Delhi again

Back in Delhi at the end of our Golden Triangle tour, my thoughts were focussed on the conference – it was, after all, the alleged purpose of the trip! However, we knew we had at least a day free at the end, and top of my list was a walking tour of Old Delhi. (I would have been perfectly happy to do this on our own, but the brief glimpse of Chandni Chowk from the cycle rickshaw had convinced me we’d get lost within moments, so it seemed like it would simpler, as well as more informative, to join a guided group!)


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February 11th was our single day in Jaipur, and we really made the most of it, although in a future trip I’d like to spend a lot more time exploring Rajastan. Our guide, Seema, met us bright and early and we drove through the old city for a glimpse of the Wind Palace on the way out to Amer fort.


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Other than the undeniable beauty of the Taj Mahal, Agra was the least interesting stop on our tour – apart from the Taj itself, the rest of the city isn’t much to look at, and although the Red Fort had some attractive elements too, it’s the only place we visited which I wouldn’t bother to go back to.

All that notwithstanding, sunrise at the Taj Mahal was absolutely worth the trip!

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After a couple of wonderfully hectic (or should that be hectically wonderful?!) days in Kathmandu, we flew back to India. Next on the itinerary: Varanasi, or Banaras as it is called by most of the Indians we spoke to.

In describing my experience of Varanasi to people, the word I keep coming back to is “magical”. There was just something about being in a place which is so ancient and so meaningful to so many people, even despite the lunatic traffic and incessant noise.

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First impressions of India

“There’s a cow. Right there. In the middle of the road.” I knew, of course, that this was something to be expected, but it was quite something else to actually see it for myself, let alone on the drive from Delhi airport to the first hotel of the trip. This turned out to be an excellent beginning – our entire time in India was filled with contrasts and colours, constant noise, ceaseless movement, and I loved it! (And, now we’re home again, Manhattan is feeling remarkably dull and quiet, which is something I never thought I’d say…!)

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