I have safely arrived in New Delhi, India, but it wasn't easy. Yesterday morning my flight to Chicago was delayed 50 minutes because the plane was late arriving due to a mechanical problem. No problem, I have over four hours to make my connection in Chicago. Next they add another 20 minute delay because planes are stacked up over Chicago due to bad weather and they won't let us leave. While we are waiting to leave they discover another mechanical problem. That takes about 45 minutes to fix. Now that the plane is fixed we then have to wait for another 20 minutes to get clearance from Chicago to leave. We finally get in the air and after a quick 40 minute flight we land in Chicago. Relieved that we finally got there, I still had almost 2 hours to make my connection, no problem. But no, due to the bleak weather in Chicago none of the planes have left their gates and there is no where for us to go. So we have to sit on this very small commuter plane for another half hour. I now have a little over an hour to get to the International terminal, check in at the Air India counter to get my boarding pass and go through customs. By the time I got to the gate they were already boarding so I was just walked on the plane. Below is a picture of the plane in Chicago. It's an Air India 777-300ER.
It was a relatively uneventful flight, although quite LONG, over 14 hours. About two hours before landing we flew over the mountains of Afghanistan, there is a picture below.
We landed here in New Delhi at 3:10 Thursday afternoon (local time). It is quite smoggy here. The only thing we did today was make our way from the airport to the hotel. It is a very nice hotel and well guarded. The property is completely gated with guards everywhere. You have to X-ray all your luggage before entering. Below is a picture of my room.
Below is the smoggy view from my window.
We are going to tour New Delhi tomorrow. I should have some better pictures tomorrow.
Hello again folks,|
After breakfast at the hotel this morning we had a full day of sightseeing here in Delhi. It was a sunny day but the smog was quite thick again today. We spent the morning in Old Delhi. Our first stop was at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia.
Outside of this mosque we took a rickshaw ride through the busy streets of Old Delhi. This was an amazing experience. All the pictures from the rickshaw are screen grabs from my videos. It was a bumpy ride, there would have been no way to steady a camera.
This ride isn't for the faint-hearted. These guys have to maneuver those bikes through swarms of people, livestock and every type of vehicle from small bikes to city buses. Below you can see some street vendors selling local produce.
It was a nice long ride. My butt was sore when we were done but it was a lot of fun.
In the picture below we were on a wider street and you can see some of the buildings along our route.
Below is a picture of a local citizen.
Below you can see an ox pulling a cart.
After the rickshaw ride we left Old Delhi and visited Rajghat. This is the place where Gandhi was cremated.
Next we went to a small hotel for lunch. They served us a lot of different things. Like in China, I wasn't sure what everything was that I was eating. But unlike China, most of today's food was very good. The restaurant is pictured below.
Our afternoon stop was at Humayun Tomb. He was the 2nd Mughal King in the 16th century. Below is a picture of a very handsome bald gentlemen in front of the tomb.
We saw a lot of school children during the course of the day. They were all so friendly and polite. They would come up to us and shake our hands and say hello.
After the tomb we came back to the hotel. We had a few hours of free time before the welcome dinner tonight. The welcome dinner was at one of the restaurants in the hotel. It was delicious as well. It was a fun day. We will be in Delhi all day tomorrow as well. That's all for today.
That is Hindi for hello, goodbye, good evening or good morning. Today was my final day in Delhi. After breakfast at the hotel we visited the Sikh temple Bangla Saheb. This was a very interesting stop witnessing their customs and traditions.
Our next stop was at the India Parliament Buildings which are pictured below. Despite how the picture below looks it was a very nice sunny day again today. But there is always smog in the air and it is particularly thick in the mornings and due to the security you can't get very close to these buildings.
Our next stop was at the India Gate. That handsome guy from yesterday snuck back into the picture.
Next it was off to see a rug manufacturing demonstration. This is the thing that really pi**es me off about tours. If I am paying for the tour I shouldn't have to sit through a damn sales pitch. After wasting over an hour there we went to lunch at the home of a local family. Below is a picture of the home and the gentleman in the picture was our host, the lady next to him is Val, a member of our group.
Traffic in this city is almost always a mess. There are clearly marked lanes on the street but no one drives in them. Every square inch of the street is filled with some kind of vehicle and they are constantly weaving in and out and constantly honking their horns. The saddest thing about being here is the poverty which is evident everywhere. When you get near any tourist area there are lots of beggars and they use their children to get money from you. This cute little boy was dancing outside our bus when we were waiting at a traffic light.
Our last stop of the day was at Qutab Minar.
This is a world heritage site dating back to the 12th century. It is the oldest site in Delhi.
That was it for today. We are leaving Delhi early tomorrow morning.
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