AhmedaBAD (how to break up the trip from Northern India to Goa)
This is going to be a much shorter post as there’s not too much to say about this city (I didn’t even bother taking photos here :/). We just used it as a stopover to break up our journey to Goa.
We stayed 2 nights in crappy hotel Hotel Damjis that was nothing to rave about and much pricier than every other city we had visited. For 2 nights we paid just under 5,000R (everywhere else you could stay at least a week for that amount).
It was a fail on our part that we did not check hotel prices before settling on Ahmedabad. It’s not worth it going there to get ripped off so don’t m’luvs.
We had investigated TripAdvisor when looking at hotels for there and ALL of them had bad reviews but that one was the best of a bad bunch. It says it all when every hotel in a city has bad reviews! And even more so when you can find any results on our trusted Hostelworld site (we use that for all our bookings as it’s so good).
The room was nice enough, bathroom was good with a full bath/shower facility but bed was hard and the TV didn’t work. The issue for us was that we’d paid a lot for something which should have been a much higher standard and to top it all off the staff were extremely rude. On TripAdvisor everyone seemed to say the same thing too (see: TripAdvisor ).
We only picked Ahmedabad as there was no train route to Udaipur (we decided to travel purely by train and booked the trains in advance) and we were just looking for a way to break up the journey down south. However from what I’ve heard about sleeper buses, since meeting other travellers here, they don’t sound so bad actually. You get a cubicle and can fully lie-down, it’s just it may be a bumpy ride. So maybe the bus is a good call after all!
Buses strangely take exact the same amount of time as the trains do, if not sooner (we know, this makes no sense at all?!). As we’ve learnt, trains in India travel pretty slowly – the fastest journey we have managed is 5 1/2 hours. That’s Indian Stretchable Time again for ya! Haha! I think if we booked it all again I’m sure we’d do a mixture of both bus and train after learning that, so maybe look into that.
But Ahmedabad is a pretty upcoming city with a definite more Western feel to it. Lots of shops, malls and we even spotted a chain Lassi (yummy Indian yoghurt drink) / ice cream parlour shop – which seemed to be a novelty to everyone in town. It’s a big business hub too so, naturally, prices are more geared to businessmen than for tourists.
It is also a busy, smoggy and hot-as-hell city (close to the desert after all). We struggled to go out for long due to the heat so it’s a bit of a shame we wasted 2 nights there really. But it was good on the pocket to not be getting tuk-tuks and paying for attractions all the time – it just it was a bit boring.
However we found some good eateries (away from our hotel restaurant – no way were we giving them more money!). So we recommend Wel-come Refreshment (a kind of greasy-spoon cafe if you will) – very reasonable and the Parth Residency Hotel restaurant (both located on Ashram Road).
On our last day we had managed to negotiate a 2pm checkout (after much arguing) from Hotel Dingy, as I liked to call it. But we then had to kill 10 hours til our overnight train (eurgggh). Luckily Indian-Stretchable-Time really worked in our favour this day. We went to the cafe for lunch (they took their time serving us which we didn’t mind), to an Internet cafe for a good 5 hours to catch up with research and emails and then back to the Parth Residency Hotel restaurant for dinner (they let us just sit there with our bags for ages thank goodness).
If we hadn’t had our huge bags to lug around, we would have gone to see Ghandi’s Ashram in the city (it was free admission apparently) or to see some of those amazing step-wells. There is also a zoo, an aquarium, children’s park and gardens near Vastrapur lake. So there is stuff to see here but it’s a pricey place to stay for those things.
So learn from our mistake loves, bus it to Udaipur then Indore, if you want to break up that Goa journey. And I’ll speak to you next from the lovely paradise shores of Anjuna Beach (and so begins my career as a beach bum) 🙂
Love and masala mixes Em xoxo