Rishikesh, India: first impressions

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Rishikesh, India

Arriving in India as a solo female traveller can be daunting – I was definitely nervous at first, but after a 20 hour trip you are just sort of… numb. I booked a nice hotel in the hills to sleep off the flight and have some peace and quiet before going into the madness of the city. Which totally would have been a good idea, if this hotel wasn’t situated about an hour outside of Rishikesh (no problem sofar), only to be travelled to on a dirt road. Arghh! So from Dehradun airport there was another hour of bumping and grinding to be suffered. Oh, and the cliffs, going about 100m down to the Ganges… All numbness now gone, I could only repeat this mantra in my head: “I don’t want to die I don’t want to die I don’t want to die…”. India is not famous for its safe and orderly driving and there are no seatbelts…

Rishikesh hills Ganges
Dirt road + cliff = one scared Irina

Sattva retreat Rishikesh
Arrived safely at the Sattva retreat for my first night in India

Then onwards to Rishikesh where I will stay a few weeks. My first impressions of the city after a quick walk at sunset: not too big a city. Many rafting boats on top of cars. Many monkeys. Even more cows. The cutest children in school uniforms. Beautiful shops. Organic shops that sell Cadbury’s and Rittersport chocolate and Lavazza coffee…

Rishikesh shops
Narrow streets and beautiful shops selling jewellery

Indian shoe shop

Indian clothes shop
Clothes, saris, quilts…

Rishiskesh Laxman Jhula bridge
Laxman Jhula bridge at night

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