Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Delhi's "Janpat Market"

If you're looking for a lively place to shop and haggle for fabrics, jewelry, books, carvings and many other items, then head over to the Janpat market in New Delhi. Besides great bargains, be ready for lots of hawkers aggressively selling their wares.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bangalore fire station

GSE teammate Jae, an Eagan volunteer firefighter, wanted to visit the Bangalore main fire station so off we went.  The firefighting motorcycle can maneuver through the traffic in a hurry!  Some future fire fighters of Bangalore were happy to see us.  

Jae stood next to a less than enthusiastic firefighter.  Maybe I wouldn't be very happy either if I had to wear an orange jacket?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My "Indian" ladies

My "Indian" ladies enjoyed dressing up in Indian dresses with Indian jewelry and bindis!  Svea, Kajsa and Britta have two outfits and Anne has a blue, India blouse. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How about some Indian treats & sweets?

Would you like some goodies from the sweet shop at Gandhi Market in Bangalore?

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Delhi's Jama Masjid mosque

Some more pictures from Jama Masjid, one of India's largest mosques located in New Delhi. 


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Snake charmer!

Yes, indeed!  A real cobra! I didn't think I'd see a snake charmer but while I was sightseeing in New Delhi ....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Camel ride anyone?

How about a camel ride?  You can ride a camel at the Maharaja Palace in Mysore or ride in a cart behind a camel in New Delhi! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The resting place of Mahatma Gandhi

In New Delhi, we visited the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, a founding father of independent India.   It was a quiet, beautiful, peaceful place.  This is now another special memory of my trip to India.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back in my office

It's Monday morning, March 23, and I'm back in my office. My big Genesha woodcarving is the newest adornment to my office decor.

Wow - I'm still in an India daze . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Layover in London

Well, my India adventure sadly came to an end. I flew out of Delhi's "Indira Gandhi International Airport" with British Airways at 7:10 am.
At the moment, I'm in jolly ol' England at the London Heathrow airport with 3.5 more hours until my flight to Chicago and then on to Minneapolis.

Stay tuned for more India blog pictures.....

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Taj Mahal

I had fun photographing various people at the Taj Mahal. "Happy - happy - look happy!"

On Saturday, March 21, I made it to the Taj Mahal! Joanie, Adrienne and I met our tour guide at the entrance gate at 6:30 am. The temperature was cooler and the crowds were less.
This is truly a fabulous place - awesome!

Friday, March 20 - to Agra

On Friday, March 20, we left New Delhi and drove 4 hours to Agra. The first visit was a tour of the Agra Fort, a majestic citadel built in 1565 of red sandstone. Our guide is a "look alike" of a famous Bollywood actor in the recently released Indian movie, "Delhi 6" which I saw in Bangalore.

We did some shopping around Agra later in the afternoon. I found a little something at a store owned by a Rotarian from the Agra Taj Mahal Rotary club. He told me that I received a "Rotary discount" on my purchase, but .....

That evening, we went to the 6:30 show of "Mohabbat the Taj - the saga of Love." It was a dramatic and dazzling show about the story of the Muslim Emperor who built this 1st wonder of the world, a beautiful white marble mausoleum, after the death of this wife.

After the show, we finally met our Rotary host who put us up in his 2 bedroom guest apartment in Agra. His father is a Rotary past district governor.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday, March 19 in New Delhi

A driver and guide from Cal India tours picked us up at the New Delhi International airport. They welcomed us with marigold garlands and Kingfisher beers in the car.

Our first stop was a visit to the "Qutub Minar," the world's tallest brick minaret completed in 1386. The ruins and pillars made for some great "snaps."

Next we visited the Lotus Temple of the Bahai faith, a relatively new addition to New Delhi.

Our most noteworthy stop was at the "Jama Masjid" mosque, the largest mosque in India. Great photo shots abounded here with people, minarets, children, etc.

Our last stop for the day was a walk up to the "India Gate," built in 1921 to honor the fallen Indian soliders from WWI. Later in 1971, an eternal flame was lit in memory of unknown soliders who died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

Last morning in Bangalore

Today was my last morning in Bangalore. Badri invited me last night to stay at their lovely, new house located just off Bull Temple Road.
We ate a typical breakfast at the nearby Brahmins Coffee Bar on Ranga Rao Road in Basanangudi. Yum! Badri drove me to the airport where I met Adrienne and Joanie who arrived next to us in the parking lot with their homestay host, Vijay. What an incredible one month's stay through the Rotary International GSE program; it was difficult to say goodbye! Luckily, I'll see Badri again in Birmingham, England in June at the Rotary international convention.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flight to New Delhi on Indian Airlines

Today's the day for departure from my fantastic, one month stay in Bangalore.
Off to New Delhi I go with Adrienne and Joanie:
Depart Bangalore: 9:30 AM Indian Airlines flight #505
Arrive New Delhi: 12:00 PM

Indian haircut on Wednesday

I had my hair cut this morning by Ramesh at the "Royal Gent's Beauty Parlour" in the Rajajinagar neighborhood of Bangalore. For a haircut, trim with a razor, oil head massage and tip, I paid Ramesh 80 Rupees or just less than $2.00 (yes two dollars!) I was the only customer in his three chair shop; it was cozy.

My 7th and final Bangalore homestay

Teammate Jae Wiese and I are staying with S K Manjunath, ("Manju") and his wife, Prabha, and their son, Deepak, and daughter, Sahana. "Manju" is a member of the Bangalore North Rotary club and more particularly the "fellowship chair" or in other words he's in charge of providing the "adult drinks" after the conclusion of their Friday evening weekly Rotary meetings.

Manju does daily morning prayers called "pooja" in their prayer room just of the dining room. His prayers begin to the "Genesha" god and then several other Indian gods. He usually wears the "dohti" for this daily ritual.