Upcoming: India – Journey of the Senses

On November 13, we will be starting another great journey – 16 days in India!

Day 1: Depart Canada

  • Depart Canada for India

Day 2-4 : Delhi

 

  • The house of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sikh Temple locally called Gurduwara Bangla Sahib
  • UNESCO World heritage site Humayun’s tomb
  • Old Delhi – Jama Mosque
  • Bicycle rickshaw through Chandni Chowk, spice market and jewelers lane
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site the Red Fort
  • Raj Ghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s final journey
  • UNESCO world heritage site Qutab Minar, the highest tower in India

Day 5: Delhi – Varanasi

 

  • A short flight to the holy city of Varanasi, the religious capital of Hinduism and one of the oldest living cities in the world
  • Sarnath, the site where Buddha preached his first sermon
  • The banks of the Ganges to witness the devotional ceremony of Aarti performed by devout Hindus

Day 6: Varanasi – Agra

  • Sunrise boat ride along the Ganges to see the bathing Ghats (river bank) & cremation site
  • Flight to Agra
  • The Love Story of The Taj Mahal, Live Play/Musical Performance

Day 7: Agra

  • Sunrise at the Taj Mahal
  • Red Fort
  • Marble factory

Day 8-9: Agra – Jaipur

 

  • Tour Jaipur – the ‘Pink City’
  • Elephant ride to Amber Fort
  • City Palace Museum
  • Jantar Mantar Observatory
  • Evening Elephant Safari & Dinner

Day 10: Jaipur – Jodhpur

  • Drive to Jodhpur
  • Auto Rikshaw ride and visit the market

 

Day 11: Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace
  • Camel safari in the Osian village

Day 12: Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur

  • 12th Century temple Ranakpur Jain
  • Lake Palace

Day 13: Udaipur

 

  • City Palace
  • Crystal Gallery
  • Garden of the Maids of Honour
  • Cooking class with a local family
  • Evening boat cruise on Lake Pichola

Day 14: Udaipur – Mumbai

  • Flight to Mumbai
  • Boat ride to Elephanta Island

 

Day 15: Mumbai

 

  • Dharavi – the Slum Dog Millionaire Tour
  • Crawford Market shopping area

Day 16: Depart for Canada

Greenland

I didn’t think anything could match the natural beauty of Iceland, but then we cruised through Prince Christian Sund – a long channel along the bottom of Greenland.

The pictures below don’t begin to describe how amazing it was. We were very lucky to have a clear and calm day for the passage, which is apparently not the norm. For close to eight hours we slipped through narrow passages with steep cliffs, glaciers and weaterfalls on either side. Icebergs, too numerous to count, dotted the way.

There are five places along the passage where the ice cap glaciers reach the ocean. As we went by one, a large chunk calved off creating a clap of thunder and large spray. I saw this once in Alaska but this was even better because of the isolation. For most of the passage our ship was totally alone except for a small sailboat we passed coming the other way. A couple of times where the passage was wide enough the captain slowly spun the ship around to get a full 360 view of the glacier we were passing by with only a few hundred metres to spare on either side.

Near the end of the channel we passed a small isolated Inuit fishing village. Except for the weekly supply ferry very few ships come by the village. Our passing brought out a half dozen open power boats to view our ship, take pictures and wave. It was as much an event for them as us!  Although cruise ships are becoming more frequent in Greenland very few go through this passage.

This has been some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen!

Iceland

The first two of our three scheduled stops in Iceland were Akuryri on the north end of the island, and  Isafjodur on the northwest. Both are small towns existing mainly for fishing and a bit of farming. Now that they are on the tourist map some of the locals have purchased vans and ave started to provide tours. Yesterday we were driven around by a gentleman who lived a bit out of town (just about everything is out of town) who, in addition to driving the school bus and local taxi, had a farm, raised sheep, and harvested eiderdown from the thousands of eider ducks that nest on his property each spring. Apparently, the majority of the world’s eiderdown comes from Iceland. Who knew?

Both days were filled with eyepopping scenery and amazing geologic features – waterfalls from melting glaciers, bubbling hot mud puddles, steam vents, fiords and lava rock formations. It’s like walking through a National Geographic magazine! It’s rugged and mostly untouched, but that will undoubtedly change as more tourists arrive. For now though, no MacDonalds, Starbucks or even traffic lights!

Our last stop in Iceland was two days in Reykjavik, the capital city.  Unlike the rest of the country, Reykjavik is a modern bustling city with high rises, highways and lots of cars. But it only takes a short ride to once again be immersed in the rugged beauty of the island. Our tour outside of the city included the famous geysers, more spectacular waterfalls and the national park.

Next – on to Greenland!

Copenhagen 

We are spending a couple of days in Copenhagen before boarding the ship. It has been around 12 years since our last visit here and expectedly, things have changed somewhat. It is still a wonderful city – the iconic landmarks are still here – the boats and restaurants of Nyhavn, Tivoli, Stroget (the walking street), the pastry shops, the Little Mermaid, etc. but there are lots of new buildings going up, fewer bicycles, and more cars than I remember. 

This is where a quarter of my DNA originates so I have an affinity for the city. It is a unique blend of Scandinavian modern, cosmopolitan vibe, and Danish quaint.  

Dinner tonight at a restaurant known for its traditional Danish food. Tomorrow- on the ship and heading to Norway!