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Legendary Cultures
March 12 to April 1 2011
Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise

INDONESIA TO CALCUTTA (now called Kolkata)

I misread my watch this morning so we were up an hour earlier (at 5:30 a.m.) than we had to be. If it had to happen any morning, this one was a good choice. Because I threw out my back yesterday climbing around the largest BUDDHIST temple in the world, we passed on the afternoon's activities and relaxed at the hotel. As I reported yesterday, the room was quite spacious and conducive to lounging. Dinner was a la carte and we chose the Indonesian buffet. Before getting on our jet for the trip to Calcutta/Kolkata, we visited the Prambanan Temple, the largest HINDU temple in the world.

The first impact that the Temple makes is its size. The second is how much the design of this temple complex Prambanan Templeresembled sand castles. The Temple buildings were weakened by an earthquake in 2006 and are under reconstruction. Although we visited in the morning, it was already hot and humid. Up close, the wall carvings are not as detailed as the Borobudur Buddhist Temple we saw yesterday. Because of the earthquake,we could not go to some sections of the Temple grounds but had access to enough of the multiple towers to get some good photos.

Next stop, Calcutta. The heat and humidity of our Indonesian morning won't even prepare us very well for the horrendous heat and humidity we were told to expect in India.

After going through Immigration/Customs, Carol and I went in separate directions. I went directly to the hotel to soak my back. She and others took a bus to visit the Mother House of Mother Theresa. (CC comment: the Mother House cares for young, mentally andCalcutta physically challenged children. A related facility about a block away cares for orphans.) My trip was a tour through the City. Although I have never been to Calcutta before I was immediately reminded of why I dislike the country. Lots of places on earth are crowded. But India seems to mix crowded with abject poverty with squalor, with decay, with filth. India is a locus of the IT revolution but, except for an occasional billboard hawking consumer technology, there is no indication that one is not in the stone ages. The Oberoi is the best there is in the city. It is a holdover from the British days and, because it was well-built decades ago, is not falling down. It is a mixture of Victorian and Empire. Quaint, and an improvement from the world outside the hotel. We are only going to stay here the night. The tour does not formally plan for sleeping on the plane but with the early departures and late arrivals there is often no place else to catch up. Tomorrow morning we have to get up at 4:45 a.m., put our small suitcases outside our room by 5:30 (the big suitcases stayed on our jet) and leave the hotel by 6 a.m.



Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise



HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC