“Always check spare batteries are charged!”
On our last day in Delhi we chose to visit the Indira Gandhi Museum and Humayun’s tomb. After a couple of picture’s at one of the lesser, but nonetheless stunning, tombs at this world heritage site. The batteries ran out in the camera, no problem I thought, I inserted the spares. Which turned out to be dead as well you know. dead! There was nowhere to be seen in the vicinity to get any batteries, what a nightmare! Then boss-man at the gate sends one of the guards off to get me a new set. 10 minutes later he returns with new set of local ‘everready’ batteries. Unfortunately these don’t have the power to even turn the camera on. OK no problem we’ve seen plenty of fantastic buildings already and are sure going to clock up a few more by the end of the trip.
So we continue on around the tomb complex and through an arched gateway to be confronted with what can only be described as a breathtaking view. Ali nearly collapse’s on the floor laughing as he says “Wow, this would make a great picture!” To think that this building only gave the inspiration to the Taj Mahal, sharpens even further the excitement for what is yet to come.
I woke up this morning to Simon playing Elvis, Heartbreak Hotel to us, listening to familiar music reminds me of home (all those drunken evenings at mums!) the choice of music was very apt as this place is a bit of a dump, the walls are the colour of nicotine and it does remind me a bit of the smoking room at the hospital.
We set off for the second time to find The Indira Gandhi Museum and I’m glad we make it there to day as it is very interesting, also quite sad to think that Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by the people who she trusted to protect her, I can remember this happening when I was younger and it is quite moving standing at the spot where she died and seeing her bloodstained sari.
We then went onto Humayun’s Tomb, this is A World Heritage Site and the architecture is amazing and very beautiful, the kids are also very impressed with it and when I say to them that I am surprised they like it so much as I wouldn’t have appreciated it at their age Maisie says to me “but we’re travellers not tourists mum” yeh that’s my girl!! Unfortunately the batteries ran out on the camera at this point so we don’t have any photo’s – Good planning !!
How to deal with the huge numbers of people who ask for money is still a difficult one, we have alternately not given anything, given small change and bought people food, I don’t know what is the right or wrong thing to do and we think maybe on leaving India donating a sum of money to a recognised charity would be a good idea, but still, walking past people who appear to have so little seems tough and you would have to be heartless to ignore them.
We are leaving Delhi tonight on the 6.30 train to Varanasi, I am looking forward to moving on but Delhi has been an amazing place to start our trip and I have loved it here, the pollution has literally made us sick and the noise levels are something else.
Despite what horror stories we have read and heard we have so far found everyone to be very friendly and helpful, we have kept our wits about us and subsequently have had a fantastic time.
Just woken the family up on our last day in Delhi with a bit Elvis, which as you can imagine was a bit of a shock wake up.
Coming to the end of our 4 days here I can confirm that on the surface it does conform to most of things said about it. It is dirty, smelly, busy, full of touts and so on. However if you are prepared to accept and even indulge these things you will find there is a lot more to found and experienced. There are some beautiful clean and calm places like the Lodi Gardens, with some wonderful old tombs in the middle of bustling city. A lot of time the smells, as you push, squeeze and dodge your way through the bazaars, are enticing aromas of fresh baked coconut biscuits, sweet snacks or spices. At other times the smells are so ‘well’ less than enticing that you can almost feel your nose recoiling. Touts are touts the same as anywhere, just a few more of them, they just want to get their commission. If, however, you are well informed and ready for the yarns they are going to spin you then you can just give them the brush off and avoid the hassles.
Delhi has been an intriguing city with lots to offer. We’ve seen some great sites, eaten some new foods and watched a lot of day to day Delhi life pass by.