After an excellent journey with Emirates I arrived in Kolkata at 7am yesterday. I was met at the airport by a representative from the Oberio who asked me to wait for another couple which I patiently did. As my family knows I am always happy to have a chat to a complete stranger and passed a marvellous hour chatting about modern India and modern UK with an elderly and utterly charming Indian lady waiting to meet her granddaughter coming home for England. Such a lovely way to arrive in India.
I arrived at the Oberio at about 9.00am to meet Paddy and Charlie McGowan in the lobby so off site seeing we went. First off the railway station. A great introduction to the amazing hustle and bustle of India but no longer any sort of architectural delight. st Pancras it certainly isn't! Then we visited the Queen Victoria monument built by Lord Curzon in the style of Kedelston for those with knowledge of Derbyshire. It is an amazing statement to the might of the India at the turn of the century.started in 1904. We then walked along the river meeting some divers who were looking for the divers father (slightly odd!) and watched people waning in the river whilst spreading their uncles ashes (even odder!). The off to the race course and home for tea.
I was due to meet my old friend B for a drink but his flight was delayed. B has lived and worked in north east India for the last 15 years and has arranged paddy and my trip to Dibrugarh at the end of the rally.for the first time he has had everything nicked and has to get a replacement passport so flew down to Kolkata. I hope all is now okay.
B arrived during dinner and we had a drink together which was fantastic. By the time I got to bed having not slept for 48 hours I was delirious. I slept for 4 hours and then woke thinking I wasn't going back to sleep! Ahhhhhhh...... The next thing I knew it was 11am this morning.
We had a 3 hour tour around Kolkata in a tram ( built in the 1930's) which was really interesting. The highlight beings cup of tea by an old street vendor who prepared my earthenware cup with such case. The cost 5rupees the equivalent of 5p.
Photos to follow. Our bags have been sent ahead so I don't have the lead to connect my camera to the iPad so I can only send the photos from my iPhone.
Sent from my slyPad