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The Golden Triangle Adventure [The Delhi Leg 1/2]

So, the silence on the blog was due to a backpacking adventure with my mother through what is known as “The Golden Triangle” of India – a fantastic group of places known for its lavish monuments, rich history and a host of wonderful shopping opportunities.

Mother and I decided that the only way to truly embrace and experience travelling in India was to travel only by train throughout the journey (as you can see from my post about the Rajdhani here.

Let’s take each destination in order…

Delhi

Since Delhi is one of the best connected cities in India transport-wise, we decided to split our trip to the city in half with 2 days at the start and 2 days at the end. On the first half of the Delhi trip, mother and I had a wonderful time with an early lunch at United Coffee House in Connaught Place in the centre of the city.

I decided not to have a healthy lunch on this occasion because I was absolutely starving following skipping breakfast earlier that morning. I treated myself to a chicken steak (pictured below).

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And yaaaas, I ate the fries. Mmmm potato.

We walked off our scrumptious lunch with a stroll down to Janpath where there were clothes and souvenir shops galore. We didn’t do much shopping here as mother was saving herself for Jaipur and all its charming Rajasthani goods.

(I say she was saving herself – she still did buy two pairs of earrings from the stall pictured below – but if you look at the picture, you’ll see it would be quite hard to resist these earrings!)

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Earring Stall at Connaught Place

Following this, mother and I braved the mid-afternoon Delhi heat (it was ~37 degrees) in an Autorickshaw down to India Gate.

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Autorickshaw Ride to India Gate

India Gate is a fascinating monument on Rajpath which is home to the Parliament House of India and Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Home of the Indian President). The monument itself was built to commemorate those of the Indian Army who lost their lives during World War I, other confrontations in the Far East as well as the Third Anglo-Afghan War. It is absolutely beautiful and due to the sheer size of it, it’s easy to get a good picture of it without including the throngs of people crowding around you (See Exhibit A below).

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Exhibit A

That concluded our first half of the Delhi trip  as we boarded a train to Jaipur the next night – this journey was NOTHING like the one I wrote about earlier here.

I promise the Jaipur post is coming sooner than this did 🙂

Humbled

I announced the launch of this blog and my journey on Facebook and Twitter today and since then, I’ve been out and about exploring Gurgaon and the surrounding areas. I’ve come home to my friends, family and even strangers wishing me well on this journey and motivating me to work harder and write more. 

I just wanted to say thank you and I will try my best to not let you down!

Here’s a picture of me looking scruffy from travelling but super happy with the overwhelming response I’ve received today. ❤️


Good night, world x

Rajdhani – Travelling like a Queen [Kolkata-New Delhi]

Yesterday, mum and I set off on our backpacking adventure. Now, because I’m travelling with mum on this trip, I am afforded much better luxuries than I would if I was travelling on my own or with friends.

We started off at Howrah Station in Kolkata – a historic building quite reminiscent of the colonial era, quite like many others across the city. This place, and New Market, are the only places where I really remember that Kolkata is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The chaos and hustle is like no other. There are large groups gathered and waiting, many availing of the food kiosks, stocking up for their onward journeys, while others gather their families and sit on the floor waiting for their train to show up on the many boards. You can smell and feel the poverty that India is known for but this doesn’t take away from the humbling old school feeling of the city.

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My mum and I traveled on the Rajdhani overnight (~17 hour) train journey in a private 1st class cabin to ourselves. I’ve attached a picture of the cabin below – it may not look like much but the service provided in these places is to die for.

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Upon boarding, we were met with English-Hindi-Bengali speaking attendants and staff members who greeted us with smiling faces and a tray for evening tea. Assam tea, sandwiches, a paneer cutlet and some sweets. What more could we possibly ask for?

Of course, trying to take the healthy approach to travelling, I indulged in a black Assam tea with no sugar (Twinings do a wonderful version of it!) and the paneer cutlet as that was the least in terms of carby sugary content. It was delicious and totally worth watching my mum scoff down her entire plate – since she said the sandwich wasn’t very soon anyway!

Dinner was served a few short hours later and arrived on a course-by-course basis. We started with a mixed vegetable soup served with breadsticks and butter. It tasted great and was extremely lean. In an effort to conserve the diet, I decided to forego the breadsticks on this occasion!

 

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Main course was where I was thoroughly disappointed. I had ordered the “Continental” option which was to be a chicken spaghetti served with veg au gratin and another vegetable medley.What I received in return….well, it was interesting….

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When travelling with Eastern Railway or any other Indian Railway company where food is served, always order the Indian meal for dinner! You’ll be making a colossal mistake if you order otherwise. My mother had a fabulous chicken curry meal (pictured below) which was light and wonderful while mine (pictured above) was drenched in oil and spices that really did not belong in any form of spaghetti known to me.

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Lesson learnt! I shall be having the Indian meal on the way back to Kolkata.

After dinner, Mum and I had a little gossip about her friends and also, the lady in the cabin next door who kept trying to see what the two of us were up to before retiring to our own bunks. I, naturally, took the top bunk to save the old lady some climbing aches and read a fair bit of Jojo Moyes’ “After You,” the sequel to the critically acclaimed (and also my favourite) “Me Before You” which had a very accurate film adaptation released earlier this year.

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If you’re ever weary about taking public transport across long distances in India, try the Rajdhani trains. The service is fabulous, the staff are friendly and tend to your every need. The lovely attendant even came in to provide a turn down service for our cabin. There was a cleaner on hand who cleaned the loos every hour or as necessary and who also swept our cabins after every meal or snack. The air conditioning works a dream and there are armed police guards on board. So forget every horror story you’ve ever heard and give this train a go.

It is totally worth every penny and plus, I reached New Delhi alive, right?

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THB Rating: 7/10

Would recommend!

 

Pre-Adventure Lunching

Now, this may not look like the most appetising lunch but trust me when I say it is. While eating salads with light dressings and vegetable medleys are all well and good, we all know that the best and healthiest foods are usually the ones we have at home because of the lack of additives and preservatives.

Pictured above is a green bean and poppy seed paste mixture with a few light subtle spices. No oil was used to prepare this so this is as healthy as a lunch can get! It’s usually eaten with rice but I’m no longer about that carb-life so I had it on its own with a serving of mineral water.

I love green beans because they’re rich in vitamins but they also provide part of your protein requirement for the day. Poppyseed paste is delicious and slightly nutty in taste – it’s a delicacy in West Bengal. It also works as a wonderful antioxidant and helps to relieve asthma and other chronic respiratory issues.

THB rating: 10/10

Would recommend!

First day of a new adventure!

So, it’s been a while since I planned to post but here I am!

I’ve moved to India and I’ve spent the last week settling into my room in Kolkata for the next six months – I’ve joined a rugby team, a gym and set out my travel and diet plans. Aaaaaand I’m off on my first trip today!

Mum and I will be backpacking the Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) which means I will be blogging remotely from my phone rather than using my laptop so I apologise in advance for sloppy blogging.

Whilst on this trip, I will be uploading travel tips, food tips and how I’m trying to stay healthy and fit whilst being an absolute tourist.

I downloaded the 7 minute work out app from Wahoo Fitness a few days ago and I’ve been trying those work outs for the last 3 days and boy, have I been building up a sweat! If there’s any free app people need to download it is this one! I’ll be posting about my experience with the app through the trip.

Off to catch the train now, but I’m sure I’ll blog from the carriage.

All aboard the peasant wagon!

Peace

Hey there.

Evening (or morning, afternoon,etc – depending on when you’re reading this post)!

I would like to thank you ever so much for visiting my blog. As this is my first post, you can imagine that I haven’t quite started on this journey just yet but I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am to get reading and possibly running.

I’ll be using this platform to share my thoughts on the weight loss process – to see what works and what doesn’t, to tell you what hurts and what I absolutely hate or love. This is going to be an incredibly wonderful journey for us all and I cannot wait to share it with everyone or anyone.

In the meantime, follow me on some social media and on here – we’ll get cracking soon enough!

 

To be continued…

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