Travel Days + Bangalore7/20-7/23

Bengaluru Travel Blog

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Friday 7/20/07

I didn't sleep at all last night. I was up late putting music on my iPod, packing & unpacking, eliminating extras from my luggage thatwould weigh me down, & repacking.  My backpack is still heavier than I'd prefer, but I'm down to basics.  I have my heavy-duty waterproof hiking boots & a pair of merrell hiking sandals my mom gave me, 10 pairs of socks & underwear, 1 pair of super-lightweight 3/4 length pants, 2 t-shirts w/sleeves, 1 pair of shorts, 1 long button-down white shirt. But its the meds and sunscreen and powerbars that weighs the most.  HOpefully my bags will get lighter as I eat my powerbars and wash my hair.
I got to the airport on time, mom drove me.  Her new phrase is "I hope India turns out to be everything you want it to be... and more"
I got into Chicago at ORD, I'm used to flying in & out of MDW, & it took mee forever to get downtown to Julie's house.  Luckily I didn't have t ore-check my luggage for my 12 hour layover.  It was great to see Julie & Andy, I haven't seen them since my Ugly Xmas Sweater Party in Dec.  We had lunch & then Julie & I walked around Lincoln Park & window shopped - it's a good thing I couldn't fit anything else in my bag bc I saw some great shops & could've gone crazy there.  That afternoon they dropped me off at a blue line stop on their way to Jaiden's trapeze class (how fun!)
Let me say that I was not impressed with the terminal I flew out of at ORD.  After security, there was no where to eat & only 1 shop that closed at 5pm! Since I was there about 3 hours early, I went through security about 3-4 times!  I will say that I liked the Air India plane I was on. It was old, and the seats were ancient and there weren't TVs on each seat - just 1 projector screen per section, but the leg room was amazing! And my seat reclined back really nicely. That was really great. And their airline food was the best I'd ever had. Maybe Indian food reheats really well? Regardless, I'll definitely fly them again. Oh, that sleep medicine I brought was fabulous, I slept like a baby all the way to Heathrow.

Sat 7/21/07

I arrived in London. I don't switch planes but everyone has to get off and re-board. Im getting on when a girl who works there asked if I'd picked up a copy of Harry Potter? She told me there was a bookstore not far from my gate selling it, so (of course) I ran back and bought it!  I'd wondered if I might be able to find it in an airport, but I really didn't think I'd get that lucky! Happy Day! Well our flight was delayed a littled over an hour bc 2 passengers couldn't be ofund and they were unloading luggage, then they showed up and they put their bags back on . We have 409 people on this flight! And we get to fly over Russia and the middle east. The fields in eastern Europe were various geometric designs, instead of your standard checker-board look. And the fields in Western Russia were wavy, with rounded, almost curly-cue edges. For some reason the fields were intriguing me. They made everyone shut their windows so people could sleep when we were flying over Pakistan, so I was a little disappointed to not see their fields... maybe on the way back?

Sunday 7/22/07

Very early this am, we landed in Delhi before moving on to Mumbai.  I'm one of very few westerners left on this flight.  It's a weird feeling, but kind of exciting, too. When we landed in Mumbai (Bombay), I had to change flights to Air Sahara.  Well, we got in late, and I had to collect my luggage (which took forever!), and then no one could tell me where to go, and Air Sahara just happened to be the first flight on my itinerary to leave on time, so I missed it (along with a lot of other people in my same situation) AFter a frustrating hour of being sent in circles, I was able to get myself onto the Jet Airways 10:20 flight which got me into Bangalore by noon. Ok- this airline had NO leg room at all! If I'd gone overseas w/them, I'd have slit my wrists, it was so uncomfortable! But, I made it in.  Chris go there early this morning, and came back to the airport to meet me.  We took a cab to the Jaya Mahal Palace hotel - my home for the next 2 nights. It's very pretty with nicely manicured grounds in a gated area. The rooms have AC and big shower/tubs and balconies, although they aren't private balconies.  I checked in and jumped right in the shower, I felt so dirty after all of the traveling.  Then Chris & I just hung out at the hotel, we haven't seen each other for 2 weeks bc he's been in MN & NJ. We took a long nap and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner(my first real Indian meal). It was a very nice restaurant and our waiter (if a bit difficult to understand at times) was fantastic and very friendly. We had huge meals with bottled waters, diet coke, rice, naan, 2 delicously spicey veg entrees and desert. And it came to RS 530 (about $13)  Chris walked me back to my room after dinner and I took a few night photos from the balcony and then he had to head home. I should be able to see him tomorrow, though. ~Oh! on the way to dinner, we saw a HUGE frog with another, smaller frog on its back. I wish I'd had my camera on me, it would've been a cool picture. My first day here was less eventful than I thought, but then, we were exhausted and I always overestimate anyways. It's also a lot cooler here than I'd expected. not that it's cool, but it's not awful-hot!

Monday 7/23/07

Woke up at 7am and did 1st yogatoday podcast, followed by meditation.
Called a cab to pick me up and I went to make flight arrangements to fly to Jaipur tomorrow. Afterwards I had the cab driver take me around town and did some shopping. I bought a beautiful blue patchwork purse and 2 Salwer Kameez sets - more traditional clothing to wear in Rajasthan, although I wonder if I should have bought one with 3/4 length sleeves... After 4 hours of riding around, I went back to the hotel for lunch, then up to my room to relax and chill out w/HP7. Chris came over tonight. I'm not going to see him this weekend, we'll go to Agra next weekend. I finished the rest of HP7 (Fabulous!) so I could give it to Chris tonight and not haul it with me all over Rajasthan. We went down to eat dinner at the hotel restaurant, it's a gorgeous clear night, and they were seating people at tables on the back lawn under the night sky, and there was a beautiful fountain ni the center of the lawn and tables. We had nother excellent meal. I gave Chris a few things to take with him like HP7 and a bag of TP, since I'll be moving around over the next 2 wks. Chris said there was a 9 ft long king cobra on Wipro's campus 2 days ago and people had to come out and remove it - scary! when he left, he forgot his coffee mug, so I ran down to give it to him and I saw the tiniest little owl. It was so cute, perched on a (flag?) pole. We watched it for a bit and saw it swoop down at some unlucky creature. Laqter, I saw it fly within a great old tree, a few minutes later I heard an awufl screeching sound coming from that same tree, followed by silence... I hope it wasn't eaten by a snake! The animal noises are great!  Crickets, birds, big fat bullfrogs, and owls ~ what a lullabye!
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Bengaluru
photo by: Vikram