Blogs from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia - page 7

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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 15th 2012

We started late this morning, thank goodness. Breakfast was a plentiful buffet with many Indian and Western choices. I had a peppery Indian bean stew with bacon and toast, and papaya and a fingerling banana. Our tour took us first to the Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Our first experience of removing our shoes and putting on the “spare” socks we were advised to bring. We entered the temple complex, which was dominated by a huge Hindu temple tower. This is a flat-sided, sugar-loaf shape, covered with fabulous, painted carvings of the Hindu gods, particularly those related to Shiva (as this is South India). Several other smaller roofs were similarly covered with carvings. We walked the short distance to one of these, the wedding hall - basically a large veranda-type place where the we... read more
Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Shakti peacock
Flower seller

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 14th 2012

Our 24 hours plus of airports and airplanes wasn’t so bad – I forced myself into a kind of sleep after dinner on the way to Frankfurt. On the way to Chennai I had several genuine naps, interspersed with looking out the window. The sky was clear over most of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. As we went over the Caucasus Mountainsby the Caspian, I finally disturbed my seatmate to get at my camera in the overhead compartment. Just caught the end of the snow capped ridges as the sun set. The pattern of weather was obviously from the northwest as most of the snow was on that side of the mountains in a scene of white and greeny-gray, deepening as the sun set into an orange rim. The ni... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 7th 2012

I realised that I have to hurry up a little bit because my friend Sepp from Kiel wants to visit me in Chennai in about 3 weeks, and if I want to fulfill my plan of going to the very South of Inida it are still 1500km. Because the days in India are quite short also the distances I make are not so big. Before India it was no problem to ride more than 100km a day. But here I havent made more than 100km in one day except the one day without luggage where I took my MP3 player. After the night at the beach in Goa I decided to make 100km again. And I made it. I was going to the Cotiago Sanctuary in the South of Goa. And it was really nice. I ... read more
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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai October 31st 2011

The monsoon rain was falling and we made ourselves to the bus station – which is about 7km outside of Chennai. So a bus there taking over 40 minutes and picking its way through the huge puddles that had formed from the nights rain fall, it was a total pain. Arriving at the bus terminus and finding out that there was no busses to Mamallapuram because the drivers didn’t want to drive along the roads – even though they were still going another 2 hrs further along the same road to Pondicherry??? After waiting for about an hr and talking to a few French travels – we boarded the bus. After seeing the sign for only 7km left of our journey – the bus pulls over to review a totally flat tyre and NO SPARE!!!??? The ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 20th 2011

During my time in northern India other travellers told me that the north and south are so different. Really, every state in India is different. They all have their own language, their own governing bodies, their own ethnic culture. This makes travel within India, even for native Indians, particularly challenging (of course it's also what makes this diverse country so fascinating!) Can you imagine if all the states in the US used a different language?? And yes, overall the north and south are also very different. It can be likened to the various regions in the US, where there are certainly different cultures between the north, south, east and west. In India, the north is known to be "real India", which from my experience means more crowded and dirtier. I found the south to be greener ... read more
Couldn't resist the O-H-I-O
Marina Beach
St. Thomas Basilica

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 16th 2011

Well If I'd thought I'd escaped significant illness, I'd thought very wrong! Maybe I'd become complacent, maybe I was getting a little too comfortable in my surroundings, maybe my body just couldn't take another curry. Regardless of how it happened, it definitely happened. We had gone to dinner on thursday night, a relatively dirty place but no less dirty than any other dirty place we'd been to! I'd stuck to my usual dousing hands in hand sanitiser routine, but I guess this time it didn't matter how much hand sanitiser I used, things were about to go pear shaped! I woke up a few times in the night, stomach cramping, sweat dripping from my forehead, but it didn't seem any different to any other minor bad belly. But by the morning, it hadn't subsided and by ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 6th 2011

Following what felt like a traumatic series of sari relates events, I thought the sari itself would stay in the bag and I would pull it out every once in a while, look at how pretty the material was, then put it back in the bag so it wouldn't crease in the wrong spot or something dire like that! Little did I know, the sisters that are staying here at Mithra had other ideas. We'd had quite a long weekend. We'd visited Kanchipuram where we completed a crash course in 'How to visit 5 temples in under 2 hours', been blessed by elephants, taken thousands of photos, eaten delicious meals, visited Keralan cultural events, eaten the best ice cream and shopped up a storm. The sisters would have no complaints of being tired or sweaty or ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 2nd 2011

In my head sari shopping seemed quite straight forward. You walk in you choose a pretty colour, everyone smiles, you walk out, you eat lunch. How wrong I was. A girl that Darrell worked with offered to take us sari shopping coz we're going to a wedding and thought we should have the right get-up. We met her outside a store which seemed to not only house the whole of Chennai that day, but it also housed fifty gazillion saris. Not only were there thousands of colours and then thousands more colour combinations but there were also thousands of different fabric types. Tess and I pretended to look relaxed but as soon as we located the door again (it was hard to find through all the fabric) we hit the ground running. We were taken to ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai August 22nd 2011

If a friend of mine were coming to Chennai, I would offer them all kinds of advice: When on a bus (when it comes to the crunch, a bus is sometimes the only option) make sure you wear a very supportive, preferably sports, bra. Don’t cross your legs in a skirt- you will give someone a heart attack. Don’t count on the monsoon season, when monsoon like days arrive, just be grateful. When someone says the quality of tampons and pads aren’t very good (ad tampons are impossible to find), listen to them and listen to their advice to bring shitloads (Sorry I didn’t listen Viv!). Take drama lessons- when an autorickshaw driver offers you a ridiculous price throw your hands in the air and act as if he has said something preposterous about your mother. ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai August 9th 2011

As the title says-all change! Firstly, the train was delayed by 15 hours from Goa to Kerala! The reason being that it comes all the way from Delhi and with the monsoons..... Anyway, eventually left Margao on another train at 1225pm, I should have been on the train that left at 1450. Got a little sleep but it's a definite skill sleeping on a train and I just haven't mastered it yet. Finally got to Alleppey at 1800 ish instead of 0700 so lost the day in Alleppey. Not that I missed much. The hostel was great, the elderly couple who ran it were great and the beach was fab but Alleppey itself, horrid. Unfortunately, I didn't get chance to do a canal tour either. Met a great guy, Godwin, on the train, his family are ... read more
My room.
My view!




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