20 March 2012

Bangalore or Bust: A Travel Log (Day 4)

Author's note: For the next several weeks, I'll be posting tidbits of a travel log, which I kept during a two-week business trip (the reason I was in sporadic contact with the world recently). Enjoy!

For those who haven't yet seen the other posts in this travel log, check them out:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

(And again, if you're interested in seeing more photos than I'm providing, check out one of my co-workers' blogs from the same trip)

Day 4, Sunday (2/26):

Today started out with only about four hours of additional slumber, and unable to return to sleep, I turned on the television and watched a few cricket matches. I think I have most of the basic rules down, but the difference in levels of coverage made me first think it was truly a long and boring sport (3 hours into a match, and they didn’t even finish the “first innings”, and then the next match was finished within an hour (which I later discovered was the more common “highlight show” version, and vastly more entertaining).

The plan for the day first included breakfast (a complimentary buffet) at the hotel, where one of our American co-workers (with Indian ties) showed us around and we tried out more local cuisine. Then, we gathered with many of our Indian team members for a lengthy journey (with more of the customary traffic issues) to Mysore (still trying to figure out the proper pronunciation, but I believe it’s close to Mee-sue).

Along the way, the team decided to stop for breakfast (since the Indian team met us after the first breakfast) at a small local buffet, where even more food was consumed (and we even recognized a few items from our first breakfast). Not counting this stop, the journey from Bangalore to Mysore (an equivalent distance of roughly 90 miles) took 3 hours due to the traffic.

Sitting down for our second breakfast of the morning
 
As Mysore used to be (as I understand it) the location for the ruling family of India (until 1974), there were many palaces, temples and museums which we toured. The former both required you to go shoeless and sockless, which was a bit of an experience (and I’m not a big fan of going without socks anyway). Consider that we were going barefoot on stone in the mid-day sun, and you can imagine the results. They also did not allow cameras inside any of these buildings, which was a shame (but necessary for preservation of the exhibits, I imagine) since there were several great items to view. They also seemed to be massively popular with the local population (and tourists).

The front gate of the first temple we visited

Barefoot on stone sidewalks...owie!

One of the buildings outside of the temple
(no pictures inside the temple itself)

Finally, a sidewalk in the shade!

The oldest, and tallest, cathedral found in India.


Even the bees want to take part in the services...

A small building outside the cathedral. Still no clue why...
 
A late lunch was had (courtesy of our Indian team leader…did I mention the hospitality?) at a local establishment off the beaten path. More local cuisine (and lots of bottled water to account for relatively medium spice) was had, along with great conversation. One of our team members, all day, had been astounded by the homemade brooms that were being used all over, and even took advantage to do a little sweeping of his own (once he found one that had been fashioned with a broomstick).

We actually had airline tickets for the ride home...really.
After the meal, we visited the Mysore Palace...again, no pictures allowed inside, and no shoes (at least they allowed socks to be worn...even if everything was inside and in the shade...

More intricate carvings on one of the buildings just inside the palace grounds entrance

"Don't Pluck the Flower" - Good advice anytime...

Mysore Palace...the place is huge.

Obligatory tourist photo

Also had the experience of purchasing a silk Sari (I’ve also seen it as Saree?) for my wife, which was far more expensive than a tightwad such as myself normally would have been willing to pay. Unfortunately, when she asked specifically for me to purchase one, she hadn’t mentioned that there were measurements required, nor that there were additional garments one usually wore with it. This didn’t come up until I’d already agreed to purchase the fabric, and some of my team members began mentioning the measurements and the additional garments. What can I say? She’s an expensive woman.

It was a long day, and after another 3 hours of travel time (our Indian team members indicated that this truly was lighter traffic because of it being Sunday) back to Bangalore and our hotel. We were all exhausted by the time we returned, so it was off to bed once more. And tomorrow, we'd have to get up and go to the office.


And that's all for today...be sure to come back for the next installment...