Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sightseeing in 98 degree temps & 98 % humidity

Whew! It's HOT.

We rented cars and drivers for sightseeing on Saturday and Sunday -- the cars were air conditioned -- hooray!! Besides Mother Teresa's, we visited Victoria Memorial, a temple, and botanical gardens. It was interesting to learn of India's history at Victoria Memorial and the period of British rule in order to take advantage of the resources. Fits right in with the repeated history of the world: the conquerors, the conquered, and the unquenchable desire for independence and self rule.

Sunday's trip to the temple involved crowds of people and HOT, HOT feet! We had to leave our sandals outside and walk on the clay tiles of the courtyard in our bare feet. It was like walking on hot sand or hot blacktop. You just wanted to hop along until you found a little square of shade to stand in! I hadn't realized that the bottoms of my feet were so tender. Of course the Indians were much tougher, even the little children walked about comfortably.

The botanical gardens were a real treat -- a peaceful green, lush oasis away from the honking traffic and crowds. Birds chirped while families strolled along or had a picnic. It also seemed to be the place to go for couples to walk and talk or sit on a bench and look into each other's eyes. The Banyan Tree was a main feature, covering several acres. Thousands of air roots hang down to the ground and take root, forming what I'd describe as additional trunks of the tree. So it's a forest but actually all one tree at the same time. Amazing to see.

Whether sightseeing or volunteering at the shelters, we sweat through our clothes every where we go. It's monsoon season so each day there's a downpour or two and afterward it's generally a few degrees cooler. I feel spoiled to have air conditioning in our cars and rooms and this isn't even the hottest time of the year.

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