Last week I was in India. No, not a holiday – I was there for work and with 5 of my colleagues, but since it was my first time there and we had two days (1 at each end of the week) to sightsee, it kinda felt like one.
I’ll spare you all the intensive minute by minute account and give the highlights.
Day 1 – we arrived at 3am and after a short nap we headed out to see the town. Brian had been to Delhi before so he was our tour guide for the day. We began our sightseeing at Connaught Place before heading down the road to Jantar Mantar,which I’ve been wanting to see since I read about it in Astronomy magazine as a kid. I loved the geometric lines of the instruments and we clambered over most of them and explored. There’s heaps of information so I’ll set up a little page about that one and won’t bore you with the details here. As we were all melting in the 38C heat, our next stop was the nearest hotel for a cold drink!
Once cooled down Brian decided it was time to brave the rickshaws. We negotiated a price for two and all 6 of us crammed into the back. Then it was off to Jama Masjid – what a ride! James provided a near constant commentary consisting of the word “Feck!” as we negotiated the traffic. The walk up to the mosque itself was crammed with people. Someone pointed out that there were visiting dignitaries so we wouldn’t get inside, but we continued towards the mosque anyway – all the while people were taking our photos and staring at us, we were clearly quite out of place! The poverty in this area was striking. There were disfigured people, old people and children all begging – we were a prime target. The stench of burning plastics and rubbish mingled with the heated spices of the street food being cooked on outdoor fireplaces.
After the mosque, we headed past the Red Fort and through parts of Chandi Chowk where Ciara and Lisa haggled some poor stall holder into the dust to buy baby clothes for Ciara’s nephew. By the time we finally found the metro station we were exhausted and ready for a rest. The metro was standing room only but someone pointed us girls to the women’s carriage so we ended up travelling in spacious, cool comfort while the boys were stuck in the sardine can.
That evening we met the gang from NIIT and went out for dinner. Food was incredible! After dinner we stopped by India Gate for icecreams before heading back home. An overwhelmingly amazing day.
A small selection of the photos I’ve taken. You’ll find more at Flickr
India Highlights Day 1, a set on Flickr.