So what are the new rules of visiting public places?
Let me share some light on the new rules of sightseeing with my own experience in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. After six months, I did step out of my flat last week and it came as a much-needed respite. The intention was to see Krishna river in its full might during these monsoon days, to spend some time in the lap of nature and to experience the ‘new normal’ for a couple of hours. I have not even visited a grocery shop, nor even taken a flight to return home, since February, hence I really needed to take a break from my cooped up routine.
DISCLAIMER – This road trip was done in my personal vehicle and with absolutely no contact with anyone unknown. I was masked up, every time I stepped out of the car and hand sanitizer was like a constant companion. I had packed some sandwiches for myself and had also carried my water bottle, tissues, fruits, etc. No outside food was purchased. The cases in Andhra are on a high, so we have to be very-very careful.
Its better to avoid the errands as long as possible but if we have to step out of the house, we must be masked up. There are lot of people who are missing the outdoors like me and if you do step out, kindly adhere to the new rules of sightseeing.
These are Undavalli Caves in Vijayawada (Picture above). I had done a photo -story about it last year. Usually, it is very difficult to get an empty frame because this is a very popular hotspot. Before the pandemic, the place always buzzed with people. But recently, when I visited this place, there were only 5-6 people in the whole premises. I chose Monday to avoid people if any. It takes only 20-22 minutes to reach these caves from my current location. This is the closet outdoor location to get some fresh air.
The world has changed in the last six months, so we really can’t hold on to any grudges. We will have to adapt. Some things have changed for the good but there is lot that feels alien. This is how I felt when I stepped out of the car for the first time.
The silence was much – appreciated, the incorporation of hygiene measures seemed a very good change but overall, I felt sad, uncomfortable because of that looming fear of the virus.
What are the new rules of sightseeing, monument visit or entry to historic structures?
1.The entry is only and only allowed if you have your mask on the face. “No Mask, No entry” poster meets you at the gate!
2. The tickets are not available on the window. This is avoid touching of money or tickets. You may scan the code, buy the ticket online and show it to the guy sitting at the window.
3. Last but not the least, before making a headway towards the stairs, a guard checks for temperature and offers sanitizer.
I did not even go inside or to the higher levels of the caves because I did not feel like. Also, maybe I had seen it before. The façade looked gorgeous, especially the monsoon greenery around. I did not meet anyone nor did I touch anything. Just took a few pictures, enjoyed the greenery and fresh air and returned to my car.
Honestly, it was a great feeling to head out of the house and relive some old memories but so much has changed that my mind could not cope up with it in the first instance. It will take time to get used to the idea of wearing masks and seeing everyone in masks. Also, there were no people, no excitement around. There was this fear of touching something accidently and ofcourse contracting the virus. I am still not sure, how will this fear go?
My mind does not seem prepared to travel. Are you ready yet?