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Published: February 22nd 2018
Woolly says – It was dark, and very very early, I hadn’t enjoyed being woken up at 3am to ensure that we got to the airport on time, but it was worth it when we landed in our third country of the trip. Bangladesh was once a notable centre of the global muslin and silk trade and known for its port. As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance and played an important role in anti-colonial movements. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan when it was renamed East Pakistan. The region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After independence was achieved, a parliamentary republic was established, and the country was renamed Bangladesh. As we chugged through the city it’s first impression was of dust, everything was covered in dust, the cars, buildings and lots of greenery around which is all covered in…. dust. The traffic was a huge jam of vehilces and it seemed to take hours to get to our hotel, cycle rickshaws were everywhere with beautiful hoods whilst the buses that passed us looked as though they
had slid on their sides for several miles along a road, maybe they had!
It reminded me of Turkey in some ways but as a Muslim country this doesn’t surprize me, it did seem a lot quieter than India with far less horn blowing which was a relief on the ears. Woolly says – Having dumped our stuff, my first port of call was into a handy restaurant where we feasted on rice, dhal, vegetable curry and a tomato salad which was swigged down with some lurid orange drink, total cost for three of us a mere 89p (GBP), amazing and the food was great, I think I’m going to like this country. We hit the streets in our attempt to see everything possible in our time here, the pavements were full of market traders selling everything from clothes to colanders, lots of bright colours on show and lots of smiles from the people as we passed by. Dhaka is the capital and is one of the worlds largest cities, and being at ground level it certainly felt huge, having ambled up and down a variety of roads we finally arrived
at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. It was an immense place with four different halls for prayers and an outside area that was bigger than a football pitch, a new and very modern look to the sprawling complex which didn’t have the appeal of older mosques we have seen previously. The minaret was immense and towered above our heads, having taken a couple of pictures and been asked were we were from for the tenth time we left the mosque and re-joined the busy street traders. The visit had only taken about fifteen minutes and having paused to have a look at the map I thought it was worth fitting at least one more place in before heading back for the day.
My companion’s choice of the postal museum seemed an odd one, we followed him across the road. Woolly says – I’d only picked it because it was across the road and would mean no more walking for my tired paws, I kept them crossed that it would be worth going into. We entered the large post office building and having asked for directions we made our way to the second floor
where a gentleman met us and took us into his office, having sat down he asked where we were from and then disappeared, a few minutes passed before another gent appeared and led us round corridor after corridor before taking us into another office which had several people in. The room fell silent at our arrival before our guide said the word museum at which three people picked up phones and started talking while a further two sat grinning at us, it was starting to dawn on me that possibly they don’t get many visitors to the museum or that they had lost it in the maze of rooms that we had already passed. A few more minutes went buy when, yet another man arrived and gestured for us to follow him, we arrived at a small sign that said museum which boded well. It didn’t look much but since everyone had made such an effort on our behalf to find the missing place I started to walk very slowly round the exhibits.
I knew he was concerned that it wouldn’t be worth the time to gain entrance, but it was a little gem,
full of interesting stamps that had once been used on mail, stamps from around the world and post boxes from other countries. Woolly says – the stamps were brilliant and Bhutan easily won the best stamp competition, but even better and something that made me chuckle with glee was a post box with the letters PTT on the side, all the way from Turkey, who would think to bring a mail box all that way, I however was delighted to see it and having had a selfie moment happily thanked the staff before leading the way through the corridors and down the many flights of stairs and back into the busy thoroughfare. A quick conference between the three of us and we decided that a quick drink was in order to cool down, setting off along the busy road I kept my eyes peeled for a likely place and within moments a sign caught my eye, The Birds Eye Restaurant Roof Top Terrace, well that had to be the one, a nice refreshing beverage and a view of the city. Luckily for our tired legs and paws there was a lift to the ninetieth floor where we
could sit in comfort sipping our lemon sodas and look at the panoramic view of the city, it wasn’t pretty in the least, but it does have a charm of its own, let’s see what the capital will produce tomorrow for our delight!
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