Chandigarh? Made me feel a lot like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyk-Vdd_Qrk

Poor Michael, I know how he feels. Laura and I are in perhaps 1000 photos, whether we want to be or not! Seriously like, are we THAT different?? Gets a bit exhausting. And it’s not confined to any one type of person – men, women and kids all want a piece of the blonde Irish action.

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Chandigarh itself is a bit meh. OK so it’s clean and actually has trees and green space but it’s hard to get a handle on the city vibe when it’s so spread out. I think there might not be one…It’s weirdly un-Indian but I guess that was the idea. We found the Architecture Museum, which was a joyous occasion:

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Our second day there we were in the station trying to organise a bus out of town when this guy appeared as if by magic asking us to follow him for chai. I was immediately thinking “This is it. Murder time” when Laura (being generally more open-minded than me) agreed to follow him. I huffed and puffed trying to make an excuse to get out of there but went with it in the end and followed, using my best “I know what you’re up to and I have a knife in my pocket” face. Turned out the building was the Secretariat and a few minutes later we found ourselves having chai with a bunch of government employees who, like public servants everywhere :P, got a great laugh out of posing for pictures pretending to be “really busy” typing and making phonecalls. Hilarious in any language.

So we found the Tourist Guardian Angel! A sweetheart. Laura’s just found this link so you can meet the man himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEvq7xxwR7w

Only in India!!

We did the obligatory Corb buildings which are creepy rather than inspiring. Or maybe that’s just me. We did however get to stick our heads in to a couple of court cases which was interesting, very serious looking barristers with black suits and turbans….

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Apparently ten thousand people work here. After hanging out with five “secretaries” in one little office I’d well believe it!

And so, onwards to our current spot – a bizarrely Swiss-feeling Shimla. Up in the mountains and a town still obsessed with Colonialism, we’ve been drinking coffee in English coffee rooms and caught the end of the brass band display earlier, surrounded by Tudor buildings. Weirdness. I wonder when this country will stop surprising me?

Tomorrow we have another ten hour bus journey to our next stop on the way to the Himalayas and possibly a spot of hang-gliding!

Hugs to all xx

Chandigarh to Shimla

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