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Trip Report India: A dream trip meets reality for me

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I have wanted to go to India for a long time. I don't know why it had this pull for me but I have devoured a lot of fiction set there and thought about it for years. After recently chatting with someone who went I was inspired to check airfares and found a good one this year--we were going to India!!!

We have traveled a lot and some trips we do all the planning ourselves and some we get help. I knew India was one where we needed someone familiar with the country to provide assistance and researched India-based companies here and elsewhere.

After a few emails we settled on booking through Legends & Palaces. I recommend this India-based company for trip organization. Mr. Singh was was quickly responsive to my emails and once we were in India he checked in frequently by phone to make sure we were clear on meeting places/times/details.

The trip was 16 days (excluding travel days to/from India) and we were able to pack in a lot: Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, then five days in Kumaon for trekking at a place called Itmenaan estates.

We aren't really "city" people but we knew it was essential to experience cities in order to see some of the major sites. Our favorite portion was the countryside trekking.

It was colder everywhere than I expected. I had seen the temperatures, of course, and planned accordingly but there are a couple of things that make it seem colder than I thought:
1. Fog. It's quite foggy in December in India. Even non-freezing day feels colder without the sun. Fog is also a hindrance to getting really good photos of things, which is a consideration if photography is an important part of your trip.
2. Most places are not heated. There were a couple hotels that we stayed in which had it. I was always sooooo grateful when they did. But anywhere else (restaurants, sites, etc) are not heated (some hotels had space heaters, one had nothing).

My trip highlights were:
1. Seeing the Taj Mahal. It's spectacular. It holds your gaze with its beauty.
2. Seeing a full moon rise over a mountain in the foothills of the Himalayas.
3. Eating! I am a vegetarian and it was fabulous to visit a place where I could be adventurous with food at every meal! The food was incredible, particularly so at Itmenaan estates where they made many different dishes of many varieties for each meal. I loved it.

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