We arrived in sweltering heat of New Delhi at midnight. There was a guy from the travel company outside waiting for us. He walked us out of the comforts of the airconditioned airport outside to wait for the transportation that would take us to our hotel, airconditioned too I was hoping.
I grew up in the Philippines with the heat and humidity, but after almost 20 years of being away, the body seemed to forget how to respond to such an assault. It's funny, but I always find myself being irritated by them and yet I persist on going to these hot and humid places for vacation (case in point last vacay before this one was in Costa Rica - similar situation).
While waiting for the car, I was standing there with sweat trickling down my spine....at MIDNIGHT!!!! I told myself, this is going to be some kind of adventure. Fortunately, both the agent and the driver were very kind. We even found the traffic jam at midnight to be ONLY IN DELHI kind of experience.
We were dropped off in our hotel, our vouchers for all the hotels we were going to stay and itinerary were given to us and it was off to dreamland. The hotel was more than adequate, I expected less because well we booked the budget travel option. The clerk at the front desk was very accommodating as well.
Before the agent left, he reminded us that the tour of New Delhi would start tomorrow at 8 am. Since it was private tour and we could tailor it to our needs, we thought given the lateness of the hour, it was best for everyone if the tour started later, at 10 am. We were the boss.
And so the next day, we awoke to the same weather conditions of hot and humid. The breakfast that was included in the hotel was more than what I expected. There was a spread of both American/continental and Indian dishes. It was very filling.
We met our driver Ashok - same guy from last night - and our New Delhi guide. We have an itinerary for the day hitting the must-sees in Delhi. I took a lot of pictures because, well that's what I do.
We drove by Red Fort, we had the option to stop and go inside. But we passed, it was too hot and we weren't keen on seeing it. We have the fort in Agra in mind to visit instead, which turned out to be more impressive.
Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India and completed in 1658. We went as far as the stairs, but didn't venture inside the mall. Our choice. Again, too hot.
One of the major landmarks of New Delhi is India Gate, which is a memorial to the fallen from WW1 and Afghan wars. We bit the bullet and got out of the car to see this place up close.
When I first saw it, I was surprised how much it reminded me of Paris' Arc de Triomphe. And then I read that the India Gate was actually inspired by the Paris landmark.
.......to be continued......