After my CSC assignment I had the pleasure of traveling together with my IBM/CSC colleague Malcolm for another 12 days. Since this was really a vacation there is only one blog post for the whole duration 😉
After saying goodbye to the CSC colleagues in Mumbai we took an evening flight directly to Udaipur where a roof top beer combined with a beautiful castle view @ the Panorama Guest House (<- recommended) was the perfect start into our vacation. The next day we visited the fort and did a short boat trip on the lake. Interesting was that it seems to be still really off season since we really only saw a couple of tourists – nice! The next day we visited the Sahelion-ki-Bari park – which was okay and then found by accident another really nice park near the Vintage Collection of Classic Cars (<- great place to have a cheap and good thali lunch). A perfect place to watch the sunset is the „Monsum Palace“ (Sajjangarh). Afterwards it was dinner time @ Ambrai (Amet Haveli Hotel)
To catch the 6 a.m. Volvo bus (booked via bustickets.makemytrip.com) to Jodhpur we had an early start and although our rkischa never turned up we made it on a bumpy ride to Jodhpur. Since the temperature got close to 40° we took some time and relaxed at „Yogi’s guesthouse“. This really was again a great place to stay (roof top fort view, clean rooms, free pickout, space to hanout..) – close to perfect.
Unfortunately when we stayed for dinner the last evening the owner (Yogi) got so drunk that he started insulting guests and his staff had to hold him back (see tripadvisor review from 10 of september – “Nice guesthouse but the owner is alcoholic”).This being very unpleasant the rest of the stay was great. I can highly recommend getting a cafe @ „Cafe Sheesh Mahal“ – with good coffee (my first espresso in five weeks really knocked me out) and a great view over the market!
Even earlier we started our journey to Jaisalmer – to catch the train we had to get up at 4:00 a.m.. But we made it and it was a smooth train ride with a lot of things to watch. The top thing we wanted to do in Jaisalmer was a kamel safari that included sleeping in the dessert without a tent. Directly after arrival we had a look at the different options and booked a one night tour with our Hotel – Shahi Palace (recommended).
The safari was great fun and sleeping under the stars in the dessert is certainly a very pleasant an special experience.
After returning to the city in the morning we finally were able to book our train ticket for the next day and visited the fort. There we got picked up by a guide/rkischa driver that calls himself „Cool Rahul“ and is quite a character.
For a decent price we got a nice tour and some entertainment – so if you are interested (+91 9571650515). The next day we went back to the fort to have a look at the magnificent jain temple and got another small tour with Rahul.
Our next stop was Jaipur which we reached after after a 12 hour night train journey. There it was time for some luxury and we stayed at a Hotel with a swimming pool (Umaid Bhawan – 40% discount during off-season) – a real pleasure when temperatures are around 40°C.
Since we only had one day in Jaipur we rented a rkischa for the whole day (650 INR = 7€). This was also the first city during our travel where we saw a larger number of non-indian tourists. Especially the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant seemed to be an in place to have dinner.
Again early the next morning it was time to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. This time we stayed in Bansi’s Homestay, which was nice but we got charged for the chai! Since we wanted to see the Taj Mahal during sunset we first visited the Agra Fort. Visiting the Thaj Mahal and staying tills sunset was certainly a highlight.
And then it was time for our last stop – Delhi. While the Master Bed and Breakfast was a bit expensive I can highly recommend it! With half a day left I really I visited the India Gate and the Jama Masjid (India’s largest mosque) – which has a great view over the city.
Delhi also gave me the opportunity to try two new forms of transportation – push bike rkischa and the indian metro – where second was quite a pleasant experience. For our last dinner we decided to make it special and went to the revolving restaurant Parikrama.
And then it was time to say goodbye to India and its people. It has been six wonderful weeks filled up with amazing and great experiences. This was certainly a lifetime experience – thanks to the IBM CSC program!
The following map gives an overview of my travel.