I have arrived in India!!!
Dearest family & friends: many of you have asked what my journey getting here was like, so this is for you. My first flight left Tampa around 12 noon on Saturday, March 1st. I landed in Detroit at 2:45 p.m. I had a very quick layover and left Detroit a little past 4:00 p.m. I landed in Amsterdam ahead of schedule at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 2nd. I then had an 8 hour layover, so I rented a hotel that charges by the hour in the Schiphol airport called Yotel. I’m serious when I say Yotel is the Best. Invention. Ever. I can never sleep on planes – not even for a few minutes, so I was beyond exhausted when I got off the plane in Amsterdam. Yotel pretty much saved my life because without it, I truly don’t think I could have made it through this long journey. I was only able to sleep for less than a half hour in the Yotel even though I was very comfortable – my heart wouldn’t stop racing so it made it difficult to fall asleep. Regardless, it was nice to be able to rest in a comfortable bed and shower in between two long flights.
This was my first time in the Schiphol airport. The girl at the reservation desk at Yotel told me I would not have to go through security (I was already through) before boarding my plane to Delhi. The lady at the information desk in the airport told me that yes, I would have to go through security. So, I checked in to my Yotel room at 6:00 a.m. and checked out at 10:30 a.m. and headed to my gate. I was feeling extremely nauseous (I get nauseous when I am over-tired) – so bad in fact, I actually had thoughts of intentionally missing my flight to Delhi. I simply could not imagine getting on another flight, never mind another long flight. I know I would be feeling much worse if I hadn’t gotten a hotel room, so I sucked it up and put on my Seabands (wristbands that use acupressure to help relieve motion sickness and nauseousness). It did not appear that I would have to go through security so I wandered around knowing I had plenty of time. Wrong. I came back to my gate to find that Schiphol apparently does things differently for some flights – there was a security section just for my gate. I had time – I was not too rushed; however, I did not have time to use the restroom before boarding and didn’t have time to buy something to eat (other than fruit). I had not eaten since my early dinner on my flight to Amsterdam. I couldn’t imagine eating when I was feeling the way I was feeling.
Those Seabands I mentioned? Another absolute lifesaver on this trip. I felt fine by the time I boarded the plane and felt fine for the entire 8 hour flight to Delhi. Thank the Lord, because I don’t think I would have made it if I still felt awful. I sat next to a very nice Indian man who now lives in Canada – and his 13 year old son. I was so happy to be seated next to such kind people. My flight left at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 2nd and we arrived in Delhi at 1:00 a.m. on Monday, March 3rd.
The line for the immigration check was utterly insane. Once I made it through that line, I did not have to collect any bags since I did manage to travel carry-on only!!! Woohoo! I went through customs and my friend picked me up from the airport. The drive to my hotel was only about 25 minutes and I was so happy to have a bed and a hot shower. I showered and didn’t go to bed until 4:45 a.m. At this point, I had been awake for 35 hours straight (with only a few minutes of sleep at the Yotel). I was beyond exhausted but oddly enough, felt more than fine and was quite wired. I was grateful to have been given two lovely Indian meals on the plane so I didn’t have to worry about food for awhile. I took melatonin but really didn’t fall asleep until around 7:30 a.m. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I was freezing in my room (a shock because this is India after all!! – amazing air conditioning!) I woke up in a panic at 10:06 wondering if I had missed breakfast, so I went downstairs to see, and a young boy said I had not missed the free breakfast – it is served until 10:30 a.m. He led me to the rooftop where I enjoyed a nice breakfast. Beautiful Indian music was playing in the background. This is when it hit me – I am in India.
I am so excited to go shopping for beautiful Indian clothes later today. I have today, tomorrow and Wednesday to rest before the tour starts on Thursday.
FYI – the weather today is very nice. High temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, it is going to warm up to 80 by the end of the week.
Sorry I don’t have any photos yet. I can’t charge any of my electronic items because I still need to purchase an adapter – I realized right before I left that I didn’t have one for any of Asia.