Monthly Archives: June 2010

As Rob posted the Taj Mahal was amazing if you can get past the heat and the hustlers.  The moment we exited the train we were accosted by people at every turn trying to sell us something or scam us into paying twelve times the amount that it costs a native. The only saving grace was that Rob spent 200 rupees, (the equivalent to 4 US dollars) on a tour guide.  He really made the […]

If hell is 120 degrees in Delhi, Agra is the ...

Udaipur is normally called India’s most romantic city. Normally, though, the picture above would be of a beautiful white palace seeming to float on a serene desert lake. As you can tell, the palace was more “heavily sitting” than floating, and the “lake” was more of a “giant swampy mud-plain”. Still, we loved Udaipur. It was hassle-free, clean, and full of history. During our stay, we even braved the 105 degree heat to visit the […]


India has a great train system. The train are super-fast, and you can go most of the way across the country on a single overnight train. Unfortunately, they are booked months in advance and, even with a “foreign tourist quota” and the several schemes designed to accommodate last-minute travel, many tourists vacations are determined simply by what train tickets are available. Hence, Jaclyn and I had to give up on some of our more ambitious […]

The Taj Mahal

This post is an excerpt from Jaclyn’s travel diary: ————– Delhi was like nothing I had ever imagined. Imagine being in  120 degree heat, surrounded by rude Indian men, and basically being accosted for sales at every turn. By the way, where we stayed at Delhi was under construction, so it literally looked like a war-torn country that had just had a 12.0 earthquake. When we arrived at the hotel, I met Rob’s friend from […]

Hell is 120 degrees in Delhi

Jaclyn finally made it to Delhi (albeit a day late) after some frustrating visa problems and a missed flight. In the meantime, I had taken an awesome tour of Delhi street life called “Street Walk”. It was run by the Salaam Baalak trust, which aims to provide education and shelter for the thousands of homeless “street kids” in Delhi. Our two guides were both former street kids themselves: One guide had run away because of […]

Delhi “Street Kid” Tour

Although Amritsar is known inside India for its Golden Temple (and the associated rebellions and subsequent massacres that took place there), it might be better known outside of India for Jallianwalla Bagh. It was at this park that on April 13, 1919 Mahatma Gandhi called for a peaceful mass demonstration, in defiance of a British ban on meetings. A British General commenced firing on the crowd without warning, and within 10-15 minutes, up to two […]

Jallianwalla Bagh and the Shouting at the Border

I’m glad that I stayed in McLeod-Ganj as long as I did—you can see a monument in a day, but you can’t really take in a city’s culture and attitude without staying for a while. But, with that done, it was a 9-hour bus journey (a good deal of which I was standing) to Amristar, a Sikh holy city. The centerpiece of the city is the Golden Temple, a beautiful shrine in the center of […]

The Golden Temple

The other day, I was taking a stroll around the Dalai Lama’s residence (clockwise, as the Tibetans do). I was feeling a bit ansy to leave, but also knew that staying would do me good. I was so out of it that I totally forgot about my 4pm conversation class. I was really upset, as the class was one of my favorite parts of the day. At the exact moment I realized this, a monk […]

Last Days in Mcleod Ganj

I’ve been in Dharamsala for a few days now, and may actually stay for at least 5 days more. I feel more serene than I think I ever have before and, with the last 2 weeks of the trip bound to be pretty crazy, I think that settling into Dharamsala for a bit might do me good. At this point, I’ve gotten pretty used to the place. Everywhere I go I see people I know—walking […]

Settling In

Dharamsala is a beautiful, relaxed, peaceful mountain town in the foothills of the himalayas. Being the home of the 14th Dalai Lama, it has a huge monastic presence. Most streets have prayer wheels which inhabitants turns as they walk by. Inside each canister are thousands of prayers, and turning a wheel is allegedly equivalent, in a karmic sense, to saying each prayer individually. Tibetan Buddhism is famous for its prayer flags (see below, rear) and […]