Apparently tour drivers can drive the against the flow on the Delhi motorway!
09.02.2013 - 11.02.2013 15 °C
Arrived in Delhi 0300 via British Airways only two hours late due to engineering issues, the wings did not fall off after all. Club class was great, the seat does fold flat (Keith took great delight in moving my chair as soon as I was comfortably) and they have as much ice cream and sweets as you want. I practised some Hindi on the aircraft ready to fit right in with the locals, whilst Keith laughed at me.
We passed through immigration, to be greeted by Raj, the tour company's meet and greeter. Poor Raj was so tired he could not remember the location of the car and driver. We finally found the car and driver and we're given a 'swagaat' - a welcome gift of carnation flower necklaces. Then we were happily speeding down the streets of Delhi towards Hotel Visaya. It's noisy, everyone is honking their horns, it's like a strange melody. The trip flies by as I stare out of the window to avoid noticing the chaotic driving. Well I thought it was chaotic until the driver realises that we have passed the hotel! I thought fine, no problem get off further down and go back. Apparently thats not the done thing, it's far easier to swing round in a side street and head back down the motorway into the on coming traffic. I closed my eyes and listened to the car horn melody again. We did make it in one piece to hotel.
The hotel is nice, it has a zen vibe, the garden is pretty and the room is big and clean. The only thing I should have asked the tour company was how close is the hotel to central Delhi. Why you ask - because as we discovered this morning, we are no where near central Delhi. We have a couple of nice parks to walk round but other than than we are in the middle of Delhi suburbia.
After exploring the local Delhi suburbia we grabbed a car to take us to Connaught Place, apparently that means the nearest bazaar that the driver likes to park in. Then the local hustlers started, plan of action is hold my head up high and walk with purpose whilst saying 'no thank you'. No I do not want your photocopied postcards, mini chess board or a sewing device. I will take my own pictures, play chess on the Ipad and use my own travel sewing kit!
We walked for a bit and found Connaught Place. Connaught Place is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in Delhi, its a grand place. Its like a gaint central hub of a bicycle wheel, it has 8 roads leading off it like spokes. It is a vibrant place with tourists and locals all mingling around the expensive western shops. We found a excellent restaurant called Zen in which to feast. It was very busy, which is a good sign. The food was excellent and plentiful.
With full tummies we walked back to the car in order to retire to the hotel, tomorrow is a big Delhi sigthseeing day. But before we left the bazaar I needed some new sandals. Travel tip number 1: Do not pack sandals you have not really tired out, if you do you will discover like me that they really are not as comfortably as you thought!
New sandals in tow, it's time to relax before tomorrows sightseeing.
Bye Stacey and Keith