Journey to Varanasi

7 February 2007

Today has been a rather interesting and eventful day with plenty of laughter along the way. We made our way back to Delhi from Agra and we arrived at the airport to find that our plane had been slightly delayed and we would have to wait for our internal flight to Varanasi. However we were not discouraged as on our coach journey we were able to experience many of the cultural differences between England and India, such as we saw elephants and camels along the roadside moving with the other traffic. Guess you don’t see that down Oxford Street!

We arrived at Varanasi at 5.30 and were taken directly to the hotel where we were welcomed with garlands of flowers. Our hotel, Hotel Hindusthan International, again has a very pleasant and friendly atmosphere and we were made to feel extremely welcome. We are now off to dine in the hotel’s beautifully decorated restaurant.

Our Welcome to Varanasi


Kathy O'Brien

@ 4393 days ago

Siobhan you are looking lovely even without your straighteners. In fact you are all looking relaxed which is amazing for a group of people who have had to be up early for the last 3 days. Elephants and Camels – I bet they moved quicker than the traffic in Oxford Street, what a culture shock. If only the Taj Mahal builders were around today we could ask them to help out at Wembley Stadium!!!!
Enjoy your boat ride on the Ganges tomorrow, remember not to nip off the boat for a quick dip and don’t even think about trailing your hands in the water.
Bye for now, God Bless and lots of love, Mum XXXXX


@ 4393 days ago

loving them garlands, definatly suit the boys better.
it also seems that you erm,, have a tendancy to focus on FOOD.
haha hope its good.

if that picture is in the hotel – it looks stunning, and also you all look extremely happy and well. im sure even weldon is looking good behind the camera (thats an assumption.)

good to ‘hear’ from you again.
take care and have fun..

love BELL

Tom Hayes

@ 4392 days ago

Hey guys! I have finally managed to find out how this works!i kinda sent this exact same message earlier but it didnt work so im sorry if i am repeating myself but get over it!i missed all my drama buddies today….we have all actually been doing some work and i cant believe it!shows who the bad influences are hehe!

Shivvy i hope tht when you return we can continue the wedding plans for the wedding of the century!i miss the way you run around screaming!I saw Miss Walton last nite at the Cinderella she sent her love and she was all cool!

Shane we had english today and we read a sexual poem – you would have loved it!and we all spoke about ole john – good ole john!

Katherine i miss you and you are the Queen of my night!!!

Miss Devlin me, lizzie, niki and bekah miss having coffee with you – we hope you have coffee in India

Anyway have a good time!

Peace dudes
Love Tom

Maggie & Malc Stacey

@ 4392 days ago

Hi Grace You all look great, garlands are so flattering -cover all the odd bits!!!
You all look happy and warm ;tomorrow they forcast deep snow in the south of England.
Dad is out organising his new warehouse with Gary and James is spending an extra night in Oxford at a network meeting. Tom is in from work – he’s just done a Tesco run!!
School is very busy, we’ve been having focus days so I’ve been teaching the last few – its been quite manic trying to teach, organise the builders etc.
Still half term next week – our turn to relax although I don’t think we’ll be getting your weather or the chance to see such fabulous sights. Keep the photographs coming.

love to you all
Mum & Dad xxx

sophie bainton

@ 4392 days ago

ooooooooo i love the garlands – am thinking new trend at joa? miss devlin am sure you could persuade mr sweeney!
all sounds very exciting!
love from soph xxx

xXx FrAnCesCa xXx

@ 4392 days ago

WOW. your hotel looks amazing! (i’m taking it thats where the picture was taken!)
Only one pic on this page, i’m feeling deprived! Garlands are fabulous and before you ask me Siobhan, YOU LOOK FINE!!! hehe pj.
Great to hear you are all well and enjoying yourselves!
Elephants and camels on the roadside – i can’t even imagine! The most eventful thing that happened on our roads today was two buses getting stuck in Ruislip Manor because it’s so tight! haha
Hopefully no school 2moro because of the SNOW.yes snow, apparantly 4-6inches of it we’ll be waking up to! woohooooo. :D
You are all looking great and i’ll be logging on as soon as i can to see 2moro’s entry!
Katherine – i’m off to finish my Gertrude essay for Miss Quidda for 2moro, woop woop lol bet you’re missing Hamlet with a passion :P
take care, be safe, Loadza Love xXx xXx xXx MiSS YoU xXx xXx xXx xXx xXx

Hilary & Luca

@ 4392 days ago

I really am enjoying reading all about your adventures in India, it all sounds absolutely fabulous!!
The hotel in Varanasi looks “Five Star”, are you sure its yours and not the one across the road you just nipped into, to have your picture taken?!!
Siobhan, Luca wants to say to you that he has not been well and he wants to know how you are getting on with the food?
How fascinating to see elephants and camels walking with the traffic, maybe we should suggest this to Ken Livingstone?!
Well folks, continue to have a great time and we look forward to hearing about your trip on the Ganges.
Take care, Hilary and Luca. xx


@ 4392 days ago

Wow elephants!!! Do you think that with all the space that has been freed up in you suitcases now that you may be able to bring one home?? We could keep him/her in the common room?? What do you think? :P
ok, so you may not be able to bring an elephant home, but do you have any pictures?
flowers are very pretty, even on the guys :p make sure you bring them home!!!
x x x x x x x x x x

Kathy O'Brien

@ 4392 days ago

Do I need to buy a hat? Am I the mother of the bride? Do I have to worry or is this some other wedding? If it is no problem go ahead, if it’s not aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
PS – Is Neal’s head OK, or was it the elephant’s head?

Eugene O'Brien

@ 4392 days ago

Hi Siobhan,

All sounds and looks well so far. Sorry for not sending a message earlier, could not get a word in with your mum!! LOL
Don’t get the hump with the camels, and elephants are useful for trunk calls.The jokes don’t get any better, not even at this hour of the night!
I guess this will be a real experience for you and it sounds like you are enjoying it. How’s the food so far, no real probs I hope?
No snow yet, but as you have heard, we will hopefully have loads in the morning.
England lost 1-0 to Spain in the footy tonight… change there then, but Ireland beat San Marino 2-1 in a Euro Qualifier…....yes mighty San Marino who have apparently lost their last 47 games!!
Enjoy your day tomorrow,and take care of yourselves. Missing you loads love and kisses…....Dad xxxxxxx :-)
PS What wedding! Do I have to get some cartridges for my shotgun? :-/

Gabrielle,Michael,Karen and Jon

@ 4392 days ago

Hi Mike, forget to tell you that Ireland beat Wales in Cardiff on Sunday, we were awesome. We scored 3 tries and conceded none. We had a few injury scares but nothing too bad. BOD had a hamstring injury, Hickey had to have 6 stitches in his forehead but he came back out to play, could you imagine that happening in Soccer? We play in Croke Park for the first time next weekend against France and then the following weekend against England. England recalled Wilkinson, Robinson and Vickery for their match against Scotland and they played very well but still conceded tries.Hopefully this is Grand Slam Year for us.

Bye for now.


Kathy O'Brien

@ 4392 days ago

Hi Siobhan and all the gang. 8.30am here and 2.00pm with you so you have had your boat ride on the Ganges – hopefully without any mishaps, I’ll look forward to reading all about it later and looking at the wonderful photos. Well we definitely have snow. Four inches and it is still coming down thick and fast. As you can imagine, this is England so the country has ground to a halt – must be the wrong kind of snow. Trains are running and people are trying to get into work either by road or tube. I managed to get into work so no afternoon film for me today. Left home at 7.30 and got into work at 8.15 so not bad really – just a normal day on the A40. Ciaran got off at St. Gregs to walk and today he finally put a coat on. 15 minutes later when I reached the lights at Sainsbury’s he still hadn’t got to the train. Was there a problem? No he, Ryan, Rory and David were having a snowball fight. Another late day into school – they were having fun so hopefully he won’t get yet another Saturday detention!!!! On the way saw a little one (probably only about 2 or 3) playing in the snow with his Mum. He was having a whale of a time. Catch up soon, love you lots, Mum XXXxxxXXX


@ 4392 days ago

WOOOO SNOW!!! Bet you lot cant say that :p and do you know what?? amazing school closed for once :p Chris i think that you are right, they like to close the school down when they know that you are not going to be there :p doesn’t look as though it is going to be getting any better either, which is great for us cos it means that we will have an extra long half term. Also pretty good for you guys as well as it means that there is less work for oyu all to catch up on! I expect later you will be telling us that you have had the highest temperatures yet, but oh well!
Anyways must get back to launching snowballs at my sisters….
laters :p
x x x x x x x x x x x x

H Davison& K Joyce

@ 4392 days ago

School is not closed for all of us. Here we are busy working on 6th form reports. You seem to be having a wonderful time – Kathleen still wishing she was with you. However she’s enjoying snowballing instead. Interesting to read your journal (better than reading reports) but delighted you are enjoying yourselves.
We did the panto on tuesday – it was hilarious -all the children enjoying SLT making fools of themselves. So next time Trish you can’t get out of it -Kathleen can go to Udayan instead.
Latest technology meant all kids got to hear school was closed. k really disappointed as no one will play snowballs with her.

Hope you continue to enjoy your trip and stay healthy.

Helen and Kathleen

David, Tracy, Mam, Dad, Karen and Jon - ***Phew!***

@ 4392 days ago

Hey ho all of you!

It’s been snowing here in the UK and just to prove it I’ve uploaded a small webpage for you guys. Take a look at the following link.

See you soon


Emily O'Neill

@ 4392 days ago

Missing you still but it really looks like you’re having a fantastic time!!
Snow here is immense, I haven’t seen so much since I was about 4 but I haven’t actually been out in it yet as I took the school closure as an opportunity for a lie in :) Harriet is going to kill me though if I don’t get in gear and take her outside so I’d best dash off.
Throws virtual snowballs at you all
Lots of love

Mr Sweeney

@ 4392 days ago

We are glad to see and hear that you are all getting on well. As I read about elephants on the side of the road I can look outside of our windows and see snow…. yes snow and plenty of it as well. So much that the school has been closed for today.
I wish you all the best for the next part of your journey.
May god hold you in the palm of his hand as he guides you on your way to be of service to others.

Peter Sweeney

Frqncie and JJ O Shea

@ 4392 days ago

just looked at the pictures of the snow in Watford. Glad we are in sunny Morocco. Looking forward to your diary on the Ganges.
Stay well and happy
love to Neal XX, Mikey x and everybody x


@ 4392 days ago

Catherine,be careful when buying gifts as you can really be overcharged. Shopping at the airport quite good.
Love you Aunty Mary xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tricia, Mickey, Rory, Rosie

@ 4391 days ago

Hey Shane!! =]]

Hope you’re ok, and the trip is going well.
It snowed today, right up to my[Rosie] ankles.
School was shut =]] But i think its open tomorow
Been checking the website most days, to see the diary entries and pictures.
How is the curry over there? As good as Grandma’s? And the beer…
Hope to speak soon
And continue to have a lovely time!!

Lots of Love

Tricia, Mickey, Rory and Rosie