Page 5 of JenniferInternational Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur October 7th 2011

In other countries a long wait at a train station is a dull thing and tedious, but one has no right to have that feeling in India. You have the monster crowd of bejeweled natives, the stir, the bustle, the confusion, the shifting splendors of the costumes--dear me, the delight of it, the charm of it are beyond speech. - Mark Twain It wasn't such a long wait for the train, but the train stations here certainly are something. Bustling, congested, people sleeping everywhere, dogs napping alongside, lots of trash. Variety of people. I love traveling by train and India is no exception, even if it's a very different experience from what I'm used to. For our first night on the train we were lucky to be in a carriage with a group of French tourists ... read more
Amber Fort
Amber Fort
Amber Fort

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur October 6th 2011

Udaipur. Venice of the East. Rajasthan’s - maybe India's - most romantic city. This was one of the loveliest cities I've visited. Its beauty was tempered only by the noise and fumes of the many auto-rickshaws that ply the narrow streets of this town. On our arrival we checked into our fantastic hotel, Kankarwa Haveli. The accompanying photos speak louder than the words I could use to describe it. The owner is a most gracious gentleman, and our stay was such a pleasure. Highly recommended. We visited the major sights the city had to offer, but also spent a lot of time enjoying our hotel, including the rooftop terrace and restaurant. Otherwise, we visited Jagdish Temple, took a lovely boat ride on Lake Pichola to the palace on Jagmandir Island, and made a thorough tour of ... read more
Dinner at Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel
Plump lizard. Good luck!

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai October 4th 2011

Between fools and guidebooks a man could acquire ignorance enough in twenty-four hours in a country like this to last him a year. - Mark Twain Ah, Mumbai. Our first view of India after wandering out into the steamy night was from the window of a fast-moving taxi, the air sweet with paan and the streets peopled with those out still celebrating Gandhi's birthday and a few cows being herded who knows where. Not so many cows in this city, or perhaps we're just in the wrong area. Plenty of stray dogs, though. We stayed at the Residency Hotel in Fort, in the area known as 'Black Horse,' which contains most the Mumbai's main museums and some wonderful old colonial-era buildings. This was a lovely and modern hotel with most-attentive staff which I can highly recommend ... read more
Flora Fountain
High Court
Detail of Rajabai Clock Tower at University of Mumbai

North America » United States » California » San Francisco September 30th 2011

This is India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations--the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien persons, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris April 30th 2008

Although I had of course been greatly looking forward to this part of my trip, I have to admit to a certain amount of reservation in regards to it as well. I have spent the last quarter of my life away from this part of the world and was concerned that I or it might have changed. I have undoubtedly changed, and it has changed a bit too, but only for the better - more trash receptacles and free toilets being a welcome addition. And arriving in France did lack the tinge of excitement that arriving in a new city has, for despite its obvious foreignness to an admitted American it doesn't feel new or foreign. Everything here feels right, just as it should be. Even though I am now more aware of the downsides to ... read more
Arc de Triomphe
Notre Dame on a rainy day
La Tour Eiffel

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris April 27th 2008

Well, thank the stars, I'm back in Europe. Tangier came and went and I have little to report from there. My only suggestions in terms of that city: do not trust the Lonely Planet hotel reviews and in fact, save your time and just take the train to Asilah instead. You're not missing much and can still easily catch the morning ferry to Spain and/or travel down to Marrakesh, whichever way you're headed. The ferry ride was great - I think boat travel ranks right up there with train travel, as long as the craft is large enough for a cafe and plenty of bathrooms. Arriving in Spain was another joy - I as so happy to be back in Europe after all these years! I met a very interesting fellow San Fransican named Aish on ... read more
Door in Tangier
Ferry from Tangier to Tarifa
Fountain in Madrid

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes April 23rd 2008

I have made the attempt but Fez - renowned as an historical and cultural center of Morocco - insists on keeping her charms hidden. I have sat in cafes among men in the square by Bad Bou Jeloud - the seat of the action, according to my guidebook - drinking overpriced mint tea and banana milkshakes, watching tour groups arrive and depart. I have trudged up and down the streets of the medina, attempting to get lost and failing, trying heartily to find something worth buying that is nicer or cheaper than what's available in Marrkakesh or Essaouria. I have viewed the mosques and merdersas, visited the museums and the tanneries. I have bought sheep's cheese and melons and almond paste filled cookies and bread. I have been awoken by the 4 am call to prayer ... read more
Camel meat stall in Fez Medina
Medersa Bou Inania

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Meknes April 21st 2008

I'm not feeling my best, but my schedule - and the train ticket in my purse - requires that I make it to the train station for a 5:00 am train to Casablanca. I can do this. At least this is what I have been telling myself since I got up just after 3:00am, and, let's face it, on many other occasions during this trip. And indeed I can. I made it to Casablanca in time to catch a taxi to the Hassan II mosque, the third largest mosque in the world and one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims. As advertised it was quite impressive, built partially over the sea in reference to a verse in the Koran that specifies God's throne as being built upon the water. Inside there is space ... read more
Detail of Hassan II Mosque
Prayer Hall of Hassan II Mosque
Ceiling of Hassan II Mosque

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 18th 2008

It's difficult to sum up a busy week after it's over, especially when you've been enjoying it with someone else, but in the interests of long-distance voyerism and journalistic total coverage, I'll give it my best shot. On Sunday after a tasty breakfast overlooking the main square of Djemaa el Fna I decided to continue getting lost - I mean explore the area - until I had to leave for the airport to collect Clement. The disparities here are striking - the motorbikes speeding past the donkey carts, the shops selling wares reflecting centuries of tradition next to shops selling televisions, cellphones and knock-off CDs. In this way I discovered a second route to our fantastic yet laid-back riad, Tlaata wa Sitteen, which I was thrilled to move into after another night in the busy and ... read more
Setting up Djemaa el-Fna
Food stall in Djemaa el-Fna
Orange Juice seller in Djemaa el-Fna

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 12th 2008

It's only been a few days since I've written but I have much to say and not quite enough time in which to say it. To begin with, on the plane ride here I decided to try to turn over a new leaf and start focusing on the present, instead of dwelling on the past - why did I let that camel rider talk me into giving him so much baksheesh?! - or planning for the future - where will I be having dinner after the museum this afternoon, and where will I get stamps for those postcards? This appears like a good idea, and undoubtedly it will be when I get to France and back to San Francisco, but attempting to fully experience Morocco can be a bit overwhelming, to say the least, and I ... read more
Andalusian Gardens at the Kasbah

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