When I travel for work (which is mostly for photography or filming), it isn't like normal travel. I don't often come back from a trip having visited any tourist sites or tried any of the must-do things on a travel list. My days usually start at any time between 3am and 7am, and end anywhere from 12pm to 9pm - depending on the location and the travel time. And when I'm not photographing or traveling to location, I'm backing up and re-backing up my work which is a time consuming process.
So I haven't come back from this trip with too much advice on where to go and what to see. I wouldn't recommend the hotels I stay in, and mostly I ate room service. But what I can show you is a bit of an inside view on the real India, what it's like in towns or houses where you wouldn't visit as a tourist, unless you had a good reason for being there. And I did visit some places which are a definite must, along with some places that are more of a maybe-if-you-have-time.
Our first location on this trip was Delhi. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Delhi. It's a great city, but it's very industrial and polluted and as happy as I am to arrive I'm usually equally as happy to leave. And last week when there was a heat wave in India, with temperatures over 40 degrees, it made it all seem a bit claustrophobic. I think if I were traveling to India for holiday, I would probably just pass through Delhi on my way to somewhere else.
This trip I took sleeper trains for the first time, and I was a bit nervous because I've heard a few scary stories about trains in India. I'm happy to say I actually really enjoyed it! We had second class tickets and it was really comfortable and felt pretty safe - I slept with my camera behind my head and wasn't worried about it at all. I mean, it's still cramped and the toilets are fairly basic but it's definitely a great experience.
Most of these photos are from a small train station far outside of the city. There's always so much life congregating around train stations, and you can usually find everything from a great snack to a road-side shave - you know, if you need that sort of thing.
Next post I'll share my thoughts on Lucknow and some photos from Dharmshala which (spoiler alert) I loved!