An archive of stories and photos from our family trip to South India.

Location: Seattle


Chennai via London

And so we begin our India adventure... After an overnight flight from San Francisco we stopped briefly in London, and took advantage of an 18 hour layover to take the Tube into town and made a beeline for the British Museum, and specifically for the mummies! We spent a wonderful couple of hours looking through rooms and rooms of mummies, sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?), old papyrus scrolls, statues, and related cool stuff dating back to 3000-4000 BC... then on into the room of REALLY old artifacts, from before mummification, before hieroglyphics, little amulets and tools dating back tens of thousands of years. It takes the breath away, to think about these things (or, in a few too many cases, these *people* - the Museum seems to have a penchant for skulls and bones) living so long ago.

Back out via the Tube to our hotel (and a quick plug for which found us a 4 star hotel at Heathrow for $90), where we enjoyed a fitful night of tossing and turning and feeling curiously awake at 3 AM, between crisp cool sheets, before heading off at 6 AM to catch the Chennai flight.

Nine hours of British Airways World Traveller Plus comfort later, we touched down in Chennai and were promptly treated to organization, Indian style, as we sat in the plane, stopped on the tarmac, for 35 minutes waiting for a gate to open up. Onward through immigration, half an hour of nervousness about whether our bags had actually made it (they were among the very last bags, of course) and into the sticky Indian night, under a full moon, where our driver Mr. Mani was patiently waiting with a sign and a smile, to drive through empty streets us to our friends Izumi, Britt and Kaia's apartment, where we let ourselves in and crashed at 4 AM.

And what an apartment! We could hear the ocean last night but did not realize till this morning that they have a 4th floor panorama of the beach and sea, the omnipresent sound of waves crashing, and a cool breeze. Truly a remarkable spot to wake up on our first morning, with a cup of Chai tea enjoyed overlooking the fishermen heading into the waves.

That's the report. Our India activities to date include changing money, a little fabric shopping, lunch on the rooftop of a luxury hotel overlooking the city, and a long mid-afternoon nap. It's bound to get more exciting from here, and we'll keep you posted!