Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Glovers 2 month India adventure has begun!

Glovers 2 month India adventure has begun!

Old Jan 10th, 2014, 07:41 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glovers 2 month India adventure has begun!

Mr Glover and I have finally embarked on our first trip to India. Will try to update trip report every few days. We two have taken to spending Jan and Feb some place warmer than DC now that we're retired. We planned the trip and made most reservations ourselves, though
Arranged some drivers and got some train tickets through Castle and King.

We flew dc to london and london to Mumbai on Virgin Atlantic. And yes, as someone here at fodors predicted, seats were hard, narrow and cramped in economy. But I caught up on 4 or 5 movies, slept not a wink, and managed to survive. We have a complicated and ambitious itinerary that involves drives, trains, and domestic flights. We'll be in Kerala, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Agra, Varanasi, Delhi, and 3 National parks.

Weather here in Mumbai is perfect, 80s by day, 60s by night. Warm and sunny. Staying in an interesting little "boutique" hotel, the Ascot, near the Taj and India Gate. Full of Arab businessmen, some with families. Enjoyed our visit to Elephanta Island yesterday to see the ancient Hindi caves. A young resident guide attched himself to us. He turned out to be quite good, found us some birds, took great photos, and provided good info. We did a lot of walking and climbing with him and by day's end were exhausted!

More as it develops. . . .
glover is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2014, 08:29 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a great trip, make sure you try some of the street food in Mumbai, but make sure you use a few cautions etc, it's a sin in my opinion not to try the street food in India, especially in Mumbai.
JillianV is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2014, 09:27 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26,057
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Bon voyage!
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2014, 10:34 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a fantastic time in Incredible India, I'll be following your tales of the journey.
sartoric is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 12:16 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a fantastic trip Glover. I look forward to reading all about it.
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 03:08 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looking forward to your report. We leave in 2 weeks for a two week trip including Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar, Agra, Jaipur and Delhi.
katnip is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 03:08 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
and Aurangabad!
katnip is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 03:14 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,376
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excellent! Have a great trip! Looking forward to reading it, too!
progol is online now  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 05:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,765
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
Have a great trip! Will look forward to hearing about it. Hopefully you escaped DC before the deep freeze hit.
yestravel is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 07:04 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,448
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eager to follow along. Have a great trip!
Marija is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 07:47 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
have fun--anxious for more

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 09:36 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip. Thanks for taking us along!
Kathie is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
joining in and hoping to pick up some tips for a trip that I have just started thinking about for 2015.
annhig is online now  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 01:12 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,767
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm here too. Looking forward to hearing about your trip. June
dgunbug is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 03:13 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We leave on Feb 10! I'm just starting to pull clothes, but plan to pack light as always. I know we will be bringing back more than we are taking. We'll start in Delhi and return from Mumbai on March 6.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2014, 09:13 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,450
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great start.
How is the weather these days? I think the exchange rate is really good these days. Hope you will enjoy the trip and also find great souvenirs.
Waiting to hear more details.
ileen is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2014, 07:03 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 395
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a wonderful, safe journey! Looking forward to reading all about your adventures. Enjoy!
wkwb42a is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2014, 03:05 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were so whipped after our all day trip to Elephanta that it was all we could do to drag ourselves the two doors down to the rooftop restaurant we' discovered the night before.   Two doors down from our Ascot Hotel is the Hotel Godwin.   On its top floor is the Cloud 9 cafe:  just a few basic tables inside and very basic bar.   But outside is large roof patio with wrought iron tables and chairs.  Hence a good place for enjoying warm Mumbai eves.   A few large Tiger Beers and a bit of Indian food will set you back all of $20 to $30.   Food's OK, too.   Unfortunately our second night was really too breezy cool outside so we moved inside where the decor is more early ymca.

On day 3 in Mumbai we ate our included breakfast - toast, masala omelette, juice, and bad coffee- in the nice little breakfast room of the hotel.   Then we walked way north in the Fort area with spontaneous stops along the way.   
Sat for a few minutes and listened to a concert of vocalists backed up by musical instruments.   Were drawn around a corner later when we noticed a throng of people waiting/watching something.   Was the small courtyard of a very decrepit apt Bldg, with people peering out also from all its open windows. 
A man came over to us and told us that this was the beginning of a funeral for a mid aged man from the Bldg.  On the ground in th middle of the crowd a few men prepared a hand made stretcher, covered it with white sheet and weighted the sheet with rocks.   Soon we could see through the open windows of the apt that several other men were carrying a wrapped body down steps through the Bldg.   Our new friend told us that after everyone offered their respects the body would be carried? Delivered?  About 10 minutes away for cremation.   Thinking all of that would take some time, we moved on.    

Walked as far north as Crawford Market, a huge veg, meat, fish open market.   Every imaginable animal/bird caged and for sale.   Soon we were approached by two men who flashed some credentials and pointed to a sign on the wall of market rules, one of which said "foreign visitors shall be escorted by guide.".   The taller elegant man explained that no money was requested or due, that the service /rule was to protect visitors from "bad people".  He then became our new best friend - perhaps particularly to ensure that we visited his friend's spice booth.   In any case we were shown and smelled many wonderful spices and did buy a few types of curry.   

Next stop was the Prince of Wales museum.   A beautiful building inside and out.   We fortified ourselves with some ginger tea and cookies.   I cruised the museum shop.   Spent most of the time viewing the museums collection of stone sculptures, which we thought outstanding.   Later I was attracted to some colorful Madhubani hand painting.   Stacks of contemporary ones (also hand painted) were displayed for sale.   I went into a shopper's coma and lost a half hour deciding on a single one to buy.   Meanwhile Mr Glover cruised the armor.  He reported back that there were some spectacular jeweled daggers there.   Walked back to the hotel. 

Had dinner later at the lovely restaurant Indigo on the front terrace.   Shared grill prawn appetizer, I had leg of lamb, and Mr G also had something he liked though I've already forgotten what.   Had desserts too and a couple drinks.  Bill came to about $100, our most expensive yet.   Partly because wine is so $&@xxing expensive here.  

Checked out TV after dinner to see what Indian TV looks like.  That was not to be at the Hotel Ascot, as we discovered all channels were Arabic.  No Bollywood for us.   

Next day we flew south on JetAir to Kochin in Kerala.  Super new nice plane, 
Beautiful flight attendants.   2 1/2 hour flight.   Found pre paid taxi booth and gave employee there the address of our hotel in Fort Kochi.   She looked at it and then at me and said:   "Blablabada?".  I looked blankly back at her and said with question inflection. "Blablabada?". And shrugged like a no nothing.   She wrote something on the ticket, charged me about 1000 inr and handed me my ticket.   Outside a driver took it from me and directed us to a car.   He looked at address I gave him and then at ticket and said "Blablbada? ". Then. No Blablabada.   "fort kochi"  and we then said yes, yes fort kochi.    After several more blablas were exchanged we came to realize that the ticket agent understood our address to be in some place Blablada sounding.   The driver immediately recognized it as Fort Kochi.   Then I had to go back in and get it corrected etc.   And we were off.   30 km yet one and a half hours later! We were in Fort Kochi at our lovely little hotel Tissa's Inn, a simple place appointed with beautiful Indian art antiques.   Owner also owns big antique shop in town.   Had dinner that eve at the restaurant of the Old  Harbour Hotel.   We'd met a guy the night before at Indigo who recommended it.   Sat outside on the verandah near swimming pool.   Live music played softly.   Lovely atmosphere, though good thing we'd slathered on the mosquito repellent.  (FYI - as the mosquito magnet, I said yes to Malarone for 7 weeks, MrG the tough guy is foregoing it.    ).   Food here was equally as good as Indigo and bill half as much.   We had fish filets done two different ways,
Grilled veg appetizer and delicious carrot pumpkin soup.   Nice but slow service.   But a pleasant spot to hang around for sure.    Hotel reception was shocked that we wanted to walk.   Possibly because many guests never returned.   Street signs that exist are confusing, various maps different and not to scale,  names changes etc.  And then there's the chaotic auto rickshaw, motorcycle, car, pedestrian traffic.   Broken sidewalks suddenly end, etc.   A great place to test one's response time and alertness.   Watch where you step, look sideways, and still try to take in the scene.   

Slept well, had another masala omelette breakfast with great juice, nice fruit and terrible coffee.   Set off on foot again after breakfast, map in hand, with the goal of seeing Ft Kochi.   Immediately outside hotel auto rickshaw driver set upon us.   We did our best to resist him - we want to walk- bla bla.   And we did for a few blocks until Mr G, good with maps, declared map worthless.  
Who should appear out of nowhere but Achoo the previously rejected driver. 
We acknowledged the possible misery of walking in circles in heat and humidity.    And we were his.   Probably a good decision as we were able to cover more ground more comfortably.   And it was a fun ride.   Visited the only Jain temple visitors can access, Jew town and Old synagogue, outside laundry (imagine using a 10 lb iron in this heat all day.).   Laundry area is full of big old metal tubs.   Washed clothes are then hung to dry on many racks outside.   Some laid flat in yard.   Especially interesting to see as we'd just had the hotel send out some laundry this am.   Scanning the scene didn't yield anything familiar though. . .  .    But we bet they were there.   Also visited the 400 year old ginger Factory.   Returned to hotel for sandwich and rest.   
Will go with our new best friend Achoo to a festival in town for a couple hours this eve.   Tomorrow we've hired a boat and nature guide for half day backwaters trip.
glover is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2014, 03:44 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
He then became our new best friend - perhaps particularly to ensure that we visited his friend's spice booth. In any case we were shown and smelled many wonderful spices and did buy a few types of curry. >>

glover, I've not been to India - yet - but this sounds so much like our experiences in Sri Lanka, as do your attempts to walk and then giving in to getting a rickshaw.

All so so familiar, and yet such fun.

Keep it coming.
annhig is online now  
Old Jan 13th, 2014, 04:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great reading, especially from my hubby's point of view. Going to be his first time and he expects it to be amazing .... Hope I love it too , a bit apprehensive ....
ana2014 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:03 AM.