My research for day 1 is here.
I woke about 9 o’clock and had time to assimilate where I was. The excitement of what was to come was enough to overcome any jet-lag I might have had.
The topic of conversation at breakfast was the glass fronted bathroom – this had caused some trouble with those who were sharing as all the facilities were on show!
The view from the bedroom was uninspiring though.
The selection for breakfast was overwhelming – food from every continent so I had a little feast of this and that then at noon we assembled in the foyer and taken to the bus. The first place of visit was a modern shopping mall – not my cup of tea – but I did have a coffee at a western coffee shop along with a humus dip for R241. At this point I had no cash as the ATM had declined my request but one of the ladies in the group kindly lent me some.
Onto the Sanskriti Museum. The first thing that greeted us was the banyan tree, we were invited to guess how old it was only to be disappointed as it’s a young one.
Diwali had just passed but there were still signs of decorations on the ground, a chalk drawing of Ganesha, my favoured deity as he is the remover of obstacles and the patron of learning.
The ceramics were displayed in outside galleries and were centred on the Hindu faith.
This photo of the beautiful Kamadhenu deity was taken by another member of the group. I was too busy gazing around me and forgot to take many photos.
The galleries inside were also a feast for the eyes. Part way through we were offered a cooling drink of lemonade – not to everyone’s taste as it was salted and the rock salt used was sulphurous – an acquired taste but one I grew to like.
A wall decorated in a traditional manner on a couple’s marriage.
I was interested to see the smoke fired pots – a reminder of my daughter’s work.
Once inside the textiles galleries we weren’t allowed to take any photos but I listened in awe to the guide explaining about the huge hangings on display. The stitching was so fine – these days of cheap machine embroidery meant it was difficult for me to comprehend the months such a piece would have taken to make.
After our visit we were offered a welcome cup of masala chai. Initially we were taken into a dining hall but must of us wanted to sit outside.
One of the ladies who was serving us had been to a wedding, her hands still decorated with a mendhi.
A delightful slideshow made by Jamie of Colouricious captures the atmosphere of the museum perfectly.
Back onto the bus for another shopping stop, again a modern shopping mall. I found just what I wanted – a kalidar salwar for R3500, about £35.00
It’s so comfortable to wear I wish I’d bought more but all is not lost as I’ve found the Biba website. I also bought a scarf from Anouka but I prefer the bag to the item.
Back onto the bus and, as usual, we were given fresh bottles of water and hand wipes.
By this time it was growing dark – I had lost all sense of my placement in Delhi as it’s so vast with few distinguishing landmarks. People were living wherever there was a speck of land to spread out their meagre possessions.
The traffic was nose to tale all the time. After an hour or so we were back in the hotel having another delicious feast. A welcome couple of bottles of Kingfisher beer at R250 each accompanied my meal. I carefully removed the label for my physical scrap book.
A few minutes before sleep to read the booklet I’d been given. It outlined the tour in more detail – a godsend for me in order to keep track of the days. Already I felt I’d had a great adventure and this was just the first day!