Day 27 - Fri 11 Apr 08
Got a really good night sleep on the train - no honest! had one of the side berths and the train got in just after 09:00. Everyone else seemed to have got off before which was a bit worrying, but off the train and got an auto rickshaw to the area of the Golden Temple. It appears that auto rickshaws aren't allowed near to the temple, but our driver chatted to the policeman and he waved us through. After a lot of faffing around and a walk around the outside of the entire temple complex we settled on one of the first hotel rooms we saw.
Out in the hottest part of the day to see the Golden Temple, shoes and socks off and a covering over our heads. Looking a bit silly - but well worth it, as the temple is amazing. Set on it's own island in a lake and shining bright. Meet up with one other English couple - not many tourists around! I really can't explain this place in words.
The Shimla trip is back on the agenda, as we realise that two whole days here is probably a bit too much. Try the Internet but fail to book a train, might try to arrange a taxi.
In the late afternoon take a taxi out to the border with Pakistan to see the border closing ceremony. It was a nice easy drive and got there just as the main gate was opening to allow the crowds down to the border. there's a viewing terrace, and there's a lot of pushing and shoving to get a good seat. A mass bundle but we manage to get a seat in the "men's" section. Anyway the show is very good. There's a lot of shouting from the crowd and goose stepping from the guards. All the guards seem to be incredibly tall and they have a fan shaped head dress which makes them look even taller!
At the end I push down to get a photo at the gate. When I get back Phil is chatting to a girl! her friend soon appears, Debs and Jo from NZ, but living in London. They accept our offer of a lift back in our taxi rather than their overcrowded jeep. Have supper with them and then head back to the Golden Temple in the cool of the evening.
Someone takes us under his wing and gives us a guided tour of the temple, see a couple of holy books, and even end up on the roof. It's an amazing place, better by night, and dare I say it? Better than the Taj!!
All the trains to Shimla are full so a taxi from there to Delhi might be the only chance..