After being in Delhi working for a week it was finally time to break out of only seeing the hotel and the office and at least have a walk in the morning. As we are also planning on coming here on holiday I was under strict instructions from the wife not to do any sightseeing or touring so I didn't spoil any surprises when we are here together.
I thought that as I could see India Gate from my hotel window, and we drove past it on the way to the office every day that I must be able to visit that without causing a domestic disturbance thousands of miles away, so I decided that would be the walk, just over a mile each way. The weather was pretty hot, but a pleasant breeze, and as with the hotel I have stayed in in Kolkata, the staff seemed bemused as to why I wanted to walk out, not using the car provided or a taxi.
Almost as soon as I got out an auto-rickshaw pulled up and the guy started his pitch "Where you from, where you going, first customer of the day gets special price" and so on. A polite no, smile and I start my walk. He carries on, gently chugging along in his rickshaw, offering me a multitude of tours and prices that seemed to make no sense, but just not taking no for an answer.
The entire way there. I was at the gate to enter the park and he was still shouting me to get in for a lift, oddly at a higher price than outside the hotel. He was still there half an hour later when I left, but had obviously decided by then not to follow me all the way back.
The monument as you can see is in a nice park, which gets very busy at weekends and evenings - family picnics and a place to hang out. It was the first place I really encountered quite constant begging as well, with young children and adults constantly asking for money. A boy banging a drum while a young girl with him did headstands, both with dirt so ingrained in their skin that you could tell it wasn't a happy place that they came from. It made me look back on my experiences in Kolkata where the children laughed and gave me sweets in a new light as well, I am looking forward to getting back there in an odd way.
On to the walk back to the hotel, which was fairly uneventful apart from finding myself having to cross a six lane road which I didn't seem to have to on the way there...
And as always the standard pic, and I appreciate it is cultural and from long before Hitler came along, but this must be some kind of "mega-nazi" camp.