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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Delhi

When we, Chris, Fabien, Madhav and I arrived at the Ambala Cantt bus stand we were informed by a conductor that there are no Volvo buses to Delhi at that time. However, he advised us to take a taxi that would charge comparable to the buses. When enquiring at the taxi stand, we were surprised that the taxi ply at almost same rate as an ordinary bus. Rs 250 per person on a 7 seater. The taxi owner suggested that we book the entire taxi for Rs 1600, so that we did not have to wait for the car to be full and be comfortable. That too worked out cheaper than a Volvo. So we setoff on an AC taxi towards Delhi. 

Our driver Naresh was on a month long vacation. He was working in a restaurant in Malaysia and hailed from Agra. Bored during his vacation, he had decided to drive his friend's taxi for a while that would give him a chance to travel a little and see places. He spoke a lot about his life there and his visits to Singapore and Indonesia. After a 3 hour long journey, we reached Delhi at around 5 PM. We took metro to NDLS station. Zostel is about a kilometre and half from here on Qutab road. If you walk you may want to climb down the flyover to reach Qutab road. However, we took a tuk tuk. 

 Zostel, Delhi has a very nice ambience. It is specially designed for backpackers. They several good dorms and also nice private rooms as well. The place was filled with backpackers from around the world.



We were allocated a dorm for 8 which seemed very clean and hygienic. We had charging points for each bed, a safety box to keep luggage. We threw our bags and took off to Connaught place. This is kind of a central location in New Delhi which is filled with restaurants, boutiques and shops. I liked this place as it seemed very lively. We headed to the Monkey bar and settled in with a pitcher. Their Nacho pyramid and burger are mouth watering. I had been to the one in Bangalore but I must admit that the ambience and food was much better in the Delhi one. We talked for a while on various topics but at 10 we all were dead tired due to series of long days. We took the metro back to Zostel and almost immediately crashed to bed.

Well, I had a very good sleep until a cellphone played loud music in our dorm. People alerted the owner but he seemed to be in a deep sleep. We woke up and tried to wake him up and asked him to switch off the music. He seemed unconscious. Fabian got very pissed and someone even used a F word. Finally the music stopped. That guy perhaps was totally drunk.  He did not wake up until we left next day. Apart from that, it was an uneventful sleep that was much needed. 

Next morning, I woke up early as usual and took a walk around the street and captured some mundane moments of the locality. I had tea at a local tea stall.






Had my breakfast served at Zostel and then woke up Chris and Fabien as we had to vacate the room by 10 AM. We left our bags at the luggage counter and headed towards the Metro station. We did not have much time so we decided to go to just one place. We zeroed in on India gate, took some directions from the lady at the counter and headed to the station. This time we walked to the station and its not very far after all. The early morning showers had made the weather bearable. But the walk also revealed to me how dirty the surroundings were in this part of the city.




We took metro to some stop directed by the lady at Zostel counter but turns out that it was not the best place to reach India gate. So we decided to take an auto. Auto driver told we could also see Purana kila (Old fort).


So we reached there only to find out that the entry fee difference for Indians and Foreigners was 10 times. My french friends thought that it was not fair. I kind of agreed as it made no sense to charge the tourists on every such attraction. A nominal amount could be charged for the visa and I think it should cover all of it. But here the difference was as big as 10 times in just one such tourist attraction. 

We decided to walk to India gate instead which wasn’t very far off from the old fort. Apparently, this part of Delhi is very clean with wide roads and trees by the sides. India gate was decently crowded. We took some pictures. On the other end of the road is the Rastrapati bhavan. 





We then walked towards Rastrapati bhavan (President’s hall) but the walk seemed to be very long. So midway we took an auto and decided to head to Connaught place which all three seems to consider our favourite place. Earlier, we had heard so much about this place called Hauz Khaas. Apparently it is a very happening place in Delhi now filled with nice café, bars and shops that play live music. However, due to lack of time, we decided to skip it. We settled in at a coffee day and chatted for a while about general topics until it was time for me to say good bye to Fabien and Chris and head back to Zostel. 

I returned back to collect my bags and headed to the airport on airport express. I had to get off at Aero city and take a shuttle bus to Terminal 3. I was on time to check in my bags. I was offered a business class for an extra 1000 rupees. Since my tickets had come free from my credit card points, I decided to take it.

I had a very brief encounter with our capital but it surely gave me a warm feeling. Except for the weather and some unclean areas I think that I enjoyed most of my stay there. I will return to Delhi to explore more but definitely not during this season. 

2 comments:

  1. WOW!! Ça fait vraiment rêvé... J'adorais visiter l'Inde ♥

    Bisous et bonne continuité de voyage

    Manon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bien Sure Manon.....Vous devez nous visiter. :-)

      Delete

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