08.20.2014 - 08.20.2014
We arrived in the holy city of Varanasi last night around 10pm. Our 7 hour train from Khajuraho turned into 10 hours for reasons unknown. After a 2.5 hour car ride to get to the station in Satna.
Khajuraho has turned out to be a highlight of the trip. We spent almost three days there and enjoyed it immensely. The temples were amazing and the pace of things was a nice change from most of the rest of India - a bit out of the way from anything else and a small village to boot. On arrival we found a driver named Kashi who ended up being our guy the three days we were there. Even took us to Santa for our train. Quiet and assuming he took very good care of us. He told Kelsey he was a "good man with good family" and told the kids "happy life, happy travels" when we said good bye the last day. Good man.
And so here we are in one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, considered particularly important for Hindus who believe the waters of the Ganges here can wash away their sins. There are also "burning" ghats leading down to the river in which deceased are cremated and released into the sacred waters.
We are taking today to recuperate in our hotel before heading out and experiencing what we know will be overwhelming and perhaps a bit difficult.
We are all well and happy. We decided to splurge a bit and stay in a nice place called the Hotel Surya - apparently built in 1818 for the King of Nepal. The main reason we booked it is the restaurant has chips/salsa and hummus on the menu We found out this morning that Modi (India's primer minister) is going to be here any minute to deliver a speech. We are on the balcony now overlooking where he is to arrive. Crazy that they have all these balconies unsecured like this - wouldn't be like this at home.
It's all good.