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Published: February 15th 2018
We had a plan for the day starting with which places we were going to visit. When we got where we were going we would pay the tuk-tuk driver and find another when we were ready to move on. Plan worked fine for phase one of the day as we took a tuk-tuk from the hotel to India Gate, paid 100 rupees and driver went on his way. Very busy place to be, food vendors everywhere and families out having fun. All very colourful and that was helped by a political rally taking place just by the gate in an area cordoned off and guarded by lot of police. Watched that for a while though had no idea who was speaking. The rally disbanded just as we were leaving so we were able to walk round the monument proper. We picked up another tuk-tuk with the aim of going to Lilli Hat market which had been recommended to us as a great place for handicrafts. Driver persuaded us that he would stay with us and take us where we wanted to go. Well the government emporium he took us to and told us it was the market was Not
where we wanted to go. Not sure it was his fault, think they are all indoctrinated into the plan to always take tourists to the emporiums, which are fixed price and government backed and Never to the tourist markets the tourists want to visit.
Gave up attempt to find a market and am still searching for the proper markets I know are here but no idea how to get to one.
(There is a proper market at Lilli Haat with gardens and food stalls but only confirmed that later on Google. )
Driver then took us to the Lodi Gardens, next on our list. We agreed to return to where he dropped us in an hour and went for a stroll in this lovely peaceful park. Again lots of families out having fun. Next stop was a fantastic new and enormous temple complex just over the river .
Swaminarayan Akshardham. Indeed superb and some wonderful carvings. A new temple complex finished only in 2005. However we did not enjoy the experience nor did we see most of its charms which supposedly include a river cruise and water show. What we saw was a ridiculous, 1 hour,
queue to drop off all cameras and mobile phones at little booths fronting a large storage room, in exchange for a token. Not happy about leaving my camera and the form to leave with it asked for a mobile number. Ha. A lot of use that is as we had to leave the phone with them and switched off. Someone hasn't thought this through. Upshot was that after queuing for an hour and then going through personal, scanner security, ladies one way, men the other, the spare camera batteries I carry in my little handbag were discovered and I was frogmarched in disgrace to hand them in. Nowhere by the way does it say that batteries are banned ! Bob had no idea where I was and it took about an hour and a half to leave my batteries in exchange for another token and eventually find Bob again. Would have been another hour if I hadn't become exceedingly distressed and annoyed with half a dozen security people. Really put a dampener on the visit and all pleasure at the lovely buildings were lost in the stupidity of the system. We walked through the
complex, out the other side, collected our deposited things and left. Can think of more pleasant ways to spend almost 3 hours than that. Next stop, and we decided on only one more as so much time had been lost, was the Agrasen Ki Baoli ancient stepwell. Built probably in about 1300,
60-meter long and 15-meter wide, it is an incredible sight. We decided not to climb down to the bottom where there used to be a little mosque but admired the construction from the top.
Back then to the hotel, no swim today as rather late and therefore chilly and then a walk to Connaught Place where we found a super restaurant, Zaffran. Took a while as it was not quite where Google said it was and we went right round the block to find it though we had initially been standing almost directly outside.
Found a 24 seven shop on the way back to the hotel. Indian version of 7eleven and just what we needed as like to keep fresh juice in the fridge for a morning drink.
Not sure what we think of this city. Connaught Place is certainly more exciting at
night when all lit up and the shops are on display. It is full of life and we are learning to deal with the constant hassle. If another street vendor tries to sell me a large map of India they will find it develops a large head shaped hole in the middle just about where Delhi is located.
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