Lately I've been taking mini trips to Austin to hang out for the weekend. Here's a random collection of pictures that I've taken over the past few months.
For the past few years, I had to visit Chicago quite often and I got to know the city pretty well. It's such a vibrant, photogenic city with great cityscapes around every corner. I've spent many nights just wandering the city to see where I could take great pictures.
The best thing about the city is all the great restaurants. I have so many favorites that it's hard to choose where to eat.
I left Mumbai and I got to spend a day exploring the tourist spots in New Delhi. One thing I have to say is that everything had a very grandiose and magnificent feeling to it. There was lots of inlaid stone and marble with intricate carvings all wrapped up in large scale structures. It was definitely very impressive to see the scale and magnitude, while also seeing the fine detail.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
The next morning, I woke up early to make the 2-3 hour drive to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was so incredibly foggy I was really worried about how my pictures would come out.
It wasn't the blue sky I was hoping for but there's no turning back now. When I arrived, I was informed I only had 2 hours before they shut the whole thing down to kick everyone out due to a VIP coming. I suspect it was Obama's team to come scope out the logistics of his planned visit to the Taj Mahal.
After leaving the Taj Mahal, I had some extra time so I stopped by the Agra Fort before heading to the airport.
My observations in Mumbai:
1. With regards to motor transportation, Mumbai almost seemed as if it were a lawless place where people do whatever the hell they want. Horrendous traffic is mixed with every driver trying to beat out the car next to them. They squeeze their car in any possible space turning 3 lane roads into 5 lane roads. No real barrier between pedestrians and motor vehicles, even on the highways.
2. It was really eye opening to see how bad the impoverished areas really are where there is no running water and no electricity. It truly makes you grateful for what you have.
3. It's the first time in a long time where I've been able to catch sunrise coming up over the mountains. It was a truly awesome sight.
4. The food is AMAZING. I gained a good amount of weight in my short time in India due to me stuffing my face at every opportunity I got. Most of the time I was eating in a cafeteria and I had no idea what I was eating, but it was always delicious.
The service was amazing. A lot of the restaurants would serve all the dishes into your plate.
Okay I think I went a bit overboard with posting pictures of food. Crap... now I'm hungry.
I recently had the opportunity to go to Mumbai for a few work meetings. With this being my first time to India, I had no idea what to expect. I arranged my schedule to arrive a day early so I could check out the local sights in Mumbai.
I grabbed lunch at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which is right across from the Gateway of India.
Here's a night shot of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel:
Up at the top of the hotel, there was a great view of the Gateway of India down below.
The Gateway of India is Mumbai's top attraction. There were lots of local photographers offering to take your photo and print it out on their portable printer. It also seemed to be a local gathering spot for friends and family to eat and relax.
From the Gateway of India, there is an hour long ferry ride to go to the Elephanta Island, where the Elephanta Caves are the main attraction. When you arrive at the island, you're faced a long stairwell up to the entrance of the caves. Lining the sides of this stairwell are street vendors selling food and the typical touristy souvenirs.
The caves themselves had lots of rock cut sculptures and pillars.
I caught the last ferry back around sunset, which led to amazing scenery.