Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Travel Day to New Delhi, India

We started our morning early with a buffet breakfast. They gave us a box lunch to take with us, as they said the food on the plane to New Delhi was not “up to Princess standards.” The box weighed quite a bit and along with a carry-on, a purse, and a hat, it was a bit of a struggle. Hmmm…wonder what’s inside?

Can you imagine what the plane food must be like?! I took the bananas, oranges and juice box, and hoped someone would make use of the rest.

One of the many shanty towns we passed along the way...

Many talented stone carvers... 

And sadly, so much garbage. Our guide, Ash, said the people are more concerned about where they will find food, rather than worrying about the garbage. Look at the poor cow.

Lots of interesting sights…here the stalls are set up in the shade of the overpass.

The bus window had some "dribbles" on it.

I was amazed at the bravery of these women. They ride side saddle because of the saris. The bikes go so fast and stop so quickly. Notice only the driver wears a helmet, and quite often not even he does. Wouldn’t the people in Canada freak over having a child on a bike like this! Ash says they believe in destiny when they are driving: if it’s your time, it’s your time.

This lady was managing to drive with her sari.

You see this sign on the backs of many vehicles. Believe me, people sound their horns! When you hear the horn, stay in your "lane" because someone is going to pass you. You're just not sure if it will be on the left or the right.

This looked like a more prosperous area…

You see many men wearing the dhoti, as man on the left is.

When the light changed, the horns started blowing. First man (or woman) out wins!

Here we are at the Chennai airport. It looked like it was under construction, but then again just about everything did!

Lots of these unique taxi cabs...

Wow! A nice, modern, clean airport. It was a crazy, busy place. I guess if we knew the ropes, it would have been easier. Barb, Ed and I all just had carry-ons. Ash said sometimes security will let you through with small gels/liquids, and sometimes they won’t, so we decided to check our bags.

After a 2-1/2 hour flight, we landed in New Delhi. What a beautiful airport! 

I thought Jim would get a kick out of this. When we got on the bus, they put a garland of marigolds around our necks. It's Jim’s favourite flower and my least favourite. Yellow is the holy colour of Hindu.

Here is New Delhi. The roads were beautiful and it was much less chaotic. New Delhi is the capital of India, and has a population of 70 million people in an area of 1500 km2 (about 1/4 of the size of PEI!). New Delhi has 145 foreign embassies and high commissions.

This is Ash, who was our tour guide for the next two days. He has been a freelance tour guide for over 25 years.

Lots of parks and greenery.

We had one stop before going to our hotel . By now it was 5:30 p.m. and it had been a long day. Our stop was the Lakshmi Narain Temple or the Birla Temple. The temple is adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garden and covers 7.5 acres. It is one of the major attractions of Delhi and thousands of devotees visit on the Hindu festivals.

In 1939, the temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.  At that time, Gandhi made it a condition that the temple would not be restricted to the Hindus and that people from every caste would be allowed inside.

Look at the clean streets.

A very interesting fact…the swastika is widely used in Indian religions, primarily as a symbol to evoke "shakti" or the sacred symbol of auspiciousness. There were many of them on the temple.

The temple was very nice inside, but we were not allowed to take pictures.

And at last we arrived at our hotel for the night, The Meridien.

My room was on the 15th floor and, when you got off the elevator, this was the view down to the lobby.

The room was quite high tech. With a panel beside the bed, you could even change the colour of the panel above the bed.

A beautiful tiled bathroom...

A nice touch! We were warned to drink and brush our teeth with bottled water only, so I decided to pass on the almonds.

There was a buffet dinner and then everyone retired early. I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. Crazy! Tomorrow we are taking the train to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

1 comment:

John Moris said...

I like your travel experience, after reading your blog i think Delhi travel India is a great thing for travelers, great job keep it up dude....