---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Inna Bakker <innabakker@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Subject: Fwd: # 8 Srinagar - capital of Kashmir

My dear family and friends,
From Kabul we flew to Delhi, stayed overnight, then flew to Srinagar, capital of Kashmir, please look at my map,

It is the most Northern State of India, beautiful mountains, valleys, flowers, lush greenery, lakes, formal gardens, favorite vocation place for Indians,

a lot of bloody history between India, Pakistan and Kashmir, now it is quiet. but everywhere are soldiers of Indian Army, because of close borders with Pakistan, China and Afghanistan,

To get out of airport and get to our gate to depart took us 10 security checks--few times luggage x rays, few times body searching, few times carry-on scanning, it was endless but we are all okay because of this.

Srinagar is a capital in summer for 6 month and Jammu is a capital in winter and all government employees move every 6 month to work in different capitals because of the climate.

We stayed on the boat houses made as a hotel with the staff and cook on the lake Dal,

Very peaceful, all small boats--shakaras sell everything, children go to school by boats, market on the boats, the city like all Indian cities extremely noisy because all drivers honk the horn all the time, motorcycles make terrible sounds, people are screaming. Now New York City seems to me like a quiet town.

We walked in an old formal gardens where locals have  their rest, as always a lot of people come and ask to have photos together, they do not see a lot of blond people much,

 we took a 47 km drive to the mountains to see a ski resort Gulmarg there is also golf course on the highest altitude in the world 2,653 metres,

Kashmir is a Muslim state, we saw a lot of mosques but different architecture,18 million people, 80% Sunni, 20% Shia, no Christians, no Jews,

no alcohol, no dancing, no bars, no disco, most women on the streets are in traditional outfits,
food is spicy for me, i eat only rice, good place to loose weight.

Kashmir is very colorful and interesting,

we have only 2 countries left to visit--Bhutan and Nepal, both Buddhist,

my love and thanks to all who repled to me,

Internet is slow and we have very intense itinerary, after dinner everybody resting but i do my "labor of love" share what i see and learn with my family and friends.


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