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Perth United Kingdom
Traveller in India
Oct 06, 2009 05:19 AM 7605 Views

As a European with children we travelled around India for a few months (while we lived there for a year ) and learnt how to deal with the different lifestyles and customs. Initially we were bombarded with touts wanting to sell us everything .

Once we got used to the bustle it was a lot easier with the children standing their own ground with vendors The Taj Mahal is stunning and we managed to have a good guide who protected us from any unwanted attention.Travelling around in an Ambassador car was good fun despite the scary journey back to Delhi . Jaipur and Jodphur were also interesting with good palaces and museums.

It felt very safe being able to walk around the shops and baazars without beggars on every corner .On to Jaisalmer on the Thar desert . A highlight for us was a lovely fast camel safari to Sam > it was a little scary racing over the dunes but something totally memorable .The train journey from Jaipur to Jaisalmer was long and tedious but if you are well stocked up with goodies for the journey it is fine . The children were in awe of the armed soldiers that came on the train to protect them from bandits (!! )

As our main base was Bangalore we were used to travelling around in the city . It was difficult to reach anywhere fast due to the traffic congestion . The bus and railway stations in Bangalore were a nightmare and I still don't know how we were never run over by one of the big state buses as charged along the streets . Mysore was a pleasure with a much nicer pace of life and more opportunity to browse in the unique shops.The smell of flowers int he markets was great .

We visited Ooty and Conoor in Tamil Nadu . Both have acolonial charm about them from a different age . The tea plantations and the scenery was also worthy fo a few days wandering.around.

Goa was by far too touristy an dit is a sin to see beautiful coastlines ruined by international hotels .We didn't come to India for a western appraoch to life so the crowds on the beach and the night life is not our scene.

Kerela is charming with nice backwaters , trees and very friendly people Fort Cochin is definitely a favourite with nice cobbled streets and little lanes and churches dotted around . Further south the tradional way of llife was charming . I hope that planning is given more thought otherwise beautiful areas will be destroyed by pollution.

There were only a few occasions when I felt overwhelmed by our journeys and that was when sometimes people tried to take umpteen pictures of my children . It was difficult to persuade them that they did not want to be photographed in the street or at the zoo . My son who was ten (with red hair ) would become quite upset when he had his hair pulled and stared at inthe street .

No of this distracted us from having a lovely time and we have been back four times . Each time the children have been wiser and more adventourous . I think that my son now sees India as his second home as he is very familiar with many areas and has made lots of friends.

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