The street in front of the Red Fort is one of the most chaotic streets I have ever seen. This was because the Red Fort is probably one of the most famous tourist sites in Delhi. I went there a couple months ago, and the area out front was loud and a little chaotic. The taxi had dropped my dad, my brother and I on the opposite side of the street which meant that we had to cross the extremely busy street to get into the Red Fort. Indian streets are usually very crowded and busy, but this street, being in front of one the oldest historical sites in Delhi, was especially so. And because of that, we not only had to dodge the many vehicles quickly driving toward us, we also had to deal with the many rickshaw wallas (guys who drive the rickshaws) and salesmen. And on top of all that, Dad also warned us that pickpockets were also very active there. I wasn’t feeling very well at the time either, so that made it even more difficult. When we finally made it across, Dad then had to find out where the driver of the second taxi had dropped off Mom and our Indian friends Dilara and her children Sultana and Shahanur. Those first few minutes at Lal Qila (Red Fort in Hindi) were definitely very tumultuous.
When we had bought tickets, we walked through the giant door and then proceeded down the long lane of stalls selling souvenirs like scarves, jewelry, toys, magnets, and even little snow globes! After that, there was a large white gate you walked through to enter the area with the gardens and palaces. The back of it was a brownish red color.
The part past that gate wasn’t quite what I expected. I guess what I thought there would be lots of beautiful palaces right inside the gate, but my mom and dad told me that they were farther into the fort. Another thing that surprised me was how big some of the fountains were. I’m at least 5’5, and I think that if I stood up on the bottom of the fountain, the walls might have either been close to my height, or above it. However, the depth of the fountains wasn’t the only way they were huge. They were also really long and really wide. The emperor must have been really fond of huge fountains.
The first pavilion we came across was one of the largest, and in my opinion the prettiest, because while the others were pretty much all made out of marble or some other type of white stone and were all similarly designed, this one was built from a red type of stone and was different from all the others. The rows of columns were intricately carved, and in the middle of the pavilion there was a large display surrounded by plastic walls. However, the plastic walls were slightly dirty, so I wasn’t able to see what was inside the walls.
The others were pretty much all alike, meaning they were all white, except for one other one, and they were all carved with similar looking designs. A lot of the pavilions and even the white gate had flowers carved into the walls or pillars.
The other red colored pavilion I mentioned was among the other white pavilions and looked like there had once been a fountain where the building was standing. It was smaller than all the others, and closer to the palaces too.
We never actually got to see the palaces, we left before we saw them, but the rest of the fort was really cool. Another cool part is that in front of every building, there was a sign that explained what it was and when it was built. I learned a lot about the history of the Lal Qila. If you like history, then you will definitely like the oldest historical site in delhi.
Towering over the small town of Lucerne, is a large mountain rumored to have dragons living on the very top. This mountain, Mount Pilatus is a large tourist spot for Lucerne, Switzerland. Filled with entertainment, Mount Pilatus is accessorized with a small restaurant, an exclusive hotel, several trails to hike up and even a large balcony to watch the many people parachuting off of the top of the mountain.
The tour of Mount Pilatus was a nice way to spend our time in Lucerne. The trips up and down the mountain take quite a bit of time, however once you get up there, it’s worth it. The first part of the trip up is spent in a small four to six person gondola to a small station about halfway up the mountain. At that station, you then switch to a second and larger gondola which takes you the rest of the way up to Mount Pilatus. The weather on the day we went on the tour made it all the more interesting and entertaining. The entire top of the mountain was surrounded in so many clouds that you couldn’t see it until you were really close. We rode the gondolas up the mountain and as we were going up, we could see the clouds coming in through the open windows. We are just riding up and the entire gondola is surrounded by white. We weren’t able to see the mountain until we were really close. It was pretty cool.
Once we arrived on top of the mountain, the tour guide explained about all the different things there were to do up there including several trails, a gift shop, a small restaurant, and a large balcony that you could go and walk around on. My grandma, grandpa, mom, and baby sister headed inside to check out the gift shop and the restaurant while my dad, my brother and I decided to go hike on one of the trails called the Dragon Cave trail ( it was called this because the first part of the trail is spent walking through a long network of tunnels, and also because there is a legend that says there was once dragons living on Mount Pilatus). The hike took us about maybe twenty to thirty minutes. Because it was cloudy ( and because the top of Mount Pilatus is about 7000 feet in the air) it was really cold. My teeth were chattering about the instant we stepped outside ( I also didn’t bring a sweatshirt even though I really should have. I was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.). We hiked all the way up to the top and stood up there for a couple minutes.
This is the network of tunnels my dad, brother and I hiked through
We waved at Mom and Sammy and my grandparents and then headed down to join them in watching the people parachute down the mountain. While we were watching the people, a man and woman went over to a wall and started playing these really long horns with designs painted on the ends.
Here is the guy playing the horn
After a few hours, the tour group headed back down the mountain by way of a train that took us to a dock. At the dock, we boarded the paddleboat that was going to take us back to Lucerne. The trip back took us at least an hour, and after that I think we were all so tired we just headed back to the hotel for a short rest before dinnertime.
Here is my family and I in the train going down the mountain
If you like mountains, hiking and being cold, then Lucerne is the place to go. It not only has all three of those things, it also had more! Like interesting buildings and history, delicious food, and ice cream. Yes, Lucerne is a definitely a good place to visit.
People are everywhere, and stalls are flooded with wares everywhere you look. The air is full of people shouting, people either buying or selling, you are being shoved and pushed from all sides, and everything is bright and colorful. Including the people.
Sometimes the market is less crowded, but if it is, then it is either early in the morning when it is just opening, or a holiday. Other than that, there is probably no other time when Monday Market is not filled to the brim with people.
Sound like a place you want to visit? It goes without saying that it is very different from Amsterdam or Innsbruck or some of the other places I’ve written about. It is crowded, noisy, and you do need to pay attention as you walk, both to the ground and in front of you, however the fact that it is probably not like any other place you’ve visited or seen makes it even more special. The basti is a place all it’s own.
One of the things I had the most fun doing was going to the water parks in Dubai. The first one we visited was Wild Wadi. It is located in central Dubai and close by to the beach, The Mall of Emirates and to several hotels. It has fast and thrilling rides as well as slow and lazy ones. There are even a couple pools where you can boogie board and possibly surf.