Gateway of India
Arriving Mumbai in thunderstorms and monsoon rains put a swift brake on our many plans to see various attractions in this city of contrasts. As the population in Mumbai is estimated to be over 19 million, and the biggest city in India, there is no doubt that these people live under different conditions. Unfortunately the weather did not encourage us to leave the hotel for more than one day to do sightseeing, we did not visit to many spots of interest. Some attractions however we did take a closer look at. These were, the Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and Hadji Ali Mosque. 🙂 Other interesting sights such as the movie Mekka Bollywood, the Elefanta Island and the Mumbay slum we have to visit another time.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link
What a thrill to go from Agra to Varanasi by train. We spent a whole day watching the amazingly green and lush landscape spread out as the train rolled through village after village. Arriving Varanasi was even more spectacular. In the evening we were picked up at the train station by hotel employees for a one hour trip by car to a street nearby our hotel. To get to the hotel we had to go for about 10 minutes. What an amazing new world that was to us. The narrow streets full of people, animals, dirt, shops and temples made a huge impression on us all. This over 4000 year old city known as “the city of light” is one of the most sacred cities of the world today and is seen by devotees as “the home of Shiva”. The legend even tells us that the God Shiva founded Varanasi. The city rises from the many stone steps up from the Ganges river and is as colourful, chaotic, full of houses, temples, narrow streets, aroma, people, different animals and holy cows you can only imagine. Devoted Indians come here either to wash away their sins for a lifetime in the river Ganges or to cremate their loved ones in the belief that they will achieve the salvation of the soul from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. We will never forget this city for as long as we shall live – and I personally adored it! During our stay our superb guide Prakash gave us the history of different temples, shops, weaving factories for making saris, the main cremation place, the university and the evening rituals with thousands of lights floating on the Ganges river. Thank you sooooo much! 🙂
Bamboo forest i Kyoto
Siden jeg allerede har skrevet om Tokyo så tar jeg det bare litt med. Ib dro rundt i meste parten av byen i Tokyo, mens noen av oss andre var hjemme fordi jeg og Emeric var syke. I Kyoto hadde vi madrasser som var litt tykkere enn fingeren min og lå rett på gulvet. Det var faktisk godt å ligge på. Det er ikke noe vits i å tenke på at det hadde vært vondt til ryggen for det var HELT OMVENT. Der hadde vi puter i stedet for stoler ved spisebordet som var like lavt som en katt som JAGER EN MUS HA, HA. Mamma hadde tenkt seg på tur til BAMBOO FOREST med oss på sykkeltur. Det var alt for langt for meg i den steikende solen, så jeg og pappa dro hjem etter en LLLLLLLLAAAAAAANNNNNNGGGGGG stund. Mens pappa og jeg ventet på mamma og dem, var det 2 min. igjen av tiden vi fikk ha syklene. Å heldigvis kom de litt før det – HHHHHHHOOOOOO. I Kyoto badet vi også i en innsjø som var kjempevarm men god.
I Hiroshima lærte jeg at hvis man slipper en ATOMBOMBE kan det bli opp til 6000 grader – 6 TUSEN grader – og jeg som synes det er varmt med 15 grader. Vi dro på ett museum der jeg så dukker av noen med smeltet hud og bilder med personer med sår over alt. Og jeg så en atombombe uten sprengstoff og atom. Hvis det hadde kommet en atombombe til Norge ville jeg enten være rett under atombomben og blitt drept med en gang eller ikke vært der i det hele tatt. Jeg ville DEFINITIVT ikke ha det glovarmt og få smeltet hud. På museet var det klær fra en liten gutt som var i bare filler, og et bilde av en mann som var bare en svart flekk igjen av på trappa hvor han ventet på at banken skulle åpne. Jeg synes det er FORFERDELIG DUMT med atombomber. Da jeg var på vei ut av museet lærte jeg å lage fredstraner av papir. 🙂
Taj Mahal in Agra
After driving about 200 km – using 6 hours!! – we arrived in our hotel in Agra. 🙂 If we thought that New Delhi was loud, this was nothing compared to what we experienced in Agra. Still the number of inhabitants is not more than around 1.4 million people. A hectic and colourful city center met us while arriving in the evening. Our number one adventure in Agra was of course Taj Mahal. And no wonder – what a beautiful and magnificent building. And what a story connected to it. Shah Jahan (Mughal emperor) built this ivory-white marble mausoleum in memory of his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum also called Mumtaz Mahal. She died after giving birth to their 14th child. The name Taj Mahal means Crown Palace and was named after Muntaz Mahal. Another attraction we were fortunate to see is the amazing Agra Fort. Finally we experienced the celebration of the return of the God Ganesha to the river – a colourful and lively happening. Lots of people were in the streets playing load music, dancing and putting colour in their own faces and those passing by… 🙂
Jama Masjid Mosque, New Delhi
We arrived New Delhi in the afternoon by plane from Hong Kong. The trip was nice and we where quite surprised to see so few tall buildings from the sky while arriving. There are about 17 million people living in the Delhi area, making it the next biggest city in India. When visiting some of the main attractions we saw nearly only small buildings and streets crowded by people, rickshaws, cows, goats, camels and cars. The cars and rickshaws were honking their horns all the time making a super-loud sound. We visited three famous attractions named Jama Masjid Mosque, the Red Fort and the Lotus Temple. Another place we were lucky to explore right next to our hotel was the Shiv Murti Mandir Complex where beautiful statues of Shiva and other Hindu Gods could be admired.
Statues of Gods in Shiv Murti Mandir Complex
Tokyo er hovedstaden i Japan. Vi tok fly fra Sør-Afrika til Tokyo. Det tok ca.18 timer! I Tokyo er det ca. 13 millioner innbyggere. Det var skyskrapere over alt og er en skikkelig storby. Folkene der var skikkelig høflige. De spurte ikke en gang om de kunne kome framover når vi sto i veien. Jeg og Emeric ble syke når vi kom til Tokyo. Vi hadde både RENNEBÆ og OPPKAST. Heldigvis har Japan kommet langt i teknologi, så doene kunne spyle i tissene til jentene og rumpene til ALLE MANN. Rumpene blir mye reinere av det enn å bare ha litt tørt papir å tørke seg med.
Vi var i en kjempestor dyrepark også. Der var det både maurslukere, gorillaer, pandaer og tigre. Det var artig å se på.
Hong Kong by night
We had a great stay in Hong Kong because of Zinni, her family and friend Jessie. Thanks a lot to all of you! They guided us both during day and nighttime for many days and we were happy to learn lots about different kind of tasteful food and most of the attractions in Hong Kong. They showed us The Peak, Hong Kong Skyline, the Avenue of stars, Ladies marked, The Clock Tower, the Tian Tan Buddha, and the Po Lin Monastery- What a great adventure! Hong Kong is buzzing with life from morning till nighttime – nonstop! It has an international atmosphere and you feel alive only watching the people around you talking, playing and laughing.
The Tian Tan Buddha in Landau Island in Hong Kong