around, so a light jacket or sweatshirt is suggested. Also, walking shoes are recommended.
    So on 4<SUP>th</SUP> July, that was the Independence day of <st1:country-region><st1:place>America</st1:place></st1:country-region>, we had planned to visit the same. Madhu’s friends also told that they would also come to see the <st1:place>Niagara</st1:place> caves. It was around 280 miles from <st1:City><st1:place>Minneapolis</st1:place></st1:City> and 2 and1/2 miles from <st1:State><st1:place>Minnesota</st1:place></st1:State>. We all started at <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="7">7.30 a.m.</st1:time> and reached our destination around <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="10">10 a.m.</st1:time> When we went to the place we saw only a residential house. Madhu’s friends started teasing her saying that we had to travel so far to see this house. Then we went nearer and asked them about the caves, they told that we had come to the right place. They told us that the cave’s entrance was inside the building and we had to pay the entrance fee. We were told that it would be cold inside and we had to go with warm clothes. They also cautioned that heart patients would find difficulty in climbing up the steps.
    So we all went around the full place and enjoyed the mini tour. I feel those who are at US should not miss this place.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype>[​IMG]
    This is the chapel where marriages are performed.
    [​IMG]
    The falls at the cave
    Pushpavalli





     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
    3 people like this.
  2. gayathriar

    gayathriar Bronze IL'ite

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    I happened to see the contest today. I am not sure it I am too late...! Please ignore this entry if it is late.

    I have had a lot of memorable travel experiences. I am some kind of a proof of Murphy's law according to which, if something can go wrong, it will. But, I have had my share of pleasant ones too. When I saw this title, there were 4 incidents that immedietly flashed my mind and interestingly they all happened at various stages of my life. So, here we go...

    Experinece #1

    It was an early summer afternoon and the last day of my exams. My parents had just settled in Chennai and I was a very young girl, just out of teens, staying with my aunt in Trichy to finish off my exams. I was supposed to take a KPN bus from Trichy to Chennai that night. But, I finished my exams much early that day and wanted to start that afternoon itself and surprise my parents with my early arrival. So, I convinced my aunt and uncle that by starting at noon, I would for sure reach home by 7PM. The bus I boarded stopped within 15 minutes of my boarding for a lunch-break(?), the whole half hour I was looking at my watch with anxiety. Much to my delight, the bus started moving again only to have a break down in between Villupuram and Tindivanam. My watch was racing and it was almost 6 in the evening. I was starting to get worried but put up a brave face and waited for another bus. After waiting for another half hour, I boarded a bus to Thambaram and reached there around 9. I took an electric train and reached Palavanthangal station around 9:30 pm. There was still some construction work going on near the station and the place was pretty busy. My good sense prevented me from taking an auto and instead started walking briskly. It was the time of a day when everybody was settling down for a slumber and as I moved away from the station, there was an air of stoic silence everywhere, that I could hear my heart beat. As I approached our street, I sensed some street dogs getting ready to settle down which made me to just sprint into our house claiming that I was hungry. Instead of surprising my parents, I ended up having them ( even my father who doesn't scold at all ) scold me left and right for coming all alone that late.

    Experience #2

    Half a decade after the 1st experience, I was flying from Larnaka( Cyprus ) to Dusseldorf( Germany ) on an assignment along with one of my collegues Sanjay. It was his first trip to Germany and he was all excited and was starting to plan his weekend itinerary. When we reached Dusseldorf, his only baggage that was checked-in was missing and it was tracked lying in Amsterdam and he was supposed to get it back the next day. The next day at work, we realised that our assignment was getting deferred and we were travelling back to Cyprus that very evening. So, Sanjay anxiously waited for his baggage to be dropped, and boarded the flight to Larnaka without even unpacking it..!

    Experiecne #3

    We were newly wed and my husband and I were travelling from Chennai to Detroit. Amidst a lot of chaos near the gate, we heard my husband's name being called out. The flight that evening was fully booked and the airlines was willing to upgrade my husband's ticket to business class, as he was a platinum member then. He accepted the offer when they were ready to upgrade mine as well. The interesting twist to this was prior to the trip, when my husband put forth the option of either upgrading the class or taking a local trip with his miles earned, I preferred the latter. So, it is was a memorable trip in more than one way!!!

    Experience #4

    This time I was travelling with my 9 month old baby from Detroit to Chennai all alone with multiple connecting flights. Due to inevitable reasons, my husband could not make it to my father's Sashtiaapthapoorthi, and I was in a dilema if I should take my kid with me or not. Since, my trip originally was for 4 days, everybody including my parents adviced against taking him and it was decided that I will go alone. Since I was alone, I went ahead with a ticket that was cost effective and ignored any other aspect. And just a week before the trip, there was a development where I could spend around three weeks in Chennai and I was thrilled because that opened up a possibility of taking my kid as well. Thus began my trip from Detroit to Newark to Mumbai to Chennai. In the Detroit airport, I was well ahead of time, I still had over two hours for the domestic flight from Detroit to Newark and over 8 hours to catch the flight to Mumbai. At this time, I made friends with another co-passenger, a young sweet girl Bhavana, who was travelling the same route until Mumbai to attend her brother's wedding, which later turned out to be a big boon. It was 3 PM and yet, there was no trace of the flight. I started wondering if the flight would get delayed, but shrugged off the idea as I had plenty of time. That is when the flight arrived and I was eagerly anticipating to board the flight. To our dismay we were asked to go to an alternate gate. As it turned out, the flight in our gate was the flight next to ours, which unlike ours was on time. This did not affect me much as there was atleast 6 more hours to catch the flight to Mumbai and also I was happy to see our flight being loaded with the bagage in the gate. It was almost 4 in the evening and there was still no sign of any boarding to start. We were bombarding the staff with questions, but the sober and inconsiderate gate staff was not of much help. The flight was turned on sparking a hope and then turned off immedietly, which we understood that as a test for some possible minor defect. This successfully turned us off from asking any further questions. And atlast, around 5 pm, the testing was successfull and we started boarding. The flight that was supposed to reach Newark at 5:30 started at around that time and I was mentally thanking the travel agent who thoughtfully gave me an earlier flight from Detroit. Though we were seated and the flight was not ready to go, it could not take off until 6 due to the traffic on the runway( Murhpy's law ?? ). Fortunately, my kid was having a good day and was happy to look around, smile and play peek-a-boo with the other passengers around. The flight reached Newark at 7:45pm which was earlier than expected. As soon as we got out of the flight, I securely fastened my kid in my hip with the baby carrier and was dashing towards the Air India counter along with Bhavana. We reached the counter at 8:05 pm and was shocked to the see the only staff there just about to leave. We missed the flight to Mumbai by just 5 minutes and had to be put up in an airport hotel until the next flight which was amlost 25 hours later. Thankfully, I had extra jars and diapers in the hand baggage good enough for one more day, and he was just a baby and not an active toddler then. And Bhavana was a great company and we hung around together. The next day we were at the counter dot 5:30 and were the first ones to check-in. That was one of the most memorable( nightmarish ??? ) trip indeed.

    -Gayathri.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  3. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello ladies
    Thanks for your participation and posting your unique travel experiences. Contest is closed and our Judges would decide on the winning entry to announce the same in couple of days.
    See you until then.
     
  4. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello ILites
    It is with much pleasure that we announce the

    Winner of the Travel Contest
    There were only a handful of entries and the Judges read carefully all the entries. Each entry was indeed the most memorable travel experience. It was quiet interesting to read the entries and relive the same moments along with our ILites.

    Out of all the entries, Judges picked the entry that had all the elements in it like adventurous, thrilling, with a slice of humour and with a narration style that is grippin to read. And the winner is:
    :2thumbsup: Pushpavalli Srinivasan:2thumbsup:

    Congratulations Pushpavalli for winning the contest.
    Ladies join hands in congratulating Pushpavalli for her vivid description of the travel experience.
     
  5. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    Dear PUshpa,

    Congrats on winning the contest.
    I read your entry just now and the attached photographs of the Niagara caves.
    that was a fantastic info and when I plan to travel to the US, I'll never miss this place. thank you for sharing all the info about the place and the picture.

    Congratulations, Again.

    Love,
     
  6. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs Pushpavalli,

    Congrats,congrats, congrats! Somehow,I get the feeling that I will be writing such posts to you often in IL. I liked your narrative and told my husband that we should go there next time. All your posts in IL are good.
     
  7. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Meena,
    Thank you and it was news for me that I won the contest. I still couldn't believe it! I thought the result for this contest is not yet announced.
    Any way winning is not important, but reaching the people is more important. That way I am very thankful to IL for allowing us to post our scribblings or should I say keying? They are doing a wonderful job by connecting us to the nook and corner of the world. Thank you once again,
    Love,
    Pushpavalli
     
  8. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidya,
    Thank u ,Thank u, Thank u,
    Really it was a surprise for me! I never even dreamt I that would be adjudged the winner of this contest. My only aim was to share my experience with others.
    Yan peRRA inbam iv vaiyyakam peRuka!
    I wanted to write this article about Niagara caves in some magazine or newspaper, so that people could visit one of the beautiful place and nature"s wonder. Now i got the chance to share my experience thro' IL and I believe those who are in US and those who go to US will definitely visit this place. There is a website also for Niagra caves and we could get all information. I had written some articles in Mangayar Malar, but in the newspapers I contributed only to "letters to the editor ." Here we have the freedom to post our articles without fear or favour. Once again thank you and all moderators and administrators for giving us this opportunity.
    With love,
    Pushpavalli
     
  9. honeybee

    honeybee Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Pushpavalli ma'am

    Hearty Congratulations on winning the contest !!!

    I am sure it would have been a very pleasant experience recollecting the memories of your wonderful,eventful trip and also sharing it with us.

    Thanks to you.. Niagara caves is on my priority list and we'll make a visit when we travel to the US next.

    Regards
    Honeybee
     
  10. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear honeybee,
    thank you for your appreciation and I hope that you will enjoy Niagara caves trip when you visit that beautiful and wonderful place.
    Love,
    Pushpavalli
     
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