Santa Cruz to Delhi=37 hours!?

Trip Start Jul 30, 2007
Trip End Aug 30, 2007

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Well...the cheapest flight may not always be the best flight plan.  We got delayed on both our connecting flights in the US and ended up missing our flight to Delhi out of Chicago.  So they booked us on a another flight through London-then to Delhi.  We ended up having two 3 hour flights and two 8 hour flights with and 8 hour layover in London.  Total travel time 37 hours, we were ready to stretch our limbs that's for sure!  Unexpected, but we made the most of it in London.  We took the tube into downtown and went to the National Gallery of Art and sat in awe of pantings by Monet, Savoldo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Van Gogh.  Had a coffee and trekked to Westminster Abbey , but it was closed so we walked around the perimeter.  Beautiful!  We are glad we only had a few hours in London because that short trip cost us about $50 bucks each!  Not what we were planning on for our trip in India.

We arrived safely in Delhi on Jet Airways which was a really nice flight. Nrutya picked us up and we came to their house in the Dwarka sector of Delhi.  We took a nap and set out for our first monument, the India Gate.  It is a memorial to all the soldiers who lost their lives in WWI .  Over 90,000 names are transcribed on the inside of the gate and there is a fire forever burning at its base.  It was stunning all lit up at night.  We then went and had our first authentic Indian food and all I can say is yummy times a thousand!  Nothing can compare in the states.  I thought I might lose weight here but if last night is a sign of things to come I will be ten pound heavier! 

At this point I must say you take your life into your own hands on the Delhi roads.  People are crazy here.  First of all they drive on the left side of the road and Arvind told us a saying that in order to drive here you need three things, "Good brakes, a good horn and good luck!"  Wham!  We got smacked on the right side and Arvind lost his mirror on our way home from diner saying, "You don't need a mirror here anyways!".  Today we got to see the traffic in the rain. People don't drive in lanes and you pretty much honk your horn the whole time.  Wendy and I figured out that you honk your horn to let people know your there as well as to encourage someone to get out of the way.  You especially have to watch out for the cows.  See video of cow xing .

Today we also had our first taste of Indian markets.  Nrutya took us shopping at Dilli Haat in South Delhi.  While we were in the market it was pouring buckets rain causing us to run from shop to shop.  This market is full with people from all the different regions of India selling their traditional clothing and crafts.  Nrutya showed us how to bargain!  I got the hang of it and was brave enough to barter my own deal.  I got the most beautiful top for only 300Rs (roughly $7) I am now set up in my new Indian dress.  I am not brave enough to wear the sari, but I got the top and paints that are familiar dress.  The top is called a khurta and the paints are called salwar.  So I am sitting in front of the computer writing in my khurta and salwar get-up.  Its good because it is hot here, 39c/102f plus 95% humidity, and these clothes are made for sweating.

We also stopped at another more classic market called Sarojini Nagar .  This was a great place.  The sounds and smells are just as you would think from in the movies of a bustling market with vendors yelling prices and "you come madam, nice clothes, you buy!" With all the rain, garbage, mud and people it was quite an assault on all the senses!  Tomorrow we plan to do all the sight seeing in Delhi, then we are off to Agra on Saturday to see the Taj Mahal.
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