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India » Agra / Varanasi
2011-09-16 ( Friday ) 17:25:42 GMT+1
Before we left Agra, our new friend Shalab showed us another school that they are running, Prelude Public School. We could tell that the kids has everything in this school, from yoga classrooms, to meditation rooms, computer classrooms, to swimming pools and horse riding tracks. The sweetest toilets for the smallest and cricket fields for the older. Several school buses parked outside, ready to pick up the kids every morning! The school was closed and we used the moment to enjoy the pool and a beer... It was a relief to hide from the heat! Packed and ready we went for our last meal in Agra...which was an adventure itself! We tried Pani Puri, Aloo Tikki (Bhalla), Momos, Mutton Sikh Kabab, Dav Bhaji... terrified but still curious we ended our food adventure at a South Indian restaurant - Idli Sambhar!!
In the last moment, we got on the train that took us to Varanasi, over the night (13 hours)...This was also an interesting experience... :)
After another long walk with our heavy backpacks (on small Indian streets, with cows making your walk even harder, dogs keeping you alert, the sun making you sweet like hell, but the curiosity motivating you to take another step) we arrived at Mishra Guest House. We decided for a room with a fan (budget style) or air cooler as they call it, which is actually standing outside the room - see pic. Anyhow, it works!! At least when there is electricity, in other words 50 % of the day !
Varanasi is one the holiest places in India, where the Hindu pilgrims "to wash away a lifetime of sins in the sacred water or cremate their loved ones". The sacred water is from the River Ganges and we saw how people washed themselves in the dirty water, how they did their praying (towards the sun) and how they burned bodies to put the ash into the water. To see body parts that was left while standing next to the fire, watch how a scull was burnt, and how family members put their mother/sister/daughter/wife out of the sari- material and putted her on the fire covering her with more wood... was a nasty view and heavy experience... and something that we can accept...but never understand with our mentality and culture...
Due to respect for the families and the dead bodies, we will not put any photos of this ritual on the blog....
Next: Kathmandu, Nepal !!
A 24 hours journey (minimum) by bus... keep ALL your fingers crossed this time :)