A Travellerspoint blog

Route Map

Here is the route that we traveled during our India adventure, if anyone is interested in planning their own trip! We hope you've all enjoyed reading this blog as much as we have enjoyed being on the trip!

Posted by becky1284 10:11 Comments (0)

Homeward Bound....

the search for curry will have to continue in Calgary...

Well we have come to the end of our India adventure and are all so sad to get on the plane to go back to Calgary. We are sitting at the airport in Dehli waiting to board our flight to Toronto remembering when we arrived and wishing that we could go back in time and begin this amazing adventure all over again! It will seem strange to go back home the pace will seem so slow and Calgary will seem so small when we compare it some of the places we have been like Dehli and Mumbai. The Calgary Tower somehow just doesn't seem to be the same amazing feet of architecture that the Taj Mahal is and a dip in the Bow or Elbow River will never be as amazing as a dip in the Ganges.

We figure the best way to savour our last few hours in India is of course to eat, so Kate and Rebecca are standing behind me tellling me to write as fast as I can so that we can go and enjoy our last traditional meal here in India which will include some of our favorites: kebabs, samosas, roti, and of course curry. Well my mouth is watering just thinking about and the girls are getting ready to go and eat without me so off we go to hopefully FINALLY find the perfect curry and take in the last bits of India that we can! See you all when we get home...

Posted by becky1284 16:45 Comments (0)

Jaipur Continued...

We decided to leave our fancy new digs for a while and explore the city of Jaipur! With so much stuff to see we didn't know where to start but we decided to start outside the city the at the former capital of Amber at the appropriately named Amber Fort or the Amer Fort . The fort looked stunning from the outside the combination of red sand stone and white marble being reflected in Maotha Lake was amazing. Here is a picture we have of the outside with the lake in front.

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Once you get inside the Amber Fort it is even more amazing with such detail and intricate design. The fort was started in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I. Part of the beauty and awe comes from the blend of Muslim and Hindu influences that went into the design. For all the beauty and opulence and history of the fort I must admit I think our favorite part of seeing the Amber Fort was the elephant ride to the top! While very fun I won't lie it's a little scary too... those animals are HUGE! This is the best way to get up the hill and it affords amazing views of Jaipur and Maotha Lake. Below are a couple of the pictures we took.

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Once we decided to head into Jaipur we headed for the City Palace. This is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Jaipur and famous attractions are famous for a reason, there amazing! The City Palace did not disappoint, the palace is made up of several different structures and covers a huge amount of space in the city, almost one seventh of the total land. Construction on the City Palace began in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh but was continually changed, renovated and modified for the following two centuries. There are many gardens, courtyards and buildings to explore so I would give yourself lots of time to explore the area. Below are a few photos of the palace.

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Once we were done at the palace we decided it was time to eat, so we went off in search of some delicious curry and were not disappointed. It was the best food of the trip so far, and that's saying something when you're in India! Rachel and Kate went for the more hot and spicy variety of Laal maans which is a meat curry that is cooked in red chilies. I had a tough time finding a dish that wasn't too spicy for me as Rajasthani Region food is quite spicy. But I did find a delicious dish called Mohan maans which is meat cooked in milk. It may sound odd to cook meat in milk but in this area of India there is limited water so much of their cooking uses milk as a substitute for water. We also tried some of the sweets that Rajasthan is famous for and the best part was we got to eat our desert before and after the meal as is the local custom. Another local custom that we are getting used to is eating with our hands. While this may sound kind of gross and uncouth to North Americans who have become so accustomed to using a knife and fork it is actually quite enjoyable. And if done properly it's really not messy, I mean we're not experts by any stretch and we still get the odd glare of look of digust as we try to eat curry without getting it anywhere but on the tips of our fingers.

After we got our fill of the local cuisine we decided to take a walk through the local markets and see if we could find some of the famous Jaipur leather. They make all sorts of learther goods in Jaipur and have a special embroidery technique using velvet that they use to put detailling on the items. I found a beautiful bag and while it may not have been in the budget when am I going to get back to Jaipur again?!? There were all sorts of other beautiful wares in the market everything from paintings to carpets and jewelery. After we had haggled all we could and found some souveniers such as little elephants and sari's for our friends and family back home (all of you reading this yes you got gifts!) we went back to our palace for a little R&R.

Posted by becky1284 18:32 Comments (0)

And off to Jaipur we go!

Well we are in the beautiful city of Jaipur, and we spent the day exploring some of the many sites the city has to offer. However, it was not easy to leave the hotel, normally this wouldn't be the case as we are staying in a room with 10 other people but this is our one big "treat" of the trip we planned to stay in the Raj Palace, a former palace that has been converted into a Heritage Hotel. To say it's stunning is an understatement, we love it. We are staying where royalty lived, it is just such an authentic experience. Obviously only a select few lived or live like this in India but we've done the budget accommodation now we wanted to see how the other side felt and let me tell you it's fabulous! We have a room with a view of the gardens at the palace. The palace has been re-furbished with all the modern amenities a traveler could want. The palace isn't cheap but if you stay in a "standard" (although there's nothing standard about it) room it's about 375 USD a night so it's not unreasonable for one or two nights as a treat. The palace itself is located a little ways out of Jaipur but we were willing to make the trek. There are other palaces that have been changed into heritage hotels around India and we would definetely recommend spending at least one night in one of them on your trip. It's hard to explain in words so we took about a thousand pictures of the interior and exterior of the palace so you can see for yourselves and be jealous of us!!! I also put in a link to the hotel's website just in case you decide to ever stay there.

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http://www.rajpalace.com/

Posted by becky1284 18:03 Comments (0)

Mumbai

Has anyone seen Slumdog Millionaire? Well we all did and loved it so we decided to take a trip to Mumbai to see what the city surrounding the movie was all about. We never knew this but Mumbai used to be called Bombay and is one of India's most hectic cities...as we quickly discovered! There are so many people and they all seem to be going somewhere at once! There is so much to see and do here it really is a modern city. We are surrounded by great shopping, amazing historic sites, a fantastic night life and most importantly great food.

We arrived very early in the morning we decided to take a browse in some of the city's major markets. I decided that I would pick up some Bollywood memorabilia like vintage Bollywood posters. Rebecca decided that she wanted some Indian couture fashion so she picked up some pretty cheap local designs to wear out on the town tonight. Kate was hungry so we stopped by the Bhuleshwar Market so she could pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables....always the healthy one in the group.

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The thing that we found as we were shopping is that it is really necessary to barter for the things that you want. We were lucky and got some really good advice from the people working at the hostel where we are staying. They told us NEVER to insult the shopkeeper and to always let them make the first offer. They told us to start with a 40% discount off the starting price and then go down to 35%, but they told us to expect that the seller would offer a 20% discount.

After a morning of shopping we decided to take in some of the sights that Mumbai has to offer. We strolled along Chowpatty Beach and enjoyed the fresh air, we even got head massages!!

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As we enjoyed our walk we decided that it would be fun to attend a soccer match at the Cooperage Football Ground which plays host to state and national soccer league games between November and February- we were just in time to see a match! The tickets were super cheap and available right at the gate. sp2.jpg The stadium holds about 12,000 people. The teams that call the stadium their home include Mumbai FC, Bengal-Mumbai FC, Mahindra United, and Air India.

After a long day we returned to the hostel and had a little nap before we ventured out for the evening. We decided to start at Leopold's Cafe to meet some other travelers and have some food and a few beers. They have a huge menu!! After leaving Leopold's we decided that we were ready to dance and went to Ra. They play all different types of music from Hip- Hop to Hindi- it was expensive but amazing, the drinks cost around $10 each and the cover was $15 but you couldn't beat the atmosphere and that view of the stars through the bar's glass roof!!

It was a long but fantastic day...at this pace we really feel like we are starting to fit in here in Mumbai!

Posted by becky1284 16:56 Comments (0)

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