Saturday, December 17, 2007
As Loraine has said, we do want to give you some feedback concerning the holiday you arranged for us: not least because we understand your wish to hear what could have been done better.
The overall content of the tour was exceptionally good, giving us insight into the different cultures that have influenced India and Nepal during several millennia. We also enjoyed the opportunity to see the Himalayas at close quarters. The range of activities and the time available for each balanced very well with our interests: although it was often difficult to move on from one spectacular location to make sure we didn’t miss anything from the itinerary later.
Our driver from arrival in Delhi through to taking the train in Agra (Lal Bahadur) was absolutely first class. He drove with care and consideration for his passengers throughout and handled difficult traffic conditions smoothly and without showing any sign of stress. We had complete confidence in him at all times.
Our guide in Jaipur (Devendra Singh Khangarot) was especially knowledgeable: we particularly appreciated his descriptions of the Observatory instruments and the care he took to find a shaded spot whenever he wanted to describe something to us. It was an honour to visit his home for Diwali and we are grateful to him and his family for their hospitality.
Our guide (Omeese) and driver in Khajuraho looked after us very well. Fortunately they stayed at the airport after we checked in to depart. I was ill that day and when my wife asked them if a doctor could be arranged for when we arrived in Varanasi, they took me to a doctor in Khajuraho and back to the airport, so I was improving by the time I got to Varanasi.
The gentleman who met us in Varanasi (Nitin) was very helpful. Because we arrived later than expected (see above) he had rearranged our schedule so we missed nothing out. He was most helpful on our departure to Nepal, explaining the Nepalese visa system and exchanging our INR 1000 / 500 notes for INR 100 notes before we left.
Our room at the Grand Imperial in Agra was most impressive and we enjoyed the live music whilst we ate an excellent dinner both nights. (Unfortunately, the room service and service at the front desk fell short of expectations for a hotel of this class.)
Dwarika’s hotel in Kathmandu was amazing: the best hotel we stayed at. The architecture was very interesting: the rooms were vast (especially No 55 which we stayed in for the first 2 nights), with many interesting artifacts dressing the rooms and public spaces. We particularly enjoyed our meals in the coffee shop and in the Krishnarpan restaurant during both our visits.
The dinner and dance show in Kathmandu was a very enjoyable evening, as were the sound and light show and musical evenings in Khajuraho.
Overall our visit was a brilliant experience. We saw a lot of wonderful things: made by man and naturally occurring, and witnessed so many festivals and cultural events, all of which have broadened our knowledge and, I hope, enabled us to better understand what is happening in India and Nepal.
Thank you very much for all your hard work to ensure we achieved so much in the time available and had such a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Also, thank you very much for the hand bag and carved model of the Ashokan column which are pleasing reminders of Diwali 2007 and the many interesting things we saw, including the archaeological museum at Sarnath.
Best wishes for a very happy Christmas and for your good health and success in the New Year
David & Loraine
17A The Whiteway