We are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy
Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
26Trip End Nov 28, 2011
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It was like going back a hundred years! The streets were unbelievably crowded now they had narrowed considerably. We limped up to Jama Masjid, a mosque built in 1656 by Emperor Shad Jahan (who also built the Taj Mahal). It is reportedly the largest and most spectacular mosque in all India. We left the mosque and walked through Chandini Chowk, a major market area in Old Delhi, well we clearly were no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.
Walked through narrow lanes dodging (literally) motor bikes, bikes carrying amazing amounts of materials, enjoying (sometimes) the odours of the street food, looking at the amazing amount of goods offered for sale
From there we went to see the site that Gandhi was cremated but it had been closed down so that they could secure the site for some one, apparently more important than us, could visit the next day.
A quick note about security, if you are adverse to strangers touching you at nearly every place you visit, then India is not for you. The TSA in the US picked up their techniques here.
We headed off to the airport for our flight to Amritsar. Outside of the airport we had a bit of a hassle when the security officer and I had a major communication mix up but it finally all worked out and we were off to the Holy City of Amritsar. We were met at the airport and whisked off to our hotel, Ista, a modern and new hotel. The Hotel Ista is a beautiful hotel but no time to rest, we freshen up, and met the guide so we could visit the Golden Temple at night.
Wow, the Golden Temple is beautiful and it was brilliant to see it at night, less crowds (although the place never closes). Live music is broadcast throughout the temple. We went inside the temple to see the place that the holy book resides when priests read passages from it. Of course we had to wear head covering which you can see in the photos. After our visit we went back to the hotel.
We decided to explore the shopping mall, western in style, and decided to eat in the food fair. We both had thais for an incredible cheap price. Lots of food, good flavour, an example of what fast food could be if merchants made an effort.