After waking up in the fabulous Marriott Hotel, sight-seeing was scheduled. The few steps between the hotel entrance and the waiting bus were enough to predict: It’s gonna be a terribly hot day!
First object to see was the Government Museum Chennai where we lionised lots of historic sculptures of Vishnu, Ganesh, Shiwa (not Mike), Buddha and his other friends. These sculptures were not as old as they seemed to be, some were “just” around 200 years. However, some were really amazing detailed elaborated. The zoological section showed all kinds of animals found in India, a few foreign species could be seen as well. Because the rooms of the museum were not cooled, everybody was glad to re-enter the bus, although we saw only few of the generally interesting museum.
The short visit in a park near the sea with the MGR Memorial and the Anna Memorial caused everybody to sweat, some only little, others a little more. It was quite muggy and hot, around 33°. Our last stop before lunch was at the “International Schrein of St. Thomas Basilica” where a mass was just in progress. The drive to the place where we were supposed to have lunch lead us through some lively streets. Tons of people, hectic traffic, markets, beggars and even artists could be seen.
After a typical Indian buffet and some moments of rest, our two buses carried us to marina beach, a part of the remarkable wide beach of Chennai. On our way along the sea to get to marina beach we saw empty parts of beach, fishermen maintaining their nets and finally the well populated area of marina beach. The 250 meters from the street to the sea were characterised by Indian children, as well as adults, extensively watching us. As swimming was prohibited, we soon went back to the buses.
The heat and moisture was heavy for us to take and we all were quite idle and powerless. Back in the hotel at 16:30 most went in their rooms, some went to the gymnastics-room and few took a massage.
By Kristian Bubalo, Dario Cocchi, Simon Guldener