UW Alumni Tours Blog

Coming to an End Soon…

February 22nd, 2009 by Pauline Ranieri, UW Alumni Tours

img_2075It’s hard to believe that our trip is actually coming to an end soon. We’re in Mysore now and will be celebrating our last night together in just a few hours. This morning, Sandhya spent some time on the bus recapping our last two weeks. Were other travelers also amazed at how much we experienced in such a short period of time?

Incredible India can amaze and frustrate you at the same time and it’s so full of contradictions. One moment we’re driving past a large, modern looking university and the next moment our driver is honking the horn and trying to drive around an oxen driven cart – complete with driver talking on his img_2044cellphone! As we were driving by a village today, I overheard someone say that everything probably looked exactly the same 500 years ago. And yet a few short miles away, you have Mysore, the modern capital of the state of Karnataka. We’ve gotten to know only three of the numerous states in India and they have all been so different. One would need many trips to India in order to truly experience and appreciate all her wonders.

You can imagine my relief that we are all finishing this trip healthy and safe. Not a one of us has had any stomach problems except for the occasional indulgence of too much wonderful food. After the terrorist incidents in Mumbai, I was very pleased that the majority of the original group of travelers continued with the trip. The sentiment expressed by most was that anything can happen anytime and anywhere – such is the world we currently live in. We’ve certainly seen our share of security at our hotels and some of the main tourist sites, but not once has anyone expressed any concern for their safety.

If you were to ask each individual what his or her trip highlights were, pauline-elephantthe answers would most likely vary immensely. One of mine was the blessing I received by a temple elephant. I never imagined how soft an elephant’s trunk would feel on top of my head!

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