Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Where not to stay in Delhi.

We are unable to produce a definitive list but we urge you to avoid the Hotel Ajanta.  As you can see from the photo there is no shortage of alternatives.The street noise eventually subsided at about 2.30 a.m and we were able to hear the hot and cold running trains from then on. Whenever there was a silence outside the in room fridge took its cue to kick in. Given the racket going on we were amazed to discover on waking that we had slept in until well after 9 a.m..

Add the unrivaled view, the paddling pool in the bathroom and the exorbitant breakfast charges and you have the complete package. Good practice for the trains though.

Today's plan was to sort out the packing, dump the bags at the station and go for a wander in Old Delhi. Last night we discovered that the card reader on our netbook has decided not to work. This leaves us with no way to get photos off the xD card in R's camera. Looking for a suitable USB reader meant that we had to start trawling little electronic and camera shops to find a reader. We checked in the bags and hopped on the metro up  to Old Delhi.

Having drawn  a blank on  Chandni Chowk we decided that it was time for lunch and hopped on a cycle rickshaw to Haldiram's which has had a face lift since last year. Obviously they were fed up with having their decor and fittings described as being like McDonalds - the ambience is now more Soviet tractor factory canteen.  The food is still pretty good and the hygiene generally reassuring for the acclimatised.

We decided to try our luck at Connaught Place. The metro was jammed for this trip - fortunately not too far. As soon as we hit the open air the touts started. "Where are you from?" "What are you looking for?" and the classic "I am not selling anything".  Serves us right for going anywhere near the place. A few camera shops knew what we wanted but could not deliver "Almost obsolete Madam". We sought refuge in a handy Chinese restaurant that provided sustaining beer and tea before deciding it was time to head for the train.

At NDLS we were greeted with the dispiriting news that our train was "Rescheduled" - in plain English three hours late. However every cloud has a silver lining and it gave us the chance to check out the brand new executive lounge facility.. Tastefully done out in shades of beige and lacking a significant number of light bulbs it offers wifi, power sockets, spotless loos and inclusive snacks and beverages. It certainly beat sitting on the platform for 3 hours and I was surprised that R didn't want to pay the 300 rupees admission.

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