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Published: November 20th 2009
In Kolkata we first went to see Victoria Memorial. Why have the Indians built a large monument over a European monarch?
Dad took us to India
We have already told you about the trips we made to Milan and Berlin
earlier this year. But in between those we actually managed to squeeze in yet another trip. That one was to India and we are going to write about it here.
Mum and dad have been to India before. Dad has in fact been there twice before. You see, mum and dad are both very old and they also travelled for many years before we were born. It can’t have been very fun for them to travel without us all those years because we always come up with many great ideas on what to do and where to go. But travel they did nevertheless.
On this trip to India mum decided not to come along. She had enough of India on her last visit. She thought India was too filthy, too poor, too polluted, too crowded, too noisy and horribly hot. Dad on the other hand happily returns to India because he says he likes it there. We are not sure if it is the filth, the poverty, the pollution, the crowds, the noise or the horrible heat he likes but there
In Kolkata we saw many interesting houses and we saw a big bridge named Howrah Bridge. Dad said that no other bridge in the World has more traffic than this.
is something about India dad enjoys.
In India we first went to Kolkata, a huge city in the eastern part of India. When we came there we immediately understood what mum meant by India being crowded and noisy. There were people everywhere and they sure weren’t quiet…
In Kolkata we first went to see Victoria Memorial - a marble building set in a park erected to celebrate the British Queen Victoria. Exactly why the Indians have built such a large monument over a European monarch is somewhat of a mystery to us. First we thought that maybe it is some kind of mark of friendship between the countries. In that case there should be a similar monument in London or Manchester celebrating one or more blue blooded persons from the Republic of India. We have never been to Great Britain but dad has. We asked him if he has ever seen any monuments over Indian royalties in the UK but he said he never had, and then he said to himself something that sounded like "Where on Earth did that
question come from?". Well, since there are not any big monuments in London over Indians that theory seems
Michael Collins own street
In Kolkata we saw a street named after space man Michael Collins.
to be shaky… Well we will try to figure out the reason for this monument in Kolkata and when we do we will write down our discoveries on this blog. But that will be some other day so for now it will remain an unanswered question.
The rest of the time in Kolkata we did a lot of walking around. We saw many interesting houses, we saw a big bridge named Howrah Bridge and, best of all, we saw a street named after the space man Michael Collins
. To be honest Michael Collins is a bit of a looser. When Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin
were walking the moon Michael Collins was sitting in a space module circling the moon. Michael Collins never sat his foot on the moon but we still think he is a big hero. Apparently someone else thinks so too since he has a street in Kolkata named after him.
After we had been walking a lot we did also try a vehicle - a rickshaw powered by a walking/running human. Dad said that to see and ride one of these rickshaws was the main reason he went to Kolkata in the first place. Dad has a strange
Man powered rickshaw
We found those rickshaws to be a disgrace to mankind, not a tourist attraction.
view of what he thinks is interesting. We found those rickshaws to be a disgrace to mankind, not a tourist attraction.
We did join dad on the ride in the rickshaw but after the ride we apologized to the "driver", or whatever we should call him, because we were so ashamed that we had made use of him just like he was a horse or a donkey or something. The “driver” just smiled and said “Don’t worry about that. This is my job and your dad paid for the service. By the way, I ripped him off. He paid 5 times more than what locals pay for the same ride.” It made us feel a little better that the driver at least was well paid for what he did.
In Kolkata we visited a church in the city. There we came across something that made us shocked - a gravestone with Peter Pan’s name on it. According to the stone Peter Pan is dead… How did it happen? When did it happen? Why didn’t we know about it? Peter Pan being dead is a tragedy. We just sat there for over an hour and mourned before we could
Peter Pan's grave
In Kolkata we visited St. John’s church. There we found a gravestone with Peter Pan’s name on it.
do anything at all again.
We spent three days in Kolkata, but the last day we don’t remember anything of since we were in a state of shock from the news that Peter Pan is dead. The first thing we remember after leaving St. John’s church is when we sat on the train from Kolkata to Varanasi more than a day later.
Varanasi is a city in central India where a lot of people go to have a swim in the local river. Swimming is so popular in Varanasi because they have very few lakes and rivers in India and that is the reason why thousands of people travel to Varanasi to have a swim there. Well that has got to be the reason, right? It is the only thing that makes sense.
On the riverbank they have built many houses where people can take their normal clothes off and change into swimwear. Dad called these houses “temples”. We think dad somewhere got it wrong because we know that a temple is a place where religious people go for prayer. Temples are in India just like churches are in our corner of the World. These houses were
clearly there for the people who were swimming in the river. Hence it makes less sense that the buildings are temples and more sense that they are houses where people change their clothes. Dad thinks we are a little bit stupid just because we are two toys. He thought that we weren’t going to figure that he was pulling our legs. But as you see, we did!
The last place in India we spent time in on this journey was New Delhi. There we went to a place where there are many old ruins. Among the ruins there were two minarets. We have seen minarets before. There were many of them both in Yemen
and in Oman
. But in those countries the minarets were always attached to a mosque. Here the minarets were freestanding. That was not the only thing that made the minarets we saw in Delhi differ from the ones we saw in Yemen and Oman. These two minarets were much larger than any other minaret we have ever seen. They were incredibly large! The first minaret almost reached the sky and the other one was even larger. It was not very high but very thick. We
Ganges river in Varanasi
A lot of people come to Varanasi to have a swim in the river. They have few lakes and rivers in India and that's why people come to Varanasi to have a swim.
are not sure but we think these two minarets are the biggest in the World.
When we flew home from India dad had a surprise for us - we were in business class! We liked that! We had ourselves a taste of how travel always should be. That’s the way we are going to travel when we are old enough to travel on our own. Well done dad! How did you pull that one off? Please do the same trick on every intercontinental flight we ever take in the future. We are tired of squeezing our legs in between the seats in the cheap section of the plane. We have no idea how dad managed to get us all business class tickets but we are pretty sure he didn’t pay for it. He is too much a miser to pay for any luxury.
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