Did we have a belly nice time in Dehli?
Trip Start Jan 20, 2009
120Trip End Jan 19, 2010
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It is difficult to explain what India is like unless you visit here. It is a total assault of the senses and is what it must be like if Jackson Pollock painted a picture on your eyes, nose and ears. People swarm everywhere, it’s like Oxford Street or Grafton Street the Saturday before Christmas. The pavements are filled with people, street vendors, piles of rubbish, cows, goats, dogs, whilst the roads are filled with cars, trucks, rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycles and even more cows. There are vibrant colours everywhere, from the women in the saris to the brightly coloured parakeets. As for the smells they range from open sewers to delicious food, from gentle whiffs of incense to gently roasting spices. For the first day we stumbled round in a sense of nervous awe, trying to take everything in, whilst constantly looking at where our feet were. It wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be, however it was a probably a good thing this was our last stop on the trip rather than the first.
When we eventually got over the initial shock we headed to old Delhi to visit the Red Fort. The fort once belonged to the Murghal leaders and is now a sign of national pride where Indians once dreamed of seeing their national flag flying over the main door instead of the British one and where politicians still deliver their Independence Day speeches. The fort itself is a little run down, however inside there is some fantastic Murghal architecture with many mosques, temples and tombs. Outside of the fort we wandered through the old bazaar which feels like it’s been unchanged since medieval times. Tiny little lanes and shops everywhere, the streets were once again thronged with people and for some reason men walking goats with tinsel around the goats necks!
The next day we visited Humayun's tomb which was the forerunner to the Taj Mahal. It was a beautiful and elegant building and if it wasn’t for the Taj Mahal it might be considered one of India’s premier treasures. After the chaos of Delhi the 13 hectares of garden made for tranquil setting.
On the subject on the infamous Delhi belly – so far so good! The food has been delicious although the lack of meat and alcohol maybe Paul’s biggest challenge of the trip so far!
Seeing new and different things has made us very excited about travelling again and we feel we are seeing a completely different place and culture to the ones we’ve seen, really for the first time since Ecuador. People normally have very polar opinions about India, they either love it or hate it, first impressions so far are good and we hope to be in the first group as opposed to the latter.
Here are the photos.
Next stop, Amritsar the holiest site for the Sikh religion.