Day 1 – Friday, October 28, 2016 - Flight from Denver to Munich, Germany
Heart of India
Sujay Kumar Lall
Namaste! We are on our way to India. With our beautiful but dry fall, it was difficult to leave “Cool Colorado” and head to hot and steamy India, but India is on our Bucket List and has been a dream of Gennie’s for a long time.
We were scheduled to go on this trip in early March after our voyage to Antarctica. With the purchase of a condo in Austin and the wedding of our son Eduardo and his love, Jade on April 1st, we postponed this trip to October. The weather has cooled a bit and the monsoons have passed, so the prospect of good weather is in our favor.
Our Lufthansa Flight 481 was scheduled to be on time at 4:05 in the afternoon. In the morning we walked our regular 2.5-mile trek around the neighborhood, did a few final pre-trip chores, and then left for DIA at 12:30. Traffic was heavy; Friday afternoon with lots of vehicles moving around for the weekend.
The Pikes Peak parking area was full so we headed to Mt. Elbert and had our pick of almost any parking space in the lot. A shuttle driver was there to pick us up right away making sure there was no delay.
When we reached the Lufthansa gate agent we found out that there was a 15-minute flight delay. It is always worrisome not to see an aircraft at the end of the jet way, but we were assured it was only a minor wait and we would be able to make our connecting flight in Munich on schedule.
By 4:10 they began to board the aircraft and in no time at all we had found our seats. We were offered a drink as the other passengers got settled in. At 4:35 we backed away and after the brief taxi to the runway, we were in the air.
We enjoyed appetizers and a salad but shared a main course of shrimp and scallops. We have learned not to eat or drink too much on these long flights but we have to remind ourselves to drink lots of water.
It was only 7:00 when we finished our dinner but with only another 7 hours until Munich we decided to lean back and try to sleep a bit.
The night was quiet and our journey across the North Atlantic was calm. Breakfast was served about 9:00 am. We slipped out of the sunny sky and through a thick blanket of clouds and landed in Munich at 10:30 am.
The first leg of our journey to India was behind us. As we learn more about this exotic country of the East, we will try to include a few famous quotes and/or facts about our destination.
Day 2 – Saturday, October 29, 2016 - Flight from Munich, Germany to Delhi, India
It was raining and very cool in Munich; probably the last time we will have low temperatures for the next 18 days. We knew our connecting flight would be in another terminal but because we had not visited this airport for a while, we checked in with the Lufthansa desk and got directions to the H gates.
After a short walk through a gauntlet of duty free shops and a fast ride on the airport train, we found our way to the correct terminal and to Gate 28H. As our flight was delayed about 30 minutes coming from Denver, our layover time in Munich was even shorter than expected.
The agents at the gate began the boarding process at 11:15 but there were no organized lines, just untidy merging to have our passports and boarding passes checked. This was so unlike our previous experience with German efficiency.
United States citizens must secure a visa to travel to India and it must be affixed to each passport in advance. When we checked in at Denver and also in Munich, no one even looked to see if we had the proper paperwork or permission to fly to New Delhi. Hmmmmm…
We were welcomed aboard our Lufthansa LH762 flight by a very energetic crew taking good care of us in Business Class. The flight left on time and for about 7 hours we were able to relax.
Looking out the windows we enjoyed a serene flight over Eastern Europe, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and then into India. It was thought provoking to look down from over 35,000 feet to see the landscape below - certainly not as peaceful on the ground.
Night had fallen when we arrived in Delhi at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. By the time we landed, made our way through customs, and retrieved our bags, it was almost 12:00. Our OAT representative met us at the airport, we got a few Indian Rupees from the ATM, and we were off to the hotel.
The traffic in Delhi is a combination of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of cars, freight trucks, little three-wheeled taxis, motorcycles, and bicycles share the road all honking their horns constantly. What an adventure this is going to be!
The taxi was examined before we were allowed to enter the hotel grounds and all of our bags were scanned for security purposes. The hotel manager escorted us to our room and we settled in for the next two days.
Getting to know India:
"We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made." Einstein
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What an adventure you're going to have!
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Glad you are safely there! Anxious to see India.