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January 1st

The next day we awoke early and ate our usual breakfast at the hotel before heading into Delhi for the first time.  We had no idea what we were even doing but our driver dropped us off at one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.  It was called Qutub Minar and was a complex of mosques, tombs and minarets, including the oldest mosque in India, the first Muslim college, or madrasa, as well as the tallest minaret (my new favorite piece of architecture, sorry Hagia Sofia!).  The structures dated from the 12th to 14th century, making them the oldest manmade structures I’ve ever seen!  The architecture was incredibly ornate and beautiful, and a few times while walking around I got goosebumps it was so beautiful and powerful.

After Qutub Minar we attempted to head to the market Delhi Haat but were instead taken to a store of the same name.  We were ushered inside and sat down in a room lined floor to ceiling with beautiful silk and pashmina garments.  The employees were incredible salesmen and we were confused as to where we were so we all bought some.  There were two other rooms full of handicrafts etc. that we passed through, receiving incredible pressure from the employees to purchase everything.  Finally we left the store.  We were trying to meet up with a friend of Steve’s from Iowa whose father is an ambassador.  She had recommended going to Delhi Haat and this is when we learned we were at the wrong place.  So we packed in the cars again and made it to the Delhi Haat market this time.  It was a beautiful open air market with many stalls selling beautiful colorful trinkets, garments, etc.  We had a nice group meal there, and I got my favorite Indian dish: Tandoori chicken.  We wandered around the market for a while then returned to our hotel.

We were all pretty tired from our excursion to Delhi but it was time for us to host a group of about 15 Indian engineering students from India Institute of Technology at our hotel.  This was a really neat experience as we were able to sit down with young Indians and talk and ask questions.  We talked about many topics such as religion, sports, politics, and school.  The one girl in our group, Teresa, was quite a hit with the Indian guys.  They literally lined up to get their picture taken with her!  One guy even asked her on a date.  We are going to see these same students on Jan. 11 when we visit their campus in Delhi.

It’s super cold here.  We all have space heaters in our room running all the time.  It’s the coldest its been in Delhi in five years!  I could have used my winter coat but I didn’t even bring it.  I was worried I didn’t pack enough shorts but I’m pretty sure I won’t even be putting them on.  The internet only works about half the time which is a bit frustrating.  Ok I hope everyone had an awesome New Year celebration!

 

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Last modified on September 10th, 2015
Posted on March 31st, 2013