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Travel Story by Caroline O'Neill

  Delhi calling
Delhi, India
 


Snake charmer

We arrived in India safely last night, and spent the evening on the balcony drinking Kingfisher. Let me tell you this, long haul flights and beer don't mix! Had our first full day in Delhi today. We were offered a free taxi round town by the hotel - taking in Humayun's Tomb, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib (Sikh temple with a tank of water that apparently has healing properties - we had to cover our heads with an orange bandini - class!), India Gate, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum (saw Indira's bloodstained sari that she was assassinated in), Lakshmi Narayan Temple (dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth - we were given a red dot on the forehead here).

We've also seen a snake charmer. This was hugely frightening and had me hopping back into the taxi and rolling up the windows1 There are cows all over the roads, and lots of dogs roaming around. We even saw some monkeys! The difference in culture is amazing - it's at least 10-20 years behind the West, but it's charming and beautiful in it's own unique way. Everywhere we go, people stare at us - mostly Lydia seeing as she's about 10 foot 3 with red hair.

The roads here are something else - the only rule seems to be there are no rules! The number of times I've seen cabs and rickshaw's run red lights. People running over the roads, driving round the cows, all the potholes.

It's really hot here. We landed at around 10pm local time last night, and it was already 30 degrees celsius! It's been absolutely boiling today - not sure what the temperature was. We are really looking forward to heading south so we can check out the beaches and get nice and brown!

A two week trip has been booked around Rajasthan by Government car - we're leaving tomorrow at 7am heading to Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur (the pink city), Pushkar (temples), Udaipur (more temples!), Jodhpur (the blue city), Jaisalmer (city in the deserts a la Arabian Nights), Bikaner (rat temple), and then back to Delhi! After that we'll see where the wind blows us but plan to head to Amritsar (Golden Temple) and Dharmsala (Dalai Lamai and Tibetan exiles). We've got a busy next few weeks coming up! I hope we manage to find somewhere showing the England - Portugal game, perhaps my priorities are not quite right! (I've just been told that the hotel we're staying in the night of the game has a telly and a swimming pool - excellent!)


Date Submitted: 19 Dec 2008


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