I know, I know, i've been dragging my butt on my India pics but I have so many to work through it's making my head spin. In the mean time it's Christmas time so that means it's time for holiday pics! This is what i've been doing when i'm not procrastinating on posting my last vacation...
We got into Varanasi around 3:30 in the afternoon. It took us about an hour and a half to get to our hotel, which if there was no traffic at all should be about 30 minutes. Traffic in Varanasi is CRAZY!! All you hear are horns blaring all over the place, but the strange thing is, no one is losing their cool. Horns are totally accepted here, I guess cause no one ever stays in their lane people honk to let them know that they are in the way. They also gotta alarm the hundreds of cows and dogs to get out of the way! Since it took us so long we had just enough time to check in and head to the Ganga Aarti ceremony. This ceremony takes place everyday, rain or shine around 7pm on the Ghats of the Ganges River. This is perfomed by the Brahmins, to honor the river and the gods and it is usually a huge performance. We were extremely shocked and disappointed when we talked to the owner of the hotel and he told us due to the monsoon weather, the ceremony will take place on the rooftop of one of the buildings and all boat rides were suspended for another 3 weeks or so due to the strong currents. This was the main reason we came to Varanasi. Disappointed was an understatement. Now we had to go an hour early just to get a seat on hard concrete. It was quite uncomfortable.
This is what a normal ceremony looks like:
This is what we came walked up to...majority of those steps you see are currently underwater.
We were sitting behind a Chinese tour group and sorry, but I was getting annoyed with this girl that was taking selfies of herself every ten minutes
We couldn't understand anything they were saying but they did pull up people from the crowd in the beginning so they could (I assume) honor their loved ones
The smoke was kinda stink at times but it made for some cool pics
The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. My butt thought it felt like 5. We were numb after that and had a hard time getting up. Sucks getting old! Our hotel wasn't far so we walked back and relaxed in our room for the rest of the night. It's way too confusing walking around the Ghats, especially at night. We'd definitely had gotten lost if we went to wander around. Besides, it was still freakin hot and our room had A/C. THANK GOD!
We had another full day in Delhi before we leave for Varanasi tomorrow. Subie met us once again to take us on a mini tour around Delhi. Since we went to all the main attractions we decided on visiting a pretty park in a very wealthy part of the city. Subie mentioned that there are a lot of millionaires that live in Delhi and this is where they come to exercise and enjoy nature.
This park had a ton of dogs and I wanted to pet every one of them!
After the park we went to Swaminarayan Akshardham, a beautiful new temple (around 12 years old) In Delhi. They are extremely strict, no photography, no bags, no food. You either have to check them in at the gate or leave them in the car. Good thing we had a driver so all of our stuff were safe with him. It's too bad though, this place was gorgeous. How am I gonna remember it without the pictures???
That evening we had booked a food tour with Delhi Food Walks. We couldn't wait to eat some street food! But first, we stopped by this CRAZY marketplace called Sarojini Nagar. This place was jammed packed everywhere you turned. When we told our food guide that we went he said "what? why on earth would you want to go there??" But I did get my Halloween costume there, all for a litte over ten bucks! Everything was dirt cheap. I'll show that in another post
We met at Chandi Chowk, our tour was from 5-9:30 and I think we paid about $65 pp. We had 9 stops of yummy goodness to look forward to. So this is where I suck. I can't remember the names of half the stuff we ate. But they were all really good
This was a potato thingy in a tamarind sauce. One of our favorites
This cookie thing was about 70 cents
It was super flaky and not too sweet. Good start so far!
We ate Paranthas at Gaya Prasad
Each of us got a plate. Good thing it was kinda too spicy for me, I didn't want to fill up so early!
I believe we got lemon, mixed vegi, and dried fruit. They came with different chutneys we could try
Stop number 4 was samosas and jalebis
Did I ever tell you I hate shooting with my flash? ugh.
I forget what the filling was
A jalebi is kinda like a funnel cake. It was delicious!
We then stopped by a marigold factory where they make all of their garlands. I was shocked to see all the flowers!
We stopped for some Masala Chai, my new favorite tea! I wish I took video of this guy. It's a whole production!
These kabobs are supposedly really popular. Too spicy! ack!
I think they were lamb
We cleansed our palate with some rabri. This is an Indian sweet made from thickened sweetened milk
It was about 56 cents American
This butter chicken was by far my favorite stop of the night. Although the spices they put on the chicken were too spicy for me (big surprise there), the buttery cream sauce was DELICIOUS. And eating with their "bread" (sorry, I can't remember what this one was called) was insane.
Our last stop was for some kulfi. This is an Indian type ice cream with the texture of sorbet. It's made with evaporated and regular milk. They are usually served as popsicles but they cut it up for us
The first one (and the best) was pomegranite
I didn't like any of the rest. This is mango
Khata meeta falsa (don't ask, I have no idea)
If you ever get a chance to come to Delhi, I would highly recommend one of these tours. There's no way we would've found any of these places!!