This trip to India, was not like any other trip I have ever done for two reasons. One, I was not with Chris, and two, it was for work.
To get to Pune, I flew Cairns to Brisbane, Brisbane to Singapore, Singapore to Mumbai, then a 3 hour drive from Mumbai to Pune. Most of the flights was with Singapore Airlines which was pretty comfy and I love airplane food! I love the little compartments and little drink cups. I also really like Singapore Airport. It’s the prettiest and most fun airport I’ve been in, but this time my stop over was only 1 hr. I think from door to door my trip was about 25 hours … needless to say … it was a long trip.
Pune is 560m above sea level so it’s not as humid Mumbai, it’s actually surprisingly green, even thought it was dusty and 36 degrees outside. And I’ve been told that it’s super green after the rainy season. Pune is one of the major cities of India that is set up for foreign owned companies and has a special economic zone. However this has not made them think that they should improve their infrastructure. The drive to work in the morning was probably only a couple of kms but it would take 30-45 minutes due to the bad roads and traffic congestion.
I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard then later at the Marriott JW, both which were super nice and fancy places. The staff were very nice, the food was amazing, my bed was huge and the bathroom was big enough to have a party in! The Marriott JW had a really nice open rooftop bar and a Western style nightclub in the basement.
This trip was pretty much all work and not much play. But I did have a few great outings with my workmates.
One trip was to Shaniwar Wada, which literally translated means Saturday House, as it was the king of the Maratha empire’s weekend palace. It is a residential fort that was built 1732. The gates are impressive, huge, steal structures covered in spikes to keep the elephants out. It was mostly destroyed in a fire, but you can see where the rooms would have been and the water fountains and gardens etc. There is a secret door, with the King would sneak in his mistress.
There is a huge shopping mall in Pune, with levels and levels of international stores….I could have spent LOTS of time and money there! There are also cute street markets selling trinkets, jewellery, toys and clothes. Kingfisher beer is on on tap everywhere and the bars we went to were all pretty cool.