Many of you have asked for the posts to keep coming, so who am I to deny you :)
Whilst Mark and his colleague, Krishna, went off to work, I had a private tour of some of the local sights. Our first stop was the world famous Akshardham Temple, which was attacked a few years ago, so no photographs are allowed. However, I cunningly downloaded this one from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshardham_(Gandhinagar)) for your viewing pleasure.
The Temple is built entirely of pink sandstone and is breathtaking. It is full of sculptures and carvings. It is surrounded by 15 acres of manicured gardens – I saw workers pruning the hedges with their fingers. It is a Hindu Temple and 2.5 million pilgrims are on their way to celebrate a festival. We passed many groups walking to the temple (some taking 10 days to get there) and every 5kms are resting stations with free food, drink and medical attention if needed. There are also sleeping stations set up en route. It is an amazing sight. This is a rather blurry shot of a group on their way.
The Temple even has a theme park area for children. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t take photos but security was really tight and I was even asked if my watch was a camera. I have to say that the security is tight everywhere in India, I have been frisked more times than I care to think about, including being checked for cigarettes – I’m really impressed with the no smoking in shopping centres, attractions, universities, etc.
The next stop was the Adalaj Stepwell, which is now an archeological site. The well was built in 1499 by a Muslim king, but is actually described as a Hindu water building, so I’m trying to reconcile those two pieces of information.
The minute I went into the well I heard cries of “Auntie” and young girls rushed over to have their photo taken with me. I hoped that Auntie means the same thing in India as it does to Aboriginal people – revered elder – although I’m not so taken with the term “elder”. Sigh.
Anyway, loads of photos later, my driver took over my iPhone and went absolutely mad taking photos of me, which are what you are about to see.
A small group:
a bigger group – and it just went on!
Anyway on to the sewing part of this post. I am wearing some new wide legged trousers, which I made from a trouser block created by Sarah at Workspace-FADS. She asked me to test the design, which I accepted with alacrity!
This is the pattern. At the top right hand corner is a list of measurements and what to do with them. The pattern is then adjusted to fit your own measurements – there are no actual sizes. A bit of a close up.
We had another long discussion about crotch oddities, in particular mine! This is Sarah helping me with the rise. The nifty roller measurer thingy was a gadget that Sally, one of the other students, alerted us to, and then we all bought them (it’s not really a pattern making class – more a mutual enabling class!).
I just checked and it’s called a curve runner, and is available here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2037667421/curve-runner-a-great-way-to-measure-curves.
Anyway, back to my trousers. These are my first attempt, and I’ve used a beautiful putty coloured tencil that I found on the remnant table at Potter’s a couple of years ago. The drape on this fabric is amazing and I’ve been dying to use it but it’s not a colour I can put near my face. Perfect for wide legged trousers. I’ve decided to show you a bit of the step well along with my trousers, so please be tolerant of the less than perfect images (they were also taken by aforementioned driver!).
The symmetry of this well is astounding. I have my back to multiple “rooms” that seem to disappear into infinity. I wrestled my phone back and took this photo. Apparently the water is really deep.
I’ve been sitting in the car for hours so my trousers are a bit creased, but not too bad considering.
These are the perfect trousers for travelling, they are so comfortable to wear, although the long length is a bit tricky in the public restrooms where water is sloshed about liberally (but otherwise they are really clean).
How about those carvings?
The well was obviously completely open to the elements at one point but now is covered over with mesh.
Last shot of this wonderful place.
Now for some random pics taken on my journey back to meet Mark and Krishna. I love the cattle in India – they are so calm and sometimes will not move for anyone. Here they are hanging out on a roundabout. I could get close enough for a pat (but didn’t).
These are some very woolly goats which were tearing down the middle of the road, loads of them.
Sometimes being a passenger can be very challenging. Lanes don’t mean very much in India – I’m not sure why they bother painting lines on the road, if I can be perfectly frank – and here is a car driving on the wrong side of the road, coming straight at us. Luckily the drivers are all really skilled and there don’t seem to be many accidents.
Our final stop of the day was a shopping mall (had the driver heard about me?) and I bought a tiny piece of fabric ($4 + change) which is actually a shawl. It’s local traditional cotton, but the best thing about it is the way it’s wrapped up. I bought that turquoise and pink one just to the left of centre. They opened it out so I could see it and then I watched them roll it up again – fascinating. I’d like to do this to my entire stash!
My final photo of the day is one that my Instagram followers would have seen. After Ahmedabad we flew to Mumbai where we were booked in to one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever been in (photos in another post, I think). I had a personal tour of the buffet, it’s that big, and I was abandoned at the dessert station. Decisions, decisions!
In this photo I am wearing my Jungle January jumpsuit, and in the earlier photos I teamed the wide legged trousers with this Scout t-shirt.
One last comment about Gujarat. It is a dry state and they are quite strict about this. Mark had to get a permit to bring in a bottle of wine. The local people love it, especially the women as domestic violence and assaults on women have almost disappeared. The number of road accidents has also drastically reduced. The current Prime Minister was the Premier of Gujarat and he brought in the ruling. He is really transforming India, and the people seem to be full of admiration of him. It’s nice to see.