Thursday, January 26, 2006

India: Express to the Taj Mahal

This is a reposting of a blog that originally appeared in 2006.

Up again early, this time at the ungodly hour of 4am. Again, we'd heard that arriving 1 hour in advance to the train station was recommended because they can be bustling, confusing places, particularly New Delhi train station. I guess it doesn't apply if you have a 6am departure.

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We took the Bhopal Shatabdi Express, with air-conditioned first class seats. Quite nice, and very comfortable--they even served a substational breakfast on white tablecloths! Of course, this particular service caters to all the tourists making the de rigeur trek to see the Taj.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

India: Arrival

This is a reposting of a blog on our trip to India in 2006.

After a 12+ hour journey (including a 5+ hour layover in Bangkok), we finally arrived at Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi. We had been told to expect the worst, with hordes of cabbies and hotel representatives clamoring for our business upon exiting the airport gates. Abi mentioned that one of her friends once got into a random cab and ended up nearly in Kashmir. So we had asked the hotel to send us a car.

You can't see it in the photo, but our first impression of New Delhi was brown fog/smog. Bad air quality.
Actually, it wasn't so bad - there were crowds, but they were rather restrained. Perhaps the airport authorities had changed their policies. Or maybe the crowds had peaked by the time we retrieved our luggage and exited near 10pm. What was amazing was the air. We seemed to be surrounded by a thick, soupy fog...except that the fog was brown and dry.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

India: Trip planning resources

We traveled to India for the first time in late January 2006. During the planning stages, we found these resources particularly helpful:
IndiaMike Travel Forum - been there, done that
Rambling Roses - inspiration
Ethical Traveler