After a 20-hour trip via London and Mumbai, we arrived Hyderabad at 8 a.m. to be picked up by Adrian and driver Chinna. After catching up on hugs with Adrian again after a 6-month gap, we headed for the Red Fox hotel who were able to allow us an early check in for a wonderful shower and nap before heading off for the day.
Upon exiting our A/C bliss, we were met with a wall of heat which reached 43 degrees by 2 pm. That was a rather nasty intro to the southern India midsummer weather.
Nevertheless, we spent a full day takng in the sites of the city that has changed considerably since we were last here in winter 1989. In particular, the ´Hitech' area we are staying in consists of lavish commercial buildings for operations of dozens of international companies. New construction is everywhere. The thriving middle class was evident in the large number of individually owned cars, condo towers and in our lunch spot, apparently a top biryani restaurant in town, which was so overflowing with customers that we were considering bribing the waiters to find us a seat.
Together with Adrian and Lottie, the UK girl he has been dating here, we checked out Chowmahalla Palace as well as Birla Mandir, a beautiful white marble Hindu complex, at sunset from which we had good views over central Hyderabad surrounding Hussein Sagar lake. Somehow, betwixt and between these venues and dinner we stopped off at Raymond tailors to outfit our boy a new suit which was fitted and altered just by closing time of 9 pm.
What a sleep was to ensue!