New trip. New Delhi, India
It took us two years to decide on our next big trip, although it should have taken two days. It was always going to be India – we have a taste for Asia now and a rule that means we need to travel the most challenging countries while we (and our bowels) are still young. So India it was. Our family and friends were as supportive as ever, offering up such gems as “But you’ll be sick all the time,” and “You know it smells really bad there?” If we had restricted our visit to New Delhi alone, we may have believed them.
New Delhi is okay. The Red Fort makes a great afternoon visit. In the chaos that is Delhi it’s a perfect escape – beautiful grounds, hassle-free wandering and incredible architecture. Gary took some photos that you might like. Let’s be honest, you’re all here for the pretty pictures anyway.
Outside of the Red Fort there wasn’t much to hold us in Delhi. Connaught Place was quite barren and the bazaars of the Old Town were fun but turned a little scary after dusk. I’m sure there was a lot more to the city, indeed our journey to the bus station (we made a hasty retreat after only a day) landed us in a pretty neighbourhood full of manicured lawns and trees. We read about a promising Ghandi Museum and some ghats we wanted to visit but after a bad tuk-tuk ride left us on the wrong side of New Dehli Train Station – completely blind against a wall of smog, deaf from blaring horns and with heads swimming from the smell of pee – our brief romance with India’s capital city was well and truly over.
In fairness, our travel senses were a little rusty and as culture shock goes, New Delhi is a big, cold slap in the face. It was a fitting start to a journey that is bound to be full of dramatic highs and lows, swooning over temples and gropings from strangers. After four days (more on this later) India has already proven herself to be one of those travel environments that holds a mirror up to you, acting as the most attentive lover when you’re smiling, but hissing, scratching and swearing when the mood turns sour. Our advice – don’t take New Delhi as indicative of the whole. If you’re flying in or out of the capital, by all means take a day but we wouldn’t go out or our way to see it and if you do, don’t stay anywhere near New Delhi Train Station.
There are more photos from New Delhi in the gallery