Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Darjeeling to Kuala Lumpur - The Difference Between Night and Day

Andrew has nicely covered our trip from Darjeeling to Kolkata and our time in Kolkata itself so I'm going to be lazy and just say "ditto." Not to mention that I'm still trying to plow through the trekking photos and have a couple more blog posts about that to write . . . and as if that's not a good enough excuse, I've caught Andrew's cold and my nose is sore from blowing it so much!

The staff at our hotel in Kolkata were extremely attentive! We did a heritage tour of the hotel (it's been in operation for about 165 years!) and the young woman who conducted the tour noted my cold. At the end, she insisted that she get the chef to make a "ginger syrup" for me. I waited several minutes in the lobby and she led over the waiter to hold the tray and a manager type guy who put honey in it and stirred it up for me. It had quite the zing to it!!! Then at supper, another waiter noted I had a cold and insisted that the cure all was green tea with honey which he promptly brought for me! Unfortunately, as good as these remedies felt afterwards, I think I just have to tough it out and let it run its course.

A couple other things I'll add are some photos from the train ride between Siliguri and Kolkata. As Andrew mentioned, it certainly wasn't Via Rail or Amtrak but it was clean (even the toilets were much cleaner and less smelly than I'd anticipated!) and our seat mates were good. The other interesting aspect of the train ride was the constant movement of food and drink sellers going up and down the aisle. "Chai, coffee . . . chai, coffee . . . chai, coffee." "Biscuits, chips . . . biscuits, chips . . . biscuits, chips." And the names of various foods we didn't know. We ordered coffee and tea and the guy serving was definitely experienced as he quickly filled small paper cups right to the brim without spilling a drop.
Bottom bunks of the train. 
View from the top bunk.
This is my one favourite photo from Kolkata that I took. I loved the colour and the camaraderie of the men having lunch.
It's not a Bearcat but the Kolkata police also have an armoured vehicle.
It was quite a change to suddenly go from the old cities of India to the modern city of Kuala Lumpur.  We had an overnight flight so it was a tiring day but one thing that definitely caught my eye was the fine for smoking in a "no smoking" area!

We had some great views from the restaurant on the 15th floor of our hotel.

Roof top pool on the hotel across the street. 
Enjoying the view and a glass of wine.

Petronas Twin Towers

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