Showing posts from February, 2011

Orchaa - day 14

From the not so trilling Agra experience we headed to Orchaa and even the road started to look promising - green fields, rivers, trees - mmm this was looking interesting. We also passed through some small villages which appeared to be on the poorer side of what we have experienced up till now. Well seems that's the norm here but it's impressive that these people are more curious then just looking at you as a walking ATM.

We arrived in Orcha and found our hotel - well this was huge and comfy although again packed with nagging French groups - so we just dropped our bags and out we went.

We walked down to the river along with quite a large amount of people and when we got to the bridge we were told ( by some curious but nice locals ) that it was the Rama festival so a holi day as they say and the place was buzzing with pilgrims. That was cool with us so after some chill time near the river we went up towards the Rama temple. Here there was a local Market selling a lot of spiritua…

Agra - day 13

Agra the city of the Taj Mahal - and nothing much more about it!

We arrived in Agra after the protest ordeal I wrote about in the previous blog post and headed straight to the Taj. Here we were advised to either get a bike rickshaw from outside or just walk it as it's only 10 minutes on foot to the entrance. Don't let anyone fool you to take you to the best gate etc they just are tuk tuk drivers wanting easy rupee!

So we arrived at the Taj and went to the ticket boot and in a flash somone saying that is "special guide" appeared and told us he will be guide - don't fall for it wait in the queue with the locals. One thing that is normal here is that a ticket for Indians is 5 or 10 rupees - tourist ticket is always some 250 or 300 - for the Taj it's 750 but at least they include camera fee.

We got in the queue (female and male separate) and walked slowly until we reached the security officers. On checking my waist bag he started getting stuff out;


On the way to Agra

We left Jaipur at 8am since it's quite a long way to Agra and also a good thing to exit the city before the mass traffic starts. It was raining so was an even better thing to do!

After exiting the usual hassle an unrelenting horns of the city The way was clear and we drove easily on the good highway joining the two cities until we saw a van coming high speed wrong way. Well for us it's something to worry about but now we got used to it that in India this can happen quite normally so we just took it with a pinch of salt until the second and third car came by wrong way making signs to turn around as the road was closed! Thinking there was an accident on the road our driver turned the car and we drove back (wrong way as there was no other way) and followed the other cars which had already turned on the opposite side of the road thus going towards Agra on the wrong way lane against traffic. After a minute of driving we saw a large amount of trucks parked on both sides and we kept …

Jaipur - day 11 & 12

After quite a long drive we reached Jaipur. This is the capital of Rajasthan and boasts over 3 million population. Our arrival was on a Sunday afternoon and we had no clue that a lot of shops were actually closed and there wasn't much to do! Eventually we went to eat something with our driver who to calm my nerves (since I felt this city was just a waste of time) took us to this great place (please note veg only) from were we tasted great parantas.

Nothing much happening we visited some shops and went to rest.

The next day we went to the Amber fort which seems to be the most important tourist attraction here since the queue was huge! Now here I had a dilemma - we had our own free elephant ride but I was sceptic of going since I love animals and I am against the use of such beautiful beasts for us stupid tourists. Anyways Daphne wanted to go so I accepted but half way through the ride she was of my same opinion. The large queue of elephants going up and down the fort was sickening …

Pushkar - day 10

The holy city. Here I don't want to offend anyone but unfortunately the impression this small city gives is of not holy at all! The city revolves around the holy lake which is the main attraction only that you can only walk around it barefoot (which is ok)

On arrival we went to the centre and there the fake priests started to appear with flower petals for us to throw in the lake. Obviously we didn't accept any since on acceptance you will be asked for money for blessing so we avoided these unholy beings.

The roads around the lake have been transformed into a Market place with fabric vendors, clothes vendors, incense and perfume whallas etc - this ain't a bad thing at all if you are there for just the souvenir shopping but we must say the place is filthy! Also the strangest looking people there are not the sadus or babas ( which you can't say who is true and who is fake!) but it was the tourists - the place seemed like the revival of the hippy movement gone 21st century.…

Udaipur - days 8 & 9

The lake city and romantic city. Well as lake city it lives up to it's name immediately as when you arrive in the centre you will immediately realise the city circles a vast lake with ghats and monuments and palaces all around. Our hotel was just out of the centre (hill lake hotel) only ten minutes away but it was neatly tucked in the local houses. One thing to be said was the great view of the lake from the hotel room and from the roof!

The first evening we ventured in the centre which is very touristy with lots of people asking you to buy pashmina, tops, Tshirts etc and the occasional tuk tuk driver offering "want small joint?" - we kept on walking around until a made to measure tailor shop owner (just next to Edelvise cafe) managed to lure us in his shop. Daphne was intrigued to order a nice coat and (although I was sceptic that the owner's promise to have it done by the next day at 6pm) measures were taken and appointment was done for fitting.

The eve was dinner …

Jodpur - days 6 & 7

Arriving in Jodpur's centre feels like you arrived in a mega Market place. The two gates that enclose the clock tower in the middle encircle a bustle Market in which you can find anything - literally anything!! From veg to clothes, to incense and spices, jewellery to welders and instrument fixers. At first it can be a bit too much to handle but after a while you settle in and absorb the colours, sounds and scents (which in some corners can be awful) and you start to enjoy it.

We popped by to a known spice shop (MV Spices - be careful of the many imitations of their brand) but unfortunately a group of about 30 French tourists flocked in the tiny shop like sheep and we had no other option then to leave and plan to go back the next day since the constant hum of "c'e Bon" was a bit too much to handle for me.

That evening we enjoyed dinner with our spanish friends we had met on the trip who were also at our hotel and enjoyed the view of the lit up fort (note at 915pm shar…

Jaisalmer - days 4, 5 & 6

Coming close to Jaisalmer one notices a heavy military presence - tanks, trucks and you can even hear the occasional gun practise shots - but nothing to be afraid of although the long convoys do make you a bit late.

When you get close enough you will see the fort - an imposing structure on the main hill of the city. An amazing sight in the scorching afternoon sun (imagine at night when beautifully lit up!!).

Just time to deposit our backpacks in the room and we ventured out up to the fort city which is a max ten minute walk up hill (if staying in a hotel outside of the fort which we strongly suggest you do! Check out the lonely planet and you find all the reasons why to make this choice!). Tuk tuks will be calling at you to hitch a ride - don't it's nice on foot and not far plus usually they will want to take you to shops to get commission. The fort is littered with these small shops but a smile and a no thank you will do.

The next day we got a guide to show us around the fort …

Bikaner - day 3

Before arriving in Bikaner a must see is the rat temple! Yes there are rats here but it's totally safe and for a tip the shoe minder actually provides you with fabric feet covers (leather not allowed in Hindu temples so mind your belts!!) which are good to avoid the rat poo.

The temple is small and very much frequented by devotees. Obviously the weird attraction are the milk bowls from which hundreds of rats congregate to drink from.

When we arrived in Bikaner we went straight to the fort which is the main attraction of this city. The red fort is impressive architecture wise, but not something I wouldn't live without.

After the temple we popped by a local artist specialising in miniature art with fab details and who (to show off his skill) even painted a small scene on Daphne's finger nail! Well we got ourselves a small elephant painting on camel bone (camel bone is derived from camels after their natural death).

Hunger took over and our driver suggested a street shop from…

Mandawa - day 1 & 2

After a long car ride from Delhi, passing through small farming villages, trucking stops and fields, we reached our first destination - Mandawa.

The first impression was of a small village engulfed in a Market style life and we weren't expecting much, until we parked in the hotel yard - a charming Haveli nicely decorated and a porter with a huge smile. Our room was fabulous and later found that they gave us the honeymoon suite which was a relief after our disaster of a hotel in Delhi.

The next day we went for a short trip to a neighbouring village which is jam packed with Havelis and to be honest after visiting one we decided not to go in any other anymore - well at 200r a pop it starts adding up no? ;)

Returning to Mandawa we actually visited a Haveli in which a family (caretakers of the Haveli itself) still lived. After the real adventure for us started for us - venturing in the old Market in the city. Here we met a great guy making camel leather shoes and after trying about a…

No wifi no blog

Finally found some wifi to use and update a bit the blog!! We have left Delhi 7 days ago and we visited Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and now Jodpur! I am adding some pics here but more detailed explanations will be on soon and some great stories too!!

More to come as long as I have wifi!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location:gucci internet cafe,Jodhpur,India

3rd day - Delhi old and new!

This third day went quite well - we started off by visiting a great temple Lakshmi Narayan - great architecture, amazing statues of Lord Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh and lots more. Was a wonderful peaceful 40min and the people there were great! Even the security - they treated us great and even for a donation they gave us a spiritual guide which is amazing.

Then it way old Delhi time - the red fort with it's vast area and red brick buildings quite impressive but nothing special (when compared to other places). After visiting the fort we went on a cycle rickshaw for a tour of chandi chowk. When we upload the videos of this ride I will place the link here as it's simply unexplainable in words!!

After that we went to Gandhi Smitri the cremation sight of Gandhi. This is a simple but great place - I feel it's a great memorial for a great person like Gandhi - the world needs more people like this little great man!!

Then hunger took the better and following loads of locals (who were visi…