Month: September 2013

Rome.

 “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson We had a day of travel yesterday, it went smoothly for the main part but the hiccups are part of the experience. It was a tight connection in London and with little time to spare they decided to go through our Keith’s hand luggage. Despite all my years of travel, why didn’t I remember I had scissors in there for an emergency.!!!Grrrrr. Note to self. Make sure the cosmetic bag goes in the luggage. After eating Indian food (which I love) for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day… the scones and clotted cream for afternoon tea was a treat.I had another hiccup. I caught the head of the camel on my bracelet in the zip of my hand bag and it took minutes of maneuvering in an ungainly position to get it unstuck.. .Note to self. Beware of camels. Yet another adventure begins today. Rome. Its a place I’ve only dreamed of.And its a nice place …

Out of India and on to Rome

On reflection, we’ve fitted so much into this tour, so a morning of down time yesterday was a bonus. I could catch up on video editing because the Internet was good and relax over breakfast without time restraint.One of the most sensible things we did was to have a single room each. I work at odd hours and it gave us space to do our own thing. We were packed into the plane like sardines yesterday, but Emirates is a great airline and they looked after us well.Jan and I decided to watch the series Broad church…an English drama, and I was hooked. We managed to watch 3 episodes and the flight went quickly. Now I have to download it onto my Ipad. I can’t leave it there. We arrived in Dubai at 1..30 pm and I went straight to my hotel, Hilton Dubai Creek.It affords the most amazing views of the river.As I look out right now, I see an incredible skyline. The huge buildings of the city of Dubai. …

Photographic journey.

I woke early anticipating the alarm. Despite the early hour, the streets were busy with preparations for the day. Dawn was breaking the water glowed with a lilac hue. From every corner of India and by every conceivable mode of transport, pilgrims are make their way to the river Ganges.The Ganges is a sacred river to Hindus along every fragment of its length. All along its course, Hindus bathe in its waters, paying homage to their ancestors and to their gods by cupping the water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into the river; they offer flowers and rose petals and float shallow clay dishes filled with oil and lit with wicks (diyas). On the journey back home from the Ganges, they carry small quantities of river water with them for use in rituals (Ganga jal, literally water of the Ganga) When a loved one dies, Hindus bring the ashes …

Varanasi

I really couldn’t write last night, or even this morning. The vision of  the cremation fires  and  the amount of poverty we’ve seen in the past few days has a profound effect on the senses. RSS Feed We bought these children some apples. This little boy was about 18months old, walking the streets with his brothers. They took the apple from him and put it in their bag… hopefully to take home Of course  this is a special place. In 1897, Mark Twain, the renowned Indophile, said of Varanasi, “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” walking in the back alleys of Varanasi this morning I came across these amazing colors. But amongst the beauty as I perceive it is poverty. I’m no stranger to working with and seeing people live in poverty, It was part of our lives when we were saving the …

Almost there.

Sitting in the airport waiting to go to Varanasi.We had to say goodbye to our driver. He guided us through some difficult traffic conditions…on Tuesday we drove for 12 hours and he had tears in his eyes when we left. Its been a little like keystone cops getting to the departure lounge, well I can’t call it a lounge… more like a warehouse.My notes are below. A yellow phone is  hanging at a peculiar angle on the wall. Next to that are 3 variations of red fire extinguishers, all at different angles. The signs on the wall are for the  security guards… don’t accept bribes. Don’t push or shove the people. There is a picture of a woman with a bag on her head and the sign says “Dont bring frown on your head bring them to our notice” Theres a drop box with a big typed sign inviting us to add comments.Sister Jan has been standing at the security counter for the past 10 minutes asking if they could  put more toilet paper in …

eyes open

There is a sense of unreality when you travel. The life you live at home is ever present but traveling you live in the moment.  It undoubtedly opens us to a broader perspective of life, to understand new dimensions of life, which are otherwise quite difficult to explain.  It also means socializing in an educated way when you are traveling on your own.On this trip, traveling with friends has been a joined experience, magnified in its intensity because we three enjoy similar things.Our goal on the trip was to take photos and explore the beauty of the textiles in this country. We’ve certain returning home with a better understanding of color and line.I can’t even begin to understand that there are 1 . 23 Billion people in this country or the cast system.But I can look at what I see with thoughtful reflection and enjoy everything presented to me in  respectful acceptance.

A day of travel

The waiter put his turban on my head Car travel  Im writing this as we are completing 12 hours travel from Gwailior to Khajuraho. Are my eyes round… you betcha. We’ve stopped in the middle of a cross road, motor bikes, push bikes and tuk tuks  are attacking us in every direction I feel like Im in  a live pin ball machine. Thousands of  birds are roosting in the trees above us and the noise is almost deafening. Its a bit like a sci fi  movie.  Its almost dark but for some reason no one feels the need to put their lights on.Whoops a tuk tuk is coming down our side of the road with his lights off. Everyone seems to navigate with diplomacy, horns blaring, cows sleeping in the middle of the road and children dash out in front of us. We ladies, gasp occasionally and attack the back seat brake but our driver is very skillful. Thankfully. Small food stalls are set up in every …

Travel

This post didn’t go yesterday so I’m posting it this morning. Its hot, humid and we relish the comfort of the cool air in the car. So with a 9 hour trip to undertake today we will be cool  but none of us is looking forward to being confined for that amount of time. Then again, there are advantages to viewing India from the confines of the car. Its as if you are in a bubble and sharing the experience but from a safe distance.In many places in the world you feel like a voyeur but her in India its different, everyone wants you to take their photos, Adults and children alike approach you to capture their image. I saw a man, with his ancient treadle machine sewing in the middle of a construction site.Barber chairs are located by the steps to the railway station, often under a tree and I’ve seem them by a fence on the main road. Just a chair and his tools of trade in an old …