Sunday, 31 October 2010


Sorry about the lack of photographs but we have not got wifi access at the moment, we will back up later when the chance arrives. The first 'wild' bird photo was for you chicken enthusiasts to show you what the wild equivalent looks like and it was also the first look at the new Blackburn Rovers chairman!
We are now with the Explore group and have visited a number of sites in Delhi and have just returned from our daybreak visit to the Taj Mahal. Trying the metro and cycle rickshaw rides with 18 people was even more trying than when we attempted similar journeys on our own. The transfer to a high rise and swish hotel was a shock and the view from the window just stressed the air pollution in this huge city. In New Delhi we saw India Gate which commmemorates their dead from the First World war and the parliament buildings but security around there is so tight that you are not allowed to even stop to take pictures. Just to keep the birdwatchers involved I found a White Breasted Kingfisher perched on the fountain! we also visited Humayuns tomb, a great example of early Mughal architecture in persian style and using acombination of white marble and local sandstone.
In Old Dehli we visited the Chandi chowk ,old bazaar area and wandered through the streets to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India holding 25,000 people. We then took the cycle rickshaws back into the bazaar and drove passed the many little shops selling a variety of goods including at the moment the Diwali fireworks.
We then had our 5 hour bus journey to Agra with a stop for lunch on the way. The traffic was the usual organised chaos but it all seems to work well ! We began to see more cows walking around the streets and roads and also the odd pig,goat and also an elephant going down the inside lane on the way out of Dehli.
This morning we were up at 5 o'clock to visit the Taj Mahal and it really is as good as its hype.
When we arrived it was still misty and the marble was whitish/grey but by the time we left the sun had turned it a soft cream colour and the semi-precious stones were glinting as the caught the light.
The building is beautiful but even more amazing is the detail of the inlay work and carved marble when viewed close up. Truly magnificent !
We are off to visit the Agra fort this afternoon.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Back in Delhi

After the trip to the hills we feel quite normal. Firstly we met up with lots of people taking longer over their trips after giving up their jobs, and then a couple who were lugging their golf clubs with them (Tony M. willappreciate what problems that caused on the toy train) on a 9 month trip around the world! That even made the bloke who had ridden here on a motorbike from Banbury seem sane.

Secondly we have spent 5 days walking up and down hills in the clean air, taking in the fabulous scenery and marvelling at the architecture of the colonials.

We are now back in Dehli and spent the day wandering around a lovely park in the suburbs which held three 14th/15th century mosque/tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers.

We tried the metro for the first time and were impressed by both the cost ( and the efficiency, although at rush hour and popular stations it is everyone for themselves getting on and off !! Elbows out !!

The air is clearer here than before after some rain and the temperature has dropped slightly. I (cath) must admit to liking the warmer evening temperatures again after the chilly nights in the hills !

We'll attempt to load some views of Shimla including bad monkeys and monkeys (the langars) who mind their own business.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


we seem to have missed getting one of blogs posted and therefore i'll mention again about the journey up to Shimla which was lovely to start with, then we ran into a terrible thunder storm.
We thought the rain had ceased by the time we got here but it started up again just as we left the station and with the storm there was a power cut so we had to make our way up to the hotel in the dark using our trusty torch!!
Anyway it is really nice accomodation, simple but clean and friendly. We have had the company of some younger couples, Danes,Colombians and and Indo-german lad. They have all given up their jobs and are travelling around the world for a year !!
Yesterday we visited the Viceregal lodge where the signing of the partition of India took place.
An amazing gothic mansion modeled on Scottish baronial castles. It is now used as a centre for post-doctorate research in Humanities and Social studies but there didn't seem to be a vast amount of people around the place.
Today we have been to the museum of culture and antiquities and then walked up the hill to the Jackhu temple which honours the monkey god Hanuman. We did chicken out of going right into the temple as the monkeys around there are reknowned for being especially vicious, but the walk was good and the views from the top spectacular.
Tomorrow we hope to visit the Gaiety theatre and Christ Church and just have a relaxing day before we leave for Dehli on Thursday.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Shimla in the sun

After the horrendous rains of the first day we have enjoyed glorious sunshine in our stroll around this hill station. The papers here are full of the damages caused to their crops by the torrential rains and of tourists standed by the snows higher up. The curse of 'Worthy' strikes in all corners of the world(fao Marsha).
Just been disturbed by the Macaque monkeys running over the corrugated tin roof. As they patrol around town the have a swagger and will menace anyone foolish enough to openly carry food. This is in contrast to the delightful Languar monkeys we passed on the way to the Glen for today's walk. Pictures later but this connection is on dial up and is painfully slow. Shimla is fascinating with its heritage of old colonial buildings slowly losing their shine. It is very popular with the Indian tourists but only a few back packers are evident, overall it exudes a calm and gentle ambience. Just the job before we start the hectic tourist bit.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

New Adventure

Flight was fine, even managed to get leg room seats but how do you sleep on a plane? We are thus knackered but delighted to be in Delhi. Relaxing in the pleasant hotel garden with the sound of horns all around and with black kites wheeling overhead we have certainly changed continent. On the drive from the airport massive evidence of 'Games' infrastructure and also work still being done. The air quality when we landed was dreadful but seems to be improving now the temperature is beginning to drop. Next objective is food so we will sign off and prepare for a curry.