It was decided the only way for us to get to Amritsar, our last stop on this trip, was to fly, so early Friday morning we were back at the airport for the one hour flight. We couldn't all get on the same flight so some went early and the rest of us took the next flight, which was delayed an hour or so. A bus met us at the airport to ferry us around for the day.
Our first visit was to the Golden Temple, the most important place for Sikhs. What an amazing sight, the gold plated temple set on a lake. And so many people - many of them here for the free meals provided, which are served 24 hours a day. We visited the kitchens and saw the huge machine making chapattis and great tubs where they cook rice, dahl and other curries - we are going to come back here tonight to try the food!
Then it was off to the Indian/Pakistan border at Wagah to see the border closing ceremony which happens every night. What an amazing sight - thousands of Indians packing the grandstands on the Indian side (not so many on the Pakistan side), dancing in the street and being stirred up in a noisy display of patriotism. The ceremony consisted of both sides marching to the border and shaking their fists at the other side amid lots of cheering and chanting from both sides. All in good fun of course. At the end of the ceremony the flags of each side were lowered, and this was our cue to get out before the mad rush.
Then it was back to the temple for dinner, only a few of us braving the crowds to sample the food - and we are still alive to tell the tale! More rice, dahl and veg curry, but very tasty.
Back in our bus to find our hotel - and the driver dropped us at the wrong one! By the time we realized this he was long gone and we were left to walk to the right one in the dark. All's well that ends well, and a cold beer was waiting for me so all is right with the world!
I wonder if this is the end of our adventures - we still have a train trip back to Delhi tomorrow so plenty of time for more little Indian quirks on the way!