The Golden Temple

Trip Start Aug 21, 2002
Trip End Sep 10, 2003

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, September 19, 2002

I got a place to stay near the train station and headed to the Golden Temple where I bumped into the Austrians right away. It wasn't too hard since the couple of tall pretty Austrian girls usually attracted a crowd so large that police would be called. They were taking a taxi to the Waghar border - India's main border with Pakistan - to watch the border closing shenanigans at dusk. I joined them to watch the guards in their dress colors frogmarching around to the cheers of the crowds on both sides of the border in the specially constructed stands (the frog marching was no joke - I saw both Pakistani and Indian Soldiers get their feet above the height of their heads). It seemed a little provocative, but I guess it is good for tourism. A German came with us - he had travelled by land from Germany through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan - which sounded like a great trip. I thought that was brave, but heard of a trip to top it the next morning.
The girls were staying at the Golden temple - free for up the three nights for anyone, and I decided to do that the next night since it would be convenient to see the amazing temple at dawn and dusk.
The Austrians left to go back to McCleod and I met up with girls from London and Switzerland and we hung out around the temple, getting free food one time from the Sikhs who run the temple - very hospitable. They serve food to 50000 people a day there I think.
Met a couple of East Germans from Bonn who took a similar route from Turkey to India, but they went to Kabul to get their Pakistan Visas as they were in Qatar and couldn't get them there... Didn't sound like a good experience that they had, apparently too many children with guns on the bus looking for funds, but they survived.
2 nights in Amritzar and then the direct train to Varenasi.
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