Day 8 & 9 – Goodbyes and a day in Delhi

New Delhi, India

We woke up early to shower and finish packing. The train was already in the Delhi train station when we awoke. After finishing up, we went down for a bite of breakfast. There were a few people in the dining car and they were talking with the staff and each other – saying goodbye, saying thanks and talking about moving on.

We went back to the salon and gathered our belongings. The porters took our luggage and loaded it into the van for us. Before departing, we caught up with the two bossmen. Mr Singh had a copy of the group photo for us and after handshakes and hugs, we were off.

2.1413240702.our-train-gang

Since there was plenty of time, we would be dropped off at the hotel first and then they would continue on to the airport. Delhi was relatively quiet as we navigated our way down the streets. Not sure if it was because it was early or it was Sunday or both.

It was hard to say goodbye to our friends, but we had such a great time with them. For an out of the blue invitation, this turned into quite the life experience. Hugs, kisses, handshakes and goodbyes…

2.1413240702.our-friends

We were early, but there was a room available for us. Pretty much the same as the room here last week, so that made it perfect.

We checked in, had some breakfast and then went back to nap and rest. It was also my first good quality wifi in a while, so all the blog updates needed to be posted. We ended up skipping dinner and just being lazy – it felt good after being kept busy all week.

We are in no hurry, so we slept in a little bit, then cleaned up and went down for a nice breakfast. Beginning to think that there is a competition between the groups to get people to eat. The breakfast buffet has an Indian, Asian and Continental area and they will fresh make just about anything you would want.

This is Diwali week in India. Diwali – the Festival of Lights – is a big holiday and is celebrated by stringing up lights and giving sweets and gifts. The actual holiday is Thursday, but people are out in droves shopping for gifts at the market places and stores.

Without the holiday Delhi is somewhat overwhelming. With the holiday, we decided to limit our time away from the hotel. Besides, we discovered a Delhi Baking Co store off the lobby of the hotel with some delicious pastries to keep us happy for the afternoon.

We had our final dinner in India and celebrated with a bottle of wine. I asked for a suggestion on the wine and was surprised when a Chateau Ste Michel Riesling was suggested. Needless to say, it was the right choice with the Indian spices.

It was a fun dinner as we were being looked after by both the Tuscan and Indian sous chefs. A plate of Italian cheese, sausage and breads started us off. The Italian chef then insisted on making us a small fresh pizza. We took our time chatting with him and between ourselves before trying some Indian food.

Everything was delicious, but there was a special marinated and grilled chicken that was superb. So our new Indian chef friend then made us fresh garlic naan to go with our meal. Buried on my plate, I came across what I thought was a green bean, but turned out to be a pepper. WOW! Glad we had lots of water and wine to put out the fire from that one.

We were both full, so there was no chance that we could enjoy any of the desserts they were offering. We thanked everyone for their kindness and then headed out. We ran up to the room to grab the camera and come back down to the lobby.

I was determined to see Aradhna and get a picture with her. We saw her and she came right over to us. She is just the sweetest young woman. She insisted we sit down and just chat a little bit. She was interested in our trip and even ran to get her phone so she could show us pictures of her family and friends. She was telling us that her parents are looking for a groom for her now that she is 20, so she will likely get married next year. We really enjoyed talking with her and then took our pictures. She also wanted a picture taken on her phone. Said she was gonna tell everyone she has a new boyfriend.

With that, we said goodbye and exchanged hugs. We’ll miss her. She will be one of my fondest memories representing how nice everyone treated us here.

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