Flying over countries that you have only read about in the news is incredibly surreal. Afghanistan, is one of those…far from being all desert, I was struck by how many snow capped mountains there were, and couldn’t help but think how difficult it must have been for Alexander the Great to travel across this huge expanse, and fight in India itself.
We landed in Delhi ahead of schedule, and after a fairly speedy immigration process, and a brief moment of panic, we found our driver waiting just outside the airport terminal (phew, we weren’t going to have resort to plan B after all!).
Delhi is manic….even on a Sunday, the driving is nose to tail, and what can only be described as “an experience”…and there are some cars I just wouldn’t even consider risking…
We checked into our first hotel (Regent Grand) just after noon, and had a couple of hours to freshen up. Our driver was meeting us at two to give us a tour of a few sites that weren’t on tomorrows itinerary.
First up was Laxminarayan Temple, a Hindu Temple built in the 1930s. You had to get used to the Swastik symbol, which was everywhere…sadly misappropriated by the Nazis, it is the Hindu symbol for peace. Cameras weren’t allowed, so you will have to take my word for it when I say breathtaking!
After that, we visited Agrasen ki Baoli, a step well originally built in the 12th Century, and redeveloped c1400. Amazing – photos do not show the scale of this….though they do show the amazing lack of concern for Health and Safety…!
One thing we need to do is be aware of the massive portions of food that are served…in both places we ate at today, we could quite happily have ordered half as much…! Eating is social here, with shared plates being normal. Despite that, a three course meal with beers for two of us costing around £20 ain’t bad at all…!
This was just one course….well part of it, as we had already eaten loads!!!
Tomorrow we will be touring Delhi further, before moving on to Agra on Tuesday.