Monday, March 16, 2009
I arrived safely in Delhi late last night. The security is incredibly good. The Mumbai attacks in November has had a visible effect on security at hotels. Our bags were xrayed at the hotel enterance and we had to walk through a metal detector before entering the lobby. Our car also was examined with mirros to look underneath for bombs. And, we had to go through a second metal detector to get to the elevators to our rooms.
The 14.5 hour flight was not bad at all! I met up with one participant at the gate in Chicago. I felt like I was meeting up with an old friend because we have much in common. It was great to have someone from the conference on the plane so that we could be “traveling buddies.” The flight was amazingly restful and we were well fed. The flight attendants kept us hydrated, too. I had an aisle seat so I could get up and move around every once in a while. I must have been well prepared because I felt fine on arrival. I recommend this flight to travelers flying to India.
The ride to the hotel was quite interesting even in the dark. I could see a definite haze over the city. And we passed lots of cars, motorized rickshaws, and motorcycles. I would not want to ride on a motorcycle in this traffic!
I met some more of the participants at breakfast this morning. Most of us had the Indian breakfast with lots of savory and delicious items. Three of us went for a quick walk on the street just outside the hotel. A tout was very persistant and followed us trying to get us to go on his rickshaw to Cannaught Circle. We finally just turned around and went back to the hotel in order to get rid of him!
We were given the detailed itinerary on our arrival at the hotel. We will be visiting Humayun Tomb, Qutab Minar, and Rajpath this afternoon. Then, this evening the official schedule starts with an introduction to India higher education and a reception/dinner with our hosts and all the participants.
I’ll post more later!