A Travellerspoint blog

May 2010

Kolkata - derniere etape... :(

sunny 50 °C

So this is it, la grande finale, last but by no means least Kolkata (Calcutta). It began on the train with a local calcuttan lady sharing with us her thoughts on India (while laughing) "Nothing is easy in India, especially in Calcutta". I think we now know what she means.

I loved India and I will be back.

Claire and I will now give our joined account of Calcutta.(Mostly Claire)
G.

Kolkata, derniers jours en Inde...ca nous pince le coeur rien que d'y repenser!
J'avoue qu'on a encore du mal a laisser notre nostalgie de cote et je doute qu'on le puisse un jour. Car on est litteralement tombes amoureux de ce pays.

Pour notre derniere saveur indienne, nous avons pris la route pour Kolkata, deuxieme plus grosse ville apres Mumbai. Wikipedia indique une population d'environ 7 millions d'individus mais d'autres sources affirment qu'elle s'eleve a 16 millions. A croire que les recencements s'arretent au portes des bidonvilles...

Le trajet pour y parvenir a bien resume le reste de nos 3 mois en Inde: pas de la tarte!
De Dharamsala nous avons pris un bus jusqu'a Amritsar (7 heures), y sommes restes la nuit, et avons pris notre BIG train le lendemain: Amritsar - Kolkata 36 heures! (qui se sont transformes en 40 heures car 4 heures de retard!) Mais bon, entre dodos, ordi, lecture et samosas (Gearoid s'en est tape pas mal!), on a survecu.
C.

Kolkata, last days in India...It pinches our hearts just thinking about it!
We have to say, we are really having a hard time getting over India and are doubtful that we ever will, we just fell in love with it.

For our final Indian taste, we hit the road for Kolkata, second biggest city after Mumbai. According to Wikipedia the population is around 7 millions but other sources affirm it is in or around 16 millions. Hm apparently census don't go as far as the slums...

The journey to reach the city illustrated pretty well the rest of our trip in India: not easy!
We took a 7 hours bus from Dharamsala to Amritsar, spent the night there and took our big train the following day: Amritsar - Kolkata 36 hours! (that ended up being 40 hours because of a 4 hours delay!) Ah well, we survived with siestas, laptop, reading and samosas (Gearoid had quite a lot of them!).

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Une fois arrives, ce fut l'immersion dans la chaleur etouffante et le traffic blinde de Kolkata.

Once arrived, we were immersed in the suffocating heat and the traffic jams of Kolkata

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Les rues de Kolkata sont differentes de tout ce que l'on avait jamais vu, c'est un melange entre extreme pauvrete et extreme pauvrete dans une meme megalopolis. On est loin de Mumbai. Tres loin.
Les photos ne peuvent peut-etre pas parler d'elles-memes mais pour nous, c'est l'une des experiences les plus fortes du voyage...
C.

The streets of Kolkata are different from anything we have ever seen, it's a mix between extreme poverty and extreme poverty within the same megalopolis. Very far from Mumbai. Very far. The pictures may not speak for themselves but for us, it was one of the strongest experiences of the trip...
C.

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La canicule infernale de la "cite de la joie" ne nous a malheureusement pas permis de la visiter a fond (40 degrees et 65% d'humidite, prends-toi ca dans la face!). On avait litteralement notre gorge resserree tellement c'etait la fournaise!
Nous avons cependant fait notre chemin jusqu'a la fondation de Mere Theresa, et ca valait tous les batiments et musees qu'on a rates. Un endroit tres tres emouvant...Cette femme est reellement merveilleuse et c'est en marchant dans les rues de Kolkata qu'on realise le travail titanesque de sa fondation...Lire son histoire, apercevoir sa chambre (tres modeste), voir son tombeau sous les fleurs et le nombre de volontaires qu'elle a laisse derriere elle, j'avoue avoir eu du mal a cacher mon emotion.

The infernal heat of the "city of joy" unfortunately stopped us from visiting it in depth (40 degrees and 65 % humidity, take that!). We could literally fell our throats tightened because of it.
We however made our way to the Mother Theresa foundation and it was worth all the buildings and museums we missed. A very, very moving place...This woman was absolutely wonderful and it really is while walking the streets of Kolkata that one realises the titanic work of her foundation... Reading her story, seeing her quarters (very modest), looking at her tomb under the flowers and the amount of volunteers that she left behind, I must say I found it difficult to hide my emotion.

C.

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Et puis voila, aeroport de Kolkata, c'est le temps de partir...3 mois en Inde, une experience que nous n'oublierons jamais. De toute facon, on veut deja revenir.
C.

And here it is, Kolkata's airport, it's now time to leave...3 months in India, an experience we will never forget. Anyway, we already want to come back.
C.

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Posted by g-c 11:45 Archived in India Comments (0)

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