December 2019 - January 2020
December 2019
  • 21footprints
  • 1countries
  • 26days
  • 180photos
  • 10videos
  • 18.4kkilometers
  • 15.6kkilometers
  • Day 2

    Hello India!

    December 13, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    December is a nice time to travel tthr world, especially to warmer places. This year it's India time! Lots of plans, lots of places to see and a whole different culture to meet! Unlike other years I'm not traveling solo but with friends (Mara, Matjaž and Mateja) which will make a trip even more fun 😃
    We flew Aeroflot from Ljubljana to New Delhi throug Moscow. Didn't spend much time in Moscow though, they messed up our tickets so we ended up being upgraded to business class (awesome 😎) and a bit of a mess getting our bags In Delhi, but it all worked out okay...
    This sure is a crazy city, soooo many people, hectic traffic and really bad air pollution, so we're wearing masks when going out. 😷 It's not super warm, around 17 degrees (it rained a lot last night and we were delayed while landing).
    After meeting with Matjaž, who was already here, we started with huge breakfast with all kinds of different and good food, so delicious! Observing people on the street while eating I got a taste of what awaits me in this country - so many different people, styles, animals (cows!), beautiful kids, tuktuks who honk ALL the time,... Crazy yet awesome!
    We spent the say mostly going around Connaught place, a huge roundabout in the center with lots of shops, markets, street performers, you name it! Went to some good Rajasthan restaurant, amazing food (pretty spicy), with some menu, where we got to try around 10 different dishes - all vegetarian, but really good! I really hope my stomach doesn't protest much and I don't get a delhi belly (we have tons of medical stuff and some proper spirits drinks to fight it!).
    Of course jet lag came along and need to fall asleep, tomorrow awaits and we need to start exploring well rested!
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  • Day 3

    Wandering around Delhi

    December 14, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    After some good rest it was time to hit the city. We didn't know there was breakfast served in hostel so me and Mara went to near Old Delhi to grab some food. Not much luck - street food only. I have a rule not to eat on streets for first few days for my stomach to get used to local bacteria... diarrhea isn't much fun 😕 But I didn't wanna go to McD 😛
    After returning to hostel and when Mateja arrived we all went through Old Delhi to see the Jama Masjid mosque which is next to Red Fort. Now THIS is Delhi 😃 Streets filled with people, dogs, goats, cows, butchers, power bank sellers, you name it! So condensed, cables everywhere, everybody honking ALL the time,... But pretty fun in a way. Not too happy about wearing mask all day long but still better than throat pain.
    Mosque is just beautiful, huge, sits right next to Old Delhi. Of course kids came to our girls to take photos with, what can you do, you five seconds makes their whole day 😊 Really lovely to see those smiles. You can even pay 100rs to climb to the top of one tower, which offers a great view of the city. I'd say whole city, but the smog prevents it, so you can't see the end of it (not that it's any different otherwise hehe).
    Of course we had more amazing food - more dal with garlic naan, paneer, roti, this food is AMAZING! Not to mention cheap - in a fine restaurant we paid 990rs for 4 (that's like 12€). We ended up on some rooftop bar in Pahar Ganj, because we absolutely needed some beer 😃 Nice place above the street with live music and very friendly waiter, telling us tons of stuff about India, Varanasi,... We're really enjoying all this :)
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  • Day 4

    Museums and more food

    December 15, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    What better way to meet a county than going to a national museum! Yup, I'm one of those people. After sleeping longer and missing a breakfast we just headed to the museum. And it's a big one! It really introduces you to all the Krishnas, Vishnas, Ganeshas and other of amazing Indian gods. What a civilization, what a history. Also so many paintings, old dresses, weapons, musical instruments,...
    After museum we took a walk to the big India Gate. Since it was Sunday there were lots of people and families, lovely! A lunch later we wanted to see some huge Buddhist temple but it was very crowded, we'd have to leave all our stuff in cloakroom (no thanks) and it was getting dark so we went back to Connaught Place to meet with others.
    Tomorrow it's transition day, off to Agra on a train :)
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  • Day 5

    Bye you dirty Delhi, off to Agra

    December 16, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    It's a transition day, leaving for Agra today. We had no idea how Indian railways work so we had to be there early. After breakfast and check-out we headed to Cannaugh Place, some quick shopping (got a Puma backpack for 24€) and buying a bus ticket from Hampi to Goa at some agency then Uber to the hostel, picking up bags and off to New Delhi train station.
    This is huge and LOTS of people. But it's quite easy to find your train. And I'm quite surprised - trains are on time and pretty fast. It got us to Agra in 2 and half hours.
    When we got to hostel we found out the boss has a birthday so vodka, beers, cake,... Pretty fun and met some nice people. But time for bed, we need to get up early for 6am Taj Mahal visit!
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  • Day 6

    Taj Mahal baby!

    December 17, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    We had to wake up really early to be ready for a 6:00 sunrise Taj Mahal visit. There is whole army guarding that place, they scan your bags, no lighters or anything is allowed inside (of course I had mine). Ticket costs around 7€ + 3€ for mausoleum. And then you go inside...
    This place is magnificent! I was just walking toward the building, silent, deep breathing, excitement, emotional with almost wet eyes... This is why I travel, that point in a trip, one of the highlights, that "I can't believe I'm actually here!" moment... Priceless. The details on building and th size of everything, really amazing what people are able to achieve! We spent an hour there seeing everything. Wow.
    After Taj Mahal it was Agra Fort's turn. A huge castle, done by 4 kings, multiple styles, amazing. We hired a guide, that showed us interesting bits, hidden places, history,.. Great tour, really worth visiting.
    Last stop was Baby Taj, a smaller brother of Taj Mahal, which is mostly a mausoleum also.
    We ended up touring pretty quickly, tired from lack of sleep, we just wanted to chill before night train to Varanasi.
    On a train right now, upper bunk bed, too small of course,... Not sure how I'll sleep... Mara is feeling fiverish so pills time. Hope she gets better.
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  • Day 7

    Varanasi, Shiva city

    December 18, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    Sleeping on the train wasn't that bad. Not much room but somehow I gor enough sleep. After 12 hours and an hour late we arrived to Varanasi. Not to the station tho, we stopped around 500m before station and train didn't move for almost an hour. People started going out of train and walking towards the station. So did we. Why not 😃 Got some tuktuk, where I had to guide the driver with satnav... fun 🤘Meeting Mateja and Matjaž again for breakfast and then going around.
    Varanasi... this is India. This is Shiva's city - the creator, preserver and destroyer. This city has some different energy... It's a 3800 old city, holiest in India, where people come to bury the dead (they burn them near the Ganges river - Mother Ganga), also prople come here to die. You have tons of characters here, from monks to babas and palm readers,... People actually swim and wash in the river, but highly unadvisable for foreigners 🙂
    We walked up from ghat to ghat, got to upper burning ghat, where wealthier burn their deceased. No photos allowed as it is believed this prevents the soul from reaching the other side. This really is.... not hard but... different.
    In the evening we went to see Aarti Ceremony, it's being performed every day for Shiva and Mother Ganga. This... is so powerful I get goosebumps just writing this. Bells, dancing, singing,... I was speechless, without words, emotional,... Just wow.
    Day ended in some Korean restaurant with amazing food and tea 😊 I love Varanasi!
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  • Day 8

    Bot Sir, bot?

    December 19, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Second day in Varanasi we took it easy... long sleep, breakfast then headed up the river to another gath. It's interesting watching life near the river - kids flying kites, dogs running around, people washing clothes,...
    We got to another burning gath, this one is for poor which means less ceremonial. Me And Mateja watched for quite some time. They put person in water and bring him out, put wood aroun/under him and then light fire. I've never seen a dead person before 🙁 You do see much here, also beggars and people in conditions... just sad. We are lucky we are healthy and living a life we do. I think.
    After an hour or so we went for some good and awesome apple pie, yum!
    Ended up going to hostel with boat to see the city from river. Really quite a sight. We watcher Aarti again, some food and went to bed. Easy day.
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  • Day 9

    Bollywood, barber, food and markets

    December 20, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Last full day in Varanasi. Someone said the sooner you get into Indian vibe the sooner you start enjoying it so, like past days, we had another easy day. We did some photoshoots of some doctor's son with Matjaž on a renewed old hotel right near main ghat. This was pretty fun. We all are into making good photos, comparing them, we kinda have this spontaneous competition who makes best photos 😃 But it's so easy in Varanasi, everywhere you look you find something beautiful 😊
    Since there is a good street barber and Matjaž decided to get his beard done I also got mine shaved. So nice! And you get a head massage in the end, this felt soooo good!
    We wanted to go to some temple also but some Indian dude keeps following is all day every day to show us that temple to earn some money from us. So we just took a riksha and drove to the other part to another ghat. But there were some protests going on from Muslims, walking on streets, police and army everywhere, ... Not that it was dangerous or anything but roads were full of people walking so riksha driver had to find way around them... in one moment we were in the middle of the street waiting for protesters to pass by so we could continue our ride. Government turned off the internet so I’m writing this offline 🤨
    We wanted to go to some Italians place with great garlic, onion and mushroom pizzas, and best of all - amazing apple pies, so so good 😋
    I love such easy days... ended up with some photoshootings in some huge abandoned building with temples, getting some beers and finally some pancakes.
    Off to Jaipur tomorrow, fly time! 🛫
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  • Day 10

    Alvida Varanasi, namaste Jaipur

    December 21, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    After three days in one of the most spiritual, crazy, strange, colorful and awesome city I’ve ever been to it was time to say goodbye. One last breakfast, one more scarf, coffee and we got a tuktuk to the airport. At 30kmh it took an hour to get there. Kinda small but busy airport, but whatever it takes 😃
    After 1.5h flight we finally got to Jaipur. Internet was working again.... and we saw there were actually violent protests going on in Varanasi, 20 people killed and all that. Protests are going on because Modi wants to take citizenship to Muslims in India (200 mio of them live here!). We think this might only be a beginning, more protests planned in Jaipur for tomorrow, I wish they go through in peace and that we have no problems.
    Need to go to bed now, tour around Jaipur is planned for tomorrow, can’t wait, this town should be beautiful! Good night.😴
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  • Day 11

    Wonderful Jaipur

    December 22, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Today was Jaipur exploring day! Last night we arranged a full day trip with some guy we met on the street and his brother with a tuktuk was waiting for us in front of our hostel. How do you fit 5 people in a tuktuk? 🤣
    First we wanted to go see Hawa Mahal, the famous palace in center of Jaipur but had to skip it st the time because of protests and head for q quick stop to Royal Gator, basically a royal tombs. Lovely place even though it has a sad meaning. Next up: Amber Fort. Oh what a fort that is! Huge palace, tons of rooms, yards, gardens, loooong walls ... this was abandoned after british conquered India. Since it was Sunday lots of tourists were there but it didn’t bother us much. It was awesome getting lost around the palace. I was daydreaming how this place must have looked like when it was full of life, kings, ... We easily spent 2 hours exploring mirror rooms, garden, towers, ... Me and Matjaž went on to a military fort on the hill even further above the palace. Old cannons and amazing view of the palace, Jaipur and surrounding area. Hot day but well worth it!
    Wheh we finished with the whole fort we went on to Amber (old Jaipur) for Stepwell, a huge water tank they used back in the days. We could only make photos from above, but the best part were monkeys! So lovely and lots of them!
    We noted some temples next to it so me and Matjaž went exploring and hit a jackpot - the temple was the oldest building in the area, officially 1100 years old but some manuscripts mention it was over 2500 years old! We were told it was by god Krishna, one of rarest temples where you go downstairs. It looked amazing!
    We headed back to town, saw a palace on the lake and then finally- Hawa Mahal, the famous Jaipur place with all the windows and all. So beautiful! We took our photos and moved on to dinner. Yumm - dal with garlic naan (yes, again).
    Some chats ib rooftop on hostel and now I’m about to go to sleep, more exploding tomorrow and then - Pushkar. Good night 💤
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