Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If It Weren't For the Constant Harrassment.....

The plan for today was to visit Old Delhi.  On the way there we passed through some of the posh areas of South Delhi that we thought were only a myth.  The streets were remarkably clean, the avenues were lined with trees and flowering bushes.  The residences all had tall, ornate fences and gates between them and the street.  So, THIS is how the other half lives in India.

We started the day at the Red Fort.  It is located in the center of Delhi and was built in 1648 as the fortified palace of the Mughal Emperer.  It has an area of over 250 acres that is enclosed by 1 1/2 miles of defensive walls.  We were struck by how ornate many of the buildings were with inlaid marble and carvings similar to the Taj Mahal.  Inside the complex were a large network of fountains and water channels.  Sadly the water channels and fountains are not operational at the moment and some of the original art and grandeur of the complex has been lost to looters over the years.

We were again asked to pose for several photographs.  While cute and first, it is starting to wear on us.  We joked that we should turn the tables a little bit and start telling people there's a charge to pose with us.

I kept saying Mughal like Muggle which made Mark laugh and make Harry Potter jokes.

After the Red Fort I was hoping that we would explore Chandi Chowk and the temples there and maybe even the spice market since they were literally right across the street from the Red Fort.  Unfortunately, once we stepped outside of the Red Fort grounds we were mobbed.  People shoving fans, and other merchandise in our faces.  Helicopter (aka cycle taxis) drivers all had "great rates" and were happy to show us the best spots for shopping.  It was overwhelming to say the least.  Mark was adamant that we abort the mission and move on to the next place.  I was sad about this but he was probably right that this was the best move.  It's really a shame.  The constant harassment is stopping us from seeing many of the sights of Delhi.
The India Gate was on the way back to the hotel so we decided that would be a nice stop.  It really was.  The Gate is surrounded by large water features with fountains and Fountains.  There were some children swimming in one of the water features.  I was truly jealous as it was 97 degrees today and we were pretty hot and disgusting by this point.
The Gate used to be called the All India War Memorial as it is a monument to the over 80,000 Indian soldiers who were killed in World War I.  The soldiers names are carved into the stone.  Inside of the arch is a structure that holds the four eternal flames which is India's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Truly a beautiful and meaningful monument.
Outside of the India Gate we ran into a gentleman who had a king cobra in a basket.  I could not believe that we actually ran into a man with a king cobra in a basket in India.  No, he did not have a turban and a play a recorder to make the snake dance (that would have been awesome by the way).  I of course had to get a picture (against Mark's warning of course).  He motioned that we could get a picture WITH the snake.  I am sure it was defanged but still - there was no way either of us was getting near that thing.

He (of course) wanted some money from us for the "show".  Mark gave him some, mainly to get him to stop following us.  Thankfully the taxi was pretty close.  I hope the snake got some dinner out of this.
Monkey Watch - only one monkey spotted today.

Baby Watch - no news on the eggs/embryos or transfer.  Supposedly we will hear something tomorrow.  The suspense is KILLING me!!!!!!!!

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