New Delhi is has been the capital of India since the British moved it from Calcutta in 1911. It is the 8th "incarnation" of the city that has been inhabited since the 6th century B.C. The remains of 7 major cites have been found in Delhi beginning with the Tomara dynasty founded in 736 A.D. It has been under the rule of a number of invaders including Turks, Afghans, Moghuls, and of course the British who embarked on a very grand scheme to rebuild the city into what is now New Delhi. It is the seat of Indian government and houses the international community of embassies and consulates. It is laid out in a grid pattern and it looks like an international and cosmopolitan city. Eh, it has much less Indian flavor than any where else we were. I missed the cows.
Because our travel plans got changed, we also had to change our planned activities for this day. We were able to push our tour from the afternoon to the following morning. It was a good thing as our flight from Jaipur to Delhi was delayed because of fog in Delhi. Turns out this is not unusual for this time of year. Ignorance is bliss. We finally arrived late morning and were met by the hotel car. Traffic was a zoo and the car was even later than our plane.. we found each other. There are modern, major arteries into and around the city with traffic lights and lane designations... the latter is not adhered to very well and one of the signs we saw stated that fines would be applied for not following lane rules.... lanes are "shared". It was overcast and misty and visibility was not particularly good.
Once we got checked in a late breakfast was in order. We were going to do some sightseeing on our own with local transportation (taxi). I also wanted to check out a store I had heard about several times that people had raved about. We caught up on email and then headed down to hire a taxi for 4 hours. We had directions for all the places we wanted to go and the driver spoke enough English. We figured to head out to the furthest point and work our way back. The place I wanted to go was in a rather upscale open mall. It looked like it catered to well healed tourists. The moment we stepped out of the taxi the skies opened up. We hoped it would be short lived. We hopped from one covered awning to another, never having thought of taking an umbrella with us. It did give me a chance to check out the stores... I wasn't looking for anything they were selling.... and the store I came to see was a disappointment. I think Ned breathed a sigh of relief. We called our taxi back to come get us. The rain did not look it was going to let up anytime soon and since most of what we had planned was outdoors, we decided to just call it quits and head back to the hotel. Instead, I got to enjoy a relaxing high tea in a cozy atrium.
The rain finally stopped and we decided to go take a walk around the area. We did take an umbrella with us this time! The local market was just around the corner and I bargained for an antique table runner ($12) and a raw silk and embroidered and beaded sari ($12) that I am going to cut up. I found another inexpensive cotton block printed tunic and leggings ($9). The prices for most things seemed to start out much higher than everyplace else we had been, but we weren't looking for much anymore.. We enjoyed the colors and eventually made it back to the hotel for dinner. A relatively easy day.