Tag Archives: Salem

Mettur Dam at Sunset — A nice evening

SunsetonwaytoMetturDamWe opted to visit Mettur Dam after our siesta. The Arien had a nice plan for the first evening but he forgot that he was with me and the Taurean, both of whom are not the most punctual, and so the evening did not go as per plan. The first shocker was that we had to pay the toll fees to visit Mettur Dam. We were sure that most of the locals travel to and fro from Mettur to Salem without paying the toll fees and so we were not sure why we were paying. Before the Arien blew his top, he was already angry because we did not get ready on time, I paid the Toll fees and we were on our way.

The second surprise was that the Dam was not at a hop, skip, and jump distance after the toll. In fact, as we drove on the long winding road, we were not sure if we were on the right track at all. There were no sign boards, nobody on the road to ask for directions and since we were yet to hit a fork on the road, we kept going.

And the last shocker, was that it was suddenly almost 6 pm and we could see that the sun wasSunsetMetturDam 1 setting. The Arien had set his mind on taking a picture of the sunset at Mettur Dam and we were nowhere near. Meanwhile, the Taurean wanted a cup of tea. The senior Arien did not want to keep going and wanted to head back to the hotel room and I was ready to scream. The Arien asked the Taurean to stop as he had seen what he wanted to shoot. The Arien shot quite a few pictures of a local on his mobile phone with the most amazing sunset as his background.

Sunset2I cannot believe he was facing us and not the sun. The sunset was so beautiful.

It was quite difficult for us to move away but it was getting quite dark and so we drove on. The senior Arien asked if we were there yet, twice, before we jumped him and he retired hurt. (Both myself and the Taurean can be quite mean, at times.)

When we finally reached Mettur Dam, it was quite dark. We walked across the Dam because vehicles were prohibited and spent some time there. None of the snaps came out well because it was quite dark. The Taurean found a small tea shop nearby and we all had tea there. And then, it was time to go back to the hotel. Tomorrow, we planned to visit Yercaud and have lunch at Sky Rocca.

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Short Trip to Salem — with the Senior Arien and the Taurean

The Taurean, recent owner of a new car, was itching for a long drive and the senior Arien had run out of excuses for not going on the drive. We, on the other hand, are always ready for a long drive and/or short trip and thus this not-so-impulsive trip happened in the month of May 2012. It was after a long time that all four of us were out on a trip, together.

GRTSalemCinnamon

Salem is around 4 hours from Bangalore and so we planned to start at 8 am but we finally left after 9 am and this time it was not because of me ūüôā The short drive did not tire or faze the Taurean and the senior Arien was really happy for that. The Arien, usually a bit restless when he is not behind the wheel, was shooting pictures and sitting up front keeping the Taurean company and so he was also ok.¬†We reached Salem and our hotel, GRT, late in the afternoon and opted to have food at their restaurant, Cinnamon.

Not sure if it was because we were the last people to walk in but the service left a lot to be desired. When it was time to clear the plates, we finally received amazing service. Food was not all that great but the ambiance was nice. Also, we had the entire place almost to ourselves.

GRTSalemRoom

After we had our lunch, we proceeded to our rooms for a bit of shut eye. We had been to Sky Rocca and so we kinda knew what to expect from GRT rooms and we were not disappointed. The rooms were quite comfortable, clean, and the AC was great. Salem is quite warm and we were visiting  in May.

This is the view of the room from the entrance. Of course. the Arien took a number of pictures of our room. There is another one of the room from the window, just in case you are wondering how the rest of the room looks like ūüėÄ

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The plan was to drive to Mettur Dam in the evening and spend some time there before retiring for the day.

Surprisingly, we did not have a packed schedule and everyone was determined to relax and enjoy the small holiday. We had been to Yercaud a few years ago in August and so we knew the places to visit etc. The Taurean wanted to relax but also visit as many places as possible.

Bangalore – Salem – Yercaud

After debating forever if we shd opt for the weekend getaway, we decided to go for it. This time the Arien was insistent that we relax, not take¬†the car, and have a gr8 holiday. I was very sure we wud have a hectic holiday as usual. So, I was pretty surprised tht the Arien had booked train tickets to Salem. Well, wonders will never cease…

Day 1 

We were taking the 6 am Ernakulam Express from Cantonement.¬† The Arien was pretty surprised tht I did not dilly-dally as usual. Well, the funda was pretty simple – the train wud leave without us and so¬†I was ready on time ūüôā¬†I cannot recall much of the journey frm B’lore to Salem as we spent most of the time catching up on sleep and so we were pleasantly surprised to reach Salem. When we got off,¬†the first thing tht we noticed was tht it was ridiculously warm.¬†We walked into a local restuarant and ordered lunch only to find out that it was only 11 am – Naashtha time!! We had assumed it was 1 pm b’cos it was so warm.¬†After a quick snack, we¬†decided to get to the new bus-stand¬†from where we cud get¬†a bus to Yercaud.¬† In full-enthu mode, the Arien opted to take the¬†local bus frm the rlwy station to the new bus-stand. I was not so sure until he told me tht the diff bet. the prices was a cool 36 bucks.¬† Hmmm.. well, why not?!¬†It was quite similar¬†to our Swamy malai local bus trip. We then boarded the bus to Yercaud. It grew steadily cool and soon we were feeling a lot less crabby ūüôā

The RoomGRT Nature Trails came up at the 20th hairpin bend and we were real glad to see it. We had to wait arnd 15 – 20 mts as the room was not ready. I was not too happy ’bout tht.¬†When we finally walked into our room, it was totally worth the wait.¬†The room was fab¬†with an amazing view of¬†distant Salem from the¬†french windows, a decently stocked mini-bar¬†(no alcohol), a gr8 bathroom ( sooo imp¬†for a nice, lazy holiday)¬†and we were so thrilled at this tht we forgot to tip the bell boy ūüė¶ Skywalk-Sideview

After admiring the room a lil longer Рwe decided to get freshened up. Wen we were both finally ready Рit was 4:15. We decided to explore the hotel.  It was lovely. I felt tht it wud look lovelier later at nite. When we finally came downstairs, the lady at the reception informed us tht all sight-seeing spots were open only until 5:30 pm and we realized with a shock that it was nearly 5:15. She also informed us that we cud rent their Indigo for half a day at Rs. 700/- Tht seemed steep to me considering tht most places were arnd 2-5 kms frm the hotel. We decided to walk to Yercaud, chk out the distances, and then plan our holiday. I changed to floaters and we got going.

It was a good walk. We visited the Mahindra restuarant near the boat house, had amazing Chai and snacks and it was 7 when we returned to GRT. It was¬†pretty dark by then¬†and the Arien was a lil tense ’bout our looong walk¬†but pretended otherwise till we reached. We had dinner at their restuarant¬†on the top floor, Salem Heights.¬†¬†The food was ok – not as impressive as the place.¬†Thanks to the snack at Mahindra, we were not very hungry.¬†

Skywalk@NiteAfter dinner, we took snaps at their very impressive¬†Skywalk – with the swirling mist¬†and Salem was all but hidden at that height. Someone from the hotel had informed us ’bout a sight seeing spot that was visible from our room, known as the¬†Lady’s Seat, which was also invisible – thanx to the mist. The Arien has this tendency to start sneezing when it gets cold and the moment he started to sneeze, we knew we had to head back.¬† We picked up “Bheja Fry” from the in-house¬†DVD collection. They had quite a few ole tamil movies, some new hindi movies, and a few others. Not a very impressive collection. The walk from the resturant to the boathouse had actually tired so much tht we¬†actually fell asleep as soon as we reached the room and the DVD was completely forgotten.¬† We planned to start early the next day and so better…¬† Yawnnn!! …. get to …. Yawn!!! …. sleep as…. Zzzzz… Gud Nite!! For the first time it was indeed a totally relaxing day.