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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

India

The post is finally here. Just a warning before I even start, this is going to be really long and have a TON of pictures, but it will only be a short summery of my trip. Please know that I will be posting the majority of my pictures onto facebook VERY soon.

I told many people that I was going to be going to India. Many people asked why? I don't even see how that could be a question out of any one's mouth. The Taj Mahal is reason to go by itself. Here's the thing. I had a goal this year to travel outside of the country. I want to go everywhere, so I just figured I would take the first opportunity that came my way. So I did. That opportunity came from my friend that I met in my ward and who I used to visit teach, Erin. For the past year she has been living in NYC working as an accountant. She extended the invitation to India out to a few in my ward, but nobody wanted to go. Erin had already planned the trip with her co-worker, Caroline whom I had never met. I tried to find anyone that would want to go with me on this trip because you needed 2 people to get the deal. Nobody would come with me. I still wanted to go so bad, so I didn't give up and I called the travel agent to see how much having my own room would cost me. Then I asked if they could put 3 in a room. Not only was the answer yes, but they said it would be cheaper for all of us. I was so in. Only problem was, Caroline would need to give permission to add me to their trip and Caroline had no idea who I was. I facebook stalked her a little and wrote her an email begging to come and promising I was a good travel buddy so that I could come on the trip. Thankfully Caroline was awesome and added me to the trip the next day. So I flew out to New York, then met up with Erin and Caroline at the airport. Which is where Caroline and I met for the first time. Thank goodness she was awesome. In fact, she treated me like we had been friends for a long time. It was such a treat traveling with these girls. Otherwise, it could have made for an awkward trip. I thought 3 would be a hard number, but everyone was happy and we all got along just fine.

So after a long 14 hour flight, here we are ready to explore India.... and meet our tour group.


Since we flew into New Delhi, we first explored that city before driving to our next destination. While in New Delhi we visited:

The Laxmi Naryan Temple.



Jama Masjid- The largest mosque in India.



Raj Ghat- Memorial to Gandhi.



India Gate.



Lotus Temple.



Qutab Minar- The first mosque to be built in India.



Akshardham.




Next city we went to was Agra. This is the city where the Taj Mahal is located, so that is how we started our morning.

Seeing the Taj Mahal in person (one of the 7 wonders of the world) was amazing. It was different in person than I imagined it being. It is so beautiful and the marble is full of so much detail and beauty.



Next we went to the "Mini Taj Mahal" Obviously modeled after the Taj Mahal, but I had gotten the feeling that everything revolves around the Taj Mahal.


Next we went to Agra Fort, that had a really pretty view of the Taj Mahal from the back.


On the way to our next destination, Jaipur, we stopped to see Buland Darwaza Fatehpur Sikri.


That night we went to dinner at a place called "Indiana" and we got to dance while waiting for our dinner.


Jaipur was our last city. It was also my favorite out of all the places we saw. Our big event in Jaipur was taking an elephant ride up to Amber Fort, which was amazing. Kind of looks like the Wall of China. Because Erin, Caroline & I knew this was going to be awesome, we went out and found ourselves some beautiful Indian outfits to wear for the day.



The other half of the day, we went exploring to the City Palace and then shopped at one of the Bazaar's. This was quite the experience, but it was nice to leave the tour and experience the culture a little more and we got to buy some things that we wanted.




And then just like that... we drove back to New Delhi and the trip was over. It was WAY too fast. I needed another week there.  To end the post, I made a list that I will share with you.

Animals that can be seen on the road or the side of the road:
Cows
Water Buffalo (they use their milk instead of cows)
Sheep
Goats
Donkeys
Camels
Elephants
Horses
Peacocks
Dogs
Cats
Pigs
Monkeys





* Cost of the trip (flight & hotels, etc..) = $943.00
* Number of hours on the plane for me to get to India and back = 36.5
* Number of hours on the bus in India = 20
* Number of pictures taken on the trip = 1,039
* Number of people that asked to get their picture taken with me = 30
* Number of men seen going to the bathroom (#1&2) on the side of the road= 4
* Number of people seen bathing on the side of the road = 5
* Number of times the bus had to stop and wait for cows or water buffalo to get out of the road = 3

10 comments:

Bethany said...

OK, I'll be the first to comment! Can I just say awesome!!!! What an adventure!

Kel said...

perfect recap. such a fascinating country. so glad you got to go!

Caroline said...

You captured the trip perfectly, Tracy!!! I've been sending the link to all my friends, it sums it up better than I could for sure, thank you so much!!!!

Lynette Mills said...

Such wonderul buildings in such a poverty stricken country. I'll be looking for your other pics on facebook

Bre said...

What an amazing trip! I would LOVE to go to India someday. Ok, so after reading all your posts about inda, I had a dream that I was on a tour in india and I was riding an elephant...and its' head fell off. bizarre.

Abby Wright said...

WOW! Seriously lady that looked AMAZING!!

jamie hixon said...

Ok, that is a little gross that you saw people going #2 on the side of the road!! And bathing... yikes.

I love your list of animals.

I love your pictures!! You really captured a lot. Wow, what an experience. I would love to go to India. Of course we would want to go with our friends Anupama and her husband. And what a steal of a price.

Desiree' said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!! India here I come... someday.
PS. I LOVED your stats at the end of the post. I laughed out loud. I really can't believe people go #2 on the side of the road and you saw it. YIKES! and bathing? really? sheesh!
I'm so glad you got to go and had an awesome time!

Desiree' said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!! India here I come... someday.
PS. I LOVED your stats at the end of the post. I laughed out loud. I really can't believe people go #2 on the side of the road and you saw it. YIKES! and bathing? really? sheesh!
I'm so glad you got to go and had an awesome time!

Kaisha said...

Can I just say that I am completely jealous??? YOU WENT TO INDIA!?!?! Lucky girl.