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Leon & Susan Tour India 2011

After 30 years of marriage,
we finally take a honeymoon.

Click on Images to Enlarge 

R
 

 

First draft explanations and descriptions to be added later.

 

 

 

 

1.

January 8th: Travel from Cherry Hill to Philadelphia to Chicago to Delhi to the Lemon Tree Hotel, East Delhi Mall, Kaushambi

Our Pictures of travel, the hotel, and the mall are here.        

Hotel Web site

Where we had a cultueral misadventure at the Lemon Tree.  We learned that in India, no one wants to deliver bad news to a customer.  (But all was resolved by our second visit a few days later.)

 

 

 

 

2.

January 11th: Visit to Delhi's Swaminaran Akshardham

No pictures due to India's security requirements.

Pictures from the web are here.  

 Link to
Swaminaran Akshardham description is here.

Where a wonderful guide finally enabled us to make sense of Hindu beliefs and culture.

 

 

 

 

 3

We visit India Gate (Arch) and pass the seat of government.   

Our pictures

 

 While the students were honored to take their pictures with us, it was really us honored to meet these wonderful people.

 

 

 

 

 4

 

We are permitted to visit
Judah Hyan Hall Synagogue
even though the members are away.  

Our pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 5

 The drive from Delhi to Agra

Our pictures

 

 Progress, fresh vegetables,
poverty, a rising middle class,
new cars and old auto-rickshaws,
horns, horns, loudness,
lots & lots of motorcycles,
well dressed students are everywhere,
bill boards for colleges are everywhere.
 

 

 

 

 

 6

 

We overnight in Agra at the beautiful
Taj Gateway Hotel    

Our pictures.         The Hotel's own web site

The Taj only claims "5 stars"?

 

 

 

 

 7

We visit the Taj Mahal

Our pictures.   Taj Mahal on Wikipedia 

 

Surreal.  A monument to lost love.  We are taught about "Pietra Dura," or the art of using precious and semi-precious stones inlaid to make intricate art of many types. I

 

 

 

 

 8

 

With a better appreciation of the Taj's art, we visit a store for a demonstration and purchase art of our own.

Our pictures

Explanation of Pietra Dura in Wikipedia 

 

 

 

 

 

 9

January 12th:  We visit Akbar's Agra Fort. 

 

It didn't suck to be the king.

 

 

 

 

 10

 

 A brief visit to a Carpet Manufacturer

 

 

 

 

 

 11

  Travel from Agra to Jaipur in four-plus hours.  

 

 The noise and travel and stimulation start to
wear Leon down.

 

 

 

 

 12

 

We overnight in Jaipur at the beautiful
Taj Jaimahal Palace 

   Hotel Web Site

 It wasn't just a hotel with the name "palace."  It turned out to be a real palace converted to a 5-star hotel.
Another wonderful Taj property.

 

 

 

 

 13

 January 13th: We visit Jaipur City Palace.

 Wikipedia.

 

 More examples of why it didn't suck to be the king.

 

 

 

 

 14

 

We visit Jaipur's Jantar Stone Observatory

 Wikipedia

 If I saw this place in a movie, I would dismiss it as fiction so weird as not to be believable.

 

 

 

 

 15

 We receive a demonstration on
jewelry manufacture at
Ram Chainani's
Jewels & Gem Palace in Jaipur.

 

 These artists work harder in a year than I will in my lifetime.  I am in awe of their work ethic.

 

 

 

 

 16

 

We lunch at Raj Mahal.  

Wonderful food.
Wonderful staff.

Not so wonderful rest rooms.

 

 

 

 

 17

January 13th:
We ride the elephants
and tour Amber Fort.
 

 

 OK.  OK. I get it now.  
It didn't suck to be the king.

 

 

 

 

 18

 

Overnight in Jaipur.
(Sorry no pictures here)

 

 

 

 

 

 19

 

January 14th:  We visit
"
Ganesham Textile & Handicraft." 

Top quality cloth, clothes, and accessories for far less than available in America.

 

 

 

 

 20

Jaipur to Delhi Drive
in about five hours.

 

 Billboards every few feet reinforce the message:  
GO TO COLLEGE NOW.

 

 

 

 

 21

 

Overnight back at the at the Lemon Tree 
(No pictures)

 

 

 

 

 

 22

 January 15th:  Fly Delhi to Chennai.  
Arrive at Murana International Hotel.

 

Indian airlines all seem better than all US domestic carriers.

 

The whole population seems to be standing in line for the latest Bollywood premier.

 

 

 

 

 23

 

Sandeep welcomes us to the
Maurya Hotel International
 

His friends welcome us
to the  family.

 

 

 

 

24

A very friendly cabbie takes us touring...
From the hotel to the beach

More old-and-new paradoxes.

 

 

 

 

 24a

 

The Beach at Chennai
(where "bathing in the sea is
dangerous & illegal")

But the population
has fun anyway.

 

 

 

 

24b

Our pictures: The Catholic church at the beach

Description from the web:  
Annai_Vailankanni_Shrine_
in_Besant_Nagar_at_Chennai
 

 

 

 

 

 

24c

The Hindu shrine at the beach

We need to find some pictures.  
Too hard to explain.

 

 

 

 

 25

 January 15th: Pre-Wedding Party 

 Where sitting down
while the music is playing
is just not accepted.

 

 

 

 

26

January 16th:
"Sandeep & Monica Get Married
"  

 "Only" 400 people?

What do you mean "only" 400 people.

It was the largest wedding I've ever attended.

 

 

 

 

27

January 16th:  
Post Wedding
We stay at the Green Park

Every bit as nice as a Taj property.

 

 

 

 

28

 January 17th:  
Chennai to Mumbai to GOA
 

 

 

Less noise on the road.

Nobody even slows down
at "STOP" signs.
 

 

 

 

 

29

 

January 17th:
Arrive at
Taj Vivante Holiday Village
in GOA 

 Arrive completely drained.

Taj sets a new standard for
a romanctic getaway.

 

 

 

 

30

GOA 1st Evening
Taj Vivante Holiday Village 

 

 Pinch me.
Is this for real?

 

 

 

 

31

GOA
Taj Vivante Holiday Village
 

 

 Things just keep getting better.

 

 

 

 

32

 

January 18th:
GOA Taj Vivante Holiday Village 

We meet a dozen
Kashmiri merchants
and learn much about both
India and
Kashmir.

 

 

 

 

33

 January 19th: Taj Vivante Holiday Village

 

Do we have to go home?

 

 

 

 

34

No pictures coming home:
(About 28 hours door-to-door): 

    a. GOA Drive to GOA airport

    b. GOA to Bangalore

    c. Bangalore to Delhi

    c. Delhi to Chicago

    d. Chicago to Philadelphia

    e. Philadelphia to Cherry Hill

Followed by five days of disorientation and readjustment.