Half awake in the early morning, we arrive in New Delhi by train. There are many budget accommodations nearby the train station, but prices overall are higher and hotels are filthier here compared to Varanasi.
With roaring stomachs, it is time to get some lunch. We are not in the mood for any tourist restaurants so we start walking away from the crowds and somehow after taking many left and right turns, we find a tiny restaurant serving dosas, something we had not tried yet. Watching Boris eat this dish is entertaining, as he looks so happy after each bite. Dosas look a lot like a French crepe that you dip in different spicy sauces. If you are in New Delhi, stop by Udipi South Indian Food restaurant.
New Delhi is a chaotic city. Being here while India is hosting the Cricket World Cup doesn’t help either. Whenever there is a game, all eyes are glued to the television screens. On our last day in New Delhi, it is the semi-final game between India and their biggest rival, Pakistan. Shops close early and there are large projector screens in the middle of the streets at every block airing the game. The moments leading to India’s win, the crowds start to get crazy. At the final win, fireworks go off in the streets, flags are out and people are jumping on top of the large crowds. For us, it is great to see all this energy and pride and be part of a historic moment for India.
During lunch one day, we meet a very nice local. He is in Delhi to do some shopping for his shop. After some talking, I ask if we can join him and he is more than happy to have us along. The next few hours, I am ecstatic as I follow this local man around as he shops. He has great taste for things and we discover the various shopping areas for decorations and local handcrafts. Since he is a shop owner, all these places he takes us to have wholesale prices.
There are many sites to visit within New Delhi. I honestly didn’t enjoy many of them as there are lots of construction work going on and the entrance fees are a little steep. However, there is one place I really like, which is the Jama Masjid Mosque, within the Old City. Admission is free but there is a large fee for having a camera, which most tourists will have on them. As we walk around the mosque, there is a good amount of locals as well as tourists. In the middle of the plaza is a watering hole where many locals come to drink or wash in. I enjoy just sitting in this sunny spot and do some people watching. Boris leaves me and goes up one of the towers to get a great view of the city.
One of the things that shocked me the most in New Delhi are the public toilets for men. Besides being in the open in random alleys, the best way to describe it is a wall designated for peeing. It turns out to be very common so just be careful what you walk into as you roam the streets.
The other thing to be aware of is the tourist train booking office inside the New Delhi train station. This is a great perk of being a tourist as you can book same day train tickets for the same price without waiting in long lines. However, there are people that will try to stray you away by telling you the office is somewhere else or it is closed, don’t believe them.
|What We Paid:||INR||USD||Euro|
|– Train from Varanasi to New Delhi in 2nd class sleeper with AC||1045/pp||23.65||16.20|
|– Private double room at My Inn [private bathroom, AC, free wifi]||600/double||13.5||9|
|– Lunch @ Udipi South Indian Food restaurant||25/pp||0.55||0.40|
|– Lunch @ Sarvana Bhawan South Indian chain restaurant||90/pp||2||1.4|
|– Coffee in the street||10||0.22||0.15|
|– 1L water bottle||10||0.22||0.15|
|– 10 minutes on an auto rickshaw||25/ride||0.56||0.38|
|– Entrance to Jama Masjid Mosque||0||0||0|
|– Camera fee @ Jama Masjid Mosque||200||4.5||3|
|– Entrance to the tower @ Jama Masjid Mosque||100/pp||2.25||1.52|
|– Entrance @ Red Fort||250/pp||5.6||3.8|
|– Entrance @ Humayun’s Tomb||250/pp||5.6||3.8|