Before I move on to speak about Delhi, it’s important to say that we had an amazing night at Domnick’s in Goa on our final evening! We met up with Karen, who we would’ve liked to have had more time with, we bumped into Siddhu who had looked after us on trips and who seemed to have his dance moves down pat! It was a fun filled night, good food ( fresh shark for the boys!), good company and not too bad entertainment, the best being later in the evning when the pop style Indian music was played – Alan’s knees will never be the same again! Our final mornign was breakfast at Rath’s place followed by coffee and tears as we bid each other farewell! Janet and Andy getting ready for home and Alan and I getting ready for our Flight to Delhi.
The flight to Delhi was great, although we did go via Bangalore, which is about 1 hour in the opposite direction to where we were going, but as I said the flight was great. We arrived in Delhi to a much cooler climate and headed off to our hotel in a dodgy looking taxi! As we are staying in the dodgy part of town I suppose it was fitting – but the advice offered on TripAdvisor was very accurate, the hotel is quite pleasant with a sense that you have walked through the doors of a tardis and being transported into another world – the madness of the street outside versus the quiet of the hotel!
Our first day has been an experience and a half, infact only half way through the day we have been greeted with annoyance & aggression of touts, and senses overload. The persistance of the people we must say is unbelievable. One guy who so wanted to help us became quite angry when we declined politely, then another guy came and reassured us and them seemingly was on the same mission. We did finally get an auto and head to Conaught Place and check out the underground bazar and have a walk around central park before heading off to the Red Fort.
The Red Fort is quite grand, quite amazing actually and fantasitically peaceful inside, we visited the museum which displayed India’s struggle for freedom, which was very interesting and also very saddning to think that I am originally from a nation that has caused such pain and struggle for others in so many places, our current home included! We walked to the Jama Masjid which is India’s largest mosque, it was interesting that people go in free but camera’s, including mobile phone camera’s, cost 200 rupees to enter!
We wandered around the back streets and to be honest although they are an eye opener, very busy and congested they are probably the places where we were allowed to wander without harrassment. The roads in Delhi are something else, never have I expereinced anything quite like it, Mumbai seems like congestion kindergarten compared to Delhi, Chennai seems like the home of Driving Miss Daisy just in 3 short auto rides today we have bumped into and being bumped into more times than we have even witnessed in our travels around India! There also seems to be a sense of road rage, again something we haven’t witnessed elsewhere in India. It seems like an impossible place to navigate and with such a short saty I don’t think we will actually master it!
Tomorrow we head off to the Ghandi Smriti, the place where Ghandi was killed and is now home to his stick, shoes and spinning wheel, it is the place where he apparently spent the last 144 days of his life. We are looking forward to that but for me I think Delhi is done and I can’t see it being a place I would return to, but then again tomorrow is another day!