Varanasi Travel Blog› entry 8 of 13 › view all entries
January 13th, 2010 – by: tirsomaldonado
This morning we got to Varanasi almost at 9am, 1-Âœ hours behind scheduled. Lucky the guy who was supposed to meet us up was still waiting for us, as the train station was quite confusing. Tons of people walking up and down with many taxi drivers offering their services, young kids begging for money and others guys trying to see us some stuffâŠ ufffâŠ very confusing! Welcome to Varanasi, I thought to myself!
The guy who picked us up was very friendly and took us to the hotel.
At 2pm our guide picked us up and took us to a Buddha Temple. There you find the original symbol of India (four lions). This symbol is stamped everywhere, in their passports, bills, driving licensesâŠ the atmosphere was very interesting as it was full of Buddhist coming from all over the places to visit it.
At the exit you had some souvenir bazaars and we saw a couple of things we liked. You wouldnât believe the age of the sales peopleâŠ there was a 6 years old girl and a 10 years old boy! We asked for the price of one figure and he replied with a very firm voice: â500 hundred sir!â shooot! I didnât expect them to be so expensive, and he just gave me the price of one of them, so we just turned around when we heard: âExcuse me sir, how much do you offer me?â I couldnât believe it! The boy wouldnât let us go âș Then Silvia replied she would pay 200INR for both figures, and the kid smiled to us saying, go then, I cannot sell them at that price.
Then our new tour guide took us to the Muslims neighborhood to see how they make all saris. It was quite cool as a representative of a silk cooperative gave us a welcome and took us to different private houses to see how everything was made. What we didnât know is that at the end they would take as to a room to sell us some stuff.
Our tour guide didnât say anything and we kept silence too. Then he broke the ice telling us what was next. We were visiting the UniversityâŠ then I asked, is it worthwhile? Isnât it better to go to the Ghats already? âlater, laterâ he replied. Shit! It took us 30 minutes to get there, and we just drove along the campus for some time. Nothing to see, not interesting at all, and 30 more minutes to get to our final destination! The Ghats!
UfffâŠ We miss Jagdish and Bhupi! You feel so secure and comfortable with them.
Anyhow we finally got to out final destination, although we had to walk for a while before reaching the Ghats! Shit! That was impressive; I had never seen anything like that. As I said earlier, I visited Stone Town in Zanzibar and was quite impressive but this was just too much! So much poverty, people begging everywhere, tons of sales people trying to sell us stuff, dirt, dirt, and more dirt. And then you get to the river Ganges. Woaw! You must see the photos!
At 6.15 a ceremony takes place right at the edge of the river with 5 or 6 priests guiding it. We got there around 5.45, so we had the chance to get the best seats, right next to the place where the show was taking place.
The ceremony was just beautiful, as they played with the background (Ganges river), the boats, flowers and candles floating on the water, and the priests dancing with fire and flowers! And of course the sound of our dumbbells! âș I highly recommend you to go to the Ghats with more time to get used to the odors and the situation itself. I read many times that you are never ready to experience it and they were right! Once in a lifetime, but you have to live through it!
We are going back tomorrow at 6am to see the sunrise. Once we finish taking some photos we will be heading back to the hotel for breakfast and then straight to the airport to fly to Khajuraho.
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