Woke early as in previous blog to write a formal complaint email and to bring blog up to date.
It is 18:40 now and as we sit on our balcony overlooking the pool and a darkening sky, we see hundreds of fruit bats heading towards their nightly feast. It is such a strange sight in this urban city. We sit here exhausted not from the walking but the constant bombardment of noise, lots of noise, colours, sights and smells, lots of smells, some not so good. We could spend hours on the corner of the old market place and see the people in action. Some just coming from the mosques, others from Hindu Temples, others just begging, others just trying to sell the goods. Some of which will never be given away but still they try. Every traffic light junction has its sellers plying goods from pencils, house cleaners, food, balloons, some just begging with children carrying even smaller babies in their arms. It is difficult to constantly say no when really we could change their day/week/month. But if we gave anything they would be in danger from others who would beat their living day lights out, literally.
So we start the day late, as our guide Mr Mahindra Jeep was awaiting for us in the lobby, not knowing who we were and we were waiting outside to see our driver Mr Singh, who was waiting outside to be called in by Mr Jeep. So you can see the picture, finally at 09:30 Colin called Mr Singh and finally we were on our way. Firstly we headed to a large Muslim Tower called Qutb Minar and learned of the history of the site from the First King of India and a Hindu temple to Vishnu, through Mogul occupation, then Alfganistan conversion to a Mosque, then to Btitish rule and finally independence. The changing styles and operations all clearly captured in its architecture. It was a cross between, the Chicken Nitza, Akron Watt, Machu Picchu, and a Mosque and even some Roman looking architecture. Despite it being a Sunday the place was filled with thousands of school children and street kids. It was difficult to tell the difference as everyone had a smart phone. Perhaps it was a lack of shoes. They wanted to say hello and high five. Strangely some of the other older children wanted photographs with Alison and I and even stranger, some wanted their photograph with me and these were early twenty somethings.
Following our intense lessons which Alison seemed to have most of the attention of Mr Jeep we headed out to Minneret driving pass India gate, Royal Palace the old Colonial buildings and visited a temple pre dating the Taj Mahal albeit on a smaller scale and coloured with red sandstone and white marble. And unlike the Taj which was built by man for his wife, this was built by the wife for the first king of India. It was a sirene place.
Next on our list had to be deferred because the battery on my camera had gone flat, so after getting back to the hotel it was time for lunch in a restaurant named Lasse Faire. Interesting outside there was a snake charmer blowing his horn, fortunately it was just a little distance away for photographs to be had. After another Indian speciality meal we left for the Hindu Temple, inaugurated by Mahat Maghandi himself in the 1939. Again inside the spectacular ornate god statutes were being prayed to by the devotees. The temple was covered in the swastika symbols which mean power, these were later adopted by the Nazis believing this too would bring them power.
After a drive through the madness that was old Delhi, only getting out the safety of our vehicle to walk up to the front of the main Mosque, unable to enter as they were at prayer, we headed back for a nice cup of tea.
Now signing off for the night as we ready ourselves for Agra and the Taj Mahal tomorrow.