The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Tuesday June 8, 2010

Day 19 Cochin to Delhi
This morning the ship docked at Cochin, a pretty fishing area in the south west of India. Before we were transported by bus to the airport at Cochin, we had to fill in interminable bits of paper. One question we were asked was did we have any food with us. I answered yes” because I had some lollies in case of emergency, but when I handed my answers to the official he just smiled and ushered me through without checking what I had. The Indians seem to have enormous red tape and lots of questionnaires to fill in but they do not seem to follow up. The trip to the airport took about 1.5 hours. Here we boarded a plane for Delhi via Mumbai. Delhi is in the north of India and the trip took about 4 hours. The planes were made for small people with short legs – very cramped. We were warned it would be very hot in Delhi, about 45 degrees Celsius, but we arrived to the coolest Delhi June day on record, 26 degrees. It was still very hot because of the humidity. Arrival lounge in Delhi airport. We were given a brief sight seeing tour of New Delhi which is a beautiful part of Delhi established by the British in 1931. It has enormous treed boulevards with grand houses on either side each house with magnificent, large green gardens. We drove past the boulevard containing the embassies of every country, one next door to the next. Most impressive! The house which belonged to Lord Mountbatten when he lived in India is now the President’s home. We also went to the Hindu Temple. No photos were allowed. This temple had several swastika symbols (meaning prosperity) through it. These symbols were put on the temple when it was built in 1931, and the reversed swastika symbol was used by Hitler later on. Hinduism is a life style rather than a religion, we were told. They have many gods but their three main gods are the generator who procreates all life forms, the operator who deals with giving the people wealth and the good things of this life and the destroyer who you pray to when you get old and you want him to destroy your body so that your soul will be free to fly to a new body. After this we were taken to the Taj Mahal hotel in New Delhi where we were to spend the night. It was unbelievable. The bedrooms and bathrooms were enormous and the bed was the most comfortable that we have ever slept in anywhere. They even had a pillow menu. This contained the 10 types of pillow available, what each type was made from and which type was best suited to people’s various whims and complaints. The grand marble entrance to the dining room was lit by candles and lanterns and waterfalls abounded all around the stairs. There were Persian carpets on the walls and the domed ceilings were painted to imitate these carpets. It was a great pity that we could not spend some more time here to savour this luxury. (Barbara) The Taj Mahal hotel gave us the first of many magnificent buffet meals in India. There are always two or three employees at each hotel to do every imaginable job. One of these jobs was to serve coffee. After we had ordered coffee, we were about to leave since it was slow coming. The young man came racing after us and almost insisted we return to have “ the best coffee in Delhi”. We could not refuse. (Bill)

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