A thousand and one car horns blaring, homeless children tapping on the car window, a cow ambling along amongst the traffic – welcome to India!
First stop, Delhi. Somewhere I have no urgent desire to visit again, I felt uncomfortable for the majority of the 48 hours I was there. Even travelling with my male companion, unfortunately the stares from albeit curious men was something I wish to avoid for a long time. Granted a pale, blue-eyed girl with blonde hair doesn’t occur that often in an Indian city of over 10 million, but it was still a persistently awkward situation. Something to note, it was rare to see a woman walking on the street anywhere in Delhi – something that added to my unease.
Alas there are still some beautiful sites, and wonderful things to eat in Delhi! So let’s look at the fun stuff.
Our first meal was at a restaurant called Punjabees. The owner himself was more than happy to assist with our selections, and despite asking for not-too-much-chilli it obviously came out super spicy but still delicious. Indian meal #1 was a great success and cost about $8!
The next morning we woke up and started our tour ( 11 days through Rajasthan), with Day 1 a quick whirl around Delhi to visit its top sights! Ps, it’s so cold in Rajasthan in December! About 10 degrees c during the day, we were definitely not prepared.
The Red Fort. Now home to numerous museums it was home to the Mughul emperor of India for almost 200 years.
A rickshaw ride through ‘Old Delhi’ – ‘Don’t stop or get out of the rickshaw -at all!’ said the tour guide.
Humayan’s Tomb. A beautiful ancient structure, built in 1570.
Pre-lunch chaat (Indian word for savoury snack) of Pani Puri! Potato, chilli, onion, chickpeas and spices in a fried little puff of bread. Fascinating to watch the vendor punch a little hole in the puff with his thumb and fill it with the delicious watery (go for the stand that uses mineral water only) mixture. He will keep piling them into your bowel until you almost run away. About 40c for 8 of these little guys!
Unfortunately I’m not sure what this place was called but they served up some tasty Mumbai-style treats. Below we have Pav Bhaji – a vegetable curry served with a soft heavily buttered bread rol land Chole Bhature – a chickpea curry served with a fried bread.
Next stop is Agra, stay tuned for my visit to the ‘City of the Taj’!