Saturday, November 06, 2010

Delhi City Tour - Day Two

We got up at 8am, got dressed and went to a coffee place we had seen earlier. After purchasing a delicious latte we went back to the room, had the coffee, a ciggie and a shower, and plunked ourselves down on the couch in reception. Originally we were waiting outside but the rickshaw-wallas got to be too much. 10am rolled around and our guide had not yet arrived so we realized that we had been conned. Fortunately we had refused to pay the full amount up front when booking online, so if we were to lose our money, at least it wouldn't be as much as it could have been. Shortly after 10am a gentleman that works at the travel agency linked to the hotel came in, saw us sitting there and asked what was up. We explained that our guide was late and he offered us his mobile phone to ring the company we hired him through. The gentleman on the other end of the phone did not speak English so the travel agent spoke to him on our behalf and explained that he got the impression that we had been forgotten about but that the company was going to ring him back in 20 minutes. By that time it was about 10:30am. A waste of an hour on our first real day in Delhi. We decided to go for a 20 minute walk and then to the travel agent for the phone call. Within a few minutes he got the return call and was told that there were no cars available. Fortunately for us, the travel agent for the hotel was able to book a Delhi tour for us for half the price of the original tour guide and had a car for us in 15 minutes. Just enough time for us to have a cup of tea. When the car arrived we were introduced to our driver (non-English speaking) and our guide (English speaking) who was named Khan. We were taken to most of the sights of Delhi - Qutb Minar, Lotus Temple, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, Red Fort and Jama Masjid (google them for more info if you are interested). The main highlights for us were Qutb Minar and Humayun's Tomb. The tomb was absolutely beautiful and really impressed us. Jama Masjid is the oldest mosque in India and is surrounded by a bazaar which is filled with drug addicts and other intimidating types. Khan actually got out of the car and brought us up to the mosque as he doesn't even like going there and knew that if we were to go up on our own we would be mobbed. It was a horrible experience if I'm honest. Made all of us feel extremely uncomfortable and sad. A bit of a downer after the amazing day we had had.

After the tour we asked Khan where we could get some bottled beers for take away and he told us to meet him at 8pm. It was 6pm so Luke an I went to the bar down the street for a refreshment and a ciggie (generally there is no smoking inside here, but they were kind enough to allow us to stand by the bathrooms and smoke to our heart's content). At 8pm we headed back to the hotel to meet Khan. He took us to a beer store and got us the beer at the non-tourist price, which we were thankful for. Every penny counts! We invited him to join us but he was working until 11pm so he declined. Luke and I then went to a restaurant a few streets down from our hotel called Punjab. When I say 'restaurant', I use the term loosely. It's a food shop on a corner, completely open to the street. You purchase a ticket representing your order, push through the throngs of people to get to the counter, get your food and stand on the street to eat it, unless there is room at one of the two small stand up tables (we were lucky that night).

After dinner we went back to the room to enjoy a couple of cold beers and then hit the sack.

Photos of the tour are below... enjoy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the India experience! Hope all is well in Vietnam. We think of you often. Safe travels.
Love B & S

10:52 AM  
Blogger Special Holidays said...

The real comfort of travel is given by small little things not by luxurious things..........Indian Travel Agents & Indian Tour Operators

2:22 AM  

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