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Christl's Travel log

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Log entries 31 - 40 of 63 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Nov 01, 2007 09:00 PM Delhi and the rest of it.

Dehli is the kettle of the hex. This time I went with a bicycle rikscha, because my guide thought there would be to many hawkers who would molest me, but I think he didn't want to walk. Old Delhi must have been a dream of a town in the 19th century when the last moghul still was in the Red Fort and the town a culturell center, that was the time before the British took over and destroyed brutally the beauty of it. But you can still see relicts of the old glory, the havelis of the rich are now divided into small shops and livingquarters, the gardens disappeared, because so many people came here to try to make a living, sometimes out of nothing. But on the other hand it is, as I was told, famous for its spice market, for the silver, gold and precious stones business, and when you get married be sure to go here to buy the nicest saris. But as every coin it has to sides. I went into an alley on foot, and what I saw was incredible, a small boy was sitting in a hole on street level selling tea, small shops side by side, sometimes only 1 m broad and 2 m long, stuffed with merchandise, men sitting around in the dirt of the street, waiting for a job, i.e. to carry sacks and packages on their head or their back to another place, or to paint a house. And in between a shopkeeper was fighting with a cow, which was eager to eat up all his nicely decorated fresh vegetables and all around him laughed. Traffik as usual.

Oct 29, 2007 09:00 PM I walked the streets of Dehli.

I did it: I walked from my hotel to Connaught Place! Everyone could recognize me as a tourist - I can't help it I need my hat ...
But ... at the first crossing a boy wanted to sell me books, next a man throw the stump of his arm into my face, tuctucs stopped and wanted to drive me, a man talked to me and offered to show me an Emporium with a governmental certificate, but when I thought I got rid of him I met again and again. whenever I turned around a corner, he was there to show me into the right direction, a security guy asked me whether I was lost, I had to show him my map to be left alone, a woman with a baby wanted a rupie: Madame, madame, ... A Sikh ----
I have to stop now, next more. ... turned up telling me that all these people were directing me to the wrong place, but he knew a market where the offer was good and the prices low. When I got rid of him another one appeared and I gave him one of my looks, but one of the sharpest so he disappeared, but in the next moment another one told me that around the next corner was the best Emporium I would find in the country. At that point I yelled. I thought I got rid of him, no way, the next moment a friendly young man was beside me, saying that the other one was following me and that the area wasn't good for me, although I could have find my way alone he saw to it that I went into the right direction and then he went his own way. And I finally was back in the safety of my hotel. BUT ... I was still alive, I crossed the streets without being overrun by a bus, - a bus in Delhi overran six people in one row! -, BUT I survived! That's me!

Oct 27, 2007 06:00 PM We made it to Delhi.

Thanks to Tarik, my driver, I arrived safely in Dehli. As the saying is in India: You need a good driver, good brakes and good luck to survive these roads. We started at 10.00 a.m. and with two stops we arrived at my hotel at 6 p.m. Then I was done.

Oct 25, 2007 06:00 PM Barathpur - Fatepur Sikri - Agra

I promise I don't talk about traffic anymore, although I forgt to tell that donkeys also are on the road. The Indian government is building highways in the area and I got enough of it today. Driving through is kind of adventerous ... Besides that the heat and the humidity hit me, the dust, the noise, the drivers blow their horns, to tell what direction they want to go, a real concert. In the midst of it a somewhat suffocating policemen is trying to get the traffic going. On the way I stopped at Fatepur Sikri, where Akbar - in honour of a Mulsim saint, who foretold him a son -, built his capital on a ridge of which he sliced of the top to find room for his city. It is an incredible peaceful, gracious place. Driving into Agra was an experience of life. I hardly can describe how people work and do business in this small shops along the street, one beside another. There is no industry in town anymore because the pollution got at the Taj Mahal, so most of the people, if they have work, are weavers, do the famous stone work, stitching, make carpets, it's handicraft work mostly. I finally got to see the Agra Fort properly and Sikandra, where Akbar built his tomb, a heavy, red sandstone structure, which was "enriched" with white marble towers by his son Jahangir, thinking as he was the better educted one, but I think he made a mess of it. Agra has a problem with the monkeys, so you don't get near them because they bite you. I saw the Taj Mahal in the morning as son was rising. I don't need to tell you that it is one of these special places of the world.

Oct 24, 2007 06:00 PM Samode - Barathpur

This was a hard day. The highways are under construction. Six hours drive through a wide dusty landscape, 35 degrees, were simply too much for me. I went for a guided walk in a National Park, thank heaven, a rikscha was near by, because I nearly didn't make it back. To be honest sometimes I came to the limit, but sleep did me good and dinner was just what I needed.

Oct 23, 2007 06:00 PM Jaipur - Samode

Yesterday we left Jaipur and come after a drive over highways and country lanes to Samode. It was astonishing to learn that trucks and cars and the like mostly obey traffic rules, made my nerves relax. When you go by car in India you need a good driver, good brakes, and good luck. But I am save with my driver. The first you see of Samode is a slighty dirty village, but nearer to the palace it is clean, it has waterpipes nearly at every house, the women don't need to carry the water from afar. Children go to school. In the morning father and his small daughter were reading a newspaper. As I entered the palace I finally realised that it was my hotel, where I was treated like a princess. I can't tell all the niceties. My room was wonderful, not to talk about my bathroom. Swimming in the evening, the full moon above me, surrounded by dark mountains was a treat.Going to dinner I made an effort, even I wasn't feeling well and took my nice, greene dress and was a success. Dinner was good, the music pleasant, the service perfect.

Oct 22, 2007 06:00 PM Jaipur and Amber Fort

Montezumas Revenge hit me, but the chicken curry tasted so good. So I had to pay and couldn't get to the computer. I simply slept at the pool and had lots of banana lassie. But I went out to Amber Fort, which in my memory was such a dream, quiet and beautiful. One never should visit a place like such again. 7 years made a lot of difference. The tourist business hit it and it was a buildingsite. A hundred elefants were transporting the people up to the fort, so I skipped the elefant and was driven up by car. In the fort peple were shoved through. I saw more of it than last time but the most interesting things like the king's bedchamber and the gardens behind it are now closed to the puplic. Pillfering was done and a lot of the gold decoration of the walls and the old sandelwood doors are gone. But the place is still beautiful and the view on to the defense work is marvellous.

Oct 22, 2007 06:00 PM Still in Jaipur

Again I saw the City Palce and got to know much more about the Jantar Mantar. I had a very good guide, who spoke perfect German, had an MA in Urdu, given up teaching, worked as a guide, because he wanted to get to know people from other countries because he didn't have the money to travel, he lived with his extended family together in one house. The City Place also had changed and became a tourist attraction. But I finally saw all what I didn't see last time, the beautiful books, carpets, and garments of the kings and queens, one of the kings must have been huge, weighing 250 kilos, he hadn't a proplem with it, but the the women, called by night ... I saw his dresses, and gaped. The rooms with the decorated ceilings, done with stone and vegetable colours are still as fresh as the have been two hundred years ago. And the I saw the observatorium which I didn't understand the last time, because I had a lousy guide. This was build by one of the kings who was a learned man because he had a father who saw to his education. It is still used to figure out when the mosoon will come, to make the horoscopes which are so important for the people, and find aut the time of Jaipur Its sundials work to the minute. Jaipur time and India time have difference of 11 minutes. What else I have seen? The place where the elefants live, how to malke block printing, and I saw a modern shop where they make jewellery, and do enamling. It was one of those shops where they make one piece only once. Very sophisticated. Jaipur is the center of precious and half precious stone business. Here they have mines where they find diamonds, and emeralds and the like.

Oct 21, 2007 06:00 PM Jaipur, a hell of a town

Where is gone the town which in my memory was so peaceful and villagelike? It is definitely gone. I made a list what is on the streets. It'is overwhelming. In the morning the villagers, living outside cheaper go to town for work or to look for work, they wait at certain places until someone comes to hire them for the day, in the evening they return. As the November 9th is coming up, everyone goes to toen to buy new clothes, furniture and the like. My list: First of all there are the trucks, overloaded mostly, big and small ones, carrying goods and people, busses and mini busses, for tourists the nice ones, for the locals the broken down ones, packed to the limit, then the cars of every kind, the motorbikes at least with three, but up to five persons plus the shopping, bikes at least with two, but often with three people, tricycles for the handicapped, operated by hand, tuctucs, overloaded, made for two, carrying ten, also trasnporting goods, i.e. carpets, folded two meters high, rikschas, elefants, camels with carts, traffic trained, the stop at every red traffic light, they even obey to the nicely dreed police, horses with carts, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, that are the streetcleaners, I saw one cat. In between men, gossiping, women, trying to get across the street, women, working at buildingssites, carrying stones and soil on their head, children, the man with the snake, and around them the shops, one beside another, and the shopkeepers, praising their offers. And in the midst of it that's me, looking quite flaberghasted, threatened by the hawkers. Such is life to the utmost.

Oct 20, 2007 06:00 PM Pushkar, the holy place

Here Lord Brahma dropped a lotus flower from his hand. Water sprang up from thr spot where the petals fell, thus giving the lake its name: Pushkar means lotus. Here the only temple of Lord Brahma is situated. I didn't go inside because the pundits were to rough for me. Instead I sat in one of the ghats of the lakes enjoying the sunset.
Today I arrived in Jaipur, which seems to be a hell of a town.

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