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Published: September 16th 2005
New Delhi train station
Well, that's the parcels area...
(My dear non-Israeli readers: A night train to Cairo is a famous Israeli song, hence Cairo is the first place that comes to mind when I think of night trains!)
Before you board a train, you have to go to the train station. Don't even think of "Gare du Nord" (Paris/Brussels/Tel-Aviv, wherever), there's no resemblance. Imagine thousands of people sitting there, "waiting for Godot"? I have no idea. They look very serene - "Indian shanti"? Around them, the hustle and bustle is unbelievable. People are moving around, carrying parcels - all sizes all shapes. The trains list is long, trains going all over India, some of the people around me are going to spend 2 days in the train now.
Well, we were only going to spend about 11 hours and we spoiled ourselves to an air conditioned sleeper car. There are 4 berths in each cabin, but the cabins are only closed by curtains, they are not really cabins. Well, we were a bit disappointed when we saw the place but it turned out to be ok. The train moved at 21:20 (almost on time!) and everybody went to sleep immediately. I slept a bit on and off, being a
bit tense (worrying from potential thieves, etc), but eventually I slept enough.
Our destination was Panthkot, where we had to find a bus to Dharamsala. I had no idea where the buses were but we followed some Dutch tourists to the LOCAL BUS. Well that was a real Indian experience! First it seemed ok, only about 10 people on the bus. But the bus stopped many times and got awfully loaded. The dutch guy was sitting next to a local man, and then the man wanted to be nice to a woman with a baby and she joined their seat... And then we stop - a flat tire... In fact, that was really good. We waited maybe 1/2 hour, and most of the Indians that only needed a local ride found new buses and we could breath again. The way to McLeod Ganj took 3.5 hours and the views became nicer and nicer on the way, giving us hope that our vacation here is starting to improve!
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