The Holiest of Hindu Cities
Varanasi Travel Blog› entry 15 of 41 › view all entries
A twelve hour train ride from Howrah Station in Calcutta brought us to Varanasi. The first-class seats in an air-conditioned chair-car made the trip comfortable but we decided our future rides would be second class since we would be better-adjusted to India by then. Passing cultivated fields and unending towns and villages, we played Scribbage. The fist-full of lettered dice was easy to travel with and provided a fine pastime. At each train stop, street venders boarded the train to sell chai, cold Limcas, Charm cigarettes, and a variety of crispy snacks. The one that we sampled, Chris said, "tasted like cardboard with a splash of lemon."
It was after 9 p.m. when we arrived in Varanasi, the holiest of Hindu cities and situated on the Ganges River. A taxi brought us to the Veranda Hotel. Our intended destination was another mile, near the river, but Indian taxi drivers always deviated to their friend's or family's shop or business where they were assured a 'take'. Tired, we accepted a room there for a rather expensive fifty Rupees ($5.00 U.S.). Like the train, however, our room was quite comfortable and exceptionally clean. It also boasted a private bath and a radio. We enjoyed hot showers and a room-service meal.