By VARDHAN KONDVIKAR
With blue skies and sunny beaches? Or fluffy and snow-covered and Christmassy? Icy and outdoorsy and epic, or cosy and with a large component of cuddling by fireplaces?
The good thing in the age of travel is that you can, pretty easily, have all of them. Not at the same time, not even with global warming, thankfully, but our Last-Minute Winter Getaways list is a pretty tasty menu of all the possibilities.
Switzerland is an easy mark: snowy, cheerful and with lots of chocolate, it’s quintessential winter. And, if your fitness level, like mine, matches Po’s from Kung Fu Panda, you can skip all the hill climbing, and just go downhill. On a sled. Which is less strenuous than sleeping.
Prefer some sunshine? Try Sydney the locals’ way, with quirky bars run by bearded people, and plenty of time by the sparkling water. Oh, and really pretty light installations.
Don’t feel like going too far? Try the Deccan Odyssey, one of the Indian Railways’ luxury trains, and rather different from vada pav in a three-tier sleeper. Not cheap, mind you, but you do get to see India in a completely memorable way, with superb Caesar salad as a bonus.
Should you want more eclectic options, we offer you winter specials like London (very Love Actually), Communist-built train rides in Germany, and even the pristine Republic of Karelia, which is a real place and not the kingdom of some prince from a bad bodice-ripper.
Your winter, then, is ready. Just add hot chocolate.