Ahmedabad, a city with no tourists


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As we had gotten a bit tired of long train rides, and hot and humid nights, we decided to fly for the first time since we got to India. The flight was scheduled for 11.20 from Kochi to Ahmedabad, but did not leave the ground before nearly an hour later. With a brief stop in Mumbai, the plane reached Ahmedabad in the evening, so we were struck by the northern cold night temperature as we left the plane.

As adventurous as we were, we had not booked a hotel in advance, something we highly came to regret. Because of the annual “international” kite festival, most of the hotels were fully booked, and we had to go for a hotel recommended by the rickshaw driver (which is not very smart, as the drivers usually get an allowance added to your hotel bill). It was one of the most expensive hotels we had stayed at, and certainly one of the worst, but we were too tired to keep looking and settled for what we were offered. Since several posters and books had boosted about the “huge” kite festival that was happening right by our hotel, we decided to dress up in traditional Indian outfits, and check it out. 

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A soon as we left the doors, people gave us fascinated looks, and soon as many as thirty people were accompanying us to get pictures and autographs. When we and our tail of locals reached the festival area, we were surrounded by people took pictures and wanted to shake our hands. It became clear to us that foreigners in Indian clothes was a big fascination to the locals, but for us it became too much. Just minutes of being at the festival area, we had to retreat to our hotel, desperately trying to force our way through the gathering crowd. It might sound very extreme, but this was the reality in Ahmedabad. Even though the kite festival is recommended by Lonely Planet, it did not seem to great to us the short time we spent there.

 

Ahmedabad is probably not among our favorite cities in India, but it had been cultural experience that will be hard to forget.  The same evening, we jumped on the next night train heading north to Udaipur, which was a whole other experience. 
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