First stop was Chand Baori, a stepwell made of 3,500 steps, that’s over 13 stories!
There were pretty green birds.
And at the bottom, pretty green water.
Next was Fatehpur Sikri. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He had a separate apartment for each of his 3 wives – one was Hindi, one Muslim and one Christian. A smart man, he knew how to keep everyone happy. This is the Hall of Private Audience and while it looks like it’s 2 stories it is only one with a little walk way crossing the 2nd floor.
This is the pillar in the middle.
He also liked to play Parcheesi – he sat in the middle of this massive game board and people were the pieces.
This was his huge “emperor” sized bed. We saw bats hanging in a corner alcove nearby.
In the inner courtyard we all had to remove our shoes and men couldn’t have their legs showing, so Chris had to wrap his legs with a cloth. This shows his pretty skirt and also the little kid that wouldn’t leave Zuzu alone. He was trying to sell her postcards and followed her for a good 20 minutes or so and even made his way outside the gate to where the car was. Chris warned us that the children never give up.
Here we visited a white marble shrine. You had to cover the top of your head and were blessed on the way in, or as I like to call it, hit about the head and shoulders with a feathery swatch.
Lastly, a picture of the girls that our tour guide took. Zuzu loves it because she looks like a little doll.
Ok so, the Paparazzi. Although I didn’t notice it at first, there are not many other western children in India. In fact I didn’t see any others. There were other white people, but mostly older people, which makes sense because the only reason I went and allowed the girls to go to was because Chris had been there so many times before. In fact he had the trip beautifully planned out and did a wonderful job preparing us for the experience. Anyway, because there were no other children our girls were treated like movie stars. Here are just some of the pictures I took of the whole thing.
Everywhere we went people wanted to meet them – touch them, shake their hand, know their name and of course get a picture with them. Ali immediately started asking why and I have to say that I was a little surprised myself.
When you think about it, they looked totally different, dressed totally different and were more like western children that local people in India might only see on TV. These were middle-class Indian tourists with iphones, etc, they were just on holiday and visiting some of the places we were. Our guides told us that most had probably never been out of the country and seeing our girls, especially for the children would be the most exciting thing that happened to them on their trip. That’s what they would tell their friends when they got home.
Some where a little pushy about it and in some places it made it difficult to keep up with the guide and see everything. In case you were wondering, me being who I am had a piece of fabric with Chris’s mobile number pinned to the inside of every outfit they wore, having faith that if they were lost, they would eventually make it to someone with a phone who would be able to contact us, because really if you misplaced a kid there and they didn’t have the hotel info, phone numbers, etc, you’d probably never see them again.
It made it a little more difficult for Alison because she is usually running many paces ahead of us, but they both did well staying extra close to us at all times.
Unless you know what you’re doing it would be a pretty overwhelming place for kids not to mention for me as well. Like I said before it is so different from any other foreign place we’ve ever been. However, because Chris has been there so many times, he knew how to prepare us and he had the whole trip carefully planned out for us. That’s not to say some things weren’t uncomfortable, he would just say “this is India” or “it’ll be fine”... and in the end, it was.
Stay tuned for Taj Mahal!