Delhi -Day 2


Today was spent in the rabbit warren like alleyways  and roof tops of the vegetable and fruit markets, cameras at the ready, the objective to capture street life and record some of the faces of Old Delhi. A photographers dream ….. . A perfect photo shoot was followed by an incredible lunch at the house of my guide, Drhuv Gupta. Drhuvs family has lived in Old Delhi for over 100 years. The respect for his family among the community is obvious and helped me get some photo opportunities which would have been impossible without his presence. If you are ever in Dehli I wholeheartedly recommend Dhruv as a resource, both for his knowledge and keen photographic eye. He can be contacted through Trip Advisor or at

I shot over 300 photos this morning in a little over two hours and will let the photos tell the story.













Delhi – Day 1

Wow!!! What a day….

Woke to a beautiful morning and view from my room

– fabulous Indian breakfast in the hotel and then we were off.

The scope of Delhi is easiest to describe in terms of population. 25 million people live here – the population of Canada is around 35 million – it is an interesting visual that most Canadians could fit into the sprawl of this place. Delhi is truly a melting pot of India. Immigrants over the centuries have contributed to the culture and cuisine, as well as leaving their buildings behind. Three UNESCO world heritage sites (gorgeous examples of Indo-Islamic architecture) are located in Delhi – the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayuns Tomb. Some sort of civilization has been here since before the 6th century. Wars and familial strife over the centuries have resulted in Dehli being sacked multiple times and cities built over cities – at least 8 major cities have left their footprint here. The seventh city built by Shah Jahan (of the Taj Mahal fame) is now referred to as Old Delhi. New Delhi was the name given to the city which became the capital of the British held territories in India.

The first stop today was the Red Fort, a huge walled fort and palaces built in the reign of our old friend the builder Shah Jahan.

The second was the Mosque Jama Masjid – apparently the second largest mosque in the world after Mecca. And yes our friend SJ was also responsible for building it. He was a busy guy! Both buildings were built using the characteristic red sandstone and white marble so beloved by the Shah, sourced from Northern India and brought to Delhi by huge elephant caravans from the Northern quarries.

The actual prayer yard for this Mosque can accommodate 25,000 people. During services exquisite carpets are put out over the red sandstone.

To go in you have to remove your shoes and if you are female put on a very large over coat that essentially covers you from neck to toes – and no I did not get a selfie….. The British actually considered dynamiting the Mosque following the revolt of 1857 – thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

Old Delhi is a warren of narrow streets, shops, apartments and humanity. And have I mentioned the traffic??

Wall to wall vehicles of every description, all blowing horns incessantly and missing each other by inches (although in some cases not :-(((. ) Passing in lanes no more than 4 feet wide in some areas- My guide Pushprenda K. navigated it all seamlessly. I cannot say enough about his knowledge (MSc in Indian history) and professionalism during our day together – and recommend Pushprenda and his company unreservedly to anyone travelling to Delhi. Our route took us through the 300 year old Chandi Chowk market with its various sections devoted to jewelry, spices, wedding apparel, and just about anything else you can think of.

A seldom used back stair route took us up to the roof tops above the spice and flower market.


The pollution has been burnt off somewhat by a hot air sink above the city so the views were reasonable. It was laundry day and drying clothes were everywhere. Most water is pumped to cisterns on top of apartment buildings and then gravity fed to the households.

Marsala tea and an incredible street food lunch of parathas ( a flat bread made of wheat flour combined with peas, cauliflower and other vegetables mixed in with the dough – a mashed potato curry and dal accompanied the parathas – Lassi a sweetened yogurt drink was the icing on the cake.)

and rickshaw rides completed a memorable day. One tip if you go ladies, put a scarf over your head. I figured that out after the first 10 minutes – it makes the day go much easier if you aren’t getting stared at or bumped into on purpose. With a head scarf, sunglasses and loose clothing you are invisible and can explore at will.

This is an incredible country. I am amazed at the way it has grabbed me……. Tomorrow is a photography tour in the early am – stay tuned

In Transit – Vancouver to Delhi


Travelling karma is an interesting phenomenon. The ferry trip to the mainland was over calm seas under a moody winter sky in the company of Pacific White sided dolphins surfing on our wake.

The young Indo-Canadian man who piloted my taxi to the airport became incandescent (in a very positive way 🙂 )  when I told him where I was headed. He immigrated to Canada from the Punjab in Northern India and has whole heartedly embraced his new country – Canada rocks! I emerged from the taxi ride with a list of survival tips in Delhi, ranging from which brand of bottled water to buy to how to negotiate streets filled with cows, pigs and other interesting items. We discussed food and the food supply links in the city. Refrigeration is uncommon and many city dwellers grow produce in small areas around their dwellings for their own consumption and to sell at the many markets in Delhi. I was told that I would eat better than anywhere I have been. Once at the Fairmont, an upgrade to to the Gold floor with a member lounge, outstanding view of the runway and strait of Georgia was the icing on the cake 😀 to a very good day.

Next day. After a nominal departure delay caused by offloading the bags of a male passenger whose VISA wasn’t in order :-(.   , our heavily loaded 787 taxied and just got off the ground before the runway ended at Georgia Strait in the heavy rain. The passenger left behind turns out was in the seat next to me. The luxury of two premium economy seats to myself was a real pleasure for the 14 hour trip (sorry dude) . Time was spent enjoying excellent Indian meals and snacks, as well as a very nice Syrah, reading and catching up on movies. A couple of them were duds,  but Victoria and Abdul (starring Judi Dench) is a gem and highly recommended. The Indian subcontinent greeted us at dawn with a magnificent vista of the Himalayans bathed in a icy blue glow.

Shorty thereafter (in airplane time 🙂 )  – Delhi became apparent on the horizon as an orangey brown cloud, rapidly enlarging into a massive urban sprawl housing 25 million people.

Security was a breeze. Watching people ahead of me in line get fingerprinted and grilled had me ready for a lengthy stay at the customs and Visa check points. A Canadian passport works wonders here, no fingerprinting or grilling, immediate passage through other check points. Just lots of smiles and welcome to India. My minder greeted me at the Exit, along with another Canadian couple on the same G Adventures tour as me. We hit it off right away and spent the hour or so waiting for our transport chatting, exploring how the local payphone systems work

(you use one and the charges get spit out on a tape below which you then take to the attendant and pay him) and trying to stay awake after 24 hrs without sleep. Our ride to the hotel was provided by a group called Women with Wheels. An all girl taxi service catering specifically for female travellers.

The term “assault on the senses” categorizes the trip into Delhi to our hotel. A cacophony of horns, cars and scooters going all different directions at once, smells (good and bad :-))), yelling, music, cows placidly eating garbage in the middle of the road. Dust and fumes everywhere, open air stalls full of fruit, roasting peanuts, and some interesting looking mystery meat….  Love it!!!!

After an hour we arrived at the hotel which is perfect. I have a pool view room on the inside of the hotel, just had a fabulous mulligatawny soup and a glass of Cabernet – life is good.

Tomorrow on to street food and my first foray into the city!

Northwestern India


The sheer immensity of the Indian subcontinent coupled with the sprawl of its history  has always held a fascination for me.  Travellers who have walked where I will follow, have warned me to expect nothing like I have ever experienced before. For this first foray, I fly into Delhi – spend three days in the city and then depart with a small group to explore Northwestern India – Rajasthan. My first two days in Delhi will be spent sampling street food and joining a professional photographer guide on a walking photo safari through the city. Following another day spent exploring Old and New Delhi we fly as a group to Varanasi to continue on with the trip. I hope you enjoy following along with me on what should be quite a journey! For those of you interested in following my route, the itinerary is on the map below.

I will be blogging (Internet dependent) with post notifications appearing on my Facebook Page. The blog can also be accessed at   Looking forward to sharing the journey!