Day 11 (October 27, 2014)   New Delhi


   We’ll have until dusk to complete all the visits remaining in New Delhi. Our flight to Maldives is scheduled to leave at 6:40 PM.

   Our hotel is located close to Mehrauli archaeological park and with good communications with the airport. The rest of our highlights and the hotel are close to metro stations of the same line, the yellow one at map.

Map of New Delhi

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Hotel Silver Ferns
 1- Conaught Place and Jantar Mantar
 2- Bangla Sahib Temple
 3- India Gate
 4- Rashtrapati Bhavan
 5- Humayun's Tomb
 6- Lodi Gardens
 7- Lotus Temple
 8- Mehrauli Archaeologycal Park
 9- Indira Gandhi International Airoport


   We leave the hotel nearly 11:30h, after a good breakfast where we’ve found, between the jam portions, one with a vegetable mix which turned out to be the spiciest I’ve never tasted. Who does take that for breakfast?

   It’s late, but we arrived late last night, so we must focus on the main attractions we want to visit. We reach the Metro by Saket station and find modern and clean facilities where we get our single tickets in form of tokens by 16 Rs each. These tokens are like plastic coins machines can read to access just by approaching them and, at the exit, they’re introduced and kept by the machines. We leave in “Central Secretariat” station, after nine stops from our origin.

Delhi MetroDelhi Metro

   Once in the street we stop the firs rickshaw we see. My idea was getting a deal for all our visits today but, as this driver doesn’t speak English, I can barely manage to be taken to India Gate by 20 Rs.

India Gate

   The area is fenced and it must stop in a busy avenue so we can walk to it by the wide path with park at both sides. It is crowded and, as today is Monday, I think it may still be holydays here.

India GateUnder India Gate

   India Gate is a relay huge arch. We explore the area and the fountains in the park while walking back to the avenue through the grass.

   We’re talking when I realize there is nobody around us and shouts we were hearing were addressed to us. People are stopped on an imaginary line we’ve clearly passed and a man with white shirt is yelling at us asking in English if we’re deaf. I can see two military men with machine guns between us and the avenue we were going to. I understand we must go back to the imaginary line, but I can’t understand why. Once with the people I ask about to them and I get a simple “Prime Minister” as answer which allows me to understand what is happening: there is a security line set around the avenue, which is now cut to the traffic, because the Prime Minister is going to pass by it.

Fountain at India Gate parkSecurity area for Prime Minister

Avenue cut

   After some minutes we see a limousine with big cars in front and behind, all of them black, pass by the avenue. It’s over, we are free to go now. India is a noisy country, did the security man really expect we could distinguish his shouts for us among the others?

   When the traffic is back in the avenue we take a rickshaw and this time we’re able to bargain for the rest of our visits: 500 Rs for going to Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace nearby, then go to Rajghat (Gandhi memorial we couldn’t see our first day), then to Humayun’s Tomb and finally to be delivered on any station in the Metro yellow line, which we’ll use to come back to the hotel.

Rashtrapati Bhavan

   We quickly cover the distance on this wide and long avenue to the palace to take a quick look at it from the beautiful iron gates.

Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rashtrapati BhavanSandstone fountain at Rashtrapati Bhavan

   It’s 1 PM when we reach Rajghat. We find a couple of military men guarding the closed entrance. I’m confused as I checked this place is opened every day, but not today. When I ask about it to the guards they answer a short “V.I.P”. So Prime Minister, who has already made us wait before, is visiting Gandhi memorial with a guest. What I don’t understand is it makes it to be closed until tomorrow morning at 9 AM!

   This means all we can see from outside is all we’ll see from this place. My fears now are for the next visit: Humayun’s Tomb. I can only hope V.I.Ps don’t want to go there too.

RajghatPurana Qila

   We get there after a 30 minutes ride on which we’ve passed along Purana Qila, which walls we’ve been able to see from Mathura Road.

   Humayun’s Tomb is actually a funerary complex. After paying 500 Rs for the two tickets we explore first Isa Khan’s Tomb, a beautiful circle mausoleum.

Isa Khan's TombInside Isa Khan's Tomb

   Then we pass by other minor tombs until reaching the Gate to Humayun’s Tomb, which recalls to Taj Mahal’s, as the mausoleum itself can do too. This was built before, though.

Gate to Humayun's TombHumayun's Tomb

   We enjoy the sight of this monument which we like that much as per using it as header of all the site pages of this travel. Then we go up and inside to see the simple interior.

Inside Humayun's TombHumayun's TombGate at Archaeological area

Humayun's Tomb

  This complex is very beautiful but time goes by really fast and it’s 2 PM, so we walk back to the entrance to meet our rickshaw for the last ride.

   Now it only must deliver us on any metro station belonging to yellow line, but the driver seems not knowing which stations are in one line or other. I suggest “Central Secretariat”, as it was the one we arrive from and is close to city highlights, but he ends taking us to “Jar Bagh” after asking to another driver.

   We are in the station at 2:40 PM and our time is consuming but still we let the hotel station pass to leave at the next: Qutub Minar. This station is above the street and we can see the popular minaret quite far. The drivers waiting for customers confirm we cannot go by walking and we take one to the entrance to Qutb Archaeological Area by 100 Rs.

   We get another two more ticket by 250 Rs each to get into the place some minutes after 3 PM. It must be a quick visit this.

Entrance to Qutb archaeologycal areaQutb archaeologycal area

   Once inside we easily locate the huge and ancient minaret at the left of the complex. IT’s beautiful, with all the carvings over the heterogeneous brown hues.

Qutab MinarQutab Minar

   We take our pictures for a while, looking after getting as less people as possible because, again, this place is full of local visitors. It’s also full of doves flying all around.

   We explore the rest of the area with magic spots with its combination of beauty and old. Somehow, we meet again here the surprising popularity of my wife and people wanting a picture with her take time which was already short. Even a family makes her take the youngest child to be in a picture with all together.

Qutb archaeologycal areaQutb archaeologycal area

   When we leave the place it’s close to 4 PM and all we must do now is leaving the country. We walk through the massive offer for rickshaws and go where the taxis are parked across the street. Before reaching it, a man is asking me if I need one, I answer yes and ask for rate to go to our hotel, taking our baggage and deliver to airport. 1000 Rs he says and I take the deal without second thoughts. Remember a taxi provided by the hotel to the airport is 1500 Rs by itself.

   In just a few more than one hour we are at airport. We check in our baggage and are finally free. Our flight leaves in one hour and forty minutes so we finally got the time to lunch. The big breakfast has allowed us don’t need it before. We eat some samosas at the same hall watching the movement of the travellers around. The airport hall is still dressed for Diwali.

Delhi airport dressed for DiwaliSri Lankan Airlines plane

   Everything goes fine and, at 6:40 PM we leave India to Colombo. Sri Lankan airplanes are comfortable, with good entertainment and food.

   At Colombo airport we have time enough to explore the bunch of gift shops and purchase some samples of the famous tea of this country.

Colombo airport

   It’s around 2 AM when we reach Maldivian airport crazy about getting the bed. We follow everybody to get into the ferry to Male paying less than one dollar in local money (10 Maldivian Rufiyaa) we’ve got from an ATM at the hall.

   When we arrive at the capital city of this country, and on despite of the dark of the night, I can read, just in front of the quay, and in white neon, the name of our hotel: Nasandhura Palace.

Night view of Male

   We are grateful now of choosing a hotel at this location and we get the desk for our last task of the day.

   We get one of that good news which is also bad: we’ve got a message from Kuredu with the time of our flight to the island, so I avoid any hassle of calling tomorrow to know it. The bad part is we must be at 8:25 AM on counter 59.
Our room at Nasandhura Palace
   But we still get another problem: they cannot read my credit card. It is fine, as I’ve just used it to get cash, so we show that cash to pay but we’re told local money is not accepted! I offer to pay in euros, but we’re told they don’t accept euros either. It seems only dollars are accepted, so we’ve got a lack of options here. The woman understands that and calls, on despite of the time, to the manager to be allowed paying in euros, but an incredibly bad exchange rate, though.

   Anyway, room is fantastic and we need to take advantage of it at once as is going to be jus a few hours here.