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Traveling Solo in Varanasi, India

INDIA | Monday, 31 March 2014 | Views [424] | Comments [1]

Lonely Planet and Facebook Friends had raved about Brown Bread Bakery to have the 'best sandwiches in town'

First thing I wanted to do on arrival at this city after my 26 hour train journey, other than have a nap was to find this restaurant.

I wasted no time and began my way into the chaotic madness alone. I first stumbled across one of the many 'Burning Ghats' I saw a dead person lying on a bed made of wood, people all around and a woman singing and crying. It bought a year to my eye but I didn't leave. I wanted to experience it. After all I had heard about it. Varanasi is regarded as one of Hinduisms seven holy cities. Pilgrims come to the ghats to wash away sins or cremate their loved ones. It is not for the faint hearted. I think it is a magical way to go. My uncle Rupert had always told me he wanted to be cremated on a ship set free to sea :) I left because I started to feel a bit uncomfortable on my own with everyone staring at me and I had that odd person that asked me to follow him for a better view.

I carried on my search for Brown Bread Bakery. It wasn't long before I was asked if I wanted to buy any scarfs or silk and so instead of saying no, I decided to follow the man as I had wanted to find some harem pants for a customer order. You will be surprised at what you find when you venture into the markets. A couple of young boys attached themselves to me in my search for a Tailor to make the 'perfect harem pants' I was thirsty and just had in mind that I wanted to find Brown Bread Bakery. The boys kindly showed me the way. They tried to take me into the Brown Bread Bakery located on the other side of the road which isn't the one recommended in Lonely Planet but a Western tourist pointed me to 'the right one'

I made my way up to the rooftop. I ordered a Lemon Ice Tea and I didn't really fancy a sandwhich so I ordered the home made musli which was made by women from the Charity 'Learn for Life' I was enjoying the rest until I realised I had been waiting an hour for a bowl of Musli with milk! I stormed downstairs to pay for my Ice Tea and said I had been waiting an hour for a bowl of Musli. They had totally forgotten. They told me they could have it ready in 2 minutes, but my day had already been ruined and I left!!

While it is all well and good preparing your itinerary, you must not rely on the recommendations of others as the only things you must do and see in a place. Although one of the most disappointing feelings is when you leave a destination and meet a fellow traveler who asks ‘did you visit the....' and you have no clue what they are referring to.

This evening I went out in search for another restaurant. I had seen one called Zoe the night previously and decided I would like to go there. I tried to explain to a man with a Rickshaw and showed him a picture I had taken of the outside. He asked a fellow passer by and we were on our way. I noticed a Dominos Pizza and Mall in the distance, my eyes lit up and at the same time I realised he definitely did not know where he was going and I asked for him to drop me at the mall. I didn't want a pizza but I thought there might be other options, turns out I was wrong. My search for good food in this city was non existent.

I decided to walk back towards my guest house in the hope I would find somewhere to eat and I stumbled across very nice looking restaurant on the other side of the road. I crossed over and went in and the inside was just as quirky and just what I needed. The restaurant was called i:ba Cafe Restaurant in Shivala. Not long after taking a seat I was joined by a lovely family of 4 from America. I had been feeling a little lonely since I had arrived, having left friends I had spent the last 2 weeks with. So a table conversation was just perfect. I returned to my guest house feeling very lucky to have had people to share my day and travel stories with and likewise hear of theirs.

If you start to feel down about being alone, you must go and get lost somewhere and you will be surprised at what you find... You will find yourself :)

Peace and Love xx

Tags: brown bread bakery, butning ghats, india, varanasi



I think what you experience is a tendency in all tourist spots around the world. Prior to your trip, people will tell you that 'hey this place is beautiful, that place is gorgeous' and you'll just be swayed; only to be disappointed in the end. But I think it's all right. What matters is you experienced it and you can start giving others your opinion to balance the common belief. LOL

It's good that you got to meet a family to talk to. They're life savers! Hmm. This is honestly where it gets beneficial to travel in groups. During these moments, having co-travelers availing the same tour package sounds good.

  C&E Holidays Singapore Apr 29, 2014 12:21 PM

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