Thursday, January 20, 2011

13th Day in India - Ahmadabad

Breakfast at 6am, the taxi arrives shortly after 7am. Sunil has carefully noted down the directions to our hotel in Ahmadabad - Comfort Inn Sunset, and we arrive safely at the hotel around 8:45. First we head to the Calico Textile Museum, which Brian was keen to see. Very large selection of fabrics, and a tour explaining the complicated manufacturing techniques which requires exclusively hand craft work. The admission procedure is a bit strange: since we do not have a reservation, we have to wait in a queue - only 10 people without reservation are allowed to visit the museum, and this can only be done 10:00am - 11:00am. We have to hand over our mobile phones and cameras to the officer at the entrance. The tour takes until shortly after 12:00. No pictures can be taken, and they have run out of postcards to sell... so the world here will not know much more about this marvelous place.

Following a suggestion by our friends we visit the restaurant Saffron. Have to take 2 rikshahs, as 4 people are not allowed in one. Great food. Then we hire another two rikshahs to drive into the old town. Nobody whom we ask seems to understand the term "Old Town". That was the same time during our last visit 2 years ago; for some reason it appears not to be worth anything to the locals. But to us it is: a wild mix of rikshahs, hidden architectural heritage gems, and colourful bazaar atmosphere. But one thing is quite negative: the pollution. Even in the smallest street there are auro rikshahs and motorcycles competing with streams of pedestrians. Miraculously no collission occurs, but the air is very heavy of exhaust smoke.

At 15:45 we hire another auto rikshah to drive us back to the hotel. This time the rule of no 4 people in a rikshah does not apply... but Deborah has to move into the luggage compartment of the vehicle. At 16:15 we are back in the hotel and take a nap.

I doze off on the bed, but when I awake I am shivering: the AC had been onto max, and it is now freezing cold. The shower is just lukewarm and does not help, so I keep shivering, and I feel my temperature rising. So finally my immune system had given in to all these threats in the air, and I got a throat infection. I am not hungry and decide to skip supper, having an early sleep. Fortunately I have some lemsip with me, which I prepare on the tea cooker.

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