Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Old Delhi and our first night train

Tuesday 13th Nov:

Today we set off at 8am for our walk around Old Delhi and a trip to Jama Masjid – a huge temple, and a Sikh Temple. As it was the beginning of Diwali the whole of Delhi was basically almost shut and there wasn’t much traffic the whole morning (apart from Old Delhi main road, which is always busy.) We went via metro and man was it alot easier with a tour guide and group! The boys stayed at the hotel as they’d had a night of drinking and had seen most of Delhi as had come a few days early. So it was a girls day out!

We tried a spicy samosa from a street stall for breakie and visited Jama Masjid which was pretty nice, had to wear stupid robes to go in though! Then we had a look at the Sikh temple. We had to cover our heads and we went into the prayer room and then took a quick tour of the kitchens (all the temples in India provide free food all day to visitors/temple-goers and homeless people). First we saw them melting down the ingredients to turn into a fudge like sweet, and then we saw them cooking the curries/dahl and kneading/rolling/cooking the chapattis. 

After we went out into the dining hall and were allowed to sit down and eat the food. You had to sit on rugs in lines and were told by Yash (our tour leader) it was rude to leave any food, so if we didn’t want a lot (bear in mind this was a full meal at 10am!) to tell them. I went for the full whack anyway, free food – free lunch! Laura couldn’t eat all of hers so shoved some onto my plate and hid the rest of the chapatti in her bag! It was made up of Pilau rice, a lentil dahl and chapatti. Yum! 

Then we took a walk around Connaught place before heading back to the hotel. Laura started to feel quite ill at that point – mostly because of the heat and tiredness so we just went back to chill before our overnight train. We all crammed ourselves into the one room where our luggage was stored and chatted/slept until 2pm when we had to get taxi’s to the station. Our train wasn’t until 4pm but we had to leave early as it took us a bloody age to get through all the Diwali traffic. 

Was a shame to be missing the main night of Diwali in Delhi but we did get to see some fireworks and brightly lit houses on the night train as we passed villages (including having fireworks thrown at our train!). Diwali is like Bonfire night and Christmas all rolled into one, almost every shop or house has massive amounts of lights hanging outside, and in the evening the women light candles to put outside the doors. So it’s just one big burst of colour and light, with deafening sounds of fireworks and firecrackers, which made it sound like a war zone! 

We'd originally drawn seat numbers from Yash's hands as some would be in 3-tier and some would be in 2-tier beds. However a lovely train master lead us all to the same 2-tier carriage so we could all take up cabins together which was feckin' awesome! As we were all worrying we'd be stuck with pervy Indian men or something (I've heard some awful stories about sleeper class, so me and Laura have decided two-tier or private cabins are the way forward, especially as you'd only be paying around £5 extra for the comfort and safety they provide). 

Laura was sharing a cabin with Hayley, Lucy and Hanneke and me and Karen were opposite on a 2-tier bunk in the aisle. Ali was next to me on a bottom bunk and the others were in the two cabins next to us. As it was Diwali the whole carriage was practically empty so we all felt immediately comfortable and had an awesome night chatting, getting to know each other more, having cups and cups of amazing chai and hanging out of the train doors watching fireworks and the scenery - Ali had the experience of the firework being thrown at the carriage, luckily it didn't come in the door! We then went to sleep at around 10pm as we were to get in around 5.30am to Bikaner. 

1 comment:

  1. haha...i see Christina is now the 'bin' when it comes to getting rid of unwanted food!!

    p.s cherpatti in your handbag..eww!!

    ha sounds really cool girls keep posting!! xxx