Bye Bye Bangalore
Trip Start Nov 25, 2007
7Trip End Dec 09, 2007
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The first thing that struck all of us was how much cleaner the air was in Bangalore compared to Delhi. We actually saw blue sky! There were also a lot of trees lining the streets on the way to the Taj Residency hotel. Bangalore is certainly the prettier city.
After lunch at the hotel we walked to the "shopping" area. I have yet to find souvenirs for anyone, and this shopping excursion brought me no closer. Some people found bangles and pashminas, but perhaps I am a bit jaded from all of my travels
We then rented a couple of cars to take us around to a few city sights before sundown, when most things tend to close. We visited the botanical gardens, and the Bull Temple. There were no flowers at the garden, but the grounds were quite beautiful. The Bull Temple was less than impressive. What was much more interesting was the traffic getting to the temple. We were literally bumper to bumper, and bumper to cow the whole way.
A few of us had dinner at the European restaurant, Graze, in the hotel. I had an excellent halibut, and the rest of the table ordered steak. Everyone was too tired to do much else, and most of us had interviews the next day, so it was off to bed.
I hosted a coffee chat/information session Saturday morning and spoke with a table full of prospective students
Needless to say, we were WIPED after the fair was over. Luckily, it was a weekend fair, which meant we were done by 6, so we actually got to eat dinner at dinner time. A group of us walked to the hotel next door, the Oberoi, and went to their Thai restaurant. If they ever send me back to India, I am definitely staying at the Oberoi. It was stunning! The restaurant was outside, surrounded by water. The food was incredible.
And the best part-I was back in my room by 9!
Sunday was supposed to be a leisurely morning, followed by a quick 1 1/2 hour lunch time flight to Hyderabad, with time for some later afternoon sightseeing. It became something much, much more. Our morning went according to plan. Our trip to the airport was quick, and there were no lines at security! Not to mention that the Bangalore airport is a bit more advanced than the one in Delhi. Our flight was listed as "ON TIME" right until the time we were supposed to start boarding. Then it was listed as "DELAYED". Our 12:45 flight wasn't just a few minutes delayed. Our new estimated time of departure would be 15:00
FUN FACT: The Bangalore airport closes every Sunday from 13:00 PM-15:00 PM for runway maintenance.
Allegedy. I'm pretty sure that was just the cover story. With all the follow up announcements, and questions we asked the airline staff, our flight was delayed for technical reasons, airport closing, techinical reasons, and then airport closings...so, it's anybody's guess.
So, on the downside, we had a good two more hours to hang out at the airport. On the plus side, they were going to provide our entire aircraft lunch. Of course, that did mean leaving the secure area, getting new boarding passes and going through security again, but hey-a free lunch, is a free lunch. Even in a random, sketchy Indian airport. Surprisingly the food was pretty good.
Upon going through security for a second time we learned that our flight was now delayed until 15:30. 587 annoucements later it was pushed back to 15:50. Fun!
Eventually, our plane was ready and we took off for Hyderabad a little after 4. We didn't arrive at the Novotel hotel until 7
Our hotel appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but we're hiring a car for tomorrow morning so we can see some stuff before the interviews and fairs in the afternoon.
I've heard it's snowing in some parts of the country. Hope some of you are enjoying the first signs of winter. I still can't believe it's December.