After three weeks in India, we finally parted ways. We just arrived in Dubai for some Middle East adventures. While we never made it to the southern half of India and the parts of Northern India we saw are certainly on the tourist trail (if there is one for gringos), we felt like we saw a lot while in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Amritsar and Dharamsala.
It was an interesting ride, and in a lot of ways better than our expectations. It was frustrating, challenging and heartbreaking at times, but also was full of beautiful sights, nice people and fascinating culture.
Hot air ballooning over Jaipur (I’m still not great with GoPro videos, but check out below to see some of our views and the adorable children who were so excited when we floated over their village)
Having dinner with some expat friends in Delhi and learning about what it’s like to live in India
Seeing the home of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala
Hiking in the Himalayas
Touring the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar
Seeing all the interesting historical sights, like the world’s largest sun dial at Jantar Mantar, the astronomical observatory in Jaipur
Viewing the Taj Mahal in real life
Trying local Indian food – my favorite was kulcha, a traditional bread from Amritsar, stuffed with potatoes and garlic, grilled and smothered in butter, though starting the day with a rich and flavorful masala chai tea was pretty great too.
Witnessing the nightly ceremony at the border of India and Pakistan – such a crazy show of force and national pride (Short clip below!)
India isn’t the easiest place to travel for foreigners, certainly compared to places like Peru or Thailand. It was also smoggy and dirty, and the poverty, especially the mothers holding babies begging for food or money was tough to see.
But fortunately I didn’t experience any negative issues being a woman, even when I ventured out solo, nor did we ever get sick, which was a welcome surprise for us. We met some really nice people, ate some good food, saw a lot of beautiful sights and now have some great stories.
So overall, would I say either of us are smitten with India like some people are after their visit? No, not really. But am I glad we came? For sure.
What city are we in as I write this? Our AirBnB apartment in Dubai
What’s the scene? Just finished a home-cooked meal with lots of vegetables (hooray!) and viewing all the sparkling lights of the neighboring skyscrapers.
What am I reading currently? Just starting Six of Crows – here’s to hoping for a good new fantasy series.