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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dec 5, 2017 - Last night in Varanasi

Rose, you sent us on an adventure! After dinner, we were taken to an essential oils place down the darkened maze, and lo and behold, we ended up in the cow place that Jud was at last night. The cow section takes up 90% of the floor space and off to one side is a specialty shop for essential oils. The 'old' marigold flower (good for happiness and serenity) was $60 for a tiny vial, so you're getting 'newer' marigold flower which you can age in the bottle. By the time I see you, it will be old marigold flower. Jud and I shared some lemon oil...

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Dec 5, 2017 - Last day in Varanasi

I forgot to mention that Sarnath is the location where Buddah gave his first lecture after reaching enlightenment, and is very holy to those following Buddhism. It is one of four special locations for Buddhists. The others being Lumbhini, where he was born; Bodh Gaya where he sat under the Bohdi tree for seven years, protected by a king cobra, until he reached enlightenment; and also Kushinigar, near Gorakpur, where he left his body. Very many hours last night - from 2:30 onwards, the snarling, yelping, growling, snapping, howling, baying,...

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Dec 4, 2017 - Busy chaos, cows, and potholes

The highlight of yesterday was after we slipped the candles and flowers into the Ganges. As we approached our hotel, Brian and I decided to continue up the steps and along the lane to Lahiri Mahasaya's home to see if it was open for meditation. The gate was unlocked, the front door was open, but huge metal gates (similar to old elevator doors) were locked tight. We sat for a moment on the marble ledges, and took some photos through the grating. In several moments a man appeared, unlocked the gates, welcomed us in, and said he was a devotee...

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Dec 3, 2017 - Busy day on the Ghats

Today we awoke (several times) to the noises of early morning action on the Ghat below our room window, and by 6:30 to the sun rising over the Ganges through the mist/haze/smog. Chai and coffee on the roof top terrace, along with 19 Londoners on tour with a Brazilian leader. With bad instructions, we girded our loins, and headed out on our own through the myriad narrow alleys in the maze heading eventually to the main road. Just like the casbah! Goats, Bulls, people, poop of all kinds, miniature stalls, and smaller sleeping spots....

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Nov 7, 2016 - Homeward bound

This is the last entry in this trip journal as we are homeward bound, catching our flight at 3:10 AM for our 24:55 minute flight. This trip was called magical India and it was indeed that. Here are some of the things that were magical: 1. The beauty of the setting in Darjeeling; 2. The sunrise on Mount Kungchengjunga and seeing Mount Everest at 6 AM; 3. The rickshaw ride through the market in Old Delhi; 4. The Taj Mahal in Agra; 5. Akbar the Great's tomb in Agra; 6. The Sikh temple in Agra 7. The Diwali celebrations in Agra 8. The search...

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Nov 6, 2016 - Varanasi

Yesterday was a travel day from Jaipur to the holy city of Varanasi, the oldest inhabited city in the world, established about 1100 BC.. It consisted of 12 hours on buses and planes. No interesting photos taken. On arrival in Delhi to get our flight to Varanasi the smog was so thick you could barely see 200 yards. Delhi's smog rating is at 600 and to put that in perspective we get worried in Canada when it hits 20. We had an early start today in Varanasi with a wake up call at 4:30 AM and on the bus at 5:00 as we made our way to the Ganges,...

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Oct 25, 2016 - Varanasi - Le Gange Sacré

Voici le lien à l'album photos en ligne / Link to the online photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/5W9Zv9wS6aritLpeA Si vous en avez assez des réincarnations, c'est à Varanasi, sur les rives du Gange, qu'il faut venir pousser votre dernier soupir. Ou du moins, vous faire incinérer. Dans cette ville sacrée de l'hindouisme, tout est plongé dans la spiritualité jusqu'au cou. Les journées commencent tôt à Varanasi, cité autrefois baptisée Bénarès, et chérie des hippies pendant les années 60 et 70. Dès le lever du soleil, vers 5h, la ville se met...

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Jan 14, 2016 - The limits of tourism

Our last day in Varanasi began well before sunrise. About seven of us gathered for a brief walk from the hotel to a waiting boat on the Ganges. Few people were out. Homeless families were waking up, the women and kids huddled for comfort and security. It was too early for begging. It was difficult to witness little girls with next to nothing, not even clean faces, who likely would never have more than what they had that moment, and who perhaps would have even less whether dignity or well being should they survive into womanhood. A morning...

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Jan 11, 2016 - Jim has a cow

Explicit content follows. Use discretion. We arrived in Varanasi after an overnight train from Agra. Typical train, though we were treated to the efforts of two members of the Indian National Snoring Team. This is why we always carry earplugs. The tuk tuk from the train station to the hotel was more hectic than most. We were last to arrive. Our room was OK, though we had to ask for a second towel and Jim asked to have the floor swept as he objects to black hair. After the first hot shower in a few days and a decent lunch, we had a walk...

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Jan 10, 2016 - Accidents of English and unfortunate western influences

One's first reaction to a sign promoting "child beer" is to have images either of a Charles Dickens type child infested sweatshop brewery or very small servings. Then one sounds out the letters and considers intent. What we have is "chilled beer." Ah, no evil whatsoever. India being a former colony and still in the Commonwealth, English is a second language for anyone with more than elementary education. Still one will see adverts for hair saloons, chocolate souse, and a myriad of fun and interesting products. One restaurant claims to have...

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Oct 23, 2015 - Surviving India 101: Varanasi

Can I just start by saying that both Fran and I were a bit “skerd” of India? We’ve been to over 100 countries and while India has tons to see and do, it has remained way far down on our travel list. Why? Well, we’ve basically heard that everyone gets sick in India; I seem to have poor defenses and a myriad of illness to my name, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to get sick as well. And I don’t just get sick, I always do it up in style, big ones like pneumonia and campylobacteria and giardia and my newly aquired, dengue fever. You know that you...

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Jul 28, 2015 - Aarti ochtend ceremonie

We zijn op reis en niet met vakantie. Dat gevoel kreeg ik wel toen we om kwart voor vijf werden gewekt om naar de Aarti ochtend ceremonie te gaan bekijken. We hadden het de avond daarvoor bij zonsondergang gezien en dan is het niet af als je het niet ook met zonsopgang meemaakt. We gingen met onze eigen bus, want‘smorgens vroeg mogen bussen verder de binnenstad in. Geen riksja of Tuktuk op de vroege morgen. Die zijn wel makkelijk te krijgen om die tijd. Veel van die mannen slapen in hun bakkie. Het laatste stuk gingen we deze keer lopen en...

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