After three weeks in the north of India it was time to experience our final destination before winging our way down to see what the south of the country had to offer. It had been a whirlwind of sights, sounds, smells and experiences with each and every place we visited offering diversity far beyond our wildest dreams.
Kolkata was the last place on the northern itinerary and we had mixed feelings about saying goodbye to the north but were excited to see what the last hoorah would have to offer.
An innocent mid-afternoon walk to explore surroundings nearby to our hotel turned into one of those scenes from a movie where tourists walk into an area they probably shouldn’t be and get harassed, surrounded, followed and physically bombarded by people who don’t necessarily have their best intentions at heart.
Luckily, the beating we were privy to was from a gang of sub-10 year olds, so we deflected the kidney shots, jumped in a taxi and high tailed it over to a far more zen environment… On the must do list for Kolkata was Mother Teresa’s house. For even the most cynical and jaded of travellers, for those who have seen both the best and the absolute worst of humanity and for everyone in between its a place where you can’t help but be moved. Part museum, part missionary centre (and wholly both at the same time!) it provides a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of Mother Teresa and other such people who choose to give their lives to helping others. Whether you agree with her religious views or not, throwing yourself into the very depths of poverty and despair in a foreign country is a pretty full on effort, don’t you think? Nuns pray around Mother Teresa’s marble tomb regularly and must be pretty pap-savvy as they didn’t even flinch at the flashbulbs going off all around them. Man, we sound tacky, but we swear, we respected every minute and every centimetre of their space. H-J even got an invite to sit down and chill with them. She tried to blend in as inconspicuously as possible and, amazingly, didn’t even burst into flames! In terms of places to see in Kolkata, we can’t recommend it highly enough if you have even a minute piece of something resembling a soul. It would take a pretty cavernous, black nothingness to not be at least a little intrigued/interesting/moved by the centre and the smiling, welcoming nuns within.
The only other sight we managed to squeeze into our tight Kolkata itinerary was the Victoria Memorial Hall, a stunning building dedicated to the Empress of India.
Set in 64 acres of lush gardens, it seemed like a lovely, relaxing place to end our time in the North.
However, not being as paparazzi-cool as the lovely nuns (or as peaceful, or forgiving) it was about this moment that H-J’s attitude toward being following around the tourist sites of North, jumped out at from behind trees and stalked with video cameras took a turn for the worse. Yes, its a very selfish problem to whine about but even dreadlocked, tattooed, privileged tourists need a break sometimes. Britney, we feel ya…
All in all, Kolkata truly came through for us as it summed up the North in one convenient nut shell. Or perhaps betel leaf would be more appropriate. There were the highs, the lows; the stunning, the depressing; the smiling faces, the hidden glances; gleaming marble alongside cows eating rubbish…so thank you Kolkata for giving us our last look at the breathtaking and eye-opening north of India.
another great post! awesome pictures, thanks
Thanks Dea! We’re looking forward to sharing our southern adventures next 🙂
Endless thanks for the glimpse into your beautifully adventurous, nomadic lives. This is the stuff that LIFE is made of! Look forward to the next read xo
Our pleasure 🙂 Hopefully we can continue for a while to come!
I have always thought it very interesting that Christianity with its one god has so many saints in its pantheon for people to worship rather like an ancient pantheistic religeon
An interesting point.
What a wonderful experience and I agree, regardless of your religious (or otherwise) inclinations, you have to admire anyone who devoted themselves so selflessy to really helping the poor and desperate.
Totally. The whole centre oozes compassion and warm fuzzies so we’re sure that that must touch all people who come into their care. Its a lovely buzz!
This was one amazing trip you guys took to India! India is a “dream trip” for us and I’m gaining lots of great insights from your posts, so thanks for that. I would love to see Mother Teresa’s house, how special, such a great breath of serenity in the midst of all the chaos going on outside of it (aka kidney shots and constant photos). Awesome post!
It really was a lovely place to end our northern travels, giving us a bit of perspective and a bit of calm which was much needed by this stage! Thankfully, the south was a little (LOT) less full on than the north…
Such an amazing experience! Glad you got to “share” it on your blog! I seriously need to travel more…. haha!
You already live in a pretty exotic location! Where’s the closest, best weekend get-away location off island for you guys?
you guys are awesome! interesting post with splendid photo gallery and have a great experience of India travels.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment. We’re happy to share the fascinating and addictive experience we had in India.