I am always surprised at how efficient and friendly the Indian rail reservation people are. 5 minutes in their office and I left with a 300 Rupee ticket for an overnighter from Mumbai to Goa, leaving tomorrow night. Saves me a nights accommodation as well! Really looking forward to the beach now!
Today I went to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This is basically for Sikhs what the Vatican would be for Catholics. The atmosphere in that temple is absolutely amazing. There are people bathing in the lake and worshipers praying on their knees, a kitchen that feeds anybody who is hungry no matter what nationality or religion and a dorm, where you can stay for free for up to three days. Continue reading
In a couple days I will start travelling back home to Germany. I decided to do that overland, rather than taking a flight. The journey will take me among others through Pakistan and Iran. These are the only countries along the way I need to get visas beforehand. It’s not as straightforward getting those visas, so I decided to write up my experience to help out others. Keep in mind that the procedure and the price vary for different nationalities, so it’s always best to apply well in advance (read: not like me at the last possible moment). Continue reading
After Jodhpur I decided to go get myself a nice calm camel and ride around a bit in the desert. For that purpose I took another sleeper train to Jaisalmer, maybe 100 km away from the border to Pakistan. The 10 hour ride turned into 14 and we arrived around noon in the sleepy but tourist-infested desert town. On the train I had met a couple guys, Tom and Martin, from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Together with a few other travellers we got suckered into staying at the Hotel Henna, despite my better judgement. Not only that, but we were all so dead tired, that we couldn’t be bothered shopping around for a desert tour. Tom, Martin and I ended up booking an overnight tour, including lots of different things to see on the way to the desert, none of which happened in the end. But then, getting ripped off is part of the travelling lifestyle, right? Continue reading
When I left Mumbai I took a twenty hour train journey to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. A lot of Rajasthan is part of the Thar, a desert that stretches into Pakistan to the west. After I had dumped my bags in my room I decided to explore the city a bit on foot. Many interesting things happen while you try to get lost in a new city. This time, though, I got truly lost. From far away I had seen an impressive fort up on a hill and I walked towards it. While trying to find the entrance to it I managed to get myself further and further into little side streets away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets. Continue reading
After a few days in Mumbai the city started to grow on me. There’s a lot of things to do and the food is just great. After the movie filming I heard a few people talking about the slum tours. About 55% of Mumbaikers live in some kind of slum. One of these slums, Dharavi, has just been made famous by the movie Slumdog Millionaire and it is exactly this slum that you can take a tour in. Continue reading
I arrived in Mumbai after a 10 hour overnight train journey from Canacona in Goa. Personally I’m not a huge fan of big cities and after about 30 minutes in Mumbai I kept thinking that I had to get out of there. It’s huge, claustrophobic and dirty, even for Indian standards. Continue reading