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Published: July 30th 2017
Here we are in the Holy city Amritsar. We arrived this afternoon after a surprisingly straightforward journey. We took an overnight 8 hour flight from Heathrow to Delhi and were well looked after by Jet Airlines, although I must admit to cabin envy walking through the luxurious pods in business class to find my seat in economy. Despite the basic airline seat, I read a book and slept well. A swift and straightforward domestic flight took us from Delhi to Amritsar where we were met by our very energetic guide Rackesh.
It has been over 30 years since I visited India and I am thrilled to be back. I had forgotten what the roads are like, and hardly 5 minutes out of the airport , we saw families of five squeezed on to motor bikes without a helmet in sight. Cars, vans, buses and horse drawn cars compete for space and the only rule it seems, is to honk the horn as loud as you can.
We received a warm welcome at Ranjit's Svaasa, the family run hotel where we are staying. Red bracelets were wound on our left wrists for luck and we were given rosewater to drink.
It looked very pretty and tasted of Turkish delight. This quirky hotel is full of character, a blend of colonial chic and Sikh artwork. The spacious rooms are arranged on three levels around a beautiful courtyard, I can't wait to see it lit up at night. The hotel also offers a wide range of Ayurvedic therapies and treatments in it's luxurious spa.
After a much needed siesta, we set out for to the Yellow Chilli for a delicious Punjabi meal. Owned by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, the restaurant aims to re-invent cult dishes from all over India. The food was beautifully presented and deliciously spiced, but certainly not cheap! It was a great way to kick off our adventure.
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