slivka.com > Trips > India 2011 > Wed Apr-27

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Wed Apr-27 Red Fort, Jama Masjid, National Museum
After such a large meal, Ben drank a lot of water but skipped breakfast, left hotel on foot at 8:00 a.m. and walked south through the city.

He arrifed at the Red Fort after 45 minutes, had a nice visit of nearly an hour, then walked less than a kilometer to the Jama Masjid (largest active mosque in Asia) where he spent half an hour exploring.

At about 10:15 a.m., putting his faith in Google Maps, Ben continued heading south toward the National Museum. About 11:40 a.m. he realized that Google Maps was confused, so he caught an auto rickshaw to the actual location of the National Museum and got there about noon. Having not had any water for 4 hours, his thirst was raging! He found the Cafeteria on the 3rd floor, which had liter bottles of water for only 15 Rupees. They had no change for Ben's 100 Rupee note, so they gave him the bottle and told him to come back and pay later, with no hints on where he could find change. After touring the museum -- very disappointing as half the exhibits were closed and the building was barely air conditioned (cannot be good for the art), Ben found the Canteen (for the staff?) in the basement -- and they changed his 100 Rupee note. Whew!

After an hour at the museum it was time to head back to the hotel for lunch. Finding an auto rickshaw was not so easy, though. Google Maps said it was a 10km drive to the hotel. The first driver said it would be 200 Rupees, Ben got him down to 120. Ben said it should be 80 but would do 100; he said no. The second driver was confused about destination -- even when Ben showed him my map -- he said 50 (that should have been a clue that he was confused. Ben got in, and the driver took him a very short distance to Le Meridien Hotel. Another driver explained the correct destination, driver #2 then offered 150, Ben said 100, we got as low as 120, Ben would not budge, so Ben Walked a few feet, the 4th driver knew where it was, started at 150, Ben repeated his 80, 100 statement and the distances, driver #4 said 120, Ben stuck to 100, driver #4 finally folded. Productivity must be crummy with all this dickering!



Ben got back to Maidens at 2:20 p.m. and sat down to lunch at the casual restaurant at 2:40p. He ordered a bottle of Kingfisher lager beer -- after the 91F heat in the auto rickshaw, it hit the spot! He had one more beer, garlic naan and Maidens Roganjosh for lunch. Surprisingly good!

After a nap of a few hours, Ben got up, did a bit of email and then went down to dinner at the Curzon Room in the hotel at about 8:30 p.m. The Lamb Biryani was fine (though not as good as the biryani in Hyderabad) and Parantha (bread) was good. After a bit more photo culling and trip note writing it was bed time.

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