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India with Kids 2013 – Delhi (day 1)

Delhi came as a huge surprise.

I’d been there close to twenty years ago – at that time it was dirty, polluted, the roads were full of tuk tuks, trucks and buses belching black smoke and it was an ordeal.

But things have changed. It’s an even bigger city now, with a population of  about 20 million,  but the roads are now full of modern Indian built cars, and the tuk tuks and buses all run on natural gas, so  the cloying stink that used to typify massive Indian cities is amazingly no longer there.

We stayed at Mantra Amaltas, a great place in a quiet neighborhood in South Delhi. The rooms were good in every respect and we loved eating breakfast on the rooftop patio. There was also an indoor pool which we didn’t get round to using. Breakfasts were solid – lots of Indian breakfast food (which we love) as well as pastries, toast and fruit, and eggs to order.

Our first day was unplanned.  We chose to visit Haus Kaz, a quiet  area of ancient ruins which has become a center of boutiques and antique stores. Delhi is packed with ancient ruins everywhere. Some are major sightseeing destinations, while others see no foreign tourists and are either gardens or in this case, a shopping area. We enjoyed our explorations and the girls bought some stuff, as to be expected. Lots of restaurants offering everything under the sun, and the kids chose an Italian pizza restaurant. It’s abundantly clear that Delhi is where India meets the West in lots of ways. People have money, prices aren’t cheap and there is a massive amount of new apartments going up everywhere.

That night we relaxed and watched cricket, as well as Chhota Beem, a favorite kids cartoon that we remembered from our last visit in 2008.

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