The last Indian journey
New Delhi, India
The train took 13 hours to reach New Delhi main train station.
I didn’t sleep very well, the train felt like it was shaking a lot. It wasn’t as smooth as other train journeys have been.
The train station wasn’t all that busy and we caught taxis the short distance to our hotel in Karol Bagh. The second time round, Delhi doesn’t seem so bad.
Maybe I’m more used to the chaos, dirt and people now.
Varanasi was a lot lot dirtier.
After a couple of hours hanging in the hotel lobby, they let us check into our rooms for a much needed shower!
Then off to explore some more of Delhi.
I only had 1 day before, so didn’t go to too many places. I caught the metro a few stops along to Pragati Maiden, then a tuk tuk for the rest of the way to Humayun’s tomb.
This tomb was made during the 16th century, during Mughal times. It was built by Haji Begum, the Persian-born senior wife of the second Mughal emperor Humayun. The Taj Mahal is surprisingly similar in design, but being made later and apparently copying some of the design.
Within the 12 hectares of grounds there were several other tombs, including Isa Khan. This was a rounded building, surrounded by columns. Really pretty.
I could hear the calls to prayer coming from the nearby Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah area where there are some mosques and shrines for a sufi (the people who sing the call to prayer).
Lodi gardens were really pretty. It felt like I had left India and entered a whole new place.
Green grass covered with trees and colourful flowers. There was a small lake with some ducks. Squirrels running around everywhere and apparently some wild peacocks, but I didn’t see any.
There were a couple of old tombs around too, sitting between all the pretty flowers. There weren’t too many people around, it was nice.
Just up the road, I had a quick walk through Khan market (they have an Accessorize here!).
Then time to head back. It’s far too hot in this heat!
Getting back involved 3 different metros. The second one being horrendously busy an getting off I had a huge fat Indian guy shoving me out, I almost tripped down the gap of the platform.
It’s the last night of the tour, so one last group dinner together. And one last late night!
Saturday 4 May 2013
After last night, I didn’t feel like doing too much! After waving everyone off at various times in the morning, I stayed in bed until the 12pm check out time.
Then just moved around the various sitting places in the hotel for most of the day.
I went for a walk down the high street – you could buy everything Indian. Saris, bindis, wedding outfits, decorated leather sandals etc.
I didn’t buy anything, just wandered around watching.
For dinner I went to the street stalls. The stalls were really busy, churning out dosas, Chinese wraps (vegetables wrapped in a nan bread) and the sweet swirly jalebis.
This time I got to watch them making the jalebis – squirting the batter into hot oil, then straight into sugar syrup. They are so tasty, but so so sweet and oily!
And the dosas – I watched as the man spread the batter out, then added the potato filling all so quickly! And I had a dosa masala – really tasty and the cheapest meal yet – 50p.
I left at 10pm to head back to the airport. It all looked very different on the way back. I guess I’m just used to it now.
The queues through the airport were really long. It took me an hour to get through immigration.
But I was shocked at how nice the airport is! A large selection of food and shops, wow. Is this India?!
Officially you’re not allowed to take Indian rupee out of the country. Noone checked, but I don’t know if you can exchange it out of the country. So I went around all the shops spending my last £8!
The flight left on time at 2am. I had a screaming, kicking, spoilt child behind me. He was grabbing my hair and pulling my cardigan from behind. Perhaps not the peaceful flight I was hoping for.
Bye bye India.
I’ve had a great time. I really didn’t think I would enjoy it. But I loved it. Everything was so different. The food was always really good. The cows standing in the road are funny. The shops always have so much colourful stuff for sale. And every place we have been has been so varied and different. I’m sad to be leaving after such a short time.