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Road trips to look forward to in 2012

Road trips to look forward to in 2012

There are road trips and then there are road trips. While some only get you from A to B, on others the journey is as magical as the destination. Here are a few that may inspire you to hit the road in 2012. 

  Aninda Sardar, Auto Bild India
Aninda Sardar, Auto Bild India
Leh to Spangmik 165 kilometres
Ladakh offers some of India's most majestic and mystical landscapes. This is no more evident than on the route from Leh to Spangmik, a small settlement on the shores of the vast Pangong Tso lake. The bare, brown mountains tower over you as you negotiate the twists and turns of the narrow road. The view is at its best near the top of Chang La, the world's second highest motorable road after Khardung La. On the other side, you may see either green pastures with herds of yak or white sheets of snow. Of course the best part is at the end where you're met by the gentle lapping of the lake's piercing blue waters and very welcome silence.

Shimla to Kalpa 235 kilometres
The stretch from Shimla to Kalpa offers stunning views of the Himalayas. En route are the famous apple belts of Kotgarh and Kumarsain descending to the Sutlej Valley. In the Kinnaur valley many roads are cut so they jut out over a sheer precipice; beautiful and dangerous. This route also has several waterfalls near bridges. The beauty of the road from Reckong Peo, the district headquarters, to Kalpa, ostensibly the final leg of the journey, is unsurpassed in its beauty. No words can do justice to the sights of the Kinnaur-Kailash range. Finally, in Kalpa, do visit the ancient Kalpa monastery set against the backdrop of the majestic Mt Kailash.

Naples to Florence 550 kilometres
This drive along Italy's west coast can be completed in a day, thanks to excellent traffic and road conditions. The route passes through lush greenery on either side and occasionally through some hills as well. One interesting stopover comes up about a third of the way. What seems like a regular service station-cum-foodcourt also houses a museum for a Necropolis, which was found by construction workers digging at the site. That isn't all. Italy's stunning landscapes line the entire journey and are occasionally punctuated by medieval castles or ancient settlements that hang on the sides of undulating hills.

Prague to Ceske Budojevice 160 kilometres

Prague's popularity as a holiday destination for Indians has gained momentum fairly recently. The city itself though, is ancient and boasts, among many other monuments, Hradcany Castle, the world's largest. Driving out of Prague one is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Czech Republic's bohemian countryside. Rolling green meadows and endless rows of bright yellow sunflowers as the road dips and then rises gently make you feel as if you're lost in a painting. Even the sun seems to shine at a more mellow intensity here as you drive on to the 13th century settlement of Ceske Budojevice, renowned for its breweries since medieval times.

With Ridhima Ahluwalia

Published on: Jan 05, 2012, 12:00 AM IST
Posted by: Navneeta N, Jan 05, 2012, 12:00 AM IST