Friday, February 16, 2007

The train to Kolkata

At the train station in New Delhi
After a great couple of days in Agra and Jaipur, we headed back to Delhi to catch a 4:00 pm train to Kolkata (Calcutta). Our driver negotiated the roads well, but traffic was bad as we came in to Delhi, delaying us quite a bit. We got to the station just on time, and rushed about trying to get to the right platform. The station was noisy, crowded, and the signage was poor. We also had to carry our many bags up and down several long sets of stairs over the tracks. Although we were a bit harried, we made it in just fine.

We traveled on the Rajdhani Express, a fast overnight train from Delhi to Kolkata, which takes about 16 hours. We booked tickets for an AC2 car, which meant that the car was air conditioned, and there were only two bunks, stacked, instead of three. This was a luxurious way to travel in India!

Dinner on the train

We were served a snack and dinner, as well as breakfast in the morning. Shami says the food was good, although I had a bit of a hard time with it. After dinner, Caitlin settled in on a top bunk, while my bed was formed by the backs of the two single seats folded down. The bunk was narrow and a bit uneven, but it had a window, which I liked. It was cozy once I pulled the curtains for privacy, and I actually slept fairly well, enjoying the motion and sound of the moving train.

In the morning we again enjoyed looking out the window. The landscape had turned lush and green. It was fascinating to see the villages go by, as well as the many rice paddies. We saw fields in all stages, from the planting to the harvesting, with men, women, children and oxen all doing their part.

View out the windowView out the windowView out the window

Stepping off the train
When we finally arrived at Sealdah station, we were graciously met by Shami's cousin Sanjay, and his aunt Lalmashi. They had a car waiting, and soon we were off battling Kolkata traffic on our way to Shami's parents' apartment, where the next chapter of our adventure was about to start!

Leaving Sealdah station

1 comment:

Post a Comment