Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Around the World in 80 ... Years: Bangalore, India

Photo Courtesy: Corporate Suites Inc.
Last year marked a great travel milestone that I had wanted to hurdle for years. As a family of four, we took to the skies (a few times) around the world and landed in Bangalore, India. With a baby and a child in tow, you can imagine that it was quite the experience. Screams and poopy diapers aside, this trip proved to be the incredible journey I had hoped for.

Bangalore is a city of nearly 10 million people. With a population that big, you will see loads of folks from all walks of life. But this is no Toronto. The poor and the wealthy collide to form one crazy city full of life, smells, colour, and traffic. Holy - the traffic. When visiting India, brace yourself for some of the most thrilling car/rickshaw rides of your life.

Rush hour? Probably not.

View from the rickshaw. White-knuckling it.

A busy shopping street. Amazing deals to be found here.

If you're looking to grab a bite to eat in Bangalore, check out Koshy's Bar and Restaurant, where history meets the modern city. We were fortunate enough to enjoy the company of the man himself and his wonderful family. What a treat!

There is also The Rogue Elephant Terrace Bistro in Koramangala, where I scarfed down a superb bowl of pesto and bowtie pasta because, frankly, I was missing home a little.  This laid back place boasts a relaxing rooftop terrace with a tropical vibe and soothing water fountains. Chef Anand Chettur is not only talented, but charmingly entertaining, too!

Sometimes, a girl just needs some Italian food.

If you're looking to do some shopping, you're in luck. Bangalore is home to some of the finest clothing the world over. Not to mention the glittery shoes and accessories. The good news is that your dinero will likely go a long way when you're shopping. Haggling in markets is the norm, so don't be afraid to negotiate politely.

Love this bag from Fabindia.
Fabindia also has a pretty terrace, should you need to take a little break and have a cup of tea ... or let your little monsters run wild.

Oh, the decisions.

A fine suit for a fine little prince.

The saree shop.
On top of having to choose between awesome outfits, you also have the option of choosing from a myriad of talented tailors. I was so impressed by the quality of craftsmanship when my saree blouse was made. Those stitches aren't going anywhere ... even if I did gain a little weight since having it made.

My tailor, looking confident. Bring it on, pasty-armed girl.

Of course, I could never post all of the photos we took on this trip (there are over 800 of them), but there are quite a few great ones from our visit to Bangalore's famous Russell Market. If you're looking for food products and an afternoon rush, this is a must-see spot. At this bustling market, you'll find everything you could possibly want to eat (and some things you really won't want to). If you're going to take the trip there, be sure to wear a pair of shoes that can easily be cleaned ... you'll understand why once you stroll through the fish market. Weak-stomached individuals may want to skip that section completely (I don't call my TOMS my "Russell Market Shoes" for nothing).

Incredible array of fresh fruit and veggies. You may even be offered a sample.

The most perfect tomatoes I've ever laid eyes on.

Lots of livestock to pet ... or eat. Vegetarians like me may want to avert their eyes in some sections of the market.

So, without totally sending you my family photo album, this is a little tidbit of what Bangalore, India was like for me.

In a nutshell: totally worth the jet lag.

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