Blogs from Pondicherry, India, Asia - page 5


Asia » India » Pondicherry February 13th 2009

There were many things said about 'Pondy' before I arrived in this unknown territory, like much of India to me. I tried not to let these preconceptions effect my own perspective. The one thing that was relayed and stuck in my mind is that it is a former French colony, so I was expecting, to some extent, for this to be reflected in the architecture. As for anything else I wasn't sure of, and my only view of France is from the misguided television or pictorial Wikipedia. It was true. The buildings have obvious influence from the French. They were mostly white and clean, as were the streets. Bearing in mind this is in the tourist side of the canal. A French Canadian guy we met there called Guillame (William) told us the story of the ... read more

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 28th 2009

This old French colonial town gives a nice break to India with its wide streets and grand houses fronted by a promenade along the seashore, it feels as though you have stepped back into Europe. Here we had our first row with a tuk tuk driver. Having assured us that he knew the hotel we were going to, we found he hadn't a clue. He repeatedly stopped to ask for directions but this seemed to make little difference. Eveentually we lost the head and got out and walked. We ended up lodging for the night in an ashram which had a strict curfew at 10.30pm and a no alcohol rule. It had a wonderful “tranquility” garden and location beside the sea. The old colonial feel is centred on the seafront and as you head back to ... read more
The Supers office
What no cars

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 27th 2009

Sitting a couple hours further south of Mallamaparum is a place which is in complete contrast to both the India we had seen on TV and the small dose of this country we have had since arriving nearly 2 weeks ago. Pondicherry or Punducherry as it is now known has a bus station just like every other bus station, the auto-rickshaw from the bus station was ridiculously overpriced just like every auto-rickshaw leaving from a bus station, the first few guest houses we tried to get a room in had the full sign on the front gate just like everywhere else when we have traveled in high season but that is pretty much where the familiarities ended. Having not yet traveled to Europe or experienced much French culture I can safely say that this town ... read more

Asia » India » Pondicherry September 26th 2008

Up early and out for a walk around the very French Pondicherry. Had breakfast in a french bakery - very tasty almond croissant an an apple danish - yum! Then walked the French quarter visiting Sri Aurobindo Ashram on Rule de la Marine and had some time to sit amongst The Mother's devotees and meditate. The Mother is Mirra Alfassa - a Paris born painter, musician and Aurobindo’s close companion who developed the Ashram and founded Auroville (visited later). Sarah bought a book about The Mother's thoughts on children and I picked up a tiny perfume and some lemongrass in the shop which I'm hoping will reduce my bites - lots around feet and ankles. It was really nice to walk down and see the sea and hear the waves crash against the rocks - but ... read more
Street sign
Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Asia » India » Pondicherry September 25th 2008

Today was really just a traveling day. The train was of course late by 30m but the 5 hour journey passed okay. Were not in an a/c carriage but it was fine. We then had a 1.5 hour journey by car from Villapuram to Pondicherry. The end of the journey really dragged on as we sat in traffic for ages and everyone was extremely relieved to arrive at the hotel. Had an awkward moment in the room where the guy that brought the bags up just stood staring at us while we looked at each other - Chandra had told us that they did all the tipping for us and we had not tipped anyone else. Eventually Sarah just asked him a question then said thanks and ushered him out. This is the one thing I ... read more
Jaki and Susan

Asia » India » Pondicherry May 13th 2008

'What do you like about India?' vraagt de corpulente en besnorde Indier me. Het is een vraag waar ik niet lang over na hoef te denken. 'The people' antwoord ik naar waarheid. ik laat maar even achterwege dat ik ze ook geregeld regelrecht haat, de Indiërs. Uit het diepst van mijn hart. Maar haat en liefde liggen dicht bij elkaar. Het zijn niet alleen die twee emoties die de mensen waar ik dagelijks mee te maken heb bij me oproepen. Net zo vaak vind ik ze ook uitermate grappig, raar en aardig. want Indiers zijn gek, zo had ik na mijn vorige bezoek aan dit land, zeven jaar geleden, al geconcludeerd. zonder uitzonderingen, alle 1 miljard. En dat komt niet alleen omdat dat totaal onnavolgbare en doodsaaie spel genaamd cricket volkssport nummer 1 is, of omdat ... read more
lekker met de hele familie naar de darkroom
de indiase post belooft veel

Asia » India » Pondicherry May 1st 2008

Uncertain, unsure, undefined…yeah, these were the starting points of our weekend trip. It was mid-week with work looming large on my head, yet the thought of missing my hubby out on a working trip for two whole days and the lure of seeing the unseen with my best travel companion ( a.k.a Hubby) ever was too much to resist. So be it, I gave in to my travel temptations—packed our bags and took off. Luck wasn't favoring us, or so we thought, for as soon as we reached the Bangalore station we realized that the train in which we booked our tickets to Chennai—namely the Chennai Express was cancelled. Nevertheless, the sporty travelers that we are, we didn't allow this little piece of news to trample our spirits. We stood in a queue again and reserved ... read more

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 28th 2008

Hi Folks! Sorry it's taken so long for me to write.. I have actually been writing my blog, but just haven't got round to uploading it all, so some of this was written a while back.. ~ So I decided to make a dash through the monsoon madness to Malibalipurum. A two-hour hairy bus ride through what looked like a river but was actually a road. I’d left Kannipan a lovely thank you letter with my address etc. and saying that I’d look after his daughter if she ever made it to England. I also left them some money to go towards her education. I definitely felt like it was time to leave Auroville, actually I felt like I’d over stayed by a few days. When you’re traveling you just know when it’s time to ... read more
Colourful Indian Tourists, Malibalipurum
Crazy Bus Journey
Stone Sculpture, Malibalipurum

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 27th 2008

The following Blog is actually two-in-one (sorry for the length), T will be writing about Pondicherry and Christine will write about Varkala. We have a bit of a new stategy for India: when we find a place we like we extend our stay and explore the area. When we arrive somwhere that doesn't look feel or smell in the flow, we get out pretty quick thus reducing wear and tear on your dear bloggers. We arrived in Pondicherry on New Year's Day. Starting out in an over-priced, western style hotel with one particularly pleasing attribute: a rooftop swimming pool (a rarity). We headed up to swim with our trunks and towels and found that the pool was empty! "Tomorrow." said the hotel manager, this is India after all. The next day we found a great place ... read more
Biker Gang
Heavenly plumeria
Wine, woman and . . .

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 22nd 2008

13/01 Taking advantage of our new found freedom, biked out to a crocodile reserve; hundreds of crocs, alligators, caymen etc, rescued for eventual release into the wild. Meantime they all lie about in swamps/pools, basking in the sun and keeping an eye out for stray children who may fall over the 3ft wall which separates them from the public. Truly, there is just a very shallow ditch, small wall and some chicken wire between them and a fast food take away....some of these things are 25+ ft long and can move at 30mph...The security gates used to feed them are literally latch gates, most of them left open....Ken Livingston and the Health and Safety police would have a fit....Spent a happy couple of hours wandering round til one of the egrets,which apparently groom parasites off the ... read more

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