Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Flying to India was very different compared to my previous trips to Europe. We left Ottawa on Sunday, and three flights later arrived in India at about 1:30 in the morning on Tuesday. We lost a whole day on the journey, and got barely any sleep. But on the other hand we can say that we (sort of) visited Philadelphia and Doha!
After falling asleep on the floor in the airport, we met with our driver and tour guide at 7am. I'll start by saying that both of these men were incredible. Our driver (Harpreet) is with us until the end of the trip, but our tour guide was just for Delhi. We'll be meeting someone new tomorrow!
We started our tour by visiting the Qutub Minar, an enormous victory tower built in the 11th century. It was incredible, and the various temples and buildings around it were gorgeous. The carvings were very intricate. And, there were wild green parrots flying around! We didn't get any good pictures of them but they were very cute. It was a very cool place and I wish I could properly relay all the information our guide told us about it. The last picture is the Alai Minar, which was meant to be a second tower but was never completed.
Second we visited the Bahai Temple, which is also called the Lotus Temple, and we got to go inside. It was a really cool building, but one of the most interesting things about it is that it is open for any people of any religion to go and pray. We went inside very briefly, and it was quite serene.
Our third stop of the day was a large Sikh temple called Gurundwara Bangla Sahib. It was amazing. We started off by taking off our shoes and socks, then we washed our hands and stepped through a shallow pool to wash our feet. The first area we went into was where the Holy Books are stored and people were praying. Then we walked outside to see the pool. This was the area where people are allowed to come, rest and bathe for free. We also saw the dining hall where people can get free meals. Then we went back into the kitchen, where volunteers were making flatbreads (I think they're called roti), and we got to help! We sat down and rolled out little balls of dough to make the flatbreads, which would then be cooked and served.
Afterwards, we had some delicious tea served in little clay pots. Then we got back into our car and drove by the government buildings before making a final stop at the India Gate, and enormous war memorial for the soldiers who died in WWI. We got lunch afterwards, and outside the restaurant we got a picture with some snakes!
Now we're on our way to Agra, which we'll tour tomorrow.
Some final random comments - the chipmunks here are somehow different and we can't quite figure out why they look odd aside for being a bit greyer. Cows just roam around willy-nilly but apparently always return to their homes at night to be fed. And when I say roam, I mean they were standing on the sides of the road, sleeping in the middle of the road, they have no fear. Also, wild animals in general are cool here, we saw parrots, peacocks, and a few monkeys! Lastly, the roads are insane. Our guide told us that to drive in India you need three things - a good horn, good breaks, and good luck. To be fair, it seems like a somewhat organized chaos.
Anyway, that's all for now!
Edited and pictures added June 2019