This week’s photo challenge theme – containers – immediately made me think of the huge amounts of food, spices, sweets, flowers and little trinkets that we came across on our travels across India, all stored in containers, bowls and sacks, bundled on top of carts and spilling out of roadside shops. Although the weekly photo challenge is usually just a photo with a small story or caption, there was absolutely no way that I could say so little about the food in India. It accidentally turned into a slightly longer post – oops! – as I found myself writing more and more and wanting to share the deliciousness of India with you 🙂
I’ve been lucky enough in my life to travel to some amazing destinations and experience the beauty that the world has to offer, from snow-capped mountains and sandy deserts, to tropical rainforests and modern cities. The world is an incredible place and, while I might be easily pleased, there really is so much to see in one life time that can take your breath away.
It upsets me to see when people treat our planet with no respect and, because of this, things are gradually being ruined. Rainforests are being chopped down, lots of animal species are facing extinction and the world is just becoming a dirtier and greyer place.
Sitting still doesn’t come naturally to me. After a day of relaxing on a beach, my feet start twitching, and I’m ready to get up and start exploring.
All the travelling to reach new destinations can sometimes take it’s toll. I don’t even want to think about the ludicrous amount of hours I’ve spent waiting at airports or train stations; the number of times I’ve rushed in a panic to catch a flight; the amount of delays that have frustrated me, and the hours of sleep I’ve lost to jet leg; the irritation of bartering over prices for a local taxi, tuk tuk or bus; the air miles I could have earned if only I had been clever enough to sign up in the first place; and all the plane food I’ve consumed (and yes, I’m one of those rare few people who actually enjoys plane food. It’s food…what’s not to like?!).
This is probably one of the most well-known images when it comes to reflections and, even though I didn’t want to follow the pack by taking a picture that pretty much everyone will have from a trip to India, it was honestly too stunning a shot to not capture.
We arrived at the Taj Mahal early when the sun wasn’t fully out and a cold morning mist filled the air. After wandering around the grounds for a good couple of hours, the sun eventually decided to say hello.
After an exhausting 2 and a half weeks travelling around the busy, noisy and dusty cities of North India, arriving at Marari Villas was like stepping into a whole different world. A small resort in the quiet beach village of Mararikulam in Kerala, Marari Villas was exactly the bit of luxury and relaxation we needed to end our trip with.
While I plan all our trips and Alex just goes along with whatever I say (who says there’s no such thing as the perfect man?!), I had told Alex absolutely nothing about this place. I knew how good it was and I wanted to see his face when he realised this.
These photos were taken in Kuldhara, an abandoned town just outside the Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer in India.
The story of Kuldhara is that a Diwan, or government official, of the town had set his eyes on a beautiful girl and demanded to marry her. The girl’s father refused the marriage and so the Diwan gave an ultimatum…marriage to the girl or there would be harsh consequences for the entire town. The chiefs all met in secret and it was decided that, in the middle of the night, all the 84 villages of Kuldhara would leave and never return, putting a curse on the place as they left.
This week’s challenge is based on the three-picture story: a way to tell a story through images.
My three-picture story is about Jaisalmer Fort, one of the world’s largest forts and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rajasthan, India, and also where we spent Christmas Day last year. Unlike most of the forts in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer Fort is still in use today and not just used as a museum or tourist attraction. Hundreds of people live inside in old fashioned havelis and the winding alleys are crammed full of shops, eateries and places of worship.
I don’t normally take photos of myself but, when it comes to selfies of me and Alex, oh I have hundreds!
When you travel with just the two of you, it’s hard to get photos together. Either you’re stuck taking pictures of one or the other of you so it looks like you both went on holiday alone, or you have that awkward moment of asking a stranger to take a photo of you together, making sure you pick the person who looks most likely to understand English and most likely to be able to use a camera and take a half decent picture.
One of my favourite parts of planning a trip is choosing the accommodation. It might only be somewhere to lay your head but in countries with a big culture shock or noisy streets, your room provides you with your own little bubble of privacy and calm and, for me at least, it’s somewhere I can retreat to and relax at the end of a long and tiring day of exploring, so the accommodation is an important part of travel for me.
This week’s photo challenge was a pretty difficult one with the theme juxtaposition, meaning “two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect”.
Something that has struck me most on my travels in places such as Malaysia, Africa and India, is the contrast between rich and poor, where they live and work right alongside each other. The locals don’t seem to notice this and everyone just muddles in together getting on with the daily grind of life but, to an outsider, the contrast is huge.