|We arrived in Calcutta extremely tired and made quick work of finding a guesthouse. We spent the next couple hours hitting the bookstores looking for a guide book and, with that task accomplished, we went back to our room for a much needed afternoon siesta. We were still tired after the nap so we made it an early night.
We walked a few kilometers through the city (which has an incredibly cool vibe) to the Mother Theresa House. In this case, words are inadequate when trying to describe what it feels like to wander around the convent where Mother lived and pay homage to her tomb. Simply, "awesome".
We then walked over to the Birla Planetarium and caught a show (in English) which was entertaining but perhaps created with a juvenile audience in mind. We spent the next hour in St Pauls Cathedral, which was a solemn, somewhat ghoulish, experience. The nave walls were en-scripted with plaques of epitaphs to the "dearly departed", each explaining in detail how the deceased met with their demise.
By this time, it began to rain steadily and we thought we might have to pay a taxi to take us around; I was distressed at the idea but Matt insisted. Naturally, because we actually wanted a taxi, there were none to be had (because no one else wanted to walk either). Eventually, the rain passed, and we walked several more kilometers past the park, around the Fort and on to the city Ghats (steps leading down to the riverfront). In general, we really enjoy the Ghats but these were a little unsettling, being inhabited by some pretty unsavory characters. It was getting late so we opted for the less scenic tour over to the train station to by tickets to Varanasi.
Forget about getting a fair price for a taxi at night but, try we must, as we were miles from the comfort of our room. Matt eventually got us one for a decent price by telling the taxi driver that the absurd price he was asking for was an "insult" (I was trying so hard not to laugh and blow the whole deal). We got back to our room, had a good meal and packed our bags.
We leave for Varanasi at 7am.