After, we met the rest of our small group (seven plus guide), we headed to old Dehli, in an amazing jumble of tour buses, cars, motor bikes, bicycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws (motor bike drawn).
If you think driving in Guadalajara is scary, try driving in Dehli. The national pastime is honking your horn incessantly and cutting in front of other vehicles with literally millimeters to spare. Surprisingly, we saw no accidents, but almost every vehicle had scratched bumpers. No surprise, actually.
We went in rickshaws in groups of two to check out the area. Our driver maneuvered through the incredibly narrow streets, seeing the spaghetti of electrical wires and the piles of garbage that they were struggling to clean in time for the national holiday tomorrow, the holiday of lights. Jim couldn’t stop saying, “Oh, my!” at every turn.
We survived and headed to a park area that holds Ghandi’s cremation remains. All Indians come for a visit at some point. It was very moving.
We went to a shop to learn about silk and Kashmere hand knotted rugs. It was very informative and they even gave us lunch.
We passed a snake charmer, with his cobra. It was a nice diversion, but we didn’t stay long. Our next stop was to the ruins of a group of temples, including a huge mosque and the largest brick minaret in India (or possibly largest in the world). The invading Muslims erased any vestige of Hindu god representations on the columns before the mosque itself was invaded from the 12th century.
Back to the hotel for a little rest, then went to the home of a lovely couple for dinner. Rashmi and her husband, Anil, have lived all over the world, but Indian cooking is her passion. She made a delicious potato dish with us, then served it, along with several traditional northern Indian dishes. They invite guests from Smartours to their home, sometimes several times a week. With our small group, we were able to sit around after dinner to get some insight into Indian life.
It has been a long day. Sleep will be welcome, particularly since we leave for Jaipur in the morning and it is almost seven hours away with stops.