We decided the best way to tackle the huge city of New Delhi was one neighborhood at a time. We hopped in an autorickshaw or tuk-tuk and rode across town to the Red Fort where it quickly became apparent that we were going to be paying a lot of extra money on this trip, simply for being American. They didn't even try to hide it. At the ticket booth, one line marked Indian Tourists: 10rp while another marked Foreigners: 250rp. Being a tourist, I expected to pay more but I didn't expect it to be so blatantly advertised!
I honestly have no idea what the purpose of this fort was (you have to pay extra for "guides") but I believe that it was part of one of the cities of Delhi (there were seven or eight maybe? ). Here's my favorite picture from the Red Fort:
After we walked around the grounds, we decided to do some shopping. Shopping in India has been on my bucket list so I was psyched to have an entire afternoon devoted to that! From our map, Chiandi Chowk, a big shopping street (which we actually figured out was more of a neighborhood) looked pretty close to where we were. We hopped in a rickshaw (the foot pedal kind) and headed to the spice market.
It was pretty incredible. Shop after shop selling all sorts of things that I recognized and did not, all of which smelled heavenly. We meandered around the market for another hour before heading back to our hotel for lunch. Regrettably, I didn't really document the food that I ate on this trip, but it was all delicious.
Our hotel arranged a tuk-tuk for us for the afternoon to take us for....more shopping! Here is our driver:
We weren't sure exactly where we wanted to go, so he took us to Khan Market which was filled with shops containing all sorts of exported goodies (such as Tide detergent, Honey Bunches of Oats) that are difficult to find in Indonesia. There was also a bounty of English-language bookstores :)
From there, he took us to a local market (not so much for tourists) that I cannot remember the name of. It started with an "S". I loved this market. It seemed more like "real" India, not "tourist" India. Here was one of the few places that we saw women walking around. It was a Sunday afternoon and it was crowded. Check it out:
As the day drew to a close, he dropped us by the market near our hotel so that we could pick up some tea at a normal price. We were staying in an area called Paharganj and the main market was just across from the train station. Here, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. There were textile shops all over, filled to the brim with colorful, embroidered, dyed works of art. It took a lot of restraint not to buy one entire store! More on this market later (we went back a few times :)