Friday, February 15, 2008

Namaste

We must be in one of the most unique places in the world right now, and words and pictures can only do so much justice.
The sights: People everywhere; poverty everwhere; animals in the streets; 5 different kinds of transit - with and without motors; the colorful sari's worn by women; architecture of all types.
The smells: Human; animal; fumes from autos; fumes from factories; and hopefully the sweet smells of food.
The sounds: Well, there isn't much that is quiet. It is amazing how much people use the horns on their autos here; people talking; dogs; cows.
Whatever you have heard about it here is probably true. It is an amazing web of all of this that makes India, India. It definitely was a shock to the system on the first day there...it could have been the overnight flight, but I doubt it.

We had a lot of ground to cover in such a short period of time...the driver is the way to go. No stress, always knew where to go, and made for some good information about the country. In 5 days, we visitied Pushkar, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi.
Pushkar was the most different town of them all. It is considered a spiritual haven, so there were many "hippies" visiting from Spain and Israel. It was definitely a place everyone should go, and we wish that 1 more day would have been arranged there instead.

Jaipur - aka Pink City - is the capital of the state of Rajisthan, so it was large, and very very busy. There was a lot to see: the Pink Palace, Monkey Temple, Hindu Temples of all sorts, baby elephants, Shri Laxminaryan Temple, and more. This place had more of the true feel of the country than others. The highlight for Kate, without a doubt, was a chance visit to where an 8mo old baby elephant was being raised. It was a fun moment!!! Our driver, K. LAL, was kind enought to take us to some wonderful restaurants that were common with the locals=Tasty food at tasty prices. We liked it for the 2 days and were ready to move on...

Agra is where the Taj Mahal rests. It is one of the few quiet places in India, so that makes it even more special. Our tour of India had to be changed once it was booked, so we ended up here on Valentine's Day instead of today. I am not much of a romantic, but the Taj on V-Day did make it all click...I can see why it is on the World Heritage list.

One other strange occurance to be noted...for some reason the locals in Egypt and India have this "game" that involves us. They love to try to have pictures taken of Kate &/or I with and without our knowledge. They end up using our photos to show their friends/family that they have foreign friends. Personally, we are not a fan of that using us as a game, so we have to make sure to keep an eye out.

We definitely wish we have had more time here, but that will just have to wait for another day!!

We are still having some difficulty with getting pictures uploaded and saved, so hopefully our next stop will be better for us...but, check out the photo album links on the side, as I got a few new ones posted. (Still no Egypt though)

2 comments:

Ann said...

Hi Kate & Phil,
Loved the photos and message relaying your thoughts and impressions of India. So glad you you're happy you got to spend time there. Off to my tai chi class and soon you're off to China, another wonderful experience. Enjoy the food! Love, Aunt Ann

Blute York City said...

Your description of India was exactly as I remembered it. I was in Delhi, Agra, Chennai, and Varanasi. Never made it to Jaipur. It's amazing that with 1/3 of the population homeless and living in communities on the streets amidst great wealth right on the opposite side of the fence, how happy everyone's spirit is. More so than your average americans with their fancy lives but are soo stressed and miserable..

I'm sure you saw your fair share of heartbreaking people and things too. There are so many beggars that it gets very overwhelming.

Did you get to the Ganges? One of the hardest but most beautiful things I saw there was the crematorium services at the riverside while simultaneously next to it, people are washing themselves, praying, swimming, and even drinking the water.

For everything that India is, I loved it and it definitely changes a person and their world view.

p.s - Did you like how people nod "yes" by swirling their head side to side? Took a while to figure out that people acknowledge they're comprehending you by looking like a bobble-head. : )

love u guys. safe travels.

Blutes