Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Brennan goes to Hyderabad, India

Brennan had another opportunity to travel for work and now gets the chance to blog about it! The kids and I survived well at home. The highlight being Declan getting his knee stuck between the slats of his crib during nap time. I could not get it out. He was screaming, Tatum was crying and I was panicking. But...I finally got it! No worries. Without further ado, here's Brennan. :)

Oh Hyderabad.... The land of traffic, rocks, security checkpoints, heat, wonderful people, and amazing food. Seriously though, that last sentence pretty much sums up everything about Hyderabad. I had an eye-opening experience seeing another part of the world. Let's kick it off with a few pictures:

Yep, you are seeing this correctly. That is a family of 4 on a motorcycle. No helmets. Believe it or not, I also saw a family of 6 on a motorcycle of the same size. I wasn't quick enough with my camera to snag a photo. Traffic was insane! I have never ever heard so much honking in my entire life. While we were driving around, I started looking at the cars and began noticing quite a few dents and scratches. I seriously had to look at about 20 cars before I saw a car without one! They weave and squeeze until they get their vehicles in the spot they want to be in. 

I had to take a picture of this taxi. Seems super legit.... right? Taxi for sure. 

The majority of taxis looked like this little three-wheeler here. I also had to take a picture of some of the rocks laying around. They were everywhere. The city of Hyderabad is build on a rocky plateau, so it must be a construction nightmare! 

Security checkpoints... everywhere. True story- On my way from the hotel to the office, the driver had to go through a checkpoint before dropping me off, I had to walk into an office and check into the gated office building area where the office is, then I had to go through a metal detector and bag search to get in the building, then I had to check in at the security desk at Rockwell Collins to get into the office itself. That is 4 checkpoints for one office my friends.... 4. On the way back to the hotel, the driver is stopped at a gate at the hotel where some guards open the trunk and inspect the vehicle. I then go through another metal detector while my backpack went through a scanner. By the end of the day, just in one round trip I have to go through security 6 times. A little excessive?

On Thursday, Ranjith (a co-worker) took me around to some of the highlights of Hyderabad. We stopped by an amazing area called Golkonda Fort. The Fort was built nearly 500 years ago and is located about 11 miles outside of Hyderabad. There are ruins that are pretty fun to go inside and see, so Ranjith showed me around. 

Ranjith and I posing in front of some of the ruins. One of the neatest things there was a sort of clapping chamber. The acoustics were set up so perfectly that if you stand in the middle of this open-walled room and clapped, someone could hear the clap from nearly 500 yards away up the hillside. It was a type of notification system to let people know they had visitors. 

Apparently, this weight was used by soldiers trying to get in the military. If a soldier could lift the 200 Kg weight, they were allowed to join. Obviously, I would have been a shoe-in. 

One of the buildings inside the fort.

A panoramic picture of the fort from the courtyard.

One of the historical gates to the city on one of the roads in Hyderabad. 

Ranjith and I stopped in at a museum to see some of the Hyderabad artwork.

Our final stop was a marble temple. I was about to run up some steps to take pictures at the top, but a a guard grunted at me. Then I noticed a sign saying that shoes had to be removed to go up the steps. I am glad I heard him or I might have had a security guard chasing me up the stairs of the marble temple. 

This is a picture of Hyderabad from the marble temple hilltop.

"Pregnant elephants." These carved animals are made from one piece of wood and have a baby elephant carved inside.

 A soapstone variation.

Last, but not least.... the food. Amazing!

Biryani is an Indian rice dish that I have grown to love. I had it 3 times while I was there.

Indian Naan. The bread is delicious dipped in different types of curry.

Honey, ginger, and lime smoothie. Some of my favorite flavors and it did not disappoint!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to see this amazing country. The people were so humble and welcoming. Ranjith was so nice to take his time showing me around the city. The food was fantastic. I hope I get the opportunity to travel there again. 

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