Travels, Life In Albany, 2012

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Click on any of the little pictures to see it at normal size. Click on the '=0=' after the picture to see it in giant size (about 2 minutes to download on dialup connection and larger than screen size). This could be useful if you wanted to really look at one part of the picture or to make a print.

I had visited New Delhi previously and so there are pictures of India in my travelogue from that time. Delhi has a new and very modern international airport. However, when I arrived I was met with the passport review which was in a huge room (shown here) where with pretty long lines before each clerk as they reviewed people's passports and visas and these lines were at 4AM. I can only imagine how bad it gets at rush times. Now I should mention that most of the group was leaving from Dallas and all of their flights had been cancelled with American Airlines. They were rebooked on a flight that had them arriving about 1AM a day later. I couldn't change my flights unless I paid a $150 fee, so just left them alone. Delhi Airport, India. =0=
Dawa, a member from Dallas who was raised in India, had gone to India a couple of weeks early, combining this trip with other work she needed to do. However, her iPhone wsa absconded with and was only reachable via a temporary cell phone with a Nepal number. She was to make reservations for us at a local hotel and meet the main group, letting the early arrivals (myself) and late arrivals know which hotel we would be meeting at. However, when I arrived I had not heard anything (but she did not have easy communication) and Dawa was not there (in the middle of the night). I could not get wifi at the airport as you have to have cell phone SMS messaging to sign up. Delhi Airport Metro / Subway, India. =0=
I tried her Nepal cell phone number from a payphone, but it was disconnected. What to do? Outside the airport didn't look like a good place for an internet cafe, so after about three hours, I took the Airport Metro (subway) to New Delhi figuring I could find an internet cafe there more easily. The station was very easy to get to (above). You bought a plastic token having pre-paid the fare to your destination, about $1.60, very reasonable. This subway was very modern and, further, offered free wifi at the stations. I tried to access with my cell phone, but it again required an SMS message to sign up. Drats. Delhi Airport Metro / Subway, India. =0=
They did say to ask for help and when I asked, by providing them with ID I was able to get a login and wifi access. I sent an email to everyone in the group asking for help / directions as well as my brother and then just waited to hear the hotel address or Dawa's India cell number. I was burdened by my two check bags and back pack, which made adventuring harder. However, I did do a short walk about around the area of the New Delhi Airport Metro Station. The metro station itself is very finished and modern interior and its exterior (shown here) is very finished on the front, but the sides look more spartan. Delhi Airport Metro / Subway, India. =0=
There was also a dramatic change in atmosphere as you left. Inside everything is very clean, quiet, spacious and modern. Outside everything is very busy, crowded, noisy, dirty, smelly. I made a little video of the street traffic. There were hordes of little three wheeled rickshaws / cabs. Those had been pretty common in my last visit, but now they were everywhere. Also, they have been upgraded to have four cycle engines and use natural gas so they are a little quieter, more efficient, and pollute much less. While the air is cleaner than my previous visit, the melange of smells, so strong and numerous it is difficult to identify any, was a little overwhelming. New Delhi Airport Metro Station. =0=
New Delhi Airport Metro Station traffic. =0= New Delhi Airport Metro Station. =0=
I was also slowed down by my luggage. Inside the airport and Metro it was not really a problem as the paving was smooth and there weren't the crowds. However, over the broken pavement and other obstructions and in the crowds it was most trying to go anywhere, so I headed back to the Metro again. Here is another view of the New Delhi Airport Metro Station. After about four hours my wifi ID expired. I decided to take a short ride to a nearby station that sounded interesting, but learned that the other station was on a different line. New Delhi Airport Metro Station. =0=
This subway was very crowded and noisy and, I presume, did not have wifi access (that would make no sense). This picture is of that station, but doesn't really convey the crowds as I chose a section by the turnstiles where there weren't crowds. It does look like the normal Delhi subway (which I want to ride without luggage) does accept fare cards similar to Istanbul. However, with all my luggage I went back to the Airport Metro (you have to go through security similar to airport secutiry to get in, which may also reduce the crowds, making it less convenient). Yellow line subway station. =0=
For about 40 cents I went to the previous station, Shivatri Station, shown here. The person at the help window did not seem familiar with setting up wifi for foreigners without cellphones and first said it was not possible. When I showed him my previous card and ID, he then said the system was down, but when I just waited he then asked a co-worker and finally got me an ID. Shivatri Stadium Metro Station, New Delhi, India. =0=
After accessing my email for a bit, I looked up the location of the YMCA where we had stayed previously and saw that it was only three blocks away, a 17 minute walk from where I was, the Shivatri Stadium Station. What a relief! I waited until about 4PM to see if I could get better contact information for the group from Dallas, but, that failing, I headed to the YMCA before it was too late to find a place for the night. The station was on a busy road, but soo the walk was along a quiet road shown here. It turns out the YMCA is quite large in New Delhi with about 8 entrances and it was a fair walk to get to the correct gate. Road to YMCA, New Delhi, India. =0=
Road to YMCA, New Delhi, India. =0= YMCA, New Delhi, India. =0=
I was able to get a room, but as I was registering I realized it would have been better to call before arriving as they claimed they only had more expensive room ($52 a night and includes breakfast and dinner) versus the rate I asked for and got the next morning (in case I needed to come back) of $26 a night. Oh well. In retrospective, I also probably should have made a greater effort to contact Dawa before I arrived, but as I traveling and away from my usual connections with lots of other things to worry about, it was difficult to do much (and, of course, Dawa was in the same situation). YMCA, New Delhi, India. =0=
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This page was last updated on March 16, 2012.