A spicy blend of color, religion and adventure.
„India is like being in the cinema: No matter where you look, always is something going on even things that you never imagine that could exist.“ Therefore I will tell you in a summarized way about our impressions during the last four weeks in this country. All strange rumors and stories that are told about India, are not myths: they are true!
The cows in the streets, colorful and vibrant markets, huge temples, spicy food, but also poverty, traffic chaos and mountains of rubbish: this is India!
Tourism here is not always easy – you have to bring three things: time, patience and flexibility! An Indian person told us briefly about the railway system in this country. „Many, many Indians travel on the train. You can not just buy the tickets and board the train, they must be reserved with some days in advance. You’re not in your country!“ How right was this wise man.
Our journey has been much slower than we thought. There is just so much to explore and discover. It really requires a lot of time to process all new overwhelming impressions: Giant cave temples (Ajanta and Ellora), medieval castles like in the Hollywood movies in Bidar, endless varied landscapes. .. and of course the encounters with the locals. We deliberately chose a less popular route along the southern coast of India, focusing our travel within the country. As a result, several meetings with Indians who apparently never had seen a tourist were given. Indians show a great interest that we almost felt like real stars. On several occasions we were surrounded by many people, asking us „what are you doing?“, „where do you come from?“ etc. And, of course, at the end we were photographed many times. Until now probably more than 1000 photos were taken. This generally requires much time, but we like to take us this time for the locals: It is always a great way to start talks and learn about the Indians and their lifes.
In return, we were also rewarded with various photo shoots: India is the most rewarding country for amateur photographers: All women in their beautiful and colorful saris, men in their traditional clothes, and children with big and bright eyes are the best motives (see our pictures of India.) Also temples and rituals are spectacular motives. No country has so much variation of religions and gods as India. We have the impression that every movement and action has somehow to do with the religion. The temple visits are always a highlight. Even if it is not allowed to take pictures, the impressions will remain with us forever. All colorful ceremonies, accompanied by a number of elements like fire, water, smoke, etc are a spectacular combination for all the senses.
Yes, we love India! Did you realize it already? However, this is also due to our little family: As I mentioned before „our“ itinerary was not the typical touristic one and for this reason we do not meet many tourists, but we were lucky to meet a group of very nice and interesting people with whom we traveled different sections. The group is very heterogeneous in age and character, but this group of three generations shares one thing in common: an endless passion for travel and India. The oldest of our „family“ is Luke, a 75 years old American performer. In the United States he suffered from depression, but India has helped him to overcome everything. He says: „When I leave in the morning the hotel and hear the car horns, I see the streets full of color, and breath all the dust, I feel happy and healthy!“ As a reader probably is hard to imagine that this may be true, but it is! India exudes magic and energy like anywhere else, but this spell disappears (temporarily) when you get sick, for example because of the food. And that happens sooner or later. Veronica has been spared so far, Silvan after a antibiotics treatment (antibiotics can be purchased as simple as buying a chocolate bar) feels now fit and healthy again.
The places visited so far in the southern part of India are Mumbai, Arungabad, Bidar, Bijapur, Badami, Goa and the incredible ruins in Hampi. Where we are heading after, we still do not know exactly: this depends partly on the plans of our „family“. In mid-March, certainly we will travel to Myanmar and visit for a second occasion „our“ school and teach English again. And then? Everything is possible, but a return to Switzerland at the moment is not in our plans.
We are always happy about your comments and news. See you soon and best regards, Silvan and Veronica
P.S: Crazy India! Does anyone know why the traffic law imposes that only the driver of a motorcycle must use a helmet but not the passenger? Or maybe someone can explain us why Hindus drink the tea/coffee from the small plate instead of the cup (although the tea is served in a cup) ??? crazy world!!