Sofia in her colorful Indian outfit for one of the wedding parties.
A lot of people have asked me how Sofia (age 8) liked India. When she's being p.c. she says it was "interesting." Sometimes she says it was "horrible." But in the next breath she says she misses it. She quickly clarifies she misses the wedding festivities and her cousin, Lars, her travel buddy.
She doesn't miss the noise, the pollution, the massive amounts of people, Old Delhi or the food. She didn't like the food and she pretty much went on a food strike. As a result she lost five pounds. That's a lot for a 50 lb frame. This was stressful for me, but thankfully she's healthy and I'm pretty sure she's gained it back.
Overall, she was a trooper, but it was hard and exhausting. We were gone for 18 days and our days were very full and the travel was hard. But I think she will remember it as a positive, enriching experience, as will I.
She put together a presentation of her highlights from our trip for her third-grade class. Just like with our trip to Jordan and Israel, I think it's fascinating to see what her highlights were. And I'm so grateful she is being exposed to cultures that are so very different from ours.
Let's start in Old Delhi....LOTS of cows everywhere!
Old Delhi wiring, wow!
Modes of transportation... bike rickshaw.
A highlight for the kids was their ride on our tour guide's motorcycle through the streets of Old Delhi... no helmets!
Cars and people everywhere!
In the middle of our first week in Delhi we escaped the crowds and the pollution and spent two days visiting the erotic temples in Khajuraho. Good thing the kids mostly didn't know what they were looking at!
Back in Delhi, our days were packed and we took in all of the major sites. Here are a few of Sofia's favorites.
Celebrating Christmas in India was certainly interesting. You can read all about it here. The kids were excited to see Santa!
Sofia loved traveling with her cousins Lars (8) and Ingrid (2 1/2) from Iowa.
And her grandparents from Oakland, veteran travelers to India. This was their fourth trip!
And she was so excited to meet the beautiful bride, Eli, who is from Italy.
The henna party was a huge highlight. All of the ladies, including Sofia, got their hands adorned in henna for the wedding.
Here we are all dressed up for the wedding festivities. It was a colorful family affair!
Here are a few more of Sofia's favorite photos from the various wedding celebrations.
After the five days of wedding celebrations in New Delhi we headed to Rajasthan. We were in Jodhpur for New Year's Eve. This camel was all dressed up and ready to party!
Jodhpur is known as the "blue city." Many of the houses and buildings, which you can see in the distance, are painted blue.
We were in Jaipur on New Year's Day. The elephants had been painted to ring in the new year!
Here's Sofia riding an elephant up to the Amber Fort in Jaipur.
One of the most famous sites in the state of Rajasthan is Jaipur's pink city façade.
We ended our trip with the granddaddy of them all!! Sofia tells people the Taj Majal was "small" and not that exciting. It was day 17 so I think we were all a little desensitized (and exhausted) by then. It's still pretty cool that she can say she's visited the Taj Majal!
Here's our adventurous group of nine Andersons! We survived India!!
The icing on the cake was a seven-hour layover in Paris on our way home. We sped into the city on the Air France bus (well not really, it took an hour and 45 minutes) but it was worth it for the macarons, croissants, cappuccino and a quick visit with a friend!!