Arrival in Delhi

New Delhi Travel Blog

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Breakfast at Schiphol.

We had left the door to the balcony open to make the air in the room more bearable. Fortunately unlike the previous days it wasn't freezing outside but at a certain moment during the night it sounded like a jet passed straight through our room, which seemingly was located at the end of a runway.


We got up at eight, took quick showers and headed for the shuttle bus. We were ready to exchange 'smelly' for 'Delhi'. Because we had already checked-in online we could arrive at Schiphol a bit later. Nevertheless I'm a bit puzzled by the advantages of online check-in when your travelling with luggage. You still need to queue up to check in your bag, which in our case took about half an hour still.

After stocking up on Drambuie for two weeks and having a quick (and ridiculously expensive) breakfast we headed for the gate. Bad news: although we had fixed our seats online weeks ago, Bart still got switched to business class. Must have been a case of bad karma, although I'm not sure if it was his karma or mine.

Wings to Delhi.
The good news was that the flight would only take seven hours, more than compensating for the slightly delayed departure at half past 11.


While Bart wallowed in luxury elsewhere I read up on Delhi with the WikiTravel print-outs I had made, figuring out a nice program for tomorrow, enabling Bart to see some essentials and enabling myself to visit some places I hadn't seen in August.


Dinner was an Indian veggie meal with rice, spinach paneer, lentil curry, raita and some kind of cheesecake. Not too bad. Movie was the excellent Wall-E, which I already had seen several times so I listened to some music instead. Later I did some meditation and struck up a nice conversation with Arjun, a guy from Indian descent who was born in London, lived and studied in Miami and was visiting relatives in Delhi. We discussed a wide range of topics, from the Tibetan suppression by China to social security systems in Holland and the US. The second meal was something I remembered all to well (and not fondly) from my previous trip to India: a spicy lentil soup and a rather horrible bean salad. Fortunately I wasn't all that hungry.


The plane arrived nicely on time at 23:00 hours but our early arrival was lost by the hour it took to get through customs. Always the one to pick the wrong queue, I was the last tourist to arrive at the baggage reclaim, partially due to the fact that the Indian embassy had a written note about Ladakh on my visa. This turned into a bit of a chaotic explanation that I had already been to Ladakh in August and a lot of leafing through my passport by the official. In these situations it's best to stay patient and keep smiling. There had been a technical problem with delivery of the baggage, so when I finally arrived at the conveyor belt my backpack was just arriving.


In the arrival hall we were met by no less than three persons, two seemingly representatives of the local agency and the third our driver for the next couple of days, a Sikh with the (nick)name Kimi. Kimi drove us to the hotel, through the fog and pollution that lay on dark Delhi like a blanket. He offered to drive us around Delhi tomorrow for 1000 rupees, not the sharpest of offers but taking into account our tight schedule of one day we decided to take the offer.


We arrived at the Grand Park Inn hotel, a simple affair where three attendants rushed to take our bags to our room. Bart arranged two bottles of water and (warm) beers. The latter cost us 280 rupees (4 euros), again not the sharpest of deals but since they were big bottles and a cold beer was hard to get in Delhi at 2 o' clock at night we weren't complaining.

bartgijtenbeek says:

beetje karig programma.. ;-)
Posted on: Dec 06, 2008
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Breakfast at Schiphol.
Breakfast at Schiphol.
Wings to Delhi.
Wings to Delhi.
New Delhi
photo by: spocklogic