London to Sydney 2005 travel blog

Inside the fort

Fort entrance

The mosque

Shalimar gardens

The flag lowering ceremony

We have spent two days in Lahore and have combined sight seeing with essentials such as car maintenance, laundry and trying out the hotel swimming pool. In that order.

We visited the fort on the first evening. We found a taxi driver called Babar at the hotel and he took us to the fort via various other places to see including the main railway station, built by the British with towers and castellations. The fort is large and contains a few palaces. The brick work in the floors and the walls is amazing - I am running out of adjectives for this trip. We had a guide (cost 1 pound) who rushed us round as the museums were about to shut. We witnessed a beautiful sunset marred only by the pollution which means that the sun disappears into the smog before reaching the horizon.

Babar then persuaded his friend who looks after the Sikh temple to let us in in spite of the fact that it was closed. It was like a yellow cake on the outside but much prettier than that sounds. It was really peaceful inside the courtyard - just a few people sitting on the grass in groups. Barbar waited for us throughout and took us back to the hotel. For all this he charged 6 pounds. (No pound sign on a Pakistani keyboard)

On the second day we visited a huge mosque built in terracotta decorated with marble. It had a pleasing unity as there were only the two colours. We then went on to the Shalimar gardens. There the buildings were pleasantly decayed and the gardens, where some of the 120 fountains worked, had once had rather more trees. We hope that they will do some planting and leave the buildings alone.

Our other outing was to the flag lowering ceremony on the India Pakistan border - as featured in the Michael Palin Himalaya programme. It is a great bit of pantomime. Afterwards they all chatted to each other in no mans land and I put my right foot into India.

Robin changed the oil, rotated the wheels and greased the car. The Honda dealer's workforce did the work in their lunch hour and refused payment. Unfortunately, the electric window on the driver's side decided not to work. This sort of thing always takes ages to sort out. Luckily, Barbar took Robin for a tour of electrical workshops and a small adjustment was all that was needed in the end.

The laundry here is great - I handed things in at 7.30pm and they came back at 10.00pm!

The pool was a huge one outside. So much nicer than inside ones. It was at a lovely temperature as well.

We now have a series of one night stops so entries will be more brief.

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