Sunday, April 17, 2011

We do have plans to finish up the blog on India (some more pics to post), it's comin, we promise. A little update, we returned to Canada on April 6th making that 3-months in India.

More pics soon.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Holi!

Holi, the festival to ring in the arrival of spring is celebrated by rubbing, spraying, throwing, dousing, and otherwise covering everyone and everything in (possbly toxic) pigment. Although it cost me a shirt, it was really fun. The one drawback is that Diu is a Union Territory (read: cheap booze) and the attached state of Gurjurat is dry. Combined with a national holiday, it leads to lots of Indian tourists who can't handle their alcohol. The bars are all in one strip along the water, so most of the drunkenness was contained, and we didn't really have any trouble, aside from some good-spirited colour fights.


Even with Octopussy being played in every guest house and tiny streets crammerd with vehicles, Udaipur manages to be quite captivating. I mentioned some of the gems in the last post of the museum, but Udaipur actually is about as close to Venice as India might ever get.

The city palace has been enlarged by every maharaja that has ruled, and is now an enormous sprawling complex, which comes somewhat close to keeping a uniform architectural style. It's heavily guarded, although the guards seem slightly less menacing when they're going around taking pictures of the palace on their cell phones.

View of the city from the top of the palace

Courtyard/overpriced dining area

Night view of the palace from across the lake

Almost all the buildings are tall and thin, each with a roof terrace giving amazing veiws of the city and the night sky. Here's some fun with a full moon and long exposure :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We went to a museum in an restored residency of an old maharaja yesterday. Highlights of the museum (meant to show the daily life when the residency was in use) included:
-a room filled with hundreds of colourful marionettes
-the worlds largest turban in a glass case, as well at least 3 dozen different types of turbans
-a replica of the Statue of Liberty (although I thought it was supposed to be a woman...)
-a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (although I thought the tower was supposed to be leaning, not just the description plate...)
-a traditional kitchen setup (with drums on the counter)
-a room in which shoe removal was mandatory, as there was a shrine (as well as partition storage and rubbish collection)
-a man herding flower petals with a hose
-a collection of modern(ish) art with no indications of the artist, date, or medium on anything
-pictures of local officials
-pictures of the restoration (of a different building)
along with many other gems. The randomness was awesome.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pics of Madrem Beach and Hampi Part two

Before we headed to Hampi (Hampi is really really amazing and as Dan mention a true highlight of the trip), we spent some time on Madrem beach which is near Arambol--we stayed in Arambol for a night but preferred Madrem because the beach was less packed and it was just lower key.
So here are some more pics for you...
ps we're in Udaipur in Rajasthan--we ended up taking a 1 hour flight from Hubli near Hampi to Mumbai then another hour and a bit flight to Udaipur--it was the only way to avoid 40 hours on a bus, and train wasn't an option and we really wanted to get a bit north. I'm really liking Udaipur despite the fact that I have a sinus infection/cold. Lots of great architecture and the guest houses are mostly old havelis so you get really lovely rooms with pretty details. We'll post pics of Udaipur soon. As a side note for James Bond fans, Octopussy was filmed here and trust me, they don't let you forget it!
Enough talk, more pics...

I'm a big fan of archways.

Temple times!

Dan's second India haircut--poor guy, he really did get a thumb in the eye.

Yay for archways!

Madrem Beach pics below...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Although it's getting hotter, we finally decided to head away from the water, and venture inland a little. We took an overnight bus to Hampi, which was an adventure all on it's own. We made our way on an extremely overcrowded bus to where our overnight bus was leaving from. After wandering around, we went to get a bite to eat to kill some time. While we were in the restaurant, a parade started between us and where we had to go. We literally had to fight our way through the crazy crowds and push through a parade to get to the bus stand, just to find that they moved the departure point 2km away (with 30 minutes to departure, and no way for rickshaws to get through all the people). I was determined not to miss this bus and we ran, packs and all, to some unknown new location. Big props to Ana for not only keeping up, but for busting through tightly packed crowds of Indian men when necessary. It's so funny how they will push and shove in a queue for no reason, but try to do the same back, and whooooeeeee, do they get mad. Tough! We made it and had a bumpy night to Hampi.
All worthwhile in the end, as Hampi was amazing. It's a huge area with intricately carved ruins scattered all over. In the main area of town, locals have build their home and businesses over them, so there is quite a mix of older beautiful stonework buildings with tin and thatched attachments. Away from the main attractions, you could find yourself alone in massive markets and temples, which are starting to crumble (except the ones designated as world heritage site, which are amazing well maintained), but are still completely awe-inspiring. All in all, Hampi is a definite highlight of this trip.
I had my second Indian hair cutting experience here to, which was almost as fun as the first. Instead of moving around the chair, the barber would torque my head around to where ever he had the razor (for which I had to hold the plug tightly against the socket). He also liked to get a firm grip on my head, and I had to pry his thumb out of my eye on several occasions. On the bright side, I did manage to get my usual short shaved cut, instead of the flat-top-fade-with-front-poof that I ended up with the first time..

Enough blathering. Here are some pics of some of the Hampi ruins...

Elephant stables

Vittala Temple

Royal Chariot sculpture

Krishna Temple Marketplace

On our way out one day, we lucked upon Lakshmi getting her daily bath, so I got to help give her a little scrub down. Awesome! I wanna bring her home, but Ana won't let me :(

So, Ana...what do you think of the Hampi experience?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

just pics

garden in Panaji, Goa

Dan in said garden :)

Church in Panaji, Goa

Dan walking on Palalem Beach, Goa

and posing :)

Ooty, in Tamil Nadu--it's up in the hills so it's a lot cooler hence the layers--Dan begged me to put my toe up to the sign, I got a lot of strange looks (more then usual).

banana leaf lunch times in Alleppey

Lots of brightly painted houses along the backwaters in Alleppey

oh yeah those eyes!

pretty blue.

We're in Arambol, Goa now for more beachy times. This is a nice area but not as nice as Patnem Beach which is to date on of our favs.

In other news we have booked our return back to Canada...April 6th is the date! Lots to see and do before that.