I travelled to Abu Dhabi and India on business from May 24th through June 9th, 2001. Here are some pictures I took in Pune, India. The pictures of Abu Dhabi can be found at Abu Dhabi Pictures.
On the flight to Pune, I had a lay-over in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). Here are two pictures of the lobby of the airport lounge.
Lobby looking toward entrance
Lobby looking into lounge
When I first got to Pune, the other two people on the business trip were still there. We all went downtown, because they wanted to get some shopping in before they left the next day. Here is a picture of downtown Pune.
I stayed at the Le Meridien in Pune, which was fairly nice. Here are two pictures of my room.
Facing the bed
Facing the bathroom
The view wasn't quite as nice as the one I had in Abu Dhabi. Here are three shots of Pune from my room.
Looking out the window to my left
Looking out the window to straight ahead
Looking out the window to my right
Here are six various shots of parts of the hotel.
Elephant on the rooftop
Seventh floor looking down
Seventh floor looking up
By restaurant looking toward lobby
Lobby looking toward bar
Lobby looking toward main entrance
On the floors with rooms, there were some balcony areas where you could look up to the roof and down to the main floor of the hotel. At one of these areas, there were some tapestries on the wall, which looked quite nice. Here are three shots of those tapestries.
DishNet is part of Sterling InfoTech, a very large company. They are one of the few companies in India developing Internet infrastructure. Here are two pictures of the building I worked in.
Front of building
Traffic in Pune is wild. To start with, they drive on the left side of the road. Most traffic seems to be motorcycles, scooters, and auto-rickshaws -- Pune's answer to taxis. Here are two pictures of these auto-rickshaws.
Lines on the road are considered suggestions, not rules -- including the center line. Tailgating is an art form. Other than the steering wheel, the most used part of the car seems to be the horn. Right-of-way is determined by the size of your vehicle -- or, as I say, might makes right-of-way. They don't even seem to use their windshield wipers in the rain. If road rage ever makes it over here, half the people will be dead, and the other half will be in jail. Here are some pictures of traffic in Pune (although only a video camera can do it justice).
Head on toward a truck
Just a normal day
Behind a rickshaw
Better get out of the way!
A look back
It seems like you're always behind a rickshaw
What a mess!
Here are some pictures of the streets in Pune.
This one bridge crossed a river that was almost dry. It rained one night, though, and there was a real river the next day Here is a picture of that bridge and river.
Bridge over river
On the Sunday I was here, some people at the company took me out to see the sights. We were heading to see Sihagad -- a fort/hideout up in the mountains outside of Pune. As we were driving up there, we ran into a wedding going on. They set off some loud explosives, too, which startled me the first time I heard one. Here are three pictures of the wedding procession.
As we continued to our destination, we stopped to get something to drink. I got a chance to take a picture of a farm with some water buffalo. Here are two photos of them.
As we drove to the fort in the mountains, we climbed higher and higher on a road that was not very good. Imagine driving to Mount Hamilton or up in the Santa Cruz Mountains on a road with bad pavement. Here are five photos taken from the car as we drove up the mountains.
The mountains from the car
Passing some cyclists
A protective wall because of a previous accident?
Looking down again
A distant lake
We finally got to our destination -- the Sihagad fort/hideout used by a king to hide in. It was started in the 1350s. Because parking is so limited, we actually had to park and hike up the roads, to get to the entrance to the fort. We then had to hike up some stone "steps" to get to the fort itself, but the views were worth it. Here are eight photos taken of this fort.
From the road leading to the fort
Arch at the entrance
The royal bath (or so I was told)
Pretty big for a bathtub
Path to the fort
Someone also lives up on this mountain and runs a small restaurant. It seems like anywhere you go here, someone is trying to sell something (kind of like the U.S.). I saw a rabbit there, and it was very tame. I'm guessing it belongs to the people who own the restaurant, but it could be wild. I thought Alyssa would find it cute, especially as it looks like our rabbit, Snowflake, so I took a couple of pictures of it.
Looking for food
Looking at me?
Being up in the mountains provided some good views, including one of Pune off in the distance. Here are four of those views.
Pune off in the distance
The road below
A distant lake
Although this fort is very isolated, it is also very high up, which led AT&T to put some towers up there. The past and present are mingled together. Here is a photo of the towers.
Towers on the mountain
As we were leaving the fort, there was a bit of a fender bender. A white car either rear-ended a van, or, more likely, the van rolled back into the car. This lead to the altercation seen in the following picture.
Discussing the accident
After they stopped fighting and started moving their cars so people could get by, we proceeded on our way -- for a bit. Then a jeep-like vehicle ahead of us had a problem with some other car. A balding man in a white shirt jumped out of the other car and another altercation ensued. Here are two pictures of that.
The angry driver
More interested parties
As we drove back to Pune, we passed a beach that I had seen on the way to Sihagad. It seemed quite popular, and even had someone riding a camel on it. The beach was on a lake with a dam at one end. Here are seven photos of the beach, the lake, the crowd, and the dam.
The road and the beach
Vendor, crowd, and lake
Vendor, lake, and dam
Vendor, crowd, and lake
Vendors and lake
Riding a pony
Continuing back to Pune, we stopped for a bit. We had just passed some herding some water buffalo on the road, so I took the opportunity to get out and take pictures. Here are three photos of the herd (the glowing eyes are because I had to brighten the picture up).
The herd approaches
Dig the red horns
Later that night, we went to anoter fort in Pune, Shaniwarwada. They had an sound and light show about the history of Pune. Here are three pictures of the fort (the photos are bad because it was night, and I had to enhance them a lot to see anything).
Above the entrance
I flew from Pune to Delhi on my way home. The next leg was from Delhi to Hong Kong, where I got to ride on a 747's uppper deck. Before the flight took off, I saw the cockpit door open, so I thought I'd ask if I could take a picture. The pilots actually invited me in to take the picture, then got a flight attendant to take my picture there. (You probably won't get to do this much after 9/11.) Here are those two photos.
The 747 cockpit
Sitting with the crew