Bill and I have visited this fantastic continent three times now and I am still aching to go again. I know that the films about the Marigold Hotel were intended as entertainment and did not show all the faces of this fascinating country, but I still love to watch it and get quite wistful about it. When my dear Bill was ill with his cancer and I was frightened about the outcome, I very selfishly told my kids that if anything happened to their dad, I was off to India to live. Maybe not really fair or realistic…
For our second visit to India, Bill surprised me with the tickets as a gift for my 60th birthday. I knew he was planning something, but I had no idea that we were off to India. The plan was to tour, visiting Amritsar and the Golden Temple, to watch the changing of the guard at the border with Pakistan, to visit the home of the Dalai Lama and travel by the Toy Train from Shimla.
This was such an exciting trip with a very different feel to it to our previous visit – we somehow felt more part of the event rather than as observers. This was especially true when we visited the Golden Temple and walked amongst the pilgrims who had walked many miles to get there. Thousands of people arrive every day and all are fed free of charge in the buildings around the lake. In one of the pictures, you can see Bill stirring the day’s cauldron of rice pudding!
I must include images of New Delhi where we were taken on a coach tour, and I must admit Bill and hardly recognised this view of the city. Our guide was very clever and took the whole group from this area to old Delhi using the underground! You can see the contrast when we came out of the station in the middle of the older part of the city. Such bustle and noise – simply wonderful!
I love this country and I am in the process of planning another trip involving Kolkata, but we will see.