Showing posts from December 31, 2006

Bangalore day 5 - BLR - LHR - SFO

Au revoir to Bangalore for now. Our flight is at 6:30 am, so being totally paranoid we asked the Google driver to show up at 3:30. He, being the conscientious sort, shows up early. Oh boy. We stuff all of our things into one bag each. If you are flying through London you are limited to one carry on bag, period. Any briefcase, purse, or any other small personal items must fit in that one bag. Next time I'm wearing a camera vest. We ask the driver to wait till we're ready, finish packing, and check out.

We're off to the airport in the cool dark quiet of the early morning. There's even less traffic than when we arrived, and we make good time to the airport. The airport seems small and somewhat run down from the outside. We hadn't had time really to get an impression when we arrived, but now with more than two hours before our flight we have more time to observe. Bangalore International Airport does not feel like any of the other airports we've gone through to get …

Bangalore Day 4 - Sahib Sindh Sultan

Even after our afternoon feast at MTR, we had plans for yet one more nice restaurant. Guidebooks had suggested, and friends had concurred that Sahib Sindh Sultan was a place to go. One thing that I like about dining in Bangalore is that the busy part of the evening starts at around 10pm, and restaurants are still going strong at 11pm. We had been eating early due to jet lag and were often the first or only people in a restaurant at 8pm. We asked the front desk at the hotel to make reservations for Sahib Sindh Sultan the day before because the guidebooks and friends had agreed that on weekends it would fill up and prior reservations were needed. Unfortunately the front desk had not read the guidebooks and hadn't actually called on the day we asked. Fortuntately the restaurant put us on the "waiting list" for 9:30-10:00pm and said that if we just showed up we should be seated relatively promptly.

Sahib Sindh Sultan is in The Forum mall, and we arrived early enough to wander…

Bangalore Day 4 - Mavalli Tiffin Rooms

The Mavalli Tiffin Rooms are an institution. Not just a Bangalore institution either. People come from all over the world to eat at "MTR" as it's called. At most places in Bangalore, if there's a line (yes, it's called a queue here. I'm from the US, I'm going to use US terms till I get assimilated.) people will just go some place else. At MTR even locals willingly line up and wait for hours. MTR started in 1924 with the restaurant, but now is known even more for their line of prepared foods. So this could be like going to "The Rice-a-Roni restaurant" but I don't think locals would line up for hours to visit some over-the-hill brand-identified over marketed has been tourist trap, would they?

I don't know for certain if they would but I certainly wouldn't, and I will be back to the Mavalli Tiffin Room. We ate at some of the fanciest five-star hotel restaurants, some of the most recommended "name" restaurants in Bangalore while…

Bangalore Day 4 - Impressions of Roads and Traffic

One of the first impressions I got of Bangalore was the traffic. I had heard from many people that the traffic was going to be bad and I had mentally prepared myself for floods of traffic. On the way in from the airport though, traffic was more of a trickle than a flood. Granted it was something like 6am, but I had expected more!

The next day we got more. Our hotel was on a main road. This road was apparently originally called "Double Road" because it was one of the very few divided multi-lane roads in Bangalore. It's official name at that time was "Residency Road" and that is still what most people call it, though it's official name is now "FM Cariappa Road" due to the great renaming of roads. Apparently roads all over India are being renamed from the colonial names with names that reflect important or famous people in India's history. This means that a road may have three or four different names. We do similar things here in the Bay Area - do…