Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
135Trip End Ongoing
We arrived in hot Multan and all the locals told us that our hotel was ages away so we agreed a price with a rickshaw man and typically he drove about 2 minutes round the corner. It was full so we went to another, which as just around the next corner. Hardly the 20 minutes the locals had been telling us. We both knew the rickshaw man would want more money but I handed him his 20 rupees and picked up my bags. He started shouting, 30! 30! So I told him the ride wasn't even worth 20 and that he wasn't getting anymore. I asked him if he wanted the 20 rupees and he said no, so I took it back from him. He got upset so I told him that was all he would get and left him outside knowing damn well he would follow me in. He had another go but David took the money away from him and said, 'O.k. nothing'. It eventually dawned on him that he wouldn't be getting anymore money, had a little giggle and left. Our room was a bit of a dive but the small bonus being it had a satellite tv so David could watch cricket. As I sat on the side of my bed it collapsed under my huge weight (not!) and I ended up legs akimbo and laughing. David wasn't so impressed. So I went downstairs and told them. They didn't seem at all surprised. Must be a regular occurance.
There was some exploring to be done so we headed off into the heat via the train station to book our tickets to Lahore. We decided to try the air conditioned class this time.
We set out to walk through the bazaar and old city to the Qasim Bagh Fort which was apparently just a ruin now. But easy as it looked on the map it was a nightmare to find, although it did give us a good wander. The old town was a maze of narrow, dirty, smelly laneways sometimes blocked by big, black buffalo I think, or bullock things. Eventually we got up to the Fort passing a few very old British looking buildings on the way. on the way up the small hill I was asked by a man if I was Muslim. I replied no then he asked if I was Christian, again I replied no. He looked at me, asked if I was married and when I said yes he walked away. No passport opporunity there. The Fort was destroyed by the British in a two week siege to avenge the death of Lieutenant Alexander vans Agnew who was ordered killed by a Sikh governor. He has a memorial obelisk that stands overlooking the city at one end of the Fort. There is a cricket ground next door and some tired looking manicured gardens. Just down the road were another two interesting shrines, the Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukn-I-Alam (1320) and the Mausoleum of Baha-Ud-Din Zakaria (1263). The first was really impressive and beautiful. We were made to remove our shoes but the red brick floor was baking hot and we must have looked like idiots dancing and hopping over to the nearest shade. We tried to go inside but there was a wall of beggars so we went did our little dance back to pick up our shoes and left. Back down the hill we decided to be lazy and get a rickshaw to the next mosque. All the guys quoted ridiculous fares but we knew there was an honest man amongst them so we pursued until he found us. It was the Eidgah mosque that we were after and our man delivered us to the door. It was built in 1735 and was used by the Sikhs as a military garrison then after Agnew was killed it was used by the British as a courthouse. It was restored in the late 1800's and is now back to being a mosque. It was white and had some lovely, if old and worn, paintings inside and lots of men sitting on the floor holding their qurans, rocking and chanting. Gave it quite an authentic feel.
We headed back and a bit more of a walk around. Grabbed some dinner then went back and watched a bit of tv. We had to be up early for our train the next morning. Lahore. I didn't know what to expect but I was excited to be going!