Playing cards in Chennai airport - half 3 in the morning but happy as we have been upgraded to club world for the journey home
28 August 2016
Last day in Chennai spent taking full advantage of the hotel facilities - the gym, the spa, the bar and the restaurant - heartily enjoyed it all and ending the trip nicely relaxed.
27 August 2016
Night time on the promenade
Beer and scrabble in the hotel
We ordered way too much food here - see Aaron's progression from the third main course arriving to clearing his plate :-)
Auto rickshaw ride around Pondy!
26 August 2016
Enjoying some French-Indian fusion food at La Dupliex, including the slightly odd - and carb heavy - combo of mushroom ravioli and mutton biryani. It was all very tasty however.
Tamil town in Pondicherry. Lovely architecture and leafy streets
The backstreets and business signs of the posher end of Pondocherry's Tamil Town. It had the feel of a tropical deco paradise showing its age. Slightly faded elegance mixed with brightly coloured new villas and crumbling nineteenth century relics.
A proper South Indian thali, pure veg, so no cheese or eggs even. And it was delicious.
25 August 2016
Dinner out - with terrible home grown fizzy wine.
Buying a momento for home - not antique but pre loved and still lovely
Elephant at the temple - blessing visitors for coins and treats
Out for a run in the early morning
24 August 2016
Pondy's seafront promenade, deserted in the midday heat (apart from mad dogs and a couple of English people, natch), packed at dawn and in the night time.
A typical Indian holiday pic? a sacred cow eating plants outside of a police station...
Exploring the bustling bazaar in Pondicherry. There were piles of fresh fish, mostly snapper, prawns and squid (and one I can't place). In a separate section were piles of colourful veg with papaya, pineapple and bananas. And then there were aisles of dried carnations, jasmine and roses for weaving into garlands. Overall it was a riot of colour and smell (and in the case of one chicken stall, noise). Totally unlike the decorous European and US markets we're used to.
23 August 2016
Five Rathas at Mamallapuram - amazing statues all carved out of single large stones...
The Shore temple at Mamallapuram - recovered from the sea and immaculately preserved
Madras Crocodile Bank - hundreds of crocs all waiting for a tourist to stumble in
22 August 2016
Driving through the streets of Chennai is like watching theatre, nothing is still, there's an energy and life you just don't see at street level in Europe. It also resembles something between a roller coaster ride and a computer game.
21 August 2016
Me, my brothers and my new sister in law at the wedding
Evening wedding reception!
Wedding ceremony (at 7:30am) involved fire, bondage, gold, rice throwing and cake. Then was followed by music from acclaimed PhD students and dancing
20 August 2016
A visit to Fort St George and the accompanying museum
The morning after the Mehendi before...
19 August 2016
Henna for the wedding at the Mehendi
View from the hotel...
The first 24 hours in Chennai involved a quick restorative snooze; an immense buffet lunch with a whole selection of wonderfully spicy and different food, from paneer stuffed okra to a dish based on coconut and lentils; tea at the soon-to-be extended family; a playful labrador; an exhaustive trawl through sari and suit shops; and finally a wonderful Marsala dosa. It was a fun introduction to chilled out Tamil city life. None of the extreme poverty and desperation of parts of Delhi.
18 August 2016
How they make saree material...
Day one: food and shopping.
Lunch at the hotel - they just keep bringing us more food!
Sunrise over Chennai
17 August 2016
Bubbly wine for takeoff!
Stopping off for lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Plane Food at Heathrow T5 before our flight to Chennai