Thursday, 13 January 2011

Closing Thoughts

An Amazing Time With A Little Regret

It seems like only yesterday that I was in a small boat on the Ganges under the moonlight, watching the world (and the odd firework) go slowly and slightly chaotically by. It's now three months after the we came back and the perfect time to write up my closing thoughts from this amazing trip.

First off I was pretty happy with the itinerary we planned. It was great to be able to move at our own pace with comfortable and convenient connection times. The downside was that we probably spent at least a day more than necessary both in Agra and Khajuraho, though Agra is always tricky due to the early start needed to visit the Taj Mahal.

Here are my highlights from each stage of the trip:

Delhi - Walking through the side streets of Old Delhi. It was an amazing experience of colour, sound and smell. Not only that, but we did not get hassled once by anyone. In all a great experience.
Agra - Of course the
Taj Mahal is a highlight but viewing it from the other side of the river in the tranquility of the Moonlight Gardens later that afternoon will be my lasting memory.
Orchha - Staying at the Bundlekhand Riverside after two tough nights in Agra was a unique experience, sometimes you just need to feel special and fill up on good food.
Khajuraho - The Western Temple Group and the great guided tour we had. Then coming back as the sun was setting and seeing them all over again and really appreciating their beauty.
Varanasi - Taking a moonlit boat ride on the Ganges during a Diwali celebration. This was possibly the highlight of my trip.
Delhi - Second time around it was living it up and having an amazing belated birthday meal at Punjabi by Nature.

And finally a few regrets...

I wish we had a video camera to record the excellent guided tours we had, now they are distant memories, I would have liked to have kept the detail.
If only I had managed to buy a bigger memory card for our camera, then perhaps we would not have had to swap them and maybe we would not have lost 3/4 of our photos.
It would have been great to have stayed in a better hotel in Agra, I would have loved to have done the
Taj Mahal in luxury.
I also think we spent too long in Agra and Orchha, it would have been nice to fit somewhere else in along the way.
And last but not least, not having another trip back to India on the horizon as I would love to go back and see more of this wonderful place.

Below are links to each stage of the trip:

Passage To India - How we got there

Dude Where's My Car...? - Around Delhi

Tickets and Touts - No sleep in Agra

For Relaxing Times, Make it Orchha Time

Running the Gauntlet: Gurus, Gods, Goods and Italian Food

A Moment of Beauty in the Surrounds of Smog and Sarnath

Stuffed, Soaked, Sick and Home

Please feel free to post any questions in the comments section.

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