28.03.2015 - 28.03.2015
My final day in Delhi was spent with Ringo and his friend Sam, driving around seeing the sights. When you know the places to go, it's is a stunning city. The architecture is incredible, and it's just all so old. After a breakfast of South Indian Samba, 2 bread dumplings in a bowl filled with a delicious yellow, spicy, creamy sauce, (bought from a little street stall, eaten out of real China bowls in the car!) we went to different sites and sights, the names of which I will always struggle to pronounce. But the first place we went, the Qutab Minar, consisted of the tallest tower constructed in the 13th century. It's the 2nd highest Minar in Delhi at 238 ft, and it was incredible. There were so many ruins, and tombs, and a mosque and beautiful structures, all of a sort of pink stone surrounding it. It took my breath away. I could have spent hours wandering around and exploring, but it was so hot, I admitted defeat and went back to the nice air conditioned car!
We then drove to Humayun's Tomb, which was constructed 100 years before the Taj Mahal, but is a smaller, very similar version. It, too, was just amazing to see. There were intricately decorated gates, and recesses into the thick walls surrounding the complex, and again I could have spend far more time there than I did. I just knew we had lots more to see around the city, and by this time the sun was much higher and I was melting! So back again to the comfort of the car, to go for lunch in a little cafe around the corner. It was tiny, but always full of both locals and tourists, there was never an empty table, which is always a good sign. After another shared dish of veggies and bread, we went for more of a driving tour of the buildings you're not allowed in; The government buildings, the Presidential Palace, India Gate, and The Lotus Temple. All of which were stunning, huge and very impressive.
By now it was nearly time for me to meet my tour group. It was sad saying goodbye to Ringo, having had such a great time with him. But it was time for new adventures!
We had our first group meeting, which was very quiet, no one seemed to talk much. I was surprised to see that most of us on the tour had come on our own. We had just 1 couple, 1 pair of friends and 1 trio who came together. The rest of the 15 of us were all solo travellers. This made it much easier for us all to gel, and by the end of the meeting we were chatting away. We were 12 girls, and 3 guys (2 of whom are the couple), 12 Aussies, 2 Brits and 1 American. The ages range from 19 to 37, and almost instantly we all got on really well. We went out for a group dinner, to a restaurant not far away. It's one of the 'tour approved' places and so was not particularly authentic. We had a knife and fork for starters - I haven't used a fork for 4 days! The food was much more expensive and no where near as nice, and the only people in there were 3 tour groups. Still, the food was delicious, and it was nice to chat some more to the group, and to our tour leader Vikash (bee-cash). We had a 5.00am start the next morning, so after dinner it was an early night for us all.