The Maldives Experience
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” — Anonymous
I am a travel buff and have made many solo trips and family trips, globally and in India. During my career, work took me to several places around the world. When you are on a business trip, you don’t get enough time to explore the places you visit. You must cram in some sightseeing or come back later on holiday. I have enjoyed business trips and personal trips, travelling solo or with family.
While I have many stories to narrate about my travel experiences, I decided to write about my latest experiences in the Maldives when I saw the prompt from Sharing Randomly. The trip to Maldives was a family holiday.
“Holidays–any holiday–are such a great opportunity to focus on bringing the family together.” –Lidia Bastianich
Maldives was on my bucket list for a long time, but the pandemic and several other hindrances had put this on hold. As a family, we visit a different country or a city in India every year. It gives us time to be together and bond as a family.
True blue ocean
Maldives geography is unique and mesmerising. It is a nation of islands in the Indian ocean. It has 1192 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls. It has one island, one resort concept. It is 99% water and 1% land.
The beauty of Maldives is not just above the water but is also blessed with magnificent underwater sceneries. You can experience the beauty of reefs, corals, and other sea life if you are a good swimmer. You can make friends with large fish and whale sharks.
I have a water phobia, but my son and his wife are good swimmers, and their camera captured some of the underwater beauties. My son had bought an underwater camera for this trip. From swimming in shallow waters to snorkelling on rich coral reefs and scuba diving with fishes, they enjoyed it all, while my husband and I watched them from the deck.
I loved relaxing on the deck and watching the shades of blue from nature’s palette. I would get lost in the breathtaking view of the waters navy, turquoise, azure sky and royal blue colours. I would sit there gazing at nature’s bounty.
One of the main attraction in Maldives is the dolphin cruise.We missed the dolphin cruise since it was raining and the weather was not conducive for the cruise. Unfortunately, it got cancelled twice during our stay.
The love of food
Maldives is an ideal destination for Indians because the cuisine is close to the Indian cuisine. I felt at home with the coconut-based spicy curries. The country is also seafood heaven for all seafood lovers.
I loved the Velaa bar and grill seaside restaurant at the Le-Meridian hotel where we stayed.
A thatched roof haven by the turquoise blue waters, with a delicious smell of freshly grilled fish gently wafting through the warm equatorial air, is precisely how I remember the Velaa bar and grill. Their carefully created menus are full of homegrown flavours, and you can taste the island’s spirit in every bite.
Velaa, meaning sea turtle in the local language, certainly gives you calm and relaxed vibes. A smoothly run “reservations only” place that offers a surf and turf menu with an excellent variety and equally scrumptious food is a must-visit. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, with an equally breathtaking view of the blue lagoon.
We dined several times here during our stay on the island, thus, getting to experience their setup at different times of the day, and we weren’t let down even once.
The service here is impeccable, and the attendants surely know their stuff. You’ll rarely find your drink lingering at the bottom of the glass as the ever-so-attentive servers are quick to offer refills and take orders for your subsequent yet well-spaced courses. We enjoyed nearly everything we ate here, from the freshly-baked sourdough bread roll to the decadent Valrhona chocolate lava cake served with raspberry sorbet. Their hydroponic, locally-grown salads served with finger-licking Worcestershire dressing are worth mentioning.
The restaurant also offers live music on some nights, making the ambience perfect for celebrating special occasions. Last but not least is this cute ice-cream truck (which is fully functional) tucked away in the back, doubling up as an amazing photo corner.
Someone has very rightly said, “ Vacation calories don’t count”.
With all the climate change challenges globally, as travellers we should leave minimal footprints and help preserve such beautiful natural treasures for generations to come.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints ” — Chief Seattle