So, apparently I went to India! Now that I’ve been back in the UK for 3 weeks I find it hard to believe that it ever happened. I have 500 photos and some bug bites that still itch from time-to-time, so I guess these are the things that help me to remember.
My journey to India was entirely eventful and not in a good way. The first issue was a mechanical fault on the train ride from Newcastle to London. Melinda and I still managed to get ourselves onto another train and arrive in London in time to catch our separate flights, but this was a sign of things to come. My flight that evening ended up being delayed by a full day because the plane didn’t want to “fire-up”, and meanwhile Melinda’s plane nearly crashed while landing in Iceland. I arrived in Delhi, India, a day later than expected, extremely tired, and feeling very alone. It was in this condition that I stumbled into the wrong section of the Delhi airport and ended up being held by the Indian Police for an hour and a half. While this was going on I realized my passport was missing as well. Visions of ending up in a foreign prison started dancing through my head. One of the Policemen helped me retrace my steps and we ended up finding my passport at the currency exchange desk. They eventually decided to let me go, after deciding I wasn’t much of a threat to national security, and I found my travel agent waiting for me. He took me to my hotel, where I spent my first night, on a very dingy bed, fully clothed and curled up in the fetal position wanting to go home.
Now that I’ve laid out some back story, here’s my India experience in picture form!
My first night in Delhi at the Atithi Hotel
In the morning one of my fellow classmates, John, showed up at the Hotel. I was extremely relieved to have a familiar english face to talk to! From Delhi we headed out on the 3.5 hour journey to Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) by taxi.
This was the first of thousands of cows on the road that I would see during my 3 week trip.
An ongoing theme during my stay, was that groups of Indian guys wanted to take pictures with us. Not sure what that was all about. It may have been our whiteness, or the fact that we’re a bit taller than most of them
This tapestry was made by a different artist than the ones pictured above. It won an international award, and the artist has also made ornate tapestries for people such as Bill Clinton.
A washroom break on the trip back to Delhi. A perfect time to enjoy some of the rural landscape
This was back at the airport in Delhi, waiting for our flight to Mumbai. I absolutely love these recliners!
On December 21st we were supposed to get picked up by a van in Mumbai that would drive our group the 7 hours to Karad, which was the location of the 2 week school selective. John and I stayed in a Hotel for the night, and in the morning found out that the van wasn’t actually arriving until that evening. We therefore decided we would take the opportunity to do something interesting in Mumbai. We decided to go check out the Elephanta caves, which are located an hours boat ride across the harbour. This was the view as we were leaving the harbour, looking back at the “Gateway to India” and the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (1200 km’s away from the actual Taj Mahal)
These are some of the views at the caves, which were carved around 1300 years ago for religious purposes.
Can you spot me?
John and I may have gotten locked into our room the one morning…
Some of the surgical tools in the Orthopedics theater
This little pond is part of an anti-malaria initiative. There are small fish in the water that eat mosquito larvae. People visiting the clinic can fill a jug with this water and dump it into any standing ponds or puddles close to their homes to decrease the mosquito population
From left to right: Devi, Sushrita, Nicole, Andrea, Sasha, and Tiya.
I got upgraded to business class on the flight from Mumbai to Delhi. Very sweet!
I followed up my flight on business class with this cozy spot on the hard floor in the Delhi airport for 6 hours
This was me finally reunited with my sweetheart after 3.5 weeks! We both agreed this would never happen again…..