First stop, Dehli - or crazy Delhi as we quickly named it. We stayed in a Southern neighborhood called Kalkaji which is where Deshbandu College is located. Our gracious Airbnb host, Anmol, helped us get acclimated to India and never failed to show up to chat right at the exact time we were headed to bed.
After our first full, jet-lagged day in India, we were greeted by some new house guests with a big "bonjour!!!!?" Ma Tilde and Tomh, a couple from France also on a one year world tour trip, were sharing the two bedroom apartment with us and we quickly hit it off. The next morning, the four of us hired a driver named Kuldeep to take us around Delhi to see the sights. This was truly the best way to see the city. Kuldeep was a great driver and wowed us with his ability to drive in the craziest traffic we had ever witnessed. The hustle and bustle of this city is unexplainable and like nothing any of us had ever seen.
With our new friends in tow, our first stop was Akshardham. An amazingly intricate Hindu temple built in just 5 years - the level of detail in the structure made this hard to believe. I will spare you the one photo I was forced to snap when Kuldeep suddenly stopped on the middle of the highway, cars whipping by on each side, and proclaimed, "being no cell phones or cameras allowed in temple...you take photo from here."
Next stop was the Red Fort and Old Delhi. Kuldeep warned us that being white and foreign we might draw quite a bit of attention. He was right, as we were mobbed at one point and even got to experience our first "can I take selfie with you?!!" Kuldeep explained that they like to post the pictures online boasting to their friends that they met these really nice Americans today. I myself was imaging them putting up the selfie with Bre and telling the world about their new girlfriend.
After that frazzled experience, lunch was calling. We enjoyed some of the best Indian food we have ever had at a restaurant near our next stop -- the Lodi Gardens. The gardens were beautiful with old temple-like structures to explore. The gardens were a breath of fresh air right in the middle of a hectic city. We were mobbed by a group of young kids selling roses who grabbed onto Bre's legs, begging for her to buy one.
Our last stop of the day was Humayun's Tomb. By this point we were exhausted by the constant dripping sweat and the car rides in Delhi traffic. The tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is from 1533 and is the same model as the Taj Mahal. The site is a must see when in Delhi!
Our friends parted ways the next morning, but we will be seeing them again shortly as our paths cross again throughout our travels. With only one day left, Bre and I had two goals in mind: ride a tuk tuk and see the Lotus Temple. We set out close to sunset for the Lotus Temple and had fun bantering with the tuk tuk drivers about the appropriate cost for our ride. The tuk tuk ride was everything we were hoping for and more! We loved every minute of it, and had to hold on tightly! Sunset at the Lotus Temple was one of the highlights of Delhi and was a great way to part ways with the city - for now at least!