More Shoes More Problems
We woke up and hailed a rickshaw to Jama Masjid a famous mosque in Old Delhi near to where we were staying. The mosque required that we leave our shoes, which was no problem, but they also required us to pay 300INR each as a picture fee. For me that wasn’t a problem, but Nicole didn’t even have her phone out and they wanted to charge her for it. We felt a bit uncomfortable with the experience so we left and wandered the quiet market streets of Old Delhi. The streets were just as crowded as they were the day before, but because it was only 10ish, everyone seemed to be quiet. It was a nice change from the day before. However, we received just as many stares as yesterday.
Sweets for my Sweet
We found a small sweet shop and bakery a few blocks away and stopped in for some vegetarian samosas and some sort of honey soaked donut.From the bakery, we made our way to the New Delhi Railway Station. The station was chaos. In front of the building for several blocks around were thousands of people, entering, exiting, loitering in and around the station. It looked like any movie about the apocalypse where everyone is trying to get out of town. Nicole and I waded into the crowd and found the entrance to the metro, New Delhi’s subway. The entrance was at the end of a long underground corridor in which we saw all walks of life from beggars in tattered clothing to business people in dress shirts and slacks. [divider_flat]
Thunderdome Subway System
We waited in a packed line for our subway tickets as a security guard kept careful watch over us. I think he was looking out for us because we were the only westerners in the subway. After we bought our tickets, we had to go through a metal detector and a pat down before we could board the subway.
Finally we made onto the subway and started our long trek to Qutab Minar, a tall monument in the south of Delhi. When we arrived at our stop, our trusty autorickshaw driver picked us up and drove us to the monument. We looked around for awhile and fortunately, stumbled across the one security guard at Qutab Minar who is a photography buff. He took a bunch of pictures of Nicole and I with my camera. I made a small gallery of them below.
After Qutab MInar we took the rickshaw to Safdarjung’s tomb. Niether of us had heard of Sufdarjung’s tomb before our rickshaw guide took us there but we’re certainly glad we did. It had the feel of a smaller, more colorful Taj Mahal, and the best part was the grounds were almost entirely empty. There were maybe 10 other people there. These are some of my favorite pics from the entire trip.
Our next stop was Lodi Gardens, a beautiful garden in the heart of Delhi filled with plants, trees, beautiful bridges and several really amazing temples. We bought a water and took a leisurely stroll through the gardens. About 10 minutes into our walk it started to rain, not heavy, but a typical Florida sunshower. We took refuge in one of the temples, along with the rest of the parks guests, to wait out the storm.
Be Our Guest
When we returned to our rickshaw, our driver took us to 27 Icon, a really fancy restaurant in one of the bougier parts of Delhi. I was initially concerned our meal would cost a ton of money, but the prices were really reasonable. For about $18, the two of us had appetizers, two entrées, an order of naan, an after dinner mocktail for digestion, and a small dessert. The food was amazing and well worth the price. [divider_flat]
Our last stop of the day was at India Gate, a massive monument to Indian veterans. The monument itself looked like the Arc De Triumph, except maybe ten times larger. Our driver couldn’t go in, so he dropped us off at the entrance and we walked up to the monument. It was breathtaking to behold, but I found myself distracted by all the Indian vendors trying to sell Nicole and I friendship bracelets and colored pens. I really like the monuments and architecture of India’s historic buildings and monuments. However, many of the sites seem to be surrounded by an insurmountable wall of vendors aggressively hawking their wares.
Nicole and I had a heck of a day and we were able to see so much. Our guide wanted to keep showing us around to a few more monuments but it was getting late and we were beat. He took us back to our AirBnB and we settled in for the night with some delicious downstairs curry from the turbaned man.