We used to live in London and I’d love to drive out of London to Brighton, Birmingham etc between 2007 and 2010. The mother of all our road trips in UK, however, was the one shown below where we were pretty much on the road every day for 10 full days.
We went north from London to Scotland, put our car on a ferry and went across to Northern Ireland and then all the way back to London.
We were packing up from UK to return permanently to India and there wouldn’t be another opportunity like this!
We shipped all our stuff, hired a car and spent 10 days on the road starting from London going North to Lake District, onwards to Scotland and then we took our car across the ocean in a ferry into Northern Ireland and then onto Ireland; and then all the way back to London before getting on a flight to India. It was awesome! Google Maps was still not very popular then. I used a Garmin Nuvi in this trip
Here are some pics from this trip, feels like yesterday!!
The second leg of our Tamil Nadu road trip was our journey from Chennai to Thanjavuru. (The first leg was Bengaluru to Chennai). We had never traveled on this route and I ended up spending a good amount of time trying to figure out the best route to take.
Finally we decided to take the scenic East Coast Road over the one Google recommended as being the fastest. In retrospect, this choice of scenery over speed worked out very well for us. The total distance was 332 KM and we took 8 hours and 1 minute to travel including several breaks we took along the scenic route.
We left Avadi (in the outskirts of Chennai) and took the Outer Ring Road and joined the East Coast Road at Kovalam. We paid toll near Kovalam and the the entire stretch from there was along the beach. It was an awesome drive. We were planning to break for breakfast somewhere near Mahabalipuram and luckily found a beach resort called Golden Sun Beach Resort. We parked at 9:17 AM and headed out to the private beach while breakfast was being prepared. Our younger daughter who is 3 years old had never been to a beach and was very excited to get her feet in the water.
We ended up spending about 1.5 hours at this resort and had a decent
breakfast. We left the place and drove towards Pondicherry, our next
The road from Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry was very scenic and with little traffic. The drive was great.
Soon, we were in Pondicherry and couldn’t resist getting out and onto
Auroville Beach. An hour later, we were back on the road till we found
ourselves hungry and were looking for a place to have our Lunch.
Luckily, we found Hotel Aryas
which was a small restaurant. I chatted up with the owner in broken
Tamil who wanted to move my car as it was positioned right on top of the
water refill tank on the ground 🙂 We had good hygienic food and used
the clean washrooms before heading out to Thanjavur. This was a stretch
where I knew my co-passengers would doze off and I made the most of
it. A long non-stop drive to Thanjavur. On the way, we crossed
Kollidam river but it did not have much water. Finally, we were at our
Thanjavur hotel at 5 PM.
All of us took a quick shower. Considering I had been driving all day, we decided to take an auto rickshaw to see the historic Brihadeeswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a 1000+ year old temple built by Rajaraja Chola 1. The dome at the top itself weights 80 tonnes. We were quite amazed to see the unparalleled Chola architecture and would come back next morning for better pics as it was already past sunset when we visited the temple.
No doubt this is a UNESCO heritage site.
The area around the temple with barricades to control the flow of traffic.
From Thanjavur, we would make our way to another historic place – Rameswaram – but that’s topic for another blog post 🙂