We have been extraordinarily blessed with visitors during our time in Bangalore. We also have taken full advantage of Tom’s vacations, experiencing as much of the amazing diversity India and Sri Lanka have to offer as we can possibly fit in to what is suddenly feeling like a short amount of time. For our 2018-19 Winter Vacation, we got to revel in both visitors and amazing India. Our sister/sister-in-law Julie and niece Meagan made the trek around the world to spend the holidays with us, including Christmas. It was a little bit of home and family at a time of the year when we miss both tremendously. Together we explored ancient sites, Wonders of the World, crafts in the making.
We started vacation with a few days showing Julie and Meagan around our lives in Bangalore. As with most international flights, they arrived in Bangalore crazy early in the morning, and after giving them time for a quick nap and some mango jammers, our goal was to keep them awake and be out in the light. We took a tour of the Canadian International School and a walk through our neighborhood, Malleshwaram. We capped off the day with a nice home cooked meal thanks to our once-a-week cook, Bharti. The next day we took them on the now-familiar tour of our favorite sites in Bangalore — Mavalli Tiffin Room, LalBagh Botanical Gardens, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, and KR Market. Intermixed in all of that was some serious Ticket to Ride playing, but we promised Meagan we wouldn’t disclose the results . . .
It was wonderful having them see our lives for a few days. We have a hard time describing it to people who haven’t been here, so it is always great to have people come and understand what it is we’re up to. On the other hand, Bangalore doesn’t have more than a couple of days of touristy things to experience, so after a little bit of shopping, we were off to the bulk of our vacation in Rajasthan.
We started our adventures in Jaipur, one corner of The Golden Triangle of India, where we toured forts, a medieval astronomical observatory, and a palace. Then we were off to our nature experience in Ranthambore National Park while staying in a tent-lodging resort. Next off to Bundi for our small town experience, and more forts and palaces. Then we were off to Agra, to experience the never disappointing Taj Mahal. We said good bye to Julie and Meagan in Delhi, where we spent a couple of days over the New Year, then off for the last few days of break in the ancient town of Hampi in our home state of Karnataka
It was an amazing trip, once again thanks to an incredible amount of work by Melissa. To try to keep these stories to a reasonable length, we’re separating out the various legs of the trip into separate posts. Please follow the links to read about the details of each place, or at least as many of the stories as you can bear. We always appreciate when you share our experiences with us. Thank you for taking the time to read.