Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pushkar...the town

We had a nice late afternoon trip into Pushkar town. Driving past all that was the camel fair, we walked through the small, shop-filled streets that all seemed to lead us to the lake. Pushkar seems to grow out from it. And, for good reason. The following is from my Rough Guide to India:
According to legend, Pushkar came into existence when Lord Brahma,the Creator, dropped a lotus flower (pushpa) to earth from his hand (kar). At the three spots where the petals landed, water magically appeared in midst of the desert to form three small blue lakes, and it was on the banks of the largest of these that Brahma subsequently convened a gathering of some 900,000 celestial beings -- the entire Hindu pantheon.
Needless to say the town is not only one of the oldest in India, but also one of the most important for Hindu pilgrims. In addition to the sacred lake, there is the Brahma temple, one of only a few in India. Here are some photos from our visit.

Puja (prayers) with priest:

 The Brahma Temple (no photos allowed inside):

 Dorian picking out some Rajasthani shoes (and some for Arthur, too) before heading back to the hotel:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pushkar...the fair

We absolutely loved visiting the are some highlights:

The first sign (literally) we saw from the car on the way from the train station to the hotel:
 And here they are:

Water time:
 All dressed up for a walk around the arena:

The boys accessorize:
 Check out these teeth:
 Holy cow, really:
 A man and his horse:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pushkar...camel carts

Pushkar is one of the biggest camel fairs in the world (please read more here: Pushkar Fair), so what better way to get to the camel fair than a camel cart? In our few days there, we rode three different carts and saw countless others. One thing was clear, no two camel carts are the same.

In the morning these guys were waiting for us:

Comfortable ride:
 Smaller and simpler:
 For work:
 And, finally, the row of the fanciest...we took the blue one on the right back to the hotel:
 Oh my, how fancy...carpet and curtains:
 But, despite the many options, some still prefer to go solo:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pushkar...getting there

The third place we visited during our 10-day holiday was Pushkar. Ever since touching down in India and hearing about the Pushkar Camel Fair two years and three months ago, I have wanted to go. Our first two years, I felt Arthur was a bit young to do or enjoy this type of trip. But, this year I informed the family that we were going (whether they wanted to or not!). My good friend, Sofie, and I started planning. She booked the hotel and I booked the train tickets. Then...we were off! Since the Pushkar trip was so rich, I will spread it out over several posts. This one is just our trip getting there by train (our first train in India!).

On the train...

The kids played with the ipad:
 The papas (and Arthur) slept...
The kids did crafts:
 Here's Dorian's envelope he made to store his crafts:

From the train we saw...

People waiting:
 Packing themselves into other trains:
 More waiting:
Moving things:

On the way there we were in A/C first class but on the way back we were in A/C chair car. The only real difference besides the ticket price was that the chairs in first class were bigger. Otherwise, both sections were nice. And, the service was amazing--snacks, meals (although we brought our own food), drinks and even ice cream. My favorite was this cup we got with our bottle of water:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Look up...

Where the Tuilleries garden meets the Louvre, we looked up and saw this:

Such a nice surprise on a cloudy afternoon:
 Bats for Halloween?
 The boys loved watching:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Break time...again

After our quick jaunt to Belgium, we were in Paris for four days. Not nearly long enough to see all the sights or all the people we wanted to see, but definitely long enough to do some important catch up with our dear friends and their sweet son, get dressed up for Halloween, go trick or treating and run around the parks.

The flight commander with Darth:
The kitty waiting for his sweets:
Halloween crafts:
Arthur at the fence watching the big boys jump:
Messing around:

On the streets: