To make it a one day tour or a weekend trip; that is the question.
In order to get my residence permit of Sweden I had to visit the Embassy of Sweden at New Delhi.
Read more about the reasons of my visit here.
The embassy timings were Monday, Thursday and Friday in the morning and Tuesday in the evening. As I had to travel from Kolkata, I thought it would be a good idea to take a short vacation as well along with work. Since there was no early morning flights and making an overnight stay would be costly, I discarded the plan of a vacation and decided to target the evening time slot of Tuesday. Well, one of the other reason is in case of a day trip I would be allowed to go alone. So traveling solo was one of the main temptations which lead me to a day trip to Delhi.
I was feeling like a businessman, flying to some place for a meeting and returning on the same day. The excitement of traveling alone was at a different level altogether. It was an early flight. I had to be at the airport by 6am and therefore I booked an Uber for 5am in the morning. Driving along the flyovers and roads of Kolkata at this time of the day has a charm of its own. The otherwise crowded city is calm, serene and beautiful. With no traffic at all, it was like a long drive in a highway.
I was flying to Delhi for the first time. and didn’t know that the river Ganges along with the Howrah bridge and Vidyasagar Setu is visible during the flight. It was really a beautiful sight.
My flight landed at Terminal 1 of the IGI airport and I took a bus to the international terminal to board the metro on the Airport line. A colleague of mine from Delhi had suggested that I get a day pass at the metro station to save myself from lining up for the tickets each time. The Airport line was really comfortable and had an international feel to it.
I had gone through the metro network, its maps and routes in Google and the various tourist spots around the different metro stations and had roughly decided on the itinerary beforehand. The network was really elaborate. Therefore I decided to use an app provided by the Delhi metro. It really came in handy.
The fun part is that you will find many people on the metro who do not have a good idea regarding the different routes. So I had people asking me which was the next stop. It was my first experience with the Delhi metro and here I was helping other people with directions.
I took the Airport line to New Delhi metro station. I had initially planned to go to Chandni Chowk but realized that in that case I would have to skip Qutub Minar. So I chose Qutub Minar instead. Having read about it in the history and GK books through out my school life, I was really looking forward to seeing it come alive.
Next I went to the Jorbagh metro station on the yellow line. This was the closest metro station to the Embassy and also near the Safdarjung tomb. I would have loved to navigate my way and walk to the tomb but due to shortage of time and heat, I decided to take an auto.
It was already 1pm and I had to be at the embassy by 2. So I decided to head towards the Embassy. The driver of the auto did not know the way to the Embassy of Sweden. So we drove across Chanakyapuri keeping an eye for the Embassy of Sweden. The embassies of the different countries lie in this stretch. This road was really beautiful, wide and lined with trees.
I was done at 4pm. By this time I had acquired a pretty good idea of the routes. When I had arrived, I was cautious regarding the names of the metro stations. I was looking at the app constantly so that I do not miss my stop. Also, figuring out the side of the platform I am supposed to board the train from is a task in itself. Now, I headed to the airport confidently. i did not have to consult the maps and the app anymore.
This was all about my short trip to Delhi. The best part of the trip was that I traveled like a local, something I had always wished to do.
P.S: My return flight was from Terminal 3 of the IGI airport. It is so Biggggg !!!! The walk from the security check-in counter to the boarding gates took me 20minutes !!!