Published: January 23rd 2018
Woolly says – We awoke feeling slightly better and after a lazy morning and late chapatti breakfast we set off to continue with obtaining our ongoing travel tickets. Tickets for trains and busses seems to make very tiring work, having found a travel company we managed to sort out bus tickets for one of our journeys and then set off, back to the central train station to see if we could complete our transaction from yesterday, which had been so rudely interrupted by our lack of cash and working ATM’s. Holding the tickets in my paws I felt a sense of jubilation and having had a celebratory lime soda (our current drink of choice for being refreshing and cheap) we argued the price of a rickshaw and sat back as the lunch time traffic seethed around us.
Having found that by booking a week or so in advance meant a better chance of getting the method of transport desired we now had our travel arrangements in place for the next few stops.
Woolly says – Having done some research and dismissed another two palaces and a variety of temples for the day, I thought a quiet and sedate walk around some botanical gardens might recharge our batteries. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, meaning The Red Garden in English, houses a glass house that was based on the same design as Crystal Palace in London, it would make a pleasant change, a bonus being that it hosts two annual flower shows, one of which just happened to be currently on as well as India’s largest collection of tropical plants. The gardens were commissioned in 1760, by 1860 it had acquired tigers and rhinoceros, an aviary, a monkey house with an orangutan and a bear house, sadly none of these were still there but hopefully it would provide a refuge for us. Having opened the bags for security checking and paid the small entrance fee we set off towards the left, finding large areas of leafy trees providing useful shade as well as some fascinating shapes to look at. As we arrived at a pond and enjoyed the fountain for a while, I then led the way into the large pavilion.
From outside there appeared to be a riot of colour and variety inside and having shown our bags again to the security guards we found ourselves in an area full to bursting with flowers.
Woolly says – A huge Buddha sat amongst beds of roses and other brightly coloured blooms, beautiful to look at even if there was no smell included. Next to him were large beds of yellow and orange flowers while ceramic doves floated above them carrying their own display. Everywhere I looked there were more colours to absorb, we reached a place where a range of Hindu Gods were displayed, there blue eyes lit by bulbs were a little freaky and I tried to ignore the one that was focussed on me. A huge patch of bright golden daisies even had Jo and Zoe posing for pictures before we arrived at a standing Buddha who appeared to be peeing red! Slightly alarmed at this I asked if we should alert a doctor, the women didn’t quite know what to do either as we watched red water pour from his head, navel and male appendage, a little surreal for my taste. A bed of English roses came next with heads both big and small in all many of colours, it reminded me of Britain and the pride that the Brits have in their gardens. More and more colours to feast on until suddenly we found ourselves outside and having spotted a handy ice cream stand it seemed like a good time for a stop.
We sat licking our lollies and watching what appeared to be a carving competition taking place, huge trunks of trees lay over the ground each being turned into different shapes, faces and animals, from a crocodile to a dog and a large Buddha to a mix of faces all running into each other, the work was amazing and interesting to watch.
Woolly says – A slow stroll took us to a lake which looked a trifle barren although a large amount of birds seemed to be enjoying it. The lotus ponds were lovely but nothing to what they might have been when the flowers are in full bloom. We paused for a while and sat enjoying the quietness before heading off to admire a huge enclave of rose bushes, sadly we couldn’t enter to get a better view, but the pinks, whites, reds and yellows stood out against the greenery surrounding it. I chuckled to myself as we came to some topiarized trees that looked as though they needed a trim, it was difficult to make out quite what they were, we moved on sticking to the shady pathways finding more fountains and trees to admire. A large statue of a Maharaja stood proudly on its plinth the details were exquisite, in front of him was a strange display of the seven dwarves, not quite sure what his Highness would have made of them, but they made us chuckle.
As we neared the exit we sat once again, a feeling of peace andachievement from our day, what a difference twenty four hours can make!