Delhi: Day one

This is actually our second day here, but during the first morning/afternoon we didn't get much further than down to one of the hotel restaurants and to the pool.

Maja ran off to the Doors of Perception conference in the morning, leaving Max and me alone. So what should one do during the first day, on the first visit to Delhi and India? Well, having learnt a bit on traveling in poor countries with small children from our trip to Sri Lanka in December, I figured I wanted to get a taste of the country without stretching it too far. After all, you can get kind of tired from making your way through in crowded cities with your 15 month-old son as your only travel companion.

Browsing through the Delhi section of my Lonely Planet India guide helps a bit. Clearly it seems like first-timers in Delhi have to visit the following attractions:

• The Red fort (Old Delhi)
• Jama masjid (Old Delhi)
• Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi)
• Connaught Place
• India Gate

Anyway, for Max and me it seemed quite satisfactory to take care of the last two, so we jumped into a cab and went to Connaught Place. It turned out to be a bit crowded, and I hesitated for a moment when I realized the whole central park was blocked down due to Delhi’s subway construction project. We decided not to be such sissies, and threw ourselves out in the crowd.

Apart from being followed by three extremely persistent beggars for more than an hour (waiting outside for us while we entered a few stores), it went pretty well. I had probably pictured something a little bit more… ordered, since it is the commercial downtown-heart of India’s capital – and India is after all the second most populated country on earth. We ended up taking a few pictures, visiting a few shops, and buying only a memory stick reader since I forgot the camera’s computer cable at home. From there, we went to India gate, walked around in the park and had a great time.

I can’t help feeling a little bit exhausted from the Connaught Place experience, but I know most of that exhaustion comes from the fact that I brought Max along. On one hand I think: well, but just because I have small children, I shouldn’t cocoon in Vaxholm for the rest of the toddler years. On the other hand (which I realize right now) – I basically didn’t see one single other child that was younger than four-five years old today. And we saw a lot of people. Hmmm… what does that mean?

We’ve had a great dinner, and it's time to log out. Maja’s stomach is a tiny bit upset, so we’ll see if I’ll replace her during some of tomorrow’s sessions. Take care.

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