We travelled to Delhi in December 2008 to stay with our friends Marty and Melanie. We changed our travel plans a little after the Mumbai terrorist attacks and didn't take trains as we had originally planned and instead flew to Amritsar in north west India, very close to the Pakistan border. We've been wanting to go there for ages and it was every bit as amazing as we hoped for. The Golden Temple rates up there with the Taj Mahal as one of the most amazing sights in India. I don't have much time to write a full travelogue so here's a selection of small pictures from our trip.
Saffy on her Frieda cow at AD airport
The Qutb Minar in Delhi - a minaret almost 1000 years old
both of us with a child on our backs, getting mobbed by schoolgirls
The crowds on the India Pakistan border at Wagah
There were comperes with microphones getting the crowds going and the chants of "Pakistan" "Hindustan" echoed back and forth across the border gates which made for a football crowd atmosphere!
The girls both had India flags! Saffy waved hers but Indy's was used to experiment with the 2 new teeth that grew that week!
Many pilgrims - including Tommy, Saffy, Melanie and Marty
volunteers help out preparing food
queuing to get across the Gurus bridge
peace and craziness all at the same time
Inside the hotel
At the Qutb Minar
A big deal is made of shutting the border between India and Pakistan for the night. There is fierce rivalry between the guards who try to outdo each other and all strut around like peacocks. It was a brilliant spectacle!
High kicks "ministry of silly walks" style are a big part of the ceremony!
There was a lot of butt cheek clenching going on!
We went to see the Golden Temple in Amritsar for the first time by night. It was breathtaking.
There is a ceremony each evening where the Sikh holy book (the Guru Granth Sahib) gets put to bed. Saffron thought this was a great concept and asked if the chanting that was going on was the people reading a bedtime story to the book.
When we went back again the next day she also asked if the book would be awake yet!
First view by day
Entrance to the kitchen and dining room, which serves upto 40,000 meals per day, all for free and with pilgrims volunteering
vats of daal and cupboards full of chapatti's
One of my fave pics... a quiet moment in all the craziness
One last look......
Daddy and his girls on the swing in the courtyard of our hotel
Melanie and Marty getting Indigo cuddles
Daddy and Indy out for dinner
Indigo on Mummy's back
Lunch break in Delhi
The gate is opened and we can see the Pakistan border guards on the other side
Lowering the flags
There was lots of cheek pinching and photo calls for both girls, who took it very much in their strides for the most part.
plates all stacked up
Marty and Melanie making friends
some more photocalls for Kirsty and Indigo