After the sights of Agra the day before we were all ready to get out into Delhi and start exploring so we got up early and had a breakfast of dahl and pakora, whilst wondering when our digestive systems would acclimatise to this level of flavour so early in the morning.
We ended up getting a tour of Delhi in three cars that we hired for the day. Driving in Delhi is intense but after lengthy discussion, we have all agreed that they have better drivers here, it’s just that they choose to drive like maniacs. As I write this, I am in a car that is overtaking a tuk-tuk that is also in the process of overtaking a tractor, all whilst heading directly towards a container lorry speeding towards us from the opposite direction.
Our first stop on the Delhi-tour was the Lotus Temple. This is the centre of the Baha’i faith in India and made up of giant, white, over-lapping petals that rise 40 metres into the air, resembling an ornate version of the Sydney Opera House. The greatest challenge was getting there; we had to remove our shoes and socks at the entrance then do a ‘hot coal dance’ to get over the sun-baked paving slabs that curved their way towards the temple.
The temple evoked an eerie sense of God from the gust of warm air that blew through our faces as the door opened to the echoing prayers and golden light emanating from the centre-point high above our heads.
The assassinations started today (a Team game that is a real-life version of Cluedo). Toni passed Chloe a Samosa at the Lotus temple meaning Chloe was out of the game! Our next stop on the Delhi tour was the India Gate war memorial and the site of another assassination. We witnessed a changing of the guard ceremony, guns in-hand, whilst Tom K was given a postcard of the Taj Mahal so now Tom K is out of the game.
After grabbing some lunch (another huge selection of curries and rotis with a sample of a salted lassi- the worst drink invented), the international fellowship team headed to a collection of markets near Connaught Place, the location of the Apprentice-Style Scavenger Hunt. An hour later we were all sat in a bar admiring the peculiar ways some members of the team had interpreted “something dead” and “something that flies.”
Considering all of our experiences in Delhi have been completely mind-blowing, we thought that we may as well end our stay with a visit to a Mexican-themed bar complete with Indian waiters dressed as cow boys and full-height horse saddles in place of bar stools. Safe to say the night was memorable!
By Tom Greenwood
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