Category Archives: travel in India

2011 India Trip: Timeline

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

Brendan Gregg

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


Tuesday, Oct 18: Delhi

Wednesday, Oct 19: Delhi

Shopping with Denise.

Thursday, Oct 20: en route, Mussoorie

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:

^ Brendan Gregg and Tom Alter

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

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!

Funny Signs from Around India

^above: Vakil means lawyer in Hindi

above: This sort of motto seems rather retro and naive to advertising-jaded Americans, but still plays well in India.

This advertisement for cellphone services is is almost entirely English words transliterated into Hindi, in some cases interspersed with Hindi grammar.

From the top:
Full roaming
North India me (in North India)Balance on screen
har call ke bad (after every call).Ess. Em. Ess
1 rupee

Ess. Tee. Dee. / Ay. Ess. Dee. (two phone standards used in India, I think)
antim rupaye tak (to the last rupee)

Free voice mail