La prochaine étape, or my first time in India

If you've already been to India you will have to bear with my momentarily cliched reaction to this country. We've (will get back to who the "we" is shortly) arrived exactly two days ago and I'm in full run-of-the-mill awe of this place. Both modern India, which we caught fascinating glimpses off in Delhi, and the "oh my god is that a monkey/cow/man-with-way-to-much-on-his-motorcycle?" India really do live side by side. So far it's been beautiful, fascinating, sad, and delicious. I am sure that by the end both my suitcase and I will be, shall we say, closer to the intra-Asia airline weight limit than when we arrived.

The "We" is my mother and me. When I started planning this mid life travel escapade I mentioned to her that I would be stopping by India. A small trip to Darjeeling and maybe Delhi to see friends became a fabulous three week Grand Tour à la Byron (or rather more a la Henry James, I am traveling with my mother after all) because she has never been and we decided this was a great time to come. I was not going to say no to this.

Below are some of our first pictures. There are already about a thousand more, a record for me. The highlight is that we are starting our two nights in Udiapur, staying at the Lake Pichola Palace. Octopussy was filmed here. That is obviously very important, though of course there is a fascinating actual history to the place, but unless I go out and buy myself a vintage 1960s Austin Martin, ride it with the top down at dangerous speeds, and maybe install an injectable front sea, staying here is the closest I'll get to being a Bond Girl and frankly that rocks my world.

Enjoy.

(Places visited: Delhi - Juma Masjid, Red Fort, Gandhi's Memorial, Humayun's Tomb, Sikh Gurdwaras, Qutub Minar. Udiapur: just the hotel)

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