I really like Lucknow. It is a great mix of old and new and it is the cleanest Indian city I have visited so far. I was hoping to stay a couple more days and spend my birthday here, but on charting out the next couple of weeks I realised I need to leave tomorrow – being sick in Varanasi has put me behind schedule so I can’t afford to dawdle. Today I explored the Regional Science City, Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara.
The Regional Science City is a museum that teaches you all sorts of things (especially about physics) though hands-on activities and interactive displays. There was also a mini planetarium, a 30-minute film promoting conservation and an IMAX cinema experience. Not bad for 100r (AU$2). The chairs of the IMAX cinema were super comfortable recliners and I couldn’t’ stop myself from falling asleep.
At the other extreme of the price scale was Bara Imambara, which cost 500r (AU$9.90). It was a pretty spectacular piece of architecture though and the views across the city from its top were beautiful. Built in 1785, the place is a shrine in which special rituals are played out to commemorate the Battle of Karbala, when Muhammad’s grandson was killed. Chota Imambara is another beautiful Islamic shrine located nearby.
In the late afternoon I had Pizza Hut for lunch (I couldn’t resist the half price offer). One employee let me hook up to his unlimited internet plan, so I was finally free to message my family and catch up on a few online things. As it started getting dark I rode across the city to my dinner spot, where I filled the remaining space in my belly with an incredible stuffed mushroom dish followed by veg kebab. I wish I would allow myself to eat at such a place every mealtime because the food was amazing. However, sacrifices need to be made to keep my finances healthy, so it’s back to bread and bananas tomorrow.
Sharad is out at the moment but I am mentally prepared for another ‘talk session’ when he gets back, followed by another night of little sleep. Today my tiredness contributed to me getting super annoyed at unrelenting selfie requests from Indian tourists. In the end I just said no to people. One time not even saying no was enough and a guy grabbed me and began to drag me into position among his family. When I wrestled him off and walked away, he just laughed. It’s impossible to be annoyed at Sharad though. He is too nice and keeps saying it is the grace of god that brought me to his home.
|Accommodation||Home of a friendly local|
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||17,265km|