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Old 13th April 2008, 21:09   #271
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Sam ,

Cool Blog ... Just keeps ypu glued . I am really amazed how Mumbai looks and shows how disregard the simplicity in our day to day normal Mumbai life .

Jeeny does look good in indian dresses and compliment her for it .

Sam - Thanks great blog ..

Regards.. kat
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Old 13th April 2008, 23:39   #272
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Wow, Jenny... you have seen, in some way, more of India than many of us ever want to see. Maybe even Sam, maybe many who's lifetime has been spent here have never seen such an experience.

I'm totally out of my depth, but in my mind Sam did the right thing. He was not responsible for what happened next. Whether that was right or wrong I leave to people with greater experience than mine.

This fairy-tale country is full of horrible, dreadful, ugly things too. We foreigners who choose to come and live here have to accept and live with that. It can be tough sometimes, even scary.

I've been here three years, against your, so far, few weeks, Jenny, but hey, when I have bad times I might be coming to you to help me handle it!

Bravo to you both. On with the journey!
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Old 14th April 2008, 00:00   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_bhp View Post
I've been reading all of Sam's Yeti<XYZ travelogues and this beats them all hands down. Great to read about the same experiences but from different perspective.
I agree. Looking at this blog so far makes me realise how true my first post was. This is going to be a mother of a blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeler View Post
Has the Yeti gone into hibernation or something? A whole page of posts and nothing from him. Is this like "INTERVAL" time?
Not at all, I was enjoying my Sunday very much. Partied all afternoon, drank, slept and just woke up. Such a hard life.

A request: This ugly incident at the Taj was unfortunate. It did not hold much significance for us and we would like to keep it that way. Your concern, advice and views were deeply appreciated and understood. It has also helped put things into perspective for TheOne®. We are grateful.
Let us not give any more importance to it.
India is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. Difficult situations can happen everywhere, in any country. We have a interesting and romantic travel story to tell you. Let us put that particular incident to rest now. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
On with the journey!
Exactly!
Where's that lazy fellow who writes half of this blog? Call him!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 00:15.
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Old 14th April 2008, 00:11   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
OK here is the picture lol Attachment 8210
That picture reminds me of Guliver in the land of Liliput.

When I visit Germany, I feel like I am in Brobdingnag.

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th April 2008 at 02:57. Reason: Editing / removing the few posts on the same topic after sam's request in bold. Thanks.
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Old 14th April 2008, 00:23   #275
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das ist genau richtig! thats all i can say!!
keep em comming!!
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Old 14th April 2008, 00:49   #276
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Sam! What did you do to that group of young girls? I'm sure you spoke mostly in your mother tongue! Hai na?

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th April 2008 at 02:57. Reason: Editing / removing the few posts on the same topic after sam's request in bold. Thanks.
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Old 14th April 2008, 01:28   #277
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Sameer-uncle-ji and Jenny-ji - that, in my opinion is the best travelogue i have ever read. Absolutely superb !!

I think i'll rope-in both of you as writers + actors in my home production movie : Bharat ki kahani - yeticouple® ki jubaani

@ TheOne® - you really have a sweet way of writing the experiences.

Keep the YetiHoliday® going !!!
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Old 14th April 2008, 09:56   #278
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Default A brief background of Neemrana

Placed in the Alwar district, Rajasthan, Neemrana is a quaint little village that time forgot. While it is very much Rajasthan in culture and overall appearance, it is too close to the border of Haryana to speak fluent Marwari, like Jaipur.
The language spoken here is a dialect of Haryanvi (which itself is a dialect) with more marwari pronunciations.
It is surrounded by the famous Aravali range of mountains.
The castle was built in the 1400's by Raja Rajdeo. After being passed on (yes the entire fort and the mountain on which it stands) it was purchased by some investors from Delhi and a Frenchman who lovingly restored it to what it is today.
It has only 50 rooms and a lot of staff. The atmosphere is authentic and except for the swimming pool and the air conditioning, everything feels like it is wonderfully ancient. Neemrana does not feel the need to advertise as they are always running pretty full (50 rooms is not much). The restoration work is still progressing and more rooms are being added.
No 2 rooms are the same. Every room has a different theme and a different relevance. You could choose to stay in the servants quarters, or the chief of staff's residence or even the Queen's bedroom. Rooms have names, not numbers. (Parvati Mahal, Chand Mahal, Roop Mahal etc.)
No two rooms have the same decor, but the fittings and furniture used are old-world. Each room has a different tariff.


The fort is massive and spread out over the hill at different levels. The pathways, stairways and secret passages have been preserved. It takes a while to reach from one room to another. For example, from our room, to reach to the reception involved a walk over atleast 5 different flights of stairs, going up and down and a fair amount of walking.
I counted atleast 3 different ways of reaching the exit gate.

The majority of guests are foreigners. A majority of French people (I guess the french connection) but we encountered a lot of germans too.
The group has other ancient properties as (what they call) non-hotel hotels. It is obviously a labour of love.
It is a wonderful refreshing change from the taj and oberoi run palaces of Rajasthan.
Unfortunately it lies deep in the heart of the village and the access path is rocky, muddy and poor. Once inside the gates, the 5 star feeling is obvious.

I had heard of the Neemrana Castle almost 12 years ago and had been dying to go there since. Here was my chance.
Even though TheOne® and I had been on holiday for almost a week since she arrived, I'd been close to the office, working and visiting staff etc.
Frankly, this was going to be my first REAL day of Holiday. I left the laptop and switched the mobile off.
It was a wonderful time.

Back to the story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
2. they dont buy tickets they sneek in
Navin you cannot sneak into the Taj. It is a high security area with security manned by the CISF. Every person is frisked and checked throughly and there are detectors and what not. Any sharp objects etc. are taken away immediately. (Heroes who like to scratch their names on monuments) Even cigarettes and lighters are not permitted.
Nobody can sneak into the Taj Mahal, it would be equivalent to sneaking into the airport.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 10:02.
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Old 14th April 2008, 10:26   #279
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The Yeti is back with a bang!!! This description of Neemrana is wonderful. Makes me feel as if I'm really there (instead of being stuck in my stupid office ).

Sam, you should be making documentaries in your free time. I'm sure they'll be a big hit!

Eagerly waiting for more from the holiday.
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:21   #280
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Default YetiBlog® 27th March 2008

Wake up! This time the ceremony takes little or no time. She's pretty excited too.
I have made the booking almost a month and a half ago.
This time we're driving ourselves. Arranging accommodation for the driver for 2 nights would be a problem.

I have directions from the hotel and from the JBL team in Delhi. Soon we're on the Jaipur Highway. It's an interesting drive, full of camel carts and interesting trucks with fancy patterns all over them.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0486_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0496_thumb.jpg
We find the turn to Neemrana and then the rocky sandy path to the castle.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0501_thumb.jpg

Now we're at the security gate. A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0504_thumb.jpg
Do you have a reservation? asks a boomy but respectful voice. Yes, we do. Ghani Khamma and our bags are taken away swiftly.

I'm not sure what to expect. I don't expect what I see. It is stunning. Breathtaking.

I'm Indian, born in Rajasthan (My mother was Rajasthani) and having seen Rajsthan in minute detail, many many times and I have to suck my breath in. TheOne® is all but speechless.

At the main gate to the fort.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0509_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0510_thumb.jpg

TheOne in a state of marvel
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0511_thumb.jpg

First glance
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0512_thumb.jpg

The construction of the neemrana castle is such that from up close, one cannot see the entire property in one go. We enter the welcome and reception area. As soon as we walk through, marvelling around us, we are informed that it is almost time for lunch.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0515_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0518_thumb.jpg

We agree to having lunch prior to check in.

I wolf down my food and start to explore while TheOne® peacefully takes in the atmosphere.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0521_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0523_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0532_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0535_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0539_thumb.jpg
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:26   #281
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Default Neemrana - first impressions - continued

God This place in incredible. The atmosphere, the feeling in incredible. I call out to her excitedly and she follows me on our short exploration.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0543_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0546_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0552_thumb.jpg

Here's what the residential guest area looks like. Incredible isn't it?

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0557_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0554_thumb.jpg

We have still not entered the main residential area!
A quick exploration and we return to reception, finish our formalities (they require Jenny's passport, she isn't Indian) and we enter the secondary gate.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0559_thumb.jpg

This is going to be special. I just know it.
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:39   #282
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WOW, this is amazing.
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:48   #283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
WOW, this is amazing.
Wait until you see the rest, this is nothing yet! It was purely incredible!!!
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:56   #284
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Quote:
I'm Indian, born in Rajasthan (My mother was Rajasthani) and having seen Rajsthan in minute detail, many many times and I have to suck my breath in. TheOne® is all but speechless.
I'm confused, parsi, sardar - which part of you is a malayalee?

Quote:
they require Jenny's passport, she isn't Indian
Yet! but 50% there having mastered the restrooms!
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:56   #285
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Default YetiBlog® 27th March 2008 - Neemrana day 1 continued

I have done a fair amount of research and harassed the marketing manager to let in on the best rooms at Neemrana.
I had chosen Parvati Mahal, which has an incredible balcony with a global view of the castle.

We climb up to Parvati Mahal and the room that greets us is stunning. The pictures do no justice.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0760_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0761_thumb.jpg

Walk out onto our balcony - an unbelievable view.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0564_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0566_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0565_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0563_thumb.jpg
To the right we see the pool, what a location what surroundings. Unreal is the only word I can use. Jenny is overwhelmed, close to tears. She looks incredibly happy.

It's a hot day and TheOne® is a waterbaby. We quickly change into our swimming things and go to the poolside.
It has still not truly set in that we are actually here.

The entrance to our room - just LOOK at her face.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0578_thumb.jpg

The pool is serene and quiet. Rajasthan looks upon us as we overlook the incredible view of the village below. It is quiet except for the wails of the peacocks.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0579_thumb.jpg
Jenny is swimming and floating, look at the castle as she lazily floats on her back. I am sitting to the side, shaking my head. We are truly unable to speak to each other, words have failed us both.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0592_thumb.jpg
TheOne® soaks in the atmosphere.



After a quick swim I reach for my beer and peer over the side, mentally playing back 6 centuries and the times of grandeur.

A view of our room - the roof is covered with upside down matkas, to keep it cool.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0599_thumb.jpg

More to come... Lots more to come. I will now wait for TheOne® to give her vishesh tipni. (special comments )

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 13:03.
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