We arrived in New Delhi late at night after briefly stopping in Munich and after cruising through passport control we walked out of departures and were hit by the heat. My girlfriend Harri has been to 37 countries and India is my 79th however neither of us had experienced humid heat like this before. I suppose we only have ourselves to blame as we are visiting during the monsoon season. After waiting for a bus which never arrived we got a taxi to our hotel. We initially shared our taxi with a German girl who was dropped a hotel near to the airport and then we made our way down town towards old Delhi. After about 20 stops to ask for directions our driver finally made it to the right street, our hotel was then down a small passageway, I don’t blame him for not being able to find it however i thought it cheeky when he asked for a tip.
The next day we booked a train onward from Delhi to Jaipur for the evening, our hotel owner took us to his other hotel around the corner and we were able to sort it all out through his very helpful travel assistant. Feeling lighter in the wallet we decided to spend more money on breakfast, we went to a recommended restaurant just down the road where I had eggs on toast and Harri had paratha which is basically stuffed Indian bread.
We now felt more alive and jumped into a Tuk Tuk or as they call them here a moto-rickshaw and went towards Old Delhi and the famous Red Fort. After paying the driver Rs150 (150 Rupees) which is the equivalent to £2 we were promptly told that it was shut due to Independence Day (which is was in two days time). Not wanting to miss out on any other opportunities we walked a few hundred metres, through a market to Jama Masjid Mosque, a thoroughly impressive building which is beautiful inside. After posing for many pictures and Harri being asked for hers a number of times by random men (none of them got one by the way) we went for lunch in the neighbouring street and had our first curry of the trip. I had a butter chicken curry which came as a whole leg of chicken in sauce, Harri had an egg curry and we shared dahl and rice all rounded off with Limca (India’s answer to sprite/7up). Nearby is the shopping district Chandni Chowk which has everything and more you could ever want to buy, we wandered around for quite a while and got lost down some of the alleyways but didn’t buy anything and eventually jumped into another moto-rickshaw back to our hotel.
We picked up our bags and went to a cafe we had seen early which looked like a cool place to hangout at for a while, we ordered drinks, sat and read for a while before getting peckish and ordering some spicy momos which were the tastiest momos either of us had ever eaten. Yet another moto-rickshaw journey, this time to the train station where we bought snacks and water for the 4h30 train-ride. The journey itself was in quite a comfortable air-conditioned carriage, so comfortable it seems that Harri spent the majority of the journey asleep on my shoulder whilst I read.
Jaipur felt like a completely different city when we arrived, for starters it seemed a lot quieter.