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Published: April 19th 2011
So we arrive at Delhi almost two hours later than scheduled. We had booked a hostel from Goa and arranged for someone to pick us up from the station. He didn’t seem too pleased about the late train but oh well! Smyle Inn, where we had booked to stay for 6 nights, is down an alley off the main bazar in Paharganj. Its quite nice to be staying near the bustling market after 6 days of laziness in Goa. The first thing we noticed about Delhi was that the traffic is 10x worse than in Mumbai! Once we had checked in we enquired about food and the young guy at reception passed us a Domino’s Pizza menu… Yes please! We couldn’t face another curry after almost 2 weeks of eating Indian food every day so ordered 2 large pizzas despite the fact we know we can’t even finish 2 large pizzas back home! We couldn’t finish them.
On Thursday we got up and went for breakfast on the hostel rooftop (included in price of approx Rs 700 per night along with Wifi) which was a combination of cornflakes, a banana and an omelette sandwich with a carton of mango juice.
The biggest Mosque in Delhi
We visited the National museum, some parts were quite good but many of the galleries were closed for renovation which of course they don’t tell you until you have paid your Rs300 per person entry fee. We don’t have any pictures of the museum as we didn’t want to pay the extra Rs300 camera fee! After that we went and had a look at the India Gate before heading over to Connaught Place, which to be honest just confused us! Had dinner that night overlooking the bazar. Angelo likes to order his food extra spicy, which he has now been banned from doing as he struggles to eat it and leaves Debbie waiting too long in the morning while he’s paying for it in the loo.
On Friday we visited Jama Masjid, the largest Mosque in Delhi and then The Red Fort. At the mosque if your showing the slightest bit of skin they throw either a gown at you if you’re a lady or a long skirt type thing if you’re a man for you to wear inside. The gowns are not the most flattering things :/ but Angelo found it funny. Of course they then charge you
Debbie in her gown
Angelo said she looked like a penguin :/
for wearing the gown/skirt on the way out in addition to the small fee for the guy who watches your shoes. Both the Jama Masjid and the Red Fort was built during the Mughal Dynasty, by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal. Wondering round the red fort a tour guide attached himself to us – and to be honest we’re glad he did as it was nice to know what we were looking at. He was a fairly old guy, and got very excited telling us about the history of the place. We also visited Raj Ghat, where you can see where Gandhi was cremated – free to get in for a change. The place was filled with Tamils and Angelo overheard a few of them talking about us – where do you think they are from? Do you think they are married? How do his parents let him get away with that? – the usual. We went back to Smyle Inn for a few hours before heading out for dinner. On recommendation from one of the guys at the hostel we went to Malhotra Restaurant and had a very tasty Veg Thali, even nicer than the one
Ang in his skirt
Ang says its a sarong
we had in Palolem although it was double the price (but still only about £1.50). After dinner we headed back over to the Red Fort for the Sound and Light Show, which tells the story of the Fort using … well... sound and light! Overall the show was pretty good for the price, although expected a little more from the light part maybe! The worst thing was the mosquitoes, they were everywhere and we spent the whole hour swatting them away from our faces and feet. Debbie was bitten all up her legs even with leggings on – the Indians aren’t the only ones who have a thing for her pale and very thin skin!
On Saturday we visited Humayan’s Tomb which is pretty amazing to look at, like a mini Taj Mahal. Then we popped over to the Zoo for a few hours. We mainly saw deer. Everywhere you go there’s some kind of deer enclosure and the Indians seem to get quite excited about them! We did also see rhino’s, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, Bengal and Himalayan tigers and a load of exotic and huge birds. The zoo was ok but there weren’t many foreigners there and all
the Indians kept staring at us. We found the same in Mumbai, we’re pretty sure it’s because they all think Angelo’s Indian and find him being with a white girl hilarious. And it’s not like discreet staring, it’s blatant in your face staring and laughing. Angelo had a little outburst and asked a group of Indian guys if they would like a picture. I don’t think they understood. The Bengal tigers were not actually in their enclosure, and there were not many people about. One of the Zoo keepers called us over and let us into the back where all the tigers were. There were about 5 Bengal tigers, just been fed, in their cages. They were huge. One of the Zoo keepers tried to get us to touch one – no chance mate! They roared at us and were a little scary as they were just so big! It was cool though to see them so close up and looking right at us and worth the Rs35 tip. We got told off for trying to take a picture as they obviously were not supposed to take anyone back there, but we got one anyway! Neither of us felt too
good after the Zoo, too much sun and fed up with being stared at we went back to the hostel and slept for a few hours. We briefly popped out for some food in the evening and made a few purchases from the bazar.
On Sunday neither of us (especially Deb) were feeling too good so we abandoned our sightseeing plans and got up late. We decided to do something different (and requiring little physical activity) and go to the cinema. We asked our tuk-tuk driver to drop us off outside the cinema we had planned to go to. He dropped us off ensuring us the cinema was just the other side of the building he had stopped in front of. We were not completely convinced but paid the man and started walking. There was indeed a cinema on the other side of the building, although this one was ‘closed for renovation’ and definitely not the one we had asked him to take us to! Now why would we want to be dropped off outside a closed cinema? Silly man. Anyway after another short tuk-tuk ride we arrived at the cinema and got tickets for our intended film ‘Just
go with it’.
Monday we were feeling a bit better and decided to do the sightseeing we had planned for yesterday. We went to see the Lotus Temple, basically a temple shaped like a lotus flower and it is quite a sight. We took the metro to get there which was an experience in itself, we have never been pushed and shoved so much in my life, its mayhem compared to the tube. Anyway when we got off at the station to see the temple and made the mistake of turning left instead if right which instead of taking us straight to the temple took us past peoples houses and a market full of litter and swarming with flies, we turned a corner next to a Hindu Temple and that’s when we saw him. Elephant Baba. Now before leaving home we downloaded the TV series ‘An Idiot Abroad’ and have been watching it over the past 2 weeks. Literally 1 week ago we were watching this guy on the show and suddenly he was in front of us! Here’s a picture for those of you who don’t know Elephant Baba www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/forum/forums/get-attachment.asp?action=view&attachmentid=13074.
After the lotus temple we got back
on the Metro to visit Qutb Minar, buildings dating from India’s Islamic rule which were pretty cool actually, some beautiful buildings. Our guide book told us it would cost Rs250 per person but we were in luck, as it seemed to be some kind of special day entry was free! After a few hour back at the hostel we nipped out for dinner, stopping on the way and the way back to chat to Farhaan, a guy that has a leather goods shop down the alley to our hostel who we have got to know a bit over the last few days.
So it’s now Tuesday and we are catching the train to Jaipur this afternoon. We are taking sleeper class for the first time which is the lowest of the reserved classes, we will let you know how it goes!
Deb & Ang
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