Sunday, February 12, 2012

Adam - Another week passes

Yet another of our deleted/missing posts...
Thanks to a suggestion from a fellow student at KPJAYI, Christoph, we've downloaded the blogger app, after a day or so messing around with layouts and the HTML text in our blog, we've managed to get pictures where we want them, edit previous posts without losing them and changed the layout and look of the blog!
So, here's the post for week 3 of our trip!


Our practice is always improving. The pains we had both been experiencing in our low backs have gone away and we've become stronger and more flexible. I've progressed past Marichyasana B to Marichyasana D!! Haha, it's not much, but I am getting closer every day and improving in all the other poses. Aaron is being stopped in supta kurmasana and also gets closer by the day. The both of us are hopeful that we'll be practicing the full series, perhaps moving into the second, by the time we are finished here. Moving past our injuries, we've started to do occasional light stretches and extra work on difficult poses. Also, trying to build our core and abdominal strength, we've started doing P90X's ab-ripper X video (an ab-focused workout video) a few times a week as well.

We've fully settled in to the area and begun a little exploration in our free time. The main strip in Gokulam district is called 1st main. It hosts a variety of cafes, fruit vendors, general stores, clothing stores etc. Almost every day we've come to the strip and checked out some new shops in search of clothes, souvenirs, supplies etc. The stores are amazingly disorganized, yet, if you ask the salesman for something he'll quickly dig through some things and bring you what you need.

We still have yet to really get out and explore all Mysore has to offer, but knowing we have 3 months, we're taking it slow and making sure we aren't doing all of the fun stuff there is to do in the first few weeks.

Trying to find some new restaurants, we decided to search for one that was recommended by a server at 6th main, another restaurant we'd recently tried.

In our search to find this other restaurant (I don't recall the name), we stumbled across Authana, another restaurant we'd seen advertisements for and wanted to check. Hungry and still unsure where the restaurant we were searching for was, we have up and headed into Authana.

Best decision we've made so far.

Authana is a large vegetarian restaurant with a beautiful interior. The main area is standard, filled with tables and chairs, however, the upper level has an open ceiling letting in the air and sunlight. In the center of the upper level, under the open ceiling, is a garden area with small bushes surrounding a small palm-bush centerpiece. The walls surrounding are made of lines of a type of bamboo, growing in rows along the outside of the room. For our first meal we ordered Aloo Gobi (aloo is potato, Gobi is cauliflower, served in a spicy cilantro and chili curry) and Mushroom Masala, with a bunch of naan and some pineapple lassis.

Below: The upper level of Authana

We've been several times now and the food is spectacular every time. This restaurant is by far the nicest we've seen and serves the best food we've tasted so far.Later in the week, we planned on going back to Authana for another meal.

After smashing my toes on a bad jump forward during morning practice, we decided to take a rickshaw to Authana, to save me the walk. Our driver didn't know where the restaurant was and wound up taking us on a bit of a journey through an area of Mysore we hadn't seen before. We drove along a street which had some high-end stores, as well as some buildings with interesting architecture.

Making sure to remember the location, we headed back the next day. Here, we got some photos of interesting buildings and I finally found a shop (Bata) which had a pair of sandals that I loved, so I picked them up for $30 or 1,500 rupees. After some exploring, we stopped in at one of the many stores selling Indian sweets and tried a few different snacks/candies. Along the strip we also spotted a pizza hut and domino's pizza, which we may allow ourselves to have on a weekend at some point.

Below: Domino's Pizza, Mysore! Check out all those delivery bikes!

It's been great to do a little exploring. The "newness" of the everything had begun to wear off and the reality of the length of our stay was setting in. The exploration has helped to freshen things up and add some excitement to our days.

There have been some bumps and bruises along the way, a few bad decisions, disappointments and unfortunate happenings here and there. Still, so far this trip is proving to be exactly what we had hoped for. It's been amazing to experience the culture and lifestyle of the area and has been a fantastic learning experience.

We've learned more about several new locations to check out, Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace, various gardens, the bird sanctuary, and a wildlife reserve with lots of elephants etc.

We plan on checking a few out in the coming week or so.

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