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India 2014 - Delhi

INDIA | Tuesday, 25 November 2014 | Views [515]

Delhi is bat shit crazy. That is the simplest way to describe it.
We arrived fairly late at night and, after being ripped off by our taxi driver, got to our hotel at about 11 and crashed out.
The next day I was so excited to finally experience India. However our day was not going to be as productive as I had hoped. We spent it going between thieving, scamming, dishonest travel agents, thieving scamming, dishonest touts and terrible Wi-FI, simply trying to organise our next few days!

We had a travel agent in our hotel and in fairness to him he was pretty good. He drew up a 3 week itinerary for us and it looked excellent and, although not too expensive, it was just outside of our budget.  We discussed other options and eventually decided to sort out trains and buses for ourselves. The agent was really helpful telling us what to do and where to go in order to organise the foreigner quota tickets, places to visit and the best way to do it.
However as soon as we stepped outside of the hotel  it all changed. Everyone is trying to scam you. They all want to sell you something or take you to the best travel agent/tourist office/ticket vendor in town and they are PERSISTENT!
It was only a few hundred meters from our hotel to the train station but because of the constant harassment it took us a lot longer to get there than it should have done! Sadly though that was the easy part. We thought the streets had been difficult but that was nothing compared to the station itself.
We had been warned about the "workers" at the station who will try and guide you away from where you are meant to be and take you to a travel agent that either charges a lot more or gives you bogus tickets and, although we desperately tried to avoid them, it's a lot easier said than done! We were stopped and "helped" by countless different men who ignored our "no thanks" and continued to force their services on us. One actually got angry and aggressive when I told him we weren't going to his tourist office so we decided to ask a guard. Bad idea. Turns out a small bribe from the men means the guards will also point you in the wrong direction!
When we finally found the tourist office we were so relieved...until we realised we had left our passports at the hotel!
Back to the hotel, through the touts, collect our passports, reassess and then try again! When we got to the ticket office with all the necessary paperwork it couldn't have been easier! Tickets booked to 3 different locations, in and out in less than 20 minutes!
Now came the part of India I was really excited for. Dinner! And I was not disappointed (and so far haven't been!)

The following day we decided to spend together relaxing and wandering around the city. Delhi is crazy, difficult and exhausting. But it is also exciting, invigorating and never boring! We simply wandered the streets, awestruck by the sights, sounds and smells.
Our 3rd and final day in Delhi was more productive. We rented a private car/driver and did the sites. There are some amazing things to see in Delhi and we both agreed it was worth expense to  visit as many as possible. There are religious buildings (one of which is a Mosque that is genuinely breathtaking) , mausoleums, temples and stunning parks. The variety of cultures, religions, architecture and history make Delhi a truly unique city.

Although our first impression of Delhi wasn't the greatest by the time we came to leave we both agreed that the city had grown on us and that is a genuinely interesting and enchanting city to experience.

Tags: delhi, india, scams, sightseeing

 

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