How many people dream to take a grand Euro trip at least once in their lifetime? How many of them think money is the factor that has controlled their urge to visit Europe? And assuming there is no paisa factor, how many of them still can take time out of their ‘busy’ schedule? We found one solution for all, which won’t risk your time, pocket and wanderlust. Pondichéry, India’s very own French town is your destination for the mini Euro trip.
Considering all the factors, me and my travel freak friends planned our trip and here is the result.
1. Comment commencer votre voyage, head onto any 2 wheeler rental shop, the preferred area would be Mission street. Here any non-gear vehicle is available at Rs 150-200 for a day. Bikes are also available and price varies with make. If the weather favors your luck, go for cycling across French town of Pondy, it hardly costs Rs 50 for one day. Looking for more comfort? Hire any hatchback, which will cost around Rs 1500 for 8 hours. Ola cabs is also an option here.
2. Petit déjeuner, How about a French Bakery? Coffee, patisserie, baguettes, brioches, croissants and chocolates (recommended, cardamon), all this and much can be grabbed(Stay hungry and Eat French) at Baker’s street, located on Bussy street for breakfast, it opens at 7 in the morning. Also get a chance to catch up with French people who stop by here to buy French Loafs or just sit over a cup o’ joe.
3. Histoire de Pondichéry, Aurobindo Ashram (600m north of Baker’s Street) and Pondicherry Museum (400m south Aurobindo Ashram) can be visited for remembrance of Aurobindo and culture, various kinds of stones, rulers of Pondicherry and a small library respectively.
4. Belle vue, while roaming around in the French Rue(which means street in French), you will find houses, hospital, stores and restaurants; all this will surely give you a France-like feel. After covering all corners of the French town, you will get a chance to ride along 150m sea(Bay of Bengal) facing stretch of road, which is called the Promenade. This place is a total competitor of Bandstand in Mumbai.
5. Déjeuner, If you are looking for something pocket friendly, you can go to Le Cafe, located at Promenade, which is open 24 hours, offering a lot of options to eat such as lasagna, Burgers, Masala Tuna fish, french coffee, etc and the best part is the magnificent sea view.
6. Rester religieux Go south to The Basilica of the sacred heart Jesus also know as Eglise de Sacre Courde Jesus Church, a beautiful church with a huge prayer hall and no restriction to Photography.
7. Plage pour le plaisir, for Paradise beach you have to drive for around 12 km from Pondicherry. To reach the main beach you have to take a 15-minute ferry ride(cost Rs 150 per person) as there is no direct route by road. Don’t forget to try out some cheap water sports here and be careful of tides after 6 o’clock in the evening.
8. Dîner, you can go to Cafe Xtasi, a place serving a variety of pizzas and tThe unique thing is that they serve a pizza of 49cm diameter which can have 2 or even 4 different types of pizzas combined( Too big to imagine?). They do have a chain in Gurgaon.
Restaurant owner(with a fierce look): How did you enter inside?
Singla(staring at me): Is he going to bake us in wood-fired Oven?
Restaurant owner: Anyways, we usually don’t allow people inside, when the place is full. You need to wait for a while, please have a seat upstairs.
Luv(giggling): Aah..Just got food-listed! Chalo, tell me which Pizza to order ?
9. Quoi de plus, hence, this is a short-little plan to cover all the places in the sweet French town of Pondicherry in a day. Auroville was not included in our plan as it was 12 km from the main city and there was a permission issue too.
I asked my friends to rate the trip on a scale of 10, Luv rated it 7 because we didn’t get time to take rest and duration of the trip was short and Singla rated it 9 as we couldn’t visit any market, which is the heart of any place. I agree with both, hence do plan for at least a two-day trip to sink into the charm of Puducherry.
We also made a small itinerary on Google Maps before our trip, here is the link: https://goo.gl/HvCGAK
PS: We’re extremely sorry if any of the French phrase is incorrect, we would be more than happy if anyone corrects it.