The rest of our afternoon was ours to do as we chose. Our tour guide was sweet but we had a hard time understanding him and was actually pleased we could just go for a good old roam and not be such tourists. We headed out the hotel and just walked, we were actually just a stones throw from Delhi train station which then lead us to the main bazaar at the entrance of the Pahargani area. Here there were shops and market stalls selling everything from clothes and jewellery to fruit and veg. It was so busy, noisy and chaotic and being careful not to get run over by one of the many tuk tuks or carts being led by cows. But it was simply fantastic, this was right up my street. Just walking and exploring with no plan and getting lost in a completely different world. I think this set of photos are probably my favourite from my whole trip.
We arrived in Delhi with so much excitement and were welcomed almost immediately from stepping off the plane. Even the toilet attendents were friendly. Haha. Andrew had bought all these silly marigold garlands from amazon which he made us wear but they made many people smile and want to help and talk to us.
Once we were through passport control and baggage reclaim we were then hit with the reality of the real India. Our taxi ducked and dived through the craziest traffic I think I have ever witnessed, it was fast and furious, noisy and chaotic. 3 lanes of traffic became 6 lanes and the sound of a thousand car horns rang through our ears definitely waking us up from any jet lag we might still have. It was absolutely brilliant though. God I felt alive and ready to conquer this insane travel experience I had awaiting for me over the next two weeks. We arrived at our little hotel quite late so we ordered room service, I am sorry to say I am part of the small percentage of brits that dislikes Indian food and therefore ordered chinese, which was extremely tasty, and also eventually turned out to work in my favour as I was the only one who didn’t get the dreaded delhi belly.
The following morning we were up nice and early as we were to meet our tour guide for the first part of the day. Our first stop of the day was the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, built in 1644-1656 costing 1 million rupees. With a mixture of Islamic arcitecture and serene surroundings it was some what calming and peaceful, even though we were in the heart of such a hectic city.
Here we were made to take off our shoes and us ladies given a floor length robe to wear, even though I thought we were modestly dressed, it seemed it was required of us.
Our next three stops on our tour included Humayun’s Tomb, the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in 1570 by a persian architect. Which actually looked like a very luxurious palace. Qutb Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world, standing at 73 metres high and built in the 13th century, and India Gate, a 42m high war memorial which almost looked like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Back in february this year I was extremely lucky to have been given the chance to go to India. Well basically it was another one of those, you’re coming it’s booked moments. Which I suppose I should be grateful I have friends who do this, but I swear they will end up bankrupting me one day.
It was fantastic to be able to escape part of the UK winter and explore some beautiful winter sun. On route we had a 24 hour stopover in Muscat, Oman. First impressions were how surprised I was how busy the roads were. We were stuck in thick heavy traffic for most of our journey to our hotel and the jerky movements from our taxi driver meant I arrived with extreme car sickness. This was a shame as I missed out on the luxury buffet breakfast. Despite my nausea I did have time to notice how clean and pretty the city was and how most of the buildings were white and low rise, not a skyscraper in sight. The streets were also lined with gorgeous colourful flowers, which after a long winter back home was refreshing and lovely to see. To be honest we didn’t really have much time to explore as we also wanted a quick 2 hours by the pool just to feel some sun on our bones and defrost from the cold back home. After our quick sunbathing session we headed into town where our taxi driver gave us a quick tour of the city. It was actually too quick to take anything in but nevertheless gave us a little taster.
Last year was a pretty bad year for me when firstly I had found out my mum had cancer to only 5 short months later when we sadly lost her. As you can imagine it was the most devastating thing to happen, and to anyone who has lost a parent, family member or a friend to this horrific disease you know it shatters your world and leaves you questioning your own life. This was then followed a month later by my dad becoming ill and being in and out of hospital literally right up until christmas eve.
Obviously it was hard for me to focus on doing any writing or work on the blog, but there were snippets of life that I still somehow managed to enjoy with the help of friends who took me out for the day or booked me on trips just to ease me back into everyday life. For those people I am extremely grateful.
I am not usually one for New Years resolutions but in 2016 I really do want a new start and am very excited to get back into blogging and am feeling positive with what this year has to offer.
The following posts will be a collection of some of my favourite memories of 2015. Starting with….
Drinks at Cahoots
A 1940s inspired London Underground cocktail bar. http://cahoots-london.com/
Last year I was luckily enough to visit Gambia on the west coast of Africa. Going in february it was the perfect winter sun getaway.
After leaving a rather chilly London and a quick 6 hour flight, I stepped off the plane to a sunny and blissful temperature of 35 degrees.
Gambia is a slight culture shock, however it is colourful, vibrant, exciting, friendly and most of all exotic.
I never thought this was somewhere I would go but to be honest I never really had a choice, as one of my best friends booked it and said “you’re coming” and I am so glad he did.
Here is a selection of photos that sums up my trip.
The thing I love most about London is that there are always new places to explore. I have been to Brick Lane and Shoreditch on many different occasions, but have somehow managed to ignore Columbia Road and it’s flower market which is literally a walk around the corner. It is such a cute little road with brightly painted shops, cafes and this wonderful vibrant flower market, which although only open on a sunday, is busy and bustling. It was a beautiful sunny day and almost felt like summer was returning, the perfect way to spend a sunday off.