Delhi Delights - Old Delhi.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, November 3, 2005

Delhi is overwhelming at first particularly if you arrive in the early hours of the morning and your hotel, booked on the Internet, bears no resemblance to the pictures! Our flight was delayed and then luggage retrieval took an hour. After that a 45 minute journey to our hotel meant it was 4.00am before we found our bed in a very "downmarket" hotel and area in the Paharganj district. After a few hours sleep (our hotel was very noisy) we set off to discover the sights and sounds unique to India and find ourselves another equally cheap but cleaner and quiet room.

The first sight (and smell!) that sets India apart from other Asian countries is the cows that wander around the streets of the city at will. Being sacred in India they do as they please and (this is where the smell comes in!) their excrement is everywhere underfoot. The other problem this creates is an enormous amount of very unhealthy dust. The sounds that fill the air are much like other Asian cities, tooting horns and tenacious touts, however it was still a bit of a culture shock at first as it is a while since we have been in Asian countries.

The 5 day Hindu festival, Diwali, was in full swing, the streets decorated with tinsel and each night fire crackers have been let off.

The tourists are rather thin on the ground at the moment due to the 3 bombs that went off the previous Saturday. One of those was in the street where we are staying. The death toll is at 63 now with around 200 injured. It would have been many times worse but a bus passenger noticed someone leave a bag on a bus and walk away. He notified the driver who grabbed the bag and threw it off the bus before it exploded. The responsibility for the bombs is not yet known.

After a bit of a nervous and shaky start to eating out, we have embraced Indian food and are enjoying the mostly vegetarian menus.

The main method of transport around Delhi is auto rickshaw which is a little 3 wheeler open cab. It is very inexpensive with most rides being only about $1A.

After a few days enjoying the sights we endured the India train booking system and achieved tickets on a sleeper train to go to Varanasi.
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