(filtered by tag 'India')

India Day 11 - Amritsar

Added: January 25, 2009

Tags: India photos temple

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Tuesday 11th November is our last day for exploration of India. Tomorrow we are heading home, but we are going to enjoy Golden Temple again. Yesterday evening we have spent there about one hour, but we will have more time for it today...

We woke up at 5:45 as we wanted to see sun rise. We showered, had breakfast, I have helped Zuzka to wear saree and we were ready to go. Receptionist looked puzzled when he saw us. We left our shoes in locker again, washed hands and feet and went in.

It was different with light. It was still foggy, but less than yesterday. Hundreds of people were there like previous evening. We went next to "bridge" to see sunrise behind temple. In the beginning we were standing, but bit later somebody told us to sit down. So we sat down on marble floor. I was looking around to see if people are using their cameras or not. We were told yesterday that it was not allowed to use camera inside temple or photographing Book, but we were not sure about its usage on encircling walkway. Typical mixed messages - we could see people taking pictures yesterday, even one Sikh told Zuzka where she should go to take better photo when they moved The Holy Book to other building for night.

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India Day 10 - New Delhi

Added: January 24, 2009

Tags: India photos temple

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Monday 10th of November we woke up at 7:30. We went to hostel roof for breakfast, after it we packed ourselves and went to reception to pay for night. Price was 702, but somehow I could not find 2 rupees so manager said it was OK :-) No problem, we will return here next day, so I will repay my dept then ;-)

We plan to see New Delhi today and then we are flying to Amritsar afternoon. Many places are closed in New Delhi, because it is Monday so we do not have many stops today.

Our first stop was Humayun's Tomb. We needed rickshaw so we planned to find some in Main Bazaar. But the first rickshaw driver said it will be better to take taxi. The 2nd one was willing to take us there, but insisted on 150 Rs, so we agreed.

Whole ride was quite long, but probably not worth of 150 Rs. New Delhi was full of smog, visibility was not good, smell of traffic terrible.

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India Day 9 - Jodhpur

Added: December 21, 2008

Tags: India castle city lake photos

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Sunday 9th November. We slept rather well, it was quiet place again even it looked like we found another place with festival yesterday. We woke up at 6:30 to see sunrise - it would be big mistake to miss sunrise in Jodhpur.

Our plan for that day was to see Mehrangarh Fort and nothing else as our flight to New Delhi was moved 3 hours sooner so we needed to finish at noon. It is pity, Jodhpur has many places to offer to visitors. But what could we expect if we had only one day for every place?

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India Day 8 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 20, 2008

Tags: India animals city lake photos temple

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Saturday 8th November we woke up rather tired. We could hear life on streets for most of the night and it was really hot in our room because we closed windows as anti mosquito precaution (we had seen some in the evening). As I opened balcony a fresh cool air went inside. Well, we probably made mistake...

A group of tourists stopped in from of our hotel, directly below me and their guide explained something to them. After some time another bunch of tourists repeated the same ritual so it could not be coincidence. Mental note - I need to take photo from outside regardless of crammed space.

Hotel owner asked when our train is running - at 16:00. "You can leave your luggage here and return at about 2pm. Then you can refresh yourself shortly in your room before you leave." Thank you very much, we really appreciate this possibility :-) This would never happen in normal hotel with normal hotel manager...

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India Day 7 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 19, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Friday 7th November. We woke up in train, it was uneventful night, it passed very well. We had still 6 hours to go and based on arrival to the last station we are late about 1 hour. Not so bad.

I took Azithromycin, followed by stomach ache (I confirmed it was caused by that pill just recently). We stayed in lying position for a few hours more, because nobody asked us to sit properly. I started to like these trains. They are cheaper than hostel, they just miss hot water :-)

As time passes it is getting hot, because air conditioning is not on. We are passing through dessert for last several hours so there is no wonder it is getting hotter.

Eventually I got up and sat opposite to my berth as Zuzka was still sleeping and it was not possible to sit when middle berth is deployed in AC/3. After some time a guy came, wanting to sell accommodation, but I got rid of him as soon as I realized that (described in the first part of series thoroughly).

To my big surprise we arrived to Jaisalmer on time. I do not get it how they do that :-)

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India Day 6 - Jaipur

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India animals castle city photos

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Thursday 6th November. I am tired as we get up. My throat is still sore. OK I am going to start with Azithromycin. Today we plan to visit Jaipur and shortly before midnight we are going to Jaisalmer by train.

We went down, our host was already there, a bit later Canadian couple came. We have been offered possibility to leave our luggage here, return in the evening and to have dinner here. Then all 6 of us would take rickshaw to train station to catch our train. It would be very hard to refuse such an offer!

We talked about our plans, Canadians wanted to go to Amber Fort too and we realized that having rickshaw for whole day is unnecessary expensive - it is possible to get to Amber Fort for 100 Rs, back to the city centre for 100 or less and it should cost 40 to return to guest house. Apart from Amber Fort everything else is in walking distance from each other.

Our wannabe rickshaw arrived. We went outside and told him we decided to go only to Amber Fort and then City Palace and we were willing to give him only 150 Rs for that. He did not see it coming. He was surprised, but started to explain it is not possible for that price and that his price (whatever it was) is fair. He got angry and even went into guest house to dispute with Manoj! It was not very good feeling for us :-( Manoj asked him to leave his house (clearly the manners of those two men were different even for those who do not speak Hindi).

As we went with driver outside Canadian couple came out too, telling him how ridiculous his price was. That did not help him to calm down. He was babbling something about government price list with 385 Rs for similar tour we wanted to make and he wanted us to show it, we just needed to go with him somewhere. No way! Finally he asked for 65 Rs for coming here and I gave him 60 just to get rid of him (even I knew I should not pay him at all).

We went about 200m to find the nearest rickshaw and where Canadians shown us how to haggle properly. Since then amounts we paid to drivers went down :-) Thank you for that and sorry for forgetting your names!

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India Day 5 - Gwalior

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Wednesday 5th November. It's not vacation, it's a boot camp! We are getting up at 5:25, because we need to catch train to Gwalior and then another one to Jaipur.

My throat is still sore, so I look into notes with advice from Robo. From list of medications I decided to buy Azithromycin as it matches my symptoms and promises solution in 3 days (with feedback in 2 days - if it does not work Ciprofloxacin will be next :-) ). Now just to find a pharmacy...

We ate breakfast our hosts prepared and paid for the stay (+ meals and bottled water). We gave colonel postcard with Cardiff castle as we enjoyed our stay here.

Our driver from yesterday was waiting for us (we made arrangement yesterday). I asked him to stop at open pharmacy, but he was not sure as it was about 7:00. Later on he showed us one closed pharmacy, but then he found open one on next street. Normal garage. Since then we knew garages are fully fledged shops :-) 3 pieces of Azithromycin were for 90 Rs. I will take one later if throat does not get better.

We arrived to train station early. But that does not surprise me, I just need to be everywhere on time and with some reserve. About 30 minutes later couple from Netherlands staying in our guest house arrived and there was still plenty of time...

Our train arrived, we found our coach. It was not very hard because displays at platform show where each coach will stop. We got in, it was AC Chair coach. We even got bottle of water and breakfast! We were bit surprised, but I decided to eat mine even I was not hungry. Zuzka did not touch hers, so I took it for later.

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India Day 4 - Engaged in Agra

Added: December 06, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Tuesday 4th November is the most important day in our Indian trip. We came to India, because Zuzka dreamed about visiting Taj Mahal for 10 years - since she built model of it as school project (that helped her to decide she wants to be an architect). So her dream is finally fulfilled. And I have realized there is not better place in the world to propose. So apart of wanting to fulfil Zuzka's dream, it is important place to go for me too. I hope magic of Taj Mahal will work :-)

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India Day 3 - trip to Agra

Added: December 03, 2008

Tags: India city photos temple

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Monday 3rd November. We are going to Agra today. Original idea was to go by train, but as we checked availability of only train we could go, we found there was quite long waiting list. So we decided to go by plane through New Delhi instead. We got up at normal time, because our flight is at 11:00 so we are not in hurry. After we paid for accommodation at the reception we asked for a rickshaw. A boy staying there went outside and immediately returned with a driver. I did not think it will be so quick. So we got in and instructed him to go to airport. Streets were not as quiet as they were yesterday. But the biggest difference were policemen standing next to road in periodic intervals, every one has stick in hand. I don't get it. Maybe to beat drivers if traffic jam occurs :-)

Driver asked if we want shopping. "No, go to airport" was our answer. So we continued to the airport. As we got there rickshaw stopped at the furthest possible place at the parking lot. We paid 100 Rs (9km) even meter shown 80 (I have read somewhere that taxi/rickshaws have tariff charts, so it seemed OK, but we have never see them). Accepting higher price motivated driver to ask for more "Give me 50 more" he asked without any bad feelings. He tried to explain, we are two and we have luggage. Somehow these reasons did not sound as good to me as they might to him so he did not get more.

We walked back to road with barrier and policemen. We were asked for ticket so Zuzka tried to find one. Unfortunately she had (we both had) a lot of papers and she could not find correct one at that moment. After about minute policemen lost their patience and let us pass. We knew the next check at the terminal building will be tougher. And it was - we gave policeman one piece of paper (as usual), but this flight ticket was for one person only. So we needed to find another ticket. Fortunately we had it :-)

Departing terminal is as small as one for arrivals. Just a bit bigger. There is no display or chart with flights and what is worse there is no sign of Jet Lite anywhere. But they would not let us in if our flight did not exist, would they? Hence I went to ask to the closest matching airline - Jet Airways and they were willing to transport us to New Delhi at given time :-) Pleased with that we sat and waited for 2 hours as we are used to in normal sized airports in Europe... (a few flights more and we started to understand that we are doing something wrong - too many security people told us we are early. That cannot be coincidence).

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Sunday 2nd of November, 5:15 in the morning. Alarm clock does not make any compromises. We decided to wake up early to accomplish everything we planned for this long day. I cannot say I am well rested as it was hot during whole night.

We take shower (Zuzka found that warm water is available, you just need to wait longer). Quick breakfast from our supplies, moving stuff between big and small backpack, apply sun screen and DEET (stuff to avoid mosquitoes) and we are nearly ready to go. We are locking big backpacks that will stay in room and then attaching them to window handle (that is only unmovable part here IMHO).

Ajanta and Ellora Caves are our plan for today. And they are only reason we arrived through Mumbai. All of other places we are going to visit are closer to New Delhi.

We decided to rent a car instead of using taxi or bus that would be cheaper (in case of bus much cheaper) because Ajanta is 110km from Aurangabad and Ellora about 30-40 I am not sure how much exactly. Then you need to spend 3-4 hours at both places, so we were afraid we would not be able to visit both of them in one day. Everybody suggests to visit them in two days, but we thought both of them are closed on Monday (in reality only one is closed on Monday, other is closed on Tuesday).

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India Day 1 - Arrival

Added: November 29, 2008

Tags: India info

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So it is finally happing. Zuzka was dreaming about trip to India for 10 years. All her friends who she asked to go with her exhaled deeply. They are safe now :-) And I, who never thought about going to India and was afraid of it since I have promised I will accompany her, am staying in cold weather at Cardiff bus station waiting for bus to Heathrow. So it is finally happening...

It took me some time to get courage, but now I am looking forward to our India trip nearly as much as Zuzka. It is the most exotic place we have ever been to. As was said in India - Lessons Learned we have only 12 days and our program is full. Surprisingly I am more optimistic that everything will work correctly than Zuzka, but we are about to see soon. There will be surprises, but we hope they will be only positive ones.

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India - Lessons Learned

Added: November 26, 2008

Tags: India info photos

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We have returned from our short trip to India a few days ago and I would like to write about what we have learned about India which can be useful to others. Complete report with pictures will follow shortly. We have been there only 12 days with flying there and back so I am not going to claim we have learned everything or this will be complete guide. Contrary we have learned only basic things and I am sure even those are not correct :-) I have decided to write separate post about this only to help future readers to find complete information at one place. Otherwise it would be split to several posts and quite hard to find.

This text turned out to be quite long, so if you are not interested reading it completely, you can jump to the most interesting part.

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