Traveling and arriving in India

New Delhi, India

So we’re sitting here enjoying a glass of Indian wine in a beautiful hotel in New Delhi. Needless to say, we’ve made it here safe and sound. It was a long day of travel, but we’ll get a good night’s rest and be ready in the morning.

We started off by leaving Buffalo an hour late. We gave ourselves plenty of time, so it really was just an annoyance rather than a problem. While waiting for the plane, we met two women who were also making international connections, one was actually on our flights straight through to New Delhi. The other was going to Hong Kong and then on to Melbourne, Australia. Flight to Newark was uneventful and no problems.

Our flight to New Delhi was on time and we were ready to go. For the first time, we actually booked first class since it was such a long flight. I have to say, the amenities that go along with the seat are nice. In particular, boarding separately without the crush. Once on board, it was cool to see how the other half lives. The seats were large and very comfortable, reclining within themselves to turn into a flat bed for sleeping. The flight attendants were all very friendly and most helpful. Especially the one who brought over the starting glass of wine. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The meals were delicious. Sue and I both had the lamb chops with Indian spices as our entree. They start you out with a cup of warmed nuts and a beverage. Next, they brought around a chilled appetizer of smoked salmon. Next was a salad of mozzarella, greens and tomatoes, then the entrees, cheese platter and ice cream sundaes for dessert. Add in wine with dinner and a choice of after dinner drinks and wow… we we’re full. (For the record, we both skipped the cheese plate and sundaes).

After a little conversation, we both settled in for a little snooze. Pillows out, blankets out and seats reclined – see you in the morning. We were even able to plug in my cpap machine for a very restful night’s sleep.

Woke up with just about two hours to go until New Delhi. It’s funny, since we left Newark at 8:40 pm and with the travel and time change, we’re arriving in New Delhi at 7:30 pm. Lose a whole day, but we’ll get it back on the way home. Breakfast is served after an offering of coffee or tea. We both had the cheese and broccoli omelets, with fresh fruit and yoghurt, plus a croissant. That will be dinner, so we make it disappear. ๐Ÿ™‚

Seats up, gadgets stowed – we’re ready to land! The lights of Delhi are visible out of the windows. It looks like such a huge city. I suppose with 25 million people it is a huge city. Great landing and we’re here!!!

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Thank you’s to the crew and then out into the airport. You can feel the heat of the night air. It’s about 84 degrees when we arrive. We make our way down to passport control and it’s empty. We get to go through the first class line but it really wouldn’t have mattered. Passports good, visas good – we’re in! Now down to baggage claim, again no trouble getting our bags. We head over to the currency exchange to get some rupees before heading out into what we’ve heard is a chaotic scene.

Through the doors and… nothing. There is a guy with a sign that says Susan Herkey and Thomas Herkey – how cool. I always wanted to be one of the people with someone waiting.

We get his attention and off we go. The ride was set up by the folks from the Train Tour, so we didn’t have to worry about going to the hotel via Istanbul. The driver was very nice and told us about some things to see during our short stay in New Delhi. He was really nice. When we arrived at the hotel, we had to pass through a security checkpoint and pass through metal detectors to enter the hotel. This after the terrorist problems they had in Mumbai in 2008.

Once we passed through, we were greeted by Aradhna and led beneath a canopy of orange to wish us happiness and good luck. The hotel lobby is gorgeous. What a great choice of hotels by Seema. After our greeting, we were led to our room. Aradhna would check us in there and said she would have a surprise for us.

When we arrived in the room, we were told to make ourselves comfortable and she poured us both glasses of water. She was able to check us in right in our room. A hand scanner to gather the paperwork and a quick phone call and we were done. The surprise was a welcoming bottle of wine. It was an Indian wine – a merlot and was very good.

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Even more of a surprise, for Aradhna anyway, was when I said ‘thank you’ in Hindi. I was telling her that we try to prepare and she actually was quite taken that we would try Hindi. She was just the cutest and nicest person. She said she felt all “googly-woogly” inside when I was talking to her. Connecting with people half a world away is really what travel is all about. ๐Ÿ™‚

After she left, they delivered our luggage and we settled in to relax for the evening. This is a perfect way to start a vacation.Seema and Prem and their in-laws arrive in the morning. Until then, we’re gonna rest and catch a little more shut eye.

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