The smell of burned trash and a glimpse of Taj Mahal

After a sleepless night, we left the plane and there it was again – this typical smell you’ll have in your nose as soon as you arrive in Asia, a mixture of smog, food prepared on the street, exhaust fumes and burned trash… the smell of vacations 😀

Our first adventure was to withdraw cash from the ATM. As we didn’t have a local sim card and the airport in Delhi didn’t offer WIFI, we were unprepared (again). We didn’t really know the exchange rate between Euro and Rupees, so when the ATM announced to charge a fee of 200 Rupees, I thought, it would charge me 20€, which would be outrageous so I canceled my first withdrawal, thought about it and remembered that the exchange rate is 1 to 70 ; )

The ride to our AirBnB flat gave us a first impression of the traffic situation and made clear: It’s even a bit more mad, than in other parts of Asia, but surprisingly most vehicles are in good shape, which is a sign, that this chaotic system works fine and there are not many accidents (the trip was still a bit horrifying). Once we arrived at our flat, our host Sunil (a retired man of approx. 70 years) made us feel at home at once. He showed us the flat and told, that we can either prepare breakfast ourselves or ask his cook to make something for us 🙂 We made some toasts and fell asleep for the rest of the morning to catch up with our sleep and the jetlag. We had a restaurant recommendation for the evening and so we went to the Connaught Place, the posh center of Delhi and had an increeeeedibly expensive dinner (70€ overall), which was the best Indian meal we ever had and which we still would repeat any time! The restaurant, United Coffee House, was highly recommended to us by our local friend.

On the next day, we did, what people on vacations do- we slept in, had lazy breakfast and left the house at around 1pm. As the World Heritage site, Humayun’s Tomb was just across the street, we decided to make this our first destination. It’s truly a stunning place, which also was a source of inspiration for the builder of the Taj Mahal. We enjoyed the architecture, but even more the exotic local wildlife – we saw huge falcons and green parrots flying around at the compound.

After the tomb we headed downtown to see the India Gate and enjoy a nice stroll through the park as we walked towards the gate. It was nice to see that the locals enjoyed the beautiful weather and played cricket on the grass or just enjoyed themselves and relaxed.

At the India Gate we hopped on a tuck tuck to ride to the INA market. This was also a recommendation from our friend as you can witness here an authentic local market. As Alice likes markets we couldn’t leave this one out. 🙂 There we bought some fruits, saw a lot market criers who wanted to sell their goods and living stock next to the butcher. The market reminded us of Istanbul and their old spice bazaar. At the INA you can also find everything under one roof. 🙂

When we were finished with strolling through the market we headed to the parliament for sundown where we had a good view on the India gate and the main street. At the parliament we asked some locals if we could take some pictures of them, little did we know that a friendship would develop from this moment. 🙂 More on this in another post!

In the evening our local friend picked us up and drove with us to south Delhi for a late Dinner. In the area he also showed us some nice shopping possibilities, but as you know – the space in a backpack is limited, so we were not so much into shopping. However the restaurant where we went to is a different story. Zaffran had one of the best meals we ate so far and had a blast with our friend.

More from India coming soon!

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