Hall of Public Audience

Hall of Public Audience

Our first outing was to Delhi’s spacious Red Fort, a huge sandstone fort east of the area known as Old Delhi.

We’re staying at the Ginger Hotel which is right next to New Delhi railway station so it’s easy finding an autorickshaw driver, even if it’s not that easy striking a deal, due to their imcomphrehensible English and my non-existent Hindi. But a deal was done and off we went. What makes getting a deal easy for me is that this is an area I don’t mind getting ripped off as these guys are clearly not rich.

Arriving at the entrance you have to go through a metal detector and get frisked (oh nice!). There’s a seperate queue for men and women and clearly there’s a high ratio of men to women as it takes me 10 minutes longer to get through. A bag search was required and it took an age especially as I’d taken my netbook along to see if I could get a USB Internet dongle later on.

Tickets were purchased Rs250 (£4) for each adult and off we went, before getting stopped for another metal detector check and another bag search. This time the soldier want me to boot up my laptop and as soon as the Windows logo appeared he said “no problem” – I took it that Mac and Linux users are banned from getting in.

The entrance gate to the Red Fort stands impressively over you as you enter.

Red Fort entrance

There’s a series of tourist shops which the owners sit outside, strangely reluctant to even invite you in, let alone press gang you into their shop. Nothing looked awe-inspiring so we moved on.

The Hall of Public Audience appears in front of you and very impressive it looks too. I just love the arches you get in all Halls of Public/Private Audience.

Hall of Public Audience

Due to the heat – that we stupidly hadn’t prepared for – we just ambled around the inner grounds of the fort, using trees to hide in the shade. The fort itself is not half as impressive as it’s nearby cousin in Agra but just the same it’s definitely worth a visit.

Hall of Public Audience

Requests for photos of us – yes, even me! – rained in liked the expected monsoon and we were happy to oblige although I’m not sure we’ll be so obliging as the trip progresses. It made me laugh to see the ingenious ways people placed their friends into the path we walking and then took a photo of them, with us right beside their friend, or just behind. If only they’d asked like a few did we’d have happily obliged.

Emilia’s seemed to attract her fair share of admirers and some thought they were clearly cooler than their friends. I’m on the look out for one of those white/pink shirts (*sarcasm*).

Emilia's new friends