A sign at the Delhi airport showing the start of Dawali. Seen when we first arrived in India.Late Night
When Barb and I were planning this trip we realized that getting to India from Vancouver was going to be a gruelling couple of days of travel.
Sidebar: we’ve heard rumours that there is now a direct Vancouver to Delhi flight. If we plan a return trip we definitely need to look into this.
We decided to break up the two long fights by spending a night in London, allowing us to rest up and the next day continue on to India. I’m writing this first section from our hotel where we happen to be right now which is very close to Heathrow airport. In fact from our hotel window we can see the runway.
Once we arrive in our first destination in India we’ll be able to determine if having one extra night of rest will have been worth it or not.
Not being used to the 8 hours time change difference in London, as much as we wanted we didn’t stay awake long enough to get a full night’s sleep. By 2AM, both Barb and I were wide awake. We knew that it was unlikely that we would get back to sleep so we did the only thing that made sense at the time.
We watched a Bollywood movie.
The movie was lots of fun and helpful to start getting us in an Indian frame of mind. It was your typical guy refuses to marry girl the day before the wedding, girl goes on honeymoon by herself, guy ends up wanting girl back type of movie. With lots of singing and dancing of course. 🙂
We’ve already set all of our watches to India time. It quickly became apparent that this trip to India will be taking us to pretty much the other side of the globe at 12.5 hours ahead of Vancouver. We’re still trying to figure out why India has an extra .5 hour to their time zone but no matter what it’s going to take the longest amount of time to recover from jet lag on this trip.
We landed in Delhi around 11PM and we were met at the airport by our driver who will be with us for the next 7-8 days. When we were in the planning stages of the trip and we decided that hiring a driver was the way that we would be getting around, we wondered if we would be met at the airport with the guy holding a sign with our names on it? We weren’t disappointed. Our driver had just Barb’s name but as since Barb had done all of the travel bookings this wasn’t too surprising.
It seemed like the drive from the Delhi airport to our hotel took hours but in reality it was less than an hour however our frame of mind was a bit out of sorts given that it was about close to 2AM when we finally got to our hotel.
When we arrived the temperature was in the low 20’s and a bit humid but we were expecting it to be hotter in the morning when the sun was out. This turned out to be a pretty accurate prediction.
We had breakfast at the hotel the next morning, our first meal in India and if it was any impression we were going to be loving the food here. The main part if our breakfast were flat breads called paranthas, served with a delicious mixture of lentils and potatoes. We noticed that the coffee was being prepared with a powder like instant coffee but it tasted far better than instant coffee that I have ever had. Overall a very good start to our stay in India.
Our driver was waiting for us at the front of the hotel about an hour before we had agreed, also a good sign. Barb and I were all ready to go so we head out to explore the city.
And we stopped dead in traffic about 20 meters from the hotel.
Traffic in Delhi is pretty much indescribable. There’s constant honking of horns and driving anywhere takes a huge amount of time. We were out of the hotel for about 7 hours yesterday, seeing different sights. Of those 7 hours, we were easily inside the car getting from place to place within the city (mostly stopped in traffic jams) for over 4 of those hours. By the time we got back to the hotel were both exhausted.
Of course we had seen some incredible sights during the day but it seemed that the time spent looking at sights was completely overshadowed by the hours driving in traffic through the city.
I don’t want to make it sound that we’re not having a good time. Our driver is quite pleasant and the food has been fantastic so far. Just what we’ve seen in just the first full day here is breathtaking. We both knew that traffic in Delhi was going to be a challenge so we’re not surprised at it.
It’s early Saturday morning as I’m writing this and today we have another day of seeing the sights. Tomorrow we’ll be leaving Delhi for our next destination and we expect that all of the future places that we’ll visit on this trip will not have the traffic that Delhi has. We’re both looking forward to all of it.
Before I forget, I’ve already started to upload these and other photos from the India trip onto my photo web site: http://photos.excellentadventure.ca/India-2016/