We’ve completed our mini-circuit around Northern/Central India and arrived yesterday back in Delhi. We are both surprised by how much calmer and saner Delhi seems after Varanasi, especially now that some of the building work is nearing completion. As in, some of the shops now have walls instead of just plastic sheets. It was even kind of nice to be coming back to our hotel, the guy at the desk remembered us (nice considering they have a lot of people staying here, often only in passing on their way to visit the rest of India), and the little area feels familiar. We’re not having to learn where to go for food, water and toilet roll all over again!
We caught up on our sleep (sleeper trains don’t really live up to their description) and then treated ourselves to butter masalas (chicken & paneer) on a nearby rooftop restaurant. It’s a dish we had seen at various places but were being careful with food. Two weeks has been enough to get used to the heat and the food it seems. It was really really good, but so rich!
Today we began our final Indian sightseeing, heading to the Red Fort in old Delhi, which was nice and set in beautiful gardens, but there was not really anything new to see there. We took photos of more beautiful marble terraces and Rob tried to get the perfect chipmunk (we think that’s what they are anyway) photo. It was lunchtime and getting hotter by the minute by the time we left, so headed straight to Connaught Place for food. We had intended on trying somewhere new, but everywhere we found was ridiculously expensive and so we gave in and went back to our favourite Sagar Ratna for our third amazing meal of Dosas and Thali. Yum.
This afternoon we walked south to finally see a Jantar Mantar, having missed it in both Jaipur and Varanasi. It’s an old observatory built in 1710, incredibly accurate and it apparently is still able to tell the time around the world and predict solar eclipses. It was a beautiful place to wander and seek shelter from a sudden storm. We were really impressed that something so scientifically accurate was built so long ago.
Tomorrow will be our last full day in Delhi, and we are hopefully going to see the Gandhi Smitri memorial and Lotus Temple, not sure how they have been left to last as they were top on our list of things to see here! Then we will be ready to head to our second country of our journey, Nepal, where we get to go visit Rob’s old house and landlady, and see how well we do at trekking the Annapurna half-circuit.
Nic & Rob