Christmas in Delhi
Trip Start Nov 14, 2010
82Trip End Nov 13, 2011
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Another early morning train which left on time and arrived almost on time! We checked into our soon to be second home, Cottage Crowne Plaza ( we ended up staying here 5 times due to missed trains and routing problems) and sorted ourselves for the day. By the time we had eaten and fussed about we decided to spend the day wandering around Connaught Place and to find the hotel that we had booked for Christmas. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!! While looking at a map to find where we were a man asked us if we needed help and pointed us in the right direction with the usual comment “There is a tourist office up there also”. (although we knew it wasn’t an official one and that they earn commission by directing us there) So we headed off and a young boy, who looked about 12 years old but turned out to be 17, then started talking to us. We responded but carried on walking thinking that he would leave us to carry on walking. We thought wrong! He walked about 2km with us before we finally got rid of him. When leaving us he says “There is a tourist office up there also.” As we crossed the road another man approached us that we recognised as a rickshaw driver who had accosted us back in Connaught place
With a new attitude, we set out to do a little sightseeing and decided to visit the Red Fort in Old Delhi
On exiting the fort, a man started walking next to us and started to prod us trying to get us to take a picture of him. Unfortunately for him the tourist police saw what he was doing and put a stop to it by grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and dragging him off.
Old Delhi is absolute mayhem; people selling things everywhere and crowds and crowds of people. There literally must be noone at work as everyone is shopping! After wandering down a little side street we managed to see a wedding procession . The couple were in a carriage with a giant white horse on the front of it, being pushed on wheels by 12 men with one man responsible for holding the electricity wires up with a stick to let the processions through!
We found the spice market that Heston Bluenthal visited on his programme ’In pursuit of perfection’, which was fascinating. The smell was really overwhelming. Continuing on with our food theme we ate at the Moti Mahal, the restaurant that invented Butter chicken. Both Gordon Ramsey and Heston visited this restaurant in their TV programmes
The Sound and light show at the fort was much better than visiting during the day. It was atmospheric to hear the history of the fort while eat part was illuminated in different ways. We had much more productive day which was definitely less stressful.
Christmas eve and the move to out 5* hotel ’The Metropolitan’. What luxury! A huge comfy bed, large plumped up pillows, a rainforest shower head shower and … a hairdryer! What bliss! Free wine and chocolates and bath robes! To complete our Christmas experience we headed to Connaught Place and bought a small Christmas tree, mince pies and wine to go with our already bought Christmas hats. There were lots of freaky looking santa’s around and lots of people wearing Christmas hats.
Our free dinner in the hotel restaurant ’Chutney’ was delicious Indian food and we were stuffed after. Rob had found a Cathedral down the road from us so we walked down there and were shocked to find people selling Christmas hats, candles and decorations. Sacred Heart Cathedral was bustling with people and was covered in lights with a large Christmas tree and a Nativity scene
Very strange to be waking up in a hotel on Christmas Day but also great to spend our first Christmas together. Had a blissful nights sleep in the huge comfy bed. It was great to her Christmas tunes as we ate breakfast and all the staff were wishing us Merry Christmas. The day was spent relaxing, watching movies and listening to music and we took a short stroll to buy more wine! The best part of the day was talking to our families through skype. After a few hitches we could finally hear each other and we saw the whole of the Angell family; Mum, Dad, Matt, Pete, Philippa, Auntie June, Elliot, Etienne, Emse and of course Brucie! We spoke for over 2 hours. We got an excellent rendition of We Wish you a Merry Christmas, we heard what the kids got for presents and we shared our adventures so far. I think my Great Auntie June was a little overwhelmed about speaking via video link to India! It really was the best Christmas present I could have wished for and were reluctant to hang up but their dinner was ready which I would have loved to have eaten.
Although our dinner wasn’t a Christmas dinner, we did have roast chicken and I even had brussell sprout
Sad times as we had to leave our luxury room after a late check out, but back to Cottage Crowne Plaza we headed, to the delight of the owner who grabbed Rob and gave him squeezes when we returned! Rob is extremely popular over here!