India to Istanbul

Hello from Istanbul!

…The Asian side to be exact. We arrived at our hostel (the well known hush moda which is fab) at 11 last night and promptly went to the first restaurant for some kebabs and lots of refreshing melon. We’ve had a lovely morning wandering around getting excited by how calm and full of ice creams the area is compared to our last few days of travelling and the ever hectic Delhi.

Our mission to get here started with a less than pleasant 16 hours bus from Manali to Delhi. Our homestay in Delhi was lovely and we had a much better experience of the city than we did last year. We were only there about 24 hours before we left for the airport, experiencing a final classically indian ridiculous traffic jam. We flew to Kazakhstan and from there to Istanbul. The flights were fine, all ran smoothly but each was 5 hours or so long (we were getting very confused about changing time zones etc) and we were zonked by the time we got to Istanbul.

We are leaving on a bus to Canakkale in a couple of hours and starting a loop of turkey returning back to Istanbul in two weeks to rent a flat with two of my flat mates from this year.

I can’t wait to see more of Istanbul when we do, but in the meantime, bring on the beach!

Here are some photos of our amble around the Asian side. So much food! After buying fresh orange juice, a magnum, and loads of cherries I am very very happy!

Xx Fabia.

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Arrival in Delhi

First impressions
– The journey went by so quickly it seemed so surreal to suddenly be somewhere so different.
– Not as blisteringly hot as we expected
– Drive from airport to hostel in an little open air vehicle was more like an aggressive go karting race than a transfer.
– Everyone is so friendly.

Second impressions
– It is actually hugely boiling as soon as we had walked more than 30 m and our car was stuck in traffic
– Our airport transfer was fairly sophisticated compared to the Tuktuks in the centre
– Everyone is trying to scam us!! Have honestly learned some useful life skills already in regards to lie detecting and how to say no.
– Dehli is too large to comprehend

Our first day felt very surreal and we definitely fell prey to being sent places we didn’t need to go and being over charged.
We bumped into our friends at the airport and it turns out they are here for the same time and rough same route as us which is pretty great. Having parted ways post flight we then ran into them outside Jamma Masjid which added to our general feeling of surrealism. We sat and chatted on the steps and I got assaulted by adorable girls begging which although I knew would happen is still so difficult to ignore!
The area was packed as service was beginning and independence celebrations have been going on. This means the Red Fort is shut so but we went to the Lonely Planet recommended Karim’s for our first Indian meal which was delicious. I am totally paranoid and we didn’t risk pouring our bottled water into cups or eating the onion and lemon slices they brought at the beginning of the meal. However we did have their highly recommended almond and mutton curry which was so good.

Today we took a ac car around the south part of the city which was definitely a great call. It only cost 500 rupees and was so much more comfortable and less stressful than continual tuktuks and the bartering involved. We bumped into our friends again at Humayun’s Tomb and despite this huge coincidence we agreed that there are barely any westerners around so spotting each other at main sights is not really so hard!

The big sites are ofc very impressive but generally we are very pleased to be leaving such a choked and noisy city. It’s not the sights or smells that are overwhelming for us, it is the incessant honking from every single vehicle!

We leave for Agra tomorrow morning and plan to see the Taj Mahal first thing Saturday morning.

When we have access to a computer will hopefully upload some proper photos! These are just a few from my phone. Tuktuks on the road – Jamma Masjid lit up at night and India Gate.

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