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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Indian Fairytale

A wedding in Delhi, the Taj Mahal, a camel safari and beautiful forts... just to name some of the highlight of our India trip

Saturday 6 Feb we, being Shosh, Piggy, Bas (a friend and colleague)and myself took off from Schiphol Airport for our two week trip through India. After an uneventful, but comfortable flight with Turkish Airlines we arrived at around 4.30 AM in Delhi (on Sunday morning). The first day we chilled out and walked around the city to get acquainted with the Indian way of life. One of the first things we did in Delhi was leaving it to go to Agra. We went there by train early Monday morning. The highlight was, of course, the Taj Mahal but also the Red Fort and the food were well worth the visit... Check out our meter long "dosa" :-)

On Tuesday we had the wedding of a friend of ours. The wedding of Anuj and Nidhi took place over two evenings and we were told we needed to wear traditional Indian clothes. So Bas and I went for the "Kurta Pajama" and Shosh for the Saree. Pranav, another Indian friend who I met during the IIGP, showed us where to get these and also took us sightseeing Delhi. After a successful shopping spree we looked awesome!! The fun thing, however, was that we were the only men dressed like that. All Indian men were simply wearing suits. Oh well, we had a great time.

On Thursday morning we met up with the driver we had hired for the next ten days. He did not speak a word of English and our Hindi wasn't very good either. Luckily we still managed to get everywhere we wanted to go, but it took some effort... Our first stop was in Bikaner. Here we did our camel safari through the desert: two days including spending a night camping under the stars. It was great!! And we also learned that when a camel misbehaves you simply scream "TAKKIE" and it will stop... ;-)

Piggy loved the dessert as well!

The next two days we spent in Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Both are amazing towns with spectacular forts and well worth a visit.

Opium, good for sex...

I think that all these forts were the biggest surprise for me. I never expected there to be so many of them and in such a "good" state. But due to the old trading routes that ran through the desert here, there was a need for good defense and that is exactly what these massive forts offered.

On the way to Udaipur we stopped at Ranakpur (a famous Jain temple), met some great local farmers and checked out Kumbalgarh, an old fort with a 36km long wall.

In Udaipur we took some cooking lessons and did a boat ride on the lake to get a nice view of the Lake Palace.

On the way to Jaipur we stopped at Chittorgarh, a huge deserted fortress. Still amazing to think that all these places once were in use and must have looked incredible. Now it is fun but not that spectacular (unlike what the Lonely Planet claims...)

Our last stop was in Jaipur. But none of us especially liked the city. We did climb up to a fort for a view of the city and a well-deserved cold beer, which was simply awesome.
And last but not least a picture of our driver with us and our relaxed Toyota Innova

I loved the vacation, but for us it is clear we should not go to Asia anymore for the cultural experience. We have simply seen too much of it. Also we are a bit done with seeing cities, so wherever we go next time it will not be in Asia and it will involve a lot more nature!!!

Other great news is that we moved to Amsterdam last weekend and that I am skiing in Engelberg (Switzerland) this weekend. But more on that next time.

Ruud, Shosh, Bas & Piggy

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