Fresh chilly morning, night temps do drop rapidly here. Had planned for Nita and Jazz to go out shopping in the first half of the day, and we would meet them for lunch then head off to WAGAH BORDER, this would allow the kids some rest time – they had walked lots lately.
We all had buffet breakfast around 9 am at the hotel, selection was very good as were the omelettes. I finally took my antibiotics which Nita had been nagging me to take for the last 3 days.
Nita went to the markets with Jazz around 10 am, I stayed in the room, finishing off my blog and kids were watching the cartoon channels.
(Amritsar view from our hotel window, Nita & Jazz about to leave for the markets)
Around 12:30 kids were in need of some food, a small debate brew between them. Neha wanted to have Pizza but not home delivery, rather go there in a auto, whilst Pooja wanted home delivery. I had the casting vote, and decided to go the Auto route and head to the local Dominos (I have to support my company). Co-incidence, we met Nita & Jazz in the lobby and all headed to Dominos.
Took the Auto and squeezed all 5 of us in it, Jazz & Neha were sitting on the small ledge behind the driver, and we sat on the seat.
(on the way to Dominos in Amritsar – squeezed in an Auto)
The Dominos in India has quite a few Delivery scooters, compared to only about 2 scooters/cars in Oz, and the stores are sooo busy here.
The pizza’s here are very tasty and big, we ordered a medium (only the kids were eating), and it was equivalent to a large in Aus.
Nita and Jazz had the Lava Cakes!! I reckon these were also much better than those I have had in Aus.
(Dominos home delivery scooters – just a few)
Once kids had finished their Pizza (which Jazz and I helped finish) we were off to a CHAT place, well known to locals “Brijwasi Chat”, ordered a local Chat, Pau Tikki Burger, and Pani Puree (known as GOL GUPPAI in Northern India)
(Brijwasi Chat, front entrance)
(local chat, Pau Tikki Burger, Gol Guppai)
It was back to the hotel for us to freshen up for WAGAH BORDER @ 3pm. Jazz also had to go home and change.
At around 3, we all including Jazz took our pivate taxi to the border. Am glad we did that, it was much faster than the Auto. Once out of the main town, there were a bank of resorts – these are not the same as here, rather these are specialised wedding / receptions areas nicely decorated. Apparently this is the trend now, it is no longer exclusively for the rich and famous.
(all in the car, I think this is the Amritsar gate, on the outskirts)
(“sarso” fields, ute packed with 6 kids – where are the restraints!!)
Arriving near the border, a long long line of trucks are parked on both sides awaiting clearance to go across the border. The border control only allows 200 trucks to cross daily, each one was waiting for its turn
(view of trucks lined up – waiting)
The driver parked our car about 500 mtrs from the Border and then it was on foot. There was a rush amongst people, everyone was rushing to get a good seat. No one is allowed to take any bags what so ever – Cameras are allowed, glad the driver told us to leave our belongings in the car! A checkpoint had military personal hand searching everyone prior to letting them thru. Once past that, people were running towards the border stadium.
(in the car park, walking past the final checkpoint)
The WAGAH BORDER afternoon ceremony is about the bringing down of the Indian and Pakistani flags, and each of their military personal doing there best marches to outclass the other. Friday and Saturdays were the days when the public gathers and cheers for their countries. I could not imagine the patriotism that is within the public until I got to witness the crowds there. Entered the stands to take a seat (or rather stand), we witnessed a full packed stand with a very noisy crowd. People were on the middle of the road dancing to the tunes of Patriotic Hindustan tunes. It was a very patriotic atmosphere…
(crowds dancing in the middle to patriotic hindustan tunes)
To keep the crowd loud and excited, a young army officer was directing the crowd and achieving great success – it was almost like a Symphony and this young officer was the leader directing different pieces of music. He was wearing a white track suit with the Indian colours.
(army officer in white, directing the crowd to more cheers for India, in the background the same is happening on the Pakistan side)
The bringing down of the flag ceremony finished around 5:45, with huge cheers from both sides, although the Indian public was just so much more spirited and made the most noise (in my opinion atleast)
(the border gates – this is as close as we could get to Pakistan)
(same place where Shah Rukh and Pretty Zeinta met in Veer Zaara!!)
Our driver was waiting at the Car Park, got to the car around 6pm and headed straight for the hotel. The standing and cheering had left us all tired. Also it was very dry in Amritsar and worse at Wagah Border, the dust was making it worse.
In the hotel, we were all too tired to go anywhere, so decided to get room service, first some tea and coffee and then food.
Whilst waiting for the room service to arrive, Jazz and kids were having a great time playing games. Kids were getting very fond of her!
Food arrived; had a great Chicken Tikka Pizza and Paneer Makhani (again!!) for the kids. Pizza was yum and again my sore throat was not letting me eat much, settled for Rice and Paneer with Pooja.
(Nita and Jazz – Pizza in bed!!)
Around 9, Jazz decided to call it a night, that was the last time we would be seeing her in this trip, Neha and Pooja hugged her lots – amazing when kids get attached so well. Nita and I bid her farewell, saw her get into the Auto and that was it, amazing how a virtual friend of Nita’s (from Indian forum) had become a real life friend and did not feel out of place.
Thanks for giving us a great time Jazz, we really appreciated you coming over all the way from Chandigar to meet Nita and us. The kids miss you lots. You made our trip to Amritsar very memorable!
Our train the next day was at 6:25 am, so off to bed early, tomorrow is goodbye Amritsar and back to Delhi!
The golden temple and the Wagah border experience must be very special. Just reading about it makes me wanna leap down there. Anyways Jayesh reckons you are doing great at blogging without fail and yr family pic of 4 at the golden temple is magical!
It is a great place, you have to be there to take it all in. Blog: Thanks Jayesh, I am enjoying it as well, it will be memories for Neha and Pooja (also for us) CheersDharma
Going through these memories again…I miss you so much…hope you are heading to India again…this time we will paint Delhi red 😉
Jazz, Nita was just going through these last week!! and we were reliving the unforgettable time we had there with you!!! I think our next trip would have to coincide with ur wedding, afterall I am not going to miss out a punjabi wedding with desi-ghee jalebi’s :))