We've arrived safely in Kolkata!
This morning, we decided to see a bit more of Delhi. We made two shorter stops, at Jama Masjid (a centuries-old mosque in the midst of a large Muslim neighborhood) and Raj Ghat, the place where Ghandi was cremated. A black marble slab surrounded by gardens memorializes him there. It was a very peaceful oasis.
We also spent quite a bit of time at the Red Fort. It was another enormous fortress built by Shah Jahn -- he was a busy man! The Shah and his queen lived there, and there were separate quarters and a bath house for the women. There was amazing inlaid stone work, including empty hollows where the British removed diamonds and other gems when India gained its independence.
It is an immense compound, with a red sandstone wall stretching on and on around it. During British occupation, the Red Fort housed the British army, then after Indian independence in 1947, the Indian army was headquartered there. It was opened to the public only very recently in the year 2000, if my memory serves.
Then, we did a little shopping -- not our favorite activity, but we wanted to bring home a few reminders of the trip. :o) After that, it was off the to airport!
From our first glance, Kolkata has a very different feel than Delhi did. It seems much more like a "big city," with more billboards (including one for Kohler!) and many more multi-storied buildings. It also has that electric feel that Chicago or New York have, while Delhi was bustling but more old-world.
It's 1:oo a.m. and I don't know how I'm going to sleep! We are so excited for tomorrow, and getting to know the new addition to our family. Thanks, everyone for posting comments and sharing this journey with us. We love knowing that you're praying for us.
A note from Peter:
It certainly has been great for us to take in this culture and history for both now and for the future, but another great part of the trip has been getting to know the people like our drivers, hotel workers, etc. They've shared their stories, their hopes and dreams, and even their beliefs in God. I had some wonderful conversations with one of our drivers about his beliefs (Sikhism) and was able to also share my Christian beliefs with him.
It is awe inspiring to me to know that God knows every one of the 1.2 billion people in India.
A billion to one.....tomorrow we meet Anya Rashi!