We started our journey by walking down to Kapaleeshwarar Temple. The carvings on the exterior were incredible! But of course, the temple was closed. I’m sure it would have been great to learn a bit more about it. In my short readings, I discovered that the temple was built around the 7th century. Man, that is old! Great job old carvers!
A bunch of tuk-tuk drivers in the immediate area informed us that it wouldn’t open until 4pm. What to do? A couple of the guys seemed quite tenacious about an option wherein we’d hire one of them to drive us around. He’d take us all over the city to various sites and return us to the hotel for 100 INR. That’s about two bucks. We chose one of them: Kumar! Let’s go!
Kumar took us first to the San Thome Basilica. It’s apparently one of three cathedrals in the world housing the remains of one of the apostles. That seemed impressive to me. We wandered downstairs to an area where you can peek at a patch of dirt that I suppose is the burial place of Saint Thomas. Felt a bit strange. There’s an attached museum that you can check out. I’m sure there’s some great stuff in there, but nothing was really explained. Some rocks with old looking writing in them... but nothing telling you what vintage they were, what they said, that kind of deal. Oops.
We continued on to Fort St. George. It’s a fort that was basically the birthplace of the entire city. Set up by the British East India Company in the 1600s. It still houses government buildings and a museum. No pictures here, as there wasn’t really much of a centrepiece that seemed impressive. It was quite a massive fortress, though!
And now, on to today. We awoke at 4:15am. Why, you ask? Well, to run the MADathon 2015, of course! We thought it’d be fun to run a 10km here in Chennai, so we signed up! Our trusty tuk-tuk driver Kumar showed up bang-on time at 4:50am -- what a champ!
The race itself was pretty entertaining. At one point, we had to dodge around three cows that were moving across the road we were running on. There were maybe a couple of hundred people in total running half marathon, 10km, 5km, and 3km races. The signage was pretty hilariously confusing, with each of the race signs having about 3-4 distances written on them. This is because all of the races were on the same stretch of road and each of them doubled back one or more times. So you’re trying to figure out where you’re supposed to turn around to make a 10km race and you’re madly trying to read something like “3km first turn around, 10km 5km distance, half marathon 7.5km, half marathon second turn around”. You get the gist. We got “lost” at one point and just kind of made it up as we went along. According to Sandra’s GPS watch, we went 10.3km -- so hey, we did it!
Onto tonight! There was a stand-up comedy show going on in a bar attached to our hotel. We checked it out and it was pretty entertaining! There was an Indian comic in from LA headlining and he did a great job. Raj Sharma was the name. We both enjoyed it, but it was unfortunate at times because some of the punchlines were in Hindi. You sit through the whole set-up in English and then just listen to the crowd erupt in laughter at the big payoff in Hindi. Darn. But overall a really fun night!
Downer is that I can’t currently locate one of our credit cards. We think it’s in the restaurant we ate dinner at. Let’s hope for the best as we head back tomorrow to (hopefully) pick it up! Wish us luck!