All the fun of the family festival came to an end and we returned to Hyderabad with the Raos. Once again, it was good to get back. After a very restful sleep, we went to the outskirts of Hyderabad - first to the temple to get blessed! then to see Mr. Rao's lens factory. (They make plastic lenses for eyeglasses.) About 15 years ago, Mr. Rao returned to India from the United States and began this enormous undertaking. Ann and I (along with Mrs. Rao) got a whole tour of the plant, and for anyone who can appreciate the manufacturing process, its amazing! Most amazing of all is to see the progession of Mr. Rao's life, from his humble beginnings in the village to this enormous factory. A completely self made man, and a man of incredible vision (no pun intended)!
We spent the remainder of the day traveling to various markets with Mrs. Rao. As if they hadn't already been generous enough to the both of us, Mrs. Rao bought us some authentic Indian pieces -bangles for Ann and an outfit for me. Now that we have all of the appropiate garb, we can't wait to go to an Indian restaurant back home!
It was back on the tourist tract for our last day in Hyderabad. Off we went to (where else?) a fort! This was the Golconda Fort and it was as impressive as any other fort we had seen -and probably the largest. (There seem to be an innordinate number of forts in India -certainly due to a legacy of war and conflict.) We had a huge climb to the top (as opposed to some other forts where we started at the top!), but we were well rewarded. Not only were the views spectacular, but for the first time in a long while, Ann found a bottle of cold Coca-Cola. (Sadly, we had to forego the rum.) Actually, the Rao's driver, Sheva, found us the Coke. He had driven around Tenali looking for it unsuccessfully and knew that it would please Ann so!
Our day was rounded out with a visit to the Tombs of the Qutb Shahi Kings. Tomb, after tomb, after tomb, after tomb -you'll see them in the photos. Touring was only a half day as we had to head off to the train station and our next adventure. Bye bye Raos and thank you so very much!
P.S. Go Steelers!!