Wednesday, May 7, 2008

India - Day 5 - Saturday (Part 1)

Today we went to Mysore. Mysore is noted for the grand palace that is there, but there are also wonderful attractions to see while on your way to Mysore. Now to travel to Mysore from Bangalore by car is no small trip - it is not an hour and a half like some tourists are lead to believe - it is about 3 hours if traffic is good.

The day started out at about 6:30 AM. My Driver Rambas came by the hotel and we went out to Suman's place to pick him up as he was going to show me around so I would not get too lost.

Our first stop along the way was to get some breakfast. It looked similar to a rest stop on the side of the highway back home, but then you went a little ways back there were at least two different outdoor restaurants and both were extremely crowded. We sat down at the first one and found out that they were not serving breakfast, so we decided to go to the next one. It seemed to be more crowded than the first, but it was a buffet, so people were constantly moving around giving it the feeling of being overly crowded. The food was good - so it was understandable to why it was so busy.

Our first official stop was in Srirangapatnam (don't even think about asking me how to pronounce the city name). The picture at the top of this blog is of Tipu's summer palace. Its grounds were so peaceful filled with many very colorful red trees. This is also where the Tipu Sultan is buried next to his wife and son. There are also numerous other tombs around the grounds; some are adorned with silk covers. We could not figure out exactly why some were and some were, but our best guess was that they ones covered were those of women. Before you can enter the palace, you must take off your shoes. No big deal. I take off my shoes and one of the guys manning the shoe area hands me a red token with a number on it. Suman takes off his shoes and does not get a token. We go touring and when we are done, we go back for our shoes. Suman walks out without any problem. I try to walk out and I am blocked until I give them some rupees. I can just see the headline - Man heald hostage for his size 15 shoes. I give the man 10 rupees and I go on my way. I tell Suman and he says he must have gotten lucky.

So we start on our journey again and we make a stop at a park where the three rivers all meet and flow into one. It is well off the beaten path, but it is definitely not unknown by people, because there are vendors and people everywhere. There were organized vendors with some facsimile to booths and others who tried to solicit business by going person to person. If you did not pay attention to them they would yell either Hello or excuse me or both. I felt like I was being rude to them by not turning back around, but I did not want to buy what they were trying to sell. The coolest attraction I saw at this park was the river rides (pictured to the above left). They would take people on short rides around the river on the disc-like boats. Suman and I both decided that it probably would not be a good idea for us to go on a ride on a disc for two reasons. Firstly, the disc probably could not support my size and weight. And secondly, the drivers probably would not know how to balance one with someone my size on the boat and then everyone on board would end up going for a swim. I did not exactly feel like getting that wet and having to remove leeches from my skin.

I must stop for now as I need to get ready for the day. I will continue the trip on my next blog.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as showing someone the sites around town that they have never seen before.

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