A late start for us today after the partying following the England victory in the World Cup. We met several of the others who had been with us last night and and they all looked slightly worse for wear!
We made the decision to hire a car and driver for a two hour tour of the city. Bob and Thelma Howells came along with us. First of all we headed for the political centre of Delhi where all the government buildings are located. It is a wonderfully laid out area and below are some of the magnificent buildings that were built by the British in the 1920's.
A shot taken looking down the Rajpath towards the India Gate in the far distance.
One of the canons outside the President's residence.
A group of Ambassador cars outside one of the Government buildings. The car is based on the Morris Oxford built in the UK in the 1950's.
From the Government buildings area we drove a short distance to Connaught Place in the centre of Delhi where the principle shops are located. As it was Sunday everything was closed, even the markets. From Connaught Place we went to Old Delhi, which is where the majority of the Muslim population live. As today is Eid (the end of Ramadan) everyone was out on the streets and when we arrived at the Red Fort the crowds were milling everywhere. The Red Fort was built in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan when he moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. The main gates into the Red Fort.
Our time was limited so we didn't go into the Red Fort but drove to another famous location in Delhi, and now a World Heritage Site, Humayun's Tomb. Humayun was the second Mughal ruler, the son of Babur. The tomb site is truly beautiful with large areas of gardens surrounding his tomb building, a massive domed structure. A photo of Bob, Thelma and Wendy walking towards the tomb. The gateway to the tomb and then the tomb itself.
From the tomb we made our last port of call at the India Gate, the memorial to all the Indian men and women who died in the First World War. There is an eternal flame burning at the base of the arch and the two massive piers are carved with the names of those who died.
Part of the inscription at the top of the India Gate.
We arrived back at the hotel with enough time to have a drink and meet up with several of the others in our group. We have made so many friends on these events and it is always interesting to find out about the new participants. Sadly, two of the group leave us tomorrow, Suzanne Rimmer in Car 10 and Grace van der Vis in Car 23, both first-time participants.
For those that might be interested, I thought I should give a few statistics/facts about the participants and their cars.
There are 28 cars on the tour, coming from seven countries. We have four control cars and one 24 hour car that drives the route a day ahead of us to report back any changes to the route. Of the twenty-eight cars, 10 are rental cars (Ford Endeavours). The participants come from nine countries (UK, NL, MEX, ESP, CH, NOR, USA, FIN,SA). Of the 28 cars, six are doing their first HERO event. The most popular vehicle, apart from the rental cars, is the Toyota Landcruiser (8), followed by four Land Rover/Range Rovers. Other cars include, Mitsubishi L220 & Pajero, Jeep Cherokee, Mercedes Benz G wagon (the oldest car on the event - 1983).
Tomorrow we drive nearly 500 kms to the Punjabi city of Amritsar This is the site of the holiest Sikh temple, the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Another exciting day beckons.