2011 was a rough year in many ways, but I did have a fantastic vacation in India! Here’s an outline, more detailed articles to follow (er, sometime…).
Saturday, Oct 15: Depart SFO
As his last piece of work before vacation, Brendan had to get that blog post out. We were actually standing in line at the gate when he finally posted it.
Sunday, Oct 16: En Route
We flew Emirates Airlines from San Francisco to Dubai to Delhi – polar route FTW! Emirates has a great seat-back entertainment system, including views from cameras mounted under the plane’s belly and on its nose – so we could see a lot even though we didn’t have a window seat. When the cabin lights were dimmed for sleep, constellations appeared in the ceiling panels – a nice touch.
Monday, Oct 17: Dubai, Delhi
- Cheeky Crows (video)
- Humayun’s Tomb (twilight video, photo gallery)
- Parrots at Humayun’s Tomb (video)
Tuesday, Oct 18: Delhi
- Jantr Mantr (photo gallery)
- Central Cottage Industries Emporium
- Dinner at the home of my Woodstock School classmate Sara, with classmates and others gathering to go the school reunion in Mussoorie
Wednesday, Oct 19: Delhi
Shopping with Denise.
Thursday, Oct 20: en route, Mussoorie
- Seen from an Indian Train (video)
- Arrived at school, began catching up with many old friends.
Friday, Oct 21: Mussoorie
Explored Landour bazaar.
Saturday, Oct 22: Mussoorie
- Got up to see the sunrise at Fairy Glen (video)
- Classmate Sanjay hosted a Diwali party for all the gathered alumni, staff and friends. Jeet sang a song he had composed for us: Thirty Years On (video)
Sunday, Oct 23: Mussoorie
Saw my first ever live cricket match between teams of alumni, spouses, offspring, and friends:
Monday, Oct 24: en route, Kesroli
We took a taxi from Mussoorie to Dehra Dun airport – a much longer journey than I had bargained for. Then, in the last kilometer, we ran into a roadblock:
After a short plane ride to Delhi, we were met by a car from Uday Tour, which drove us another three hours to the Hill Fort, Kesroli:
Tuesday, Oct 25: Kesroli
Wednesday, Oct 26: Kesroli
- Scooter Taxi Ride to Alwar (video)
- Diwali Market in Alwar (video)
- Urban Alwar (video)
- View from the Hill Fort, Kesroli (video)
- Diwali Celebrations (video, photos, text)
Thursday, Oct 27: en route, Agra
Another driver from Uday Tour came to take us to Agra. I had not travelled by road in India (other than Dehra Dun-Mussoorie and back) for some time; it gives a different perspective on Indian life. I was very surprised to see this example of Indian wildlife – a nilgai – just off the road:
We stopped en route at Fatehpur Sikri, then went on to the Taj Mahal – my first visit in thirty years.
Friday, Oct 28: Agra, en route, Bombay
On the way out of Agra we saw the Red Fort, where I got a video snip of a Chittering Chipmunk. We drove straight to Delhi airport (about five hours on the road), and flew to Bombay.
Saturday, Oct 29: Bombay
Shopping, seeing friends.
Sunday, Oct 30: Departure
Left for the airport around midnight Saturday for a 3 am flight. Connected through Dubai again, then on to one of the worst flights of my life – yelling kids whose parents seemed to have no notion of even attempting to calm or quiet them… Finally, back to SFO and “real life” – whatever that may be!