My next trip to India begins! This one is personal vs business-focused.
No snow on the ground as I leave Vermont – will that be the case when I return?
Parked at Newark, which is where I flew from.
Going a different route, this direction will be Newark to Delhi to Bangalore.
Sadly, I was too low on the status ranking to get upgraded 😦 At least United has extra legroom for premier-seated folks.
On-board, checking out the flight data and route map. (I learned something sitting here, which will come into play in a few pics.)
Time to fly!
And time to start up Hindi movie #1.
Time for a dance scene.
Dance, dance, dance.
Movie #2 – Mr X! Which is totally unbelievable in concept but was fun to watch nonetheless. After this movie, I crashed and slept.
I flew east, left in the evening, flew through the day. This is a sunrise somewhere over Europe, viewed through an ice-crystal-covered window.
About to touch down in Delhi!
I’m here 🙂
A neat welcome at customs.
“Way Out” sign caught my eye not only as a way out but also reminding me of signs I’d seen in the UK. I like “way out” vs “exit”. Especially since I like being way out! Also, because….
…Chandan came to meet me! I knew Chandan was visiting his family and when I realized how long my layover in Delhi would be (that data I read on-board in Newark) I shot Chandan an email. He figured out how to meet me at the Delhi airport.
Dhanyavad b’hai Chandan-ji! Aur dhanyavad Chandan’s father-ji, who drove him to meet me 🙂
Panorama of Delhi airport.
5+ hours until my flight. Time to visit….
…the Air India lounge.
Which is okay. It has wifi, and eventually food (which is only okay).
The signage was quite cheerful, though!
Inside the terminal.
Apparently this is a top-ranking airport. I think it’s a pretty fair ranking.
Heading to the gate.
Now boarding to Bengaluru on Air India.
I last experienced a dual-language airline magazine on Air Canada. Happy to have an English-Hindi reader. Woo!
Heading to Bengaluru.
Touched down in the state of Karnataka, at Kempegowda Int’l Airport.
I am seeing this airport in the morning light for the first time.
The Marriott driver chose to take a back road to hotel, since the daytime traffic on main roads between the airport and city would be voluminous. This gave me an opportunity to see a new view of the area.
No surprise – cows!
Crazy guys on motorcycles carrying big bales of stuff.
Farms. I knew there were farms but had yet to see any.
I think this is corn.
Infrastructure, which became a theme of the pics this trip.
India is colorful.
These are banana trees.
This is the outer wall of a military training facility.
I like how buildings and little complexes seem to sprout up in the seeming middle of nowhere.
If I had hair, maybe I’d stop and…. well, maybe not.
Bengaluru continues to expand.
Getting onto a main road.
This is a school. I still haven’t seen anything familiar though (except one of those cows, maybe!)
Wait, wait, this looks…
…yes, yes, I’m sure….
…that building next to the Marriott! I’m home (India home, that is).
View from the room.
Time for dosa. MMMMMMMMMMM!
Madurai Menu of MMMMMMM!
Time for shopping 🙂 Mohan and I visit the Phoenix Marketplace, stopping at the Titan store and Being Human, among a few others.
I went a little silly with shopping. I’d never even step into a mall in the US!
Driving back to the hotel as Friday comes to a close.
Breakfast in the hotel restaurant includes Medu Vada, the donut-looking things that are crispy and savory.
Mohan and I head out into the fun.
A2B for lunch. Was packed, as the pictures show.
Mohan just walked in and took an open table. He’s like a celebrity 🙂
Back to the hotel for a quick change into the evening’s attire for Susan’s wedding.
We’re off. Hey – no traffic!
Oops, spoke too soon.
Neither Mohan nor the guy in the mirror seem to thrilled by this gridlock.
This cow, however, appears indifferent.
This is a temple.
So is this.
This is more traffic.
This is an American tourist snapping pics while stuck in traffic.
(well, THIS is that tourist)
This Indian wedding is rooted in Christianity, and thus the visual is much more like a wedding I might see in the US.
This page of the program describes some of the different elements of Susan and Jason’s ceremony.
This is the outside of the church.
Awwww, you’re welcome!
Now for the reception. Susan and Jason parade the reception room being showered in love, joy, and some confetti-like pellets 🙂
Reception hall, with the starts of the show on stage.
Susan cutting the cake.
Left to right: Sinthana, Jason, Susan, Nivedita.
Sinthana, Susan, and Nivedita.
Sinthana, me, and Nivedita.
Me, Nivedita, and Mohan.
Me and Mohan.
Thank you for inviting me, Susan and Jason!
Sunday begins with breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
Then off to a Telegu movie with Goutham. I had a reason for finding this warning sign at the theater interesting, but now that I read it again I have no recollection of what ’twas!
“Bengal Tigers” is the movie we saw.
Still fight scene.
And… a dance scene!
I’d forgotten how ornate diesel fuel tanks can be.
Goutham’s complex. I was invited (and happily accepted) to lunch by Goutham and Jaya. YUMMMY!
Goutham and Jaya’s porch garden.
The white buildings and clear blue sky made an interesting contrast.
Cow as viewed thru Goutham’s back window.
Taking pics from the 15th floor.
One of my first trips has this same pic but it’s full of construction materials. I’ve watched the second tower of this hotel progress with each visit.
Hanging out in the hotel lounge.
With Mohan, the ever busy and troublesome guy.
I just lounged. Why not, I’m here taking time off 🙂
View of the hotel from the pool-side.
Today I get a tour of Bangalore, courtesy of Sandeep.
Our first stop was for coffee at Cafe Coffee Day. (which is where we were sitting when I took this pic).
Then we headed to the Bull Temple.
There’s what seems a run-down amusement park at the spot where the Bull Temple (and several others) are located. But, Sandeep assures me it only looks run down and will be cleaned up for the next festival held there.
Pathway to the Bull Temple.
the Bull Temple.
The Bull. I didn’t take this as I thought it might seem disrespectful to be touristy inside a temple. Borrowed the pic from Wikipedia.
Another view of the amusement park.
Sandeep suggests having coconut milk. YES!
Wandering the temple area grounds.
I think this is the first penned cow I’ve seen in any trip to India.
These little carts are versatile!
Onward with the tour! The statue is Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore.
Traffic. Surprised? (not me!)
One of the older buildings in the city.
Several state buildings were next on our drive.
This was a TV broadcast center when TV was broadcast intermittently throughout the day.
Yes, despite what you might think, there is a Traffic Management Centre.
Fighter jet statue outside an Air Force facility.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, home of the IPL Bangalore Royal Challenge.
Getting into the higher-price area of the city.
Lunchtime at the Bangalore Club.
Sandeep’s Tour-Mobile (It’s a Suzuki – rock on!)
Here’s one alternate to the crazy traffic!
Can you tell what famous outpost this is? (answer to come later).
Sandeep and I strolled down MG Road.
Very old and seasoned newsprint operation.
Elevated Railway at MG Road Station.
Continuing onward into commercial frenzy.
More coffee, indeed!
Matteo – their coffee and establishment rate high on my list. I’ll be back for sure!
For future visits: the oldest coffee shop in Bangalore, and “Rooster Guitars”
On the side of a parking garage. I think it sounds like a great band name.
Answer: Hard Rock Cafe of Bangalore.
One of the earliest restaurants in the city.
Sign outside HAL – which was the military airport that served as the commercial airport for the city for a while. Last stop on today’s tour. Thank you, Mr Sandeep, for showing me your fair city!
Evening meetup with the boys at SBX.
Time for Shobin, Kishore, Goutham and Mohan to (finally) materialize.
Dining outside on the deck.
The closest I came to our office – sitting in the parking lot waiting for a ride home.
My friend Amar shares his “Thought of the Day” at breakfast.
Vishal took me on another tour. I reacquainted with ornate diesel tanks!
We visited the Ashram of Sri Sathya Sai. I couldn’t take pictures inside of it, and I had to wear a cover over my lower half as I had a prohibited item – shorts! The Ashram is across from this overpass.
A handbook from the Ashram. Sukriya, Vishal-ji, for the Tuesday Touring 🙂
Later Tuesday, while waiting for Mr Troublesome Mohan, I found out there’s a world championship level of badmitten.
Watching badmitten worked up my appetite. Mohan finally arrived and I managed not to waste away from starvation. Thankfully so, as Chulha Chauki da Dhaba makes tasty food!
Oh yea – bring it on!
There’s a T20 tournament in India this coming spring. I am already looking at travel dates 😉
Wednesday weaves its way to me, and I start wrapping up my trip.
Jyoti and Amar, two of many awesome folks at my Indian Home (aka Marriott Bengaluru Whitefield)
Off to the airport.
So long, Marriott, for now…
Goodbye, big water tower thing outside the hotel.
Backroad, again. This is a picture of a ditch.
Buildings out in the middle of nowhere.
That military training facility.
People passing like they are on the Jersey Turnpike.
I think the peaks off in the distance are Nandi Hills. Took lots of pics trying to capture these.
…is how not…
…your trailer truck.
Why not? (well, if he’s actually on the clock as the toll gate guard to the airport road, then there’s lots of reason why not, but maybe he’s on break?)
Sign near airport.
Seeing the airport in the daylight for only the second time.
Oh boy – lounge time!
Thank you thank you thank you!
These tea samples were pretty yummy.
On board to Mumbai. Air India emergency info card.
There’s a few differences from the English cards I’m used to.
Hindi being first, that’s one.
“Ditching” is something we did in high school when we didn’t want to go to class.
The people pictured were in culturally correct clothing.
Okay… time to wing it homeward.
I’m okay skipping these apron boarding/deplaning methods. Jet-ways are much nicer.
Thanks to a really really really long line at customs I had to rush to my gate. Do I get an upgrade?
Hello, New York, on a very early Thursday after several movies and sleeping in a lie-flat seat.
Hello blurry IKEA sign.
Phone is home.
Bag is home.
Wait… I thought I left traffic in India!!! Ugh, well, almost home, anyway. Bye!