Family Trip

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

ImageJust got back from a trip with O, Judy & Debbie (not pictured above). We had a fabulous time, more on this later.

Later… much later. I’ve been back almost 2 weeks. The jet lag has been rough and the memories are already fading. Luckily Owen did a great job of cataloguing our daily activities.

21/3/2013, Wednesday

Judy and Debbie arrive from KL at 10pm, we drive back to the Rose in Hauz Khas.
22/3, Thursday
  • Breakfast at the Rose
  • Visit Qutub Minar, Quwwat al-Islam Mosque, where we saw the Iron pillar…  and the lovely flora and crazy fauna amongst ruins in the Mehrauli Archaeological park. There we bribed the guards to show us the tomb of Jamali and Kamali.
  • Crazy tuk tuk ride to Evergreen Sweets in Green Park
  • Lunch at Evergreen Sweets, having Golgappas (spicy water fried dippers) & Channa ki Bathura (puff balls wit sicy chick peas and paneer)
  • Walk through deer park back to Hauz Khas village, walked around village & shopped
  • Dinner at Bohème on rooftop, guava mocktails
23/3, Friday
  • Late Morning flight to Mumbai on IndiGo
  • crazy taxi ride to Vivanta by Taj President
  • High tea at the Taj Hotel by the Gateway to India… we all had Tea, Owen had coffee, we passed on vodka golgappas
  • walked off the considerable feast up past Prince Albert Museum (Shivaji) to Kitab Mahal
  • Reinhold’s talk where Kiwi citizenry developed academic social vision for urbanization.
  • Debbie and Judy talked into the late night after sipping cocktails in O & D’s room…
24/3, Saturday
  • Elaborate breakfast buffet at Vivanta
  • Early morning trip to Elephanta caves, witnessed Shiva’s trimurthy
  • Afternoon swim in pool
  • Dinner at Konkan Keralan restaurant, seafood thalis… delicious!
  • “Earth day” cocktails
25/3, Sunday
  • Nice cab ride along marine drive to airport
  • Late morning flight back to Delhi
  • Ladies shopped at Dilli Haat for textiles… Judy scored huge in the pashmina department.
  • Dinner at Yeti.
26/3, Monday
  • 3:20 am drive to Agra for Taj Mahal by Umesh Singh
  • 6:20 am Sunrise at the Taj Mahal (built by Shah Jahan, Akbar’s grandson)
  • Breakfast at the Gateway hotel
  • Drive 45 min. to Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s failed capital
  • Go into shrine of Sufi Salim Chishti in the Mosque by Buland Darwaza (great gate)
  • Late afternoon drive to Bharatpur, 30 minutes outside Agra
  • After a very dicey drive to the hotel… we are pleasantly surprised by the loveliness of our digs…
  • Stay at the Bagh (the garden), have a swim
  • Dinner at the hotel restaurant
26/3, Tuesday
  • Breakfast at the Bagh
  • mid-morning 2-hour bike tour through Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, donated by Maharaja of Bharatpur
  • Birds observed: black-necked stork, painted stork, Indian darter (snake bird), kingfisher, bar-headed geese (migrate over himalayas, highest flying birds), drongos (forest inspector, fights raptors), lap wing, gray horn bill, gray heron, purple heron, pond heron (magic bird), green bee eater, rose-necked parakeets, intermediate and full egrets(?), glossy and black-headed ibises, comb-bill ducks, spotted eagle, common and gray burbles (sp.?), purple swamp hens, dapchicks, Indian more hen, Jacanda (sp?) (w/two white stripes)
  • Lunch at tourist road-side trap with surprisingly good samosas… we braved the fresh chutney!!!
  • Stopped at Abhaneri to look at 8th century Chand Baoli step-well
  • Arrived afternoon in Jaipur at Jas Vilas hotel
  • M.S. Dhoni, owner, gregarious ex-military, friendly staff
  • Elephant festival lacked elephants due to PETA protest, so we rushed to Amber fort
  • saw the fort in the evening and had dinner at 1135 A.D., only ones on balcony over-looking Amer Fort & its plaza, Holi full moon
27/3, Wednesday
  • Breakfast at Jas Vilas until 11am
  • changed into Holi Clothes
  • danced at hotel, went to a large dance party for all ages and kinds (local, foreign)
  • Indian dance music about Holi, drummers, etc.  Played Holi.
  • Went to Pink City and walked around, hugged large percentage of stoned local population
  • returned home in the early afternoon, tried to wash off, Debbie still marked
  • Relaxed for rest of afternoon and evening at comfortable hotel
  • Dinner at hotel, traditional Indian, tasty food
  • drinks on the balcony
28/3, Thursday
  • Morning breakfast at Jas Vilas
  • left at 9 for Delhi, saw monkey on a motorcycle
  • Returned to Hauz Khas at 2pm, changed clothes
  • went to Sufi shrine of Nizamuddin Awliya [Chishti Sufi] and his poet-disciple Amir Khusrow, incredibly packed due to Thursday prayers, saw baoli attached to shrine, urgent departure from crowd
  • went through family’s house to get to Atagah Khan’s tomb near Nizamuddin’s shrine
  • played cricket with kids, relaxed [Atagah Khan was Akbar’s milk-brother who was killed by a jealous courtier, Adham Khan, who Akbar then ordered thrown (twice) from ramparts]
  • Went to Humayun’s tomb (Akbar’s father), enjoyed the relaxing park
  • Dropped off at Hauz Khas Village by Umesh, who was rewarded for his (mostly) good driving
  • Dinner at Imperfecto (ironically accurate name after our previous amazing meals)
29/3, Friday
  • Breakfast at the Rose
  • Early start with taxi to Red Fort built by Shah Jahan and called (Shah Jahanabad)
  • Took cycle rickshaw ride along Chandni Chowk (main boulevard of old city) to spice market
  • Then through the old city by bike to just south of the Red Fort
  • Toured around Feroz Shah Kotla, the 5th city of Delhi, and saw how the local djinns were worshipped by muslims, hindus, and sikhs, alongside the Ashokoan pillar,
  • the baoli here had huge fish and was said to be 30m deep
  • Late afternoon shopping followed by 7pm drinks
  • Dinner at Gunpowder overlooking Hauz Khas reservoir- 4 chutneys, green mango, coconut, aubergine, mint, with fried water buffalo, amongst other things
30/3, Saturday
Early morning farewell breakfast at the Rose with Debbie
Great discussions about: cultural authenticity, secular grace, family decision making, children, architecture history and the importance of public space and urban planning, decision making in positions of leadership, wedding planning, Indian history

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