Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pondicherry - part 1, about town

Seems a while since we had our Easter break in Pondy and indeed it is! We took both car and driver as we wanted to stay in one base hotel and do some day trips from there. The drive to Pondy is about 7 hours which as we left early in the morn got us there early afternoon. There are two routes from Bangers to Pondy the shorter very bumpy route and the longer smoother route. We took the longer route - which having spoken to other Bangers folks was the better option as we arrived in good shape just about! After driving round Bangers for so long Purander got a little excited seeing open road and had to almost have his foot removed from the accelerator!

We stayed in the Hotel Atithi. From a efficiency point of view this provided exactly what we wanted. There are lovely beach resorts but these are out of town and then we wouldn't have been able to walk into town and also really quaint little guest houses in the French Quarter but they don't have a pool which we wanted so we could laze in the hot afternoons after a morning of sight seeing. The Atithi met our needs well along with an excellent breakfast buffet. Again a point of interest in our household. Wills direct to the fresh made dosa station having already collected his veda and sambar, Ads searching for eggs and sausage, Simon a mixture but always finding something sweet and me to the croissants and fruit.

Pondy took a while to grow on me. I was expecting more French influence both in terms of quantity and quality. The French quarter is pretty small, but is quaint and there is definitely a little left over French air. Goa, I think, maybe feels more European in places but that I guess can be attributed not only to the historic Portuguese legacy but also to the number Europeans inhabiting and visiting the state.

Pondi is right on the beach and there is a long prom, ideal for people watching. This is one of my favorite pics from our trip.

During the day the prom is pretty quiet but there is always a welcome breeze. At night the street is pedestrianized and the food vendors and other street sellers are out in force. 

Funny to see the street signs in French and Hindi - see road name on left, as compared with the Parisien street sign, on the right - same colors tho! 

The French area does have wide tree line boulevards - very similar to areas of Paris:

And we did see someone sitting sketching tho it wasn't quite Montmartre!

And some of the buildings had a distinctly French influence both in color and style. Though the statue in the foreground is an Indian politician.

The boys did find crepes complete with "beaucoup de chocolat"

On Easter Sunday we were in temples, ashrams but also found a church! The whole trip had a bit of a follow the fedora going on - except in the pool I don't think I have a picture of one or other of the kids without one!

It was so hot at times for Wills his fedora wasn't enough, he ended up with scarf as well!

In the hot afternoons we retreated to the roof top pool - even I took to the waters and it has to be very hot for me to do that! Being roof top there's that strange sandwich of water (pool) buildings and the water (sea). 

The hotel had a really good rooftop grill - amazing chicken and lamb. But also a chance to try out some night time photos with my tripod - this is my best Pondi by night shot:

We found a couple of really yummy restaurants to eat in the french area - with great food and wonderful ambience:

Pondy did grow on me the week we were there. It is a case of been there, done won't be on repeat list of places to revisit but definitely worth a visit. 

No comments:

Post a Comment