There once was a time – many many years ago – when I would collect shot glasses from the places I visited. I’ve since given up on this, but I do have quite a collection.
Here are some shot-glasses, primarily from Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, with a little about the places I got them from;
Paris: I’ve been to Paris a few times. There was a weekend trip with a friend which we did by train from Germany. A day trip by road, again from Germany – to take a visiting friend from the USA to see the Eiffel Tower. A business trip with my father where I also visited Disneyland Paris and one more that I can’t seem to remember (which can be attributed to too much wine). Anyhow, I have always enjoyed Paris, just walking around the city and enjoying the sights and sounds. It might not be the most romantic city in my book – maybe because I never had a “romantic” partner when I visited Paris -but it definitely is one of the most vibrant cities of the world.
Prague: Prague happened during a backpacking trip with a couple of my college friends. Unfortunately, this was in the late 1990s, and I hardly remember much from the trip – old age and all that. I do however recollect travelling in the tram for two days without knowing where to buy tickets for it. So Yes! Our local transport was free, although I do not recommend doing this. I also remember our hotel room which for us lowly backpackers turned out to be quite luxurious.
Birmingham: My other home. I spend several days/months in Birmingham each year just relaxing, away from the daily hassles of business and life in India. Birmingham is a somewhat underrated city which has lots to offer in terms of culture and events – it’s fast becoming a foodie destination and also has one of the best libraries in the world. Unfortunately, the Hard Rock Cafe featured in the shot-glass has since closed, but I remember spending a memorable New Years in it with my wife and best friend.
Athens: I fell in love with Greece when I visited it in 2004. I haven’t been there again but was totally taken over by the people, the food, the culture, and history. Athens introduced me to Greece, and it remains a beautiful place to visit. Although the actual Hard Rock Cafe hadn’t opened when I visited, the gift shop was functioning, so I picked up the shot glass there.
I would like to mention here that if you plan on travelling to Greece, don’t just get stuck with going to Santorini and Mykonos. They have so many wonderful, lesser-known islands that are less crowded and equally amazing – Naxos and Amorgos being just two of them.
Kentucky: My last trip to the US was to Lexington, Kentucky in 2001 and whenever I tell people that, the first question I get back is “WHY?”. It’s actually a beautiful little place, which gave me the time to unwind by walking all day in the malls and catching matinee shows in the theatres. I must also add that since I exclusively used public transport, I have memories of meeting some rather colourful characters on the buses.
Amsterdam: The most visited city in Europe by me, I can never get bored of Amsterdam. I still like walking along the canals and people watching, sitting in one of the many squares with quaint cafes. Amsterdam is best explored on foot, and dusk is the most beautiful time to be out and about as the last rays of the sun bounce off the canal water producing some memorable sights.
Melbourne: That one city where I can actually think about living permanently. I love how multi-cultural Melbourne is. It seems to have so much packed into such small space that you can literally do anything that you desire. The laid back attitude of the locals makes it all the more charming. I was lucky to be in Melbourne at the time they were holding the annual Comedy Festival which is a hoot.
Rothenburg: My favourite place in Germany, Rothenburg is a quiet, quaint, little town that makes for an excellent destination. It’s an excellent place for hiking, gentle strolls along the town wall, and some much-needed timeout. Rothenburg also houses the biggest Christmas shop in Europe (maybe World?).
Sydney: Colorful, vibrant, exciting, Sydney is again a typical metropolitan city, but with an Ozzie twist to everything. I did not experience it in detail because I was there just for 3 days, alone, and tried to cram in everything touristy possible. Someday I plan to return and enjoy it at a more leisurely pace. I did, however, make it to Bondi!
London: Not much I can say about this one-of-a-kind city that hasn’t already been said. It’s fast, it’s modern, it’s fashionable, and it has got everything you would expect from one of the premier cities of the world.
Munich: One word, Oktoberfest! A lovely German city that is famous for beer drinking in October, but has so much more to offer in terms of architecture, design, and its people.
Norway: Visiting college friends in Sandvika was my first experience with Fjords and the beauty of frozen ice. From walking on the fjords to watching ice fishing and tasting shrimps for the very first time to walking over the Monet Bridge, it was a memorable trip, one that I still cherish.
Caribbean Islands: My first cruise was an experience in gaining maximum weight in the shortest amount of time. Every time I remember the first night of the journey, all I can think about is the experience of sea legs.
Venice: Another college trip, this shot glass was bought by my parents much later, but nevertheless I’ve been to Venice, and that is what counts.
I like how almost claustrophobic Venice is with its small winding lanes, and the canals adding to the cosy atmosphere. I also visited Verona on the same trip and was more taken by it than any other place (Juliet’s bust might have something to do with that) in Italy. The Venice shot-glass is by far the prettiest in my collection.
So there you have it, a few shot glasses from my collection which have all had tequila in them at one time or another. I no longer have an urge to collect shot-glasses but do pick one up every now and then as a little souvenir reminding me of the good times I’ve had during my travels.