Bitten by the travel bug, senior citizens are travelling like never before...

For the young at heart

Most senior citizens forget that they are not as young and limbered up as they used to be. So, they push the boundaries when on holiday or are not as vigilant as they were in their youth. Others believe they are over the hill and miss out on the joy that travel offers. Here’s a list of places you can visit and move around with ease, without having to watch your back all the time:

Lucerne: Swiss bliss

We sat at a cafe located above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland gazing at steamers gliding past like graceful swans. The lake rippled and lapped at the feet of distant hills. Sighing with contentment, we pondered on how this scenic slice of our planet suffers from an embarrassment of riches and brims with alluring destinations that are safe and easy to explore. Lucerne, a comfortable one-hour train ride from Zurich, encircled by medieval ramparts and nestled in the foothills of the Alps, is a haven for the modern-day tourist looking for a relaxing holiday.

Though this time-warped town is very much a part of the tourist circuit, it is draped in a hard-to-define tranquillity. The medieval quarter held us in thrall with its majestic churches, a charming old town, timber bridges and vibrant markets, while walks along the lakeshore, drenched in a sensuous evening light, had us wondering if we had stepped into an Alpine movie set.

On the sea: let’s go cruising together

On a cruising holiday, you have options — you can relive the joie de vivre of your youth or be spoon-fed your thrills in safe doses. We do a mix of both. We prefer the large ships as they are virtually destinations in themselves.

Cruise ships offer all meals, accommodation and even slick, glitzy entertainment in an all-inclusive price. Plus, a cruise ship holiday obviates the need to pack and unpack at every destination. Today’s behemoths are culinary cauldrons and some have multiple restaurants catering to the most eclectic palates, onboard spas and sports and entertainment centres at sea.

Some of the larger ships are technology and entertainment utopias. If you feel adventurous, attempt to climb the ‘rock climbing wall’, learn how to surf on the ‘flow rider surf simulator’, and take off on your first simulated skydiving experience at sea. Or, float 300 ft above sea level in a glass capsule that soars upwards on a giant metal arm and rotates to give viewers 360-degree views of the ocean. Jog, swim, relax in a whirlpool; unwind night after night at a jaw-dropping line-up of shows. You may not want to go ashore — ever!

Cruise ships offer all meals, accommodation and even slick, glitzy entertainment in an all-inclusive price.

Washington DC: the power and the glory

Washington DC is a walking city. Tread softly and listen to the heartbeat of a nation; not just any nation, but the most powerful country on earth. Washington has a ‘live and let live’ attitude. And that is why perhaps most people in the US capital want to say their bit, vent their emotions, and accelerate the process of change. They sing songs of love and pain on the subway, or near major monuments, or stroll around with placards on their chests that scream: ‘Say no to same-sex marriages!’

Tips for a safe & fun trip
A few tips for all senior citizen travellers

Despite its laissez-faire attitude, Washington is a monumental city where the museums (many are free) and monuments along the National Mall area up to the imposing Capitol Hill, the most powerful legislative body in the world, and the White House, proclaim in no uncertain terms that you are at the heart of the capital of the world.

As you stroll around, goosebump-worthy moments flood you, but naturally, for it is easy to fall under the spell of a city that stirs a powerful cocktail of power and chest-thumping patriotism.

Udaipur: romantic & legendary

Udaipur is one of India’s most romantic cities and also the most royal. Here young and old can renew their vows, rekindle the dying embers of their passion or just sit by one of its serene lakes in companionable silence… reminiscing. The trappings of royalty and power are still evident in its many extraordinarily beautiful palaces (some are now gracious hotels), glinting in the sun or softly flood-lit at night when Udaipur comes into its own; a fairyland where happy endings are a given.

This is a city that is not crushed by its rich history but likes to flaunt it. Udaipur has packaged its past in order to entertain travellers — with its museums (including a vintage car museum), historic temples including the Lord Eklingji Temple, which has traditionally guarded the fortunes of the rulers of Mewar and its many gilded palaces stuffed with untold riches, misty lakes rimmed by the Aravallis; fine dining restaurants in a maharana’s palace or a terrace cafe with a view of Lake Pichola … Udaipur sizzles with colour and everything is garnished with extra helpings of bewitching starlight!

 

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For the young at heart

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