We arrived in New Delhi via the Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi Express Train, which is by far the quickest way between the two cities. The train left at 05:00, arriving at New Delhi Train Station at 10:30, with the same amenities included as our last Shatabdi Train: tea, biscuits, water, breakfast and a newspaper. It is quicker then flying if you take into consideration the wait time at the airport, plus travel time into the heart of Delhi and also considerably cheaper.
New Delhi was not as crazy as I was expecting, perhaps that’s because I have been in India for over 2 months now, but for me it was definitely manageable. We were staying in Backpacker Panda, a short walk from the main station up Main Bazaar Road. I would recommend this hostel for the very comfortable beds, 24 hour hot water, good WiFi, a relaxing common area, a kitchen if you wish to cook, great location and it somehow blocks out the noise from the madness outside. It is within walking distance of many of the sights we wished to see in Delhi and if not there is a Metro Station pretty much next door, meaning it had good connections to the Airport. Main Bazaar Road was incredibly busy, the streets lined with a plethora of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes and the streets swarming with a range of different people. There were business men in suits, beggars, shop owners, rickshaw drivers and locals all going about thier daily business. Make sure you keep an eye on your things, but this really goes without saying everywhere in the world, it just feels more likely in this area.
The following day we set out to explore, walking to Connaught Place. This was a lovely area with ring roads of shops circling around a pleasant park situated in the middle. We then continued walking towards Urgasen Ki Baoli, a massive Step Well situated in a now built up posh area. It was definitely worth the trip up there and was free to enter. We then continued walking up towards India Gate, a fantastic archway situated in a large park. It was very busy around the gate but you can easily relax in the shade of the trees in the surrounding parks.We then took a long walk to Humayuns Tombs, which were said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. I had never heard of Humayun and I’m still none the wiser as to who he was, but it was definitely worth the 500 Rupee entrance fee. The building was incredibly impressive with a striking likeness to the Taj, just built with red stone instead of marble. It was a very quiet peaceful area and the gardens were fantastic to relax in and remove yourself from the noisy streets. I think we walked about 5 miles in total so caught a rickshaw back to Connaught Place for a much needed coffee.
The following day we planned to go to the Red Fort in Old Delhi, but the price had been raised from 250 Rupees to 1000 Rupeess so we decided not to go. We had seen many impressive forts in India, especially in Rajasthan and we didn’t want to have to get more money out on our last day. This brought us to the end of our 2 and a half months in India and the end of me and Holly travelling together for over 8 months. I am now heading to Athens and Santorini for a while and Holly is heading to New Zealand to find a job. It has been fantastic travelling with Holly and nice to share the experience with someone and I really do wish her all the best, but for now goodbye Holly and India, hello Athens!!!