guest post: aspiring kennedy.

July 27, 2011 § 7 Comments

{a picture of our camel trek through the thar desert in jaisalmer}

Head on over to Aspiring Kennedy who’s asked me to share a few words on what she should expect while visiting India! (click here)


india part IV: udaipur.

May 20, 2011 § 19 Comments

{the view from our hostel rooftop}{taken on our boat cruise}
{i’m thinking this may not need a caption}{bats + sunsets. quite amazing, actually!}{the city palace, and a happy man!}{the city palace}{views from the monsoon palace}

The final leg of our trip took us to Udaipur, considered to be the most romantic spot in India. Surrounded by lakes, portions of it reminded me very much of Venice. It was shockingly beautiful (quite the dramatic change from the desert town of Jaisalmer and the big city of Jodhpur/Delhi).

We had dedicated this portion of our trip to relax and rejuvenate before I had to head back home. With many palaces, both on land and on the water (literally. in the middle of it), it made for the perfect backdrop to enjoy long dinners right on the lake. One evening, we sat and watched the sunset underneath a tree filled with bats (we realized this after we had sat down). As the sun set behind the mountains, hundred and hundreds of oversized bats began to emerge. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time. The perfect place to end an incredible journey.

(See Part IPart II & Part III)

I’m headed up to the cottage for the long weekend, but I’m hoping to post the rest of my pictures on my Facebook page. If I don’t get them up before I leave, they will definitely be up on monday. (click here to like lark + linen on Facebook and to be notified when the pictures do make their way up!)

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies, and thank you for letting me share my Indian experience with all of you! I’m humbled by all of your incredible comments. You guys are seriously awesome.  

india part III: jodhpur & ranakpur.

May 19, 2011 § 15 Comments

{piles of the most incredible fabric}{the mehrangarh fort}{the blue city}{the market}{the clock tower}
{ranakpur’s jain temple}

Next up on our whirlwind tour of India was Jodhpur, the blue city. We barely had a full day to see it, so we made the most of it that we could.

On our way to visit the Mehrangarh fort, we stopped in at what we thought was a small antique store. We quickly realized that we had stumbled upon a gold mine. Eight stories of the most lust-worthy fabrics, shawls, scarves and blankets that you’ve ever seen. (It turned out that we had found the manufacturer for many of Luis Vuitton and Hermes’ products – of course my aunt would find such a place. She has a nose for these things). Much to my cousins dismay, us girls spent far too much time selecting the items that needed to make their way into our homes. I ended up purchasing a handful of pashminas and an incredible hand embroidered bedspread that would surely cost an arm and a leg had it been purchased here (note: it was $50. I feel guilty for paying so little).

After touring the (quite spectacular) fort (which still had many dents in the stone walls from where canons had tried to penetrate years ago), we rented a car and hired a driver to take us to Ranakpur. Hiring a driver sounds so fancy, but really, it’s the norm in India and it’s actually extremely cost-effective (like $40 between 4 people for a six-hour drive kinda cost-effective). Never in my life would I ever attempt to navigate through the traffic and intensity of driving in India. The drives themselves almost deserve their own post!

Initially we had intended on heading straight from Jodhpur to Udaipur, but after talking to a handful of locals, we were convinced we had to stop halfway to see a Jain temple in Ranakpur, a sight unbeknownst to many. While the Taj Mahal was overwhelming and did every bit of justice to the hype surrounding it, I truly believe it’s safe to say that it didn’t hold a candle to this temple. Imagine 1,444 two to three story white marble columns holding up turrets and domes and the like for as far as the eye can see. Each and every column intricately carved with the tiniest little detail, and each being drastically different from the next. Every visible remaining surface equally beautiful, equally intricate and meticulously carved. I feel confident when I say that I don’t think that I will ever again see another man-made item quite as incredible as this one. I have far too many pictures of it, but none of them do it even the smallest bit of justice. I’m so pleased that we made that detour.

(See Part IPart II & Part IV)

india part II: jaisalmer.

May 18, 2011 § 11 Comments

{colourful details lining the streets of jaisalmer}{deserted streets – save for a lone cow, naturally}{an efficient way to carry ones parcel (the beginning of some impressive balancing acts we witnessed)}{views of the city from the jaisalmer fort}{rows of turbans just dying to be photographed}{my camel, daniel (I couldn’t have come up with a more suitable name)}

{trekking through the thar desert}

The second leg of our trip took us south to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We stayed in a $10 a night hostel that was easily nicer than most hotels I’ve visited in Canada. I shared a room with my aunt and we lucked out by being placed in a room with thick stone walls, hot pink silk curtains and bright cotton bed spreads.

After touring the Jaisalmer fort and palace (at 850 years old, it’s the oldest fort in the world that still has inhabitants living within its walls), scoping our many a pashmina and spending an evening sitting atop our hostel roof with the owner, eating and drinking some of his personal specialties under the stars, I didn’t think the trip could get much better.

Our second day in Jaisalmer brought about a camel trek that we had previously arranged. We were driven into the centre of the Thar desert to meet our trek leaders and our respective camels. Mine was named Daniel and he was quite handsome, if you can’t tell.

After a three hour camel ride further into the desert, we stopped to set up camp on top of the dunes. While we watched the sun set over the sand, our trek leaders began to cook our meal over a small fire, and proceeded to bring us cups of hot, homemade chai while we relaxed (and maybe played in the sand… a little).

Next, we feasted on an incredible meal of dal, rice and homemade chapatis (did I mention all of this was done over the fire?!), we hung out telling stories before retreating to cots that had been set up for us under the wide open sky. We drifted off to sleep after watching countless shooting stars, and it was easily one of the best nights of my entire life.

(See Part IPart III & Part IV)

wanderings: India.

April 19, 2011 § 12 Comments

found herehere & here

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have heard me rambling on about a trip I’ve recently booked.

You guys, I’m gong to India! INDIA! I flip-flop between utter delight and extreme excitement (like the want-to-jump-up-and-down-and-scream-EEEE kind), to nerves and anxiety and back again. Can we talk about how the flight is 18 hours long?! That’s a heckuva long time to be suspended in the air. But nonetheless, I’m going to India! I can’t even wrap my mind around this. I can’t get over how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to take such an adventure in my lifetime. I’m so grateful.

My cousin and his girlfriend have been in Delhi since December and have invited me to be their guest. We’ll begin in Delhi and make our way to Agra for a day before heading to Rajasthan for even more adventure. I leave on May 1st and will return on the 15th with a buttload of pictures and stories to share with all of you. Taj Mahal, here I come!

let’s colour.

May 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Let’s Colour Project is a worldwide, ongoing project aimed at turning drab, grey spaces into bright, colourful ones. Take a look at this quick two-minute video here. The video was shot in four weeks, and it takes place in Brazil, France, London and India. It’s pretty amazing! The people in the video are not actors, but volunteers who came ready to roll up their sleeves and add some colourful cheer to our everyday lives. It makes both my eyes, and my heart smile (yeah, it does).

found via Let’s Colour Project

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