3 Days in Delhi

Only have 3 Days in Delhi? Here is my guide to where to go to maximize your time here!

Day One

Morning

Tomb of Safdarjung

(Entry Fee: 200 Rupees)

 

An underrated, mostly deserted attraction - you're greeted by this stunning view as you enter.

 

I found the intricate plasterwork on the inner ceilings of the main tomb to be absolutely spectacular. 

 

The red color of the tomb comes from the sandstone and buff stone. This was the first place we saw when we landed in Delhi and it was a nice warmup to all the Mughal architecture we were about to see!

 

Lunch
 

Mamagoto
(About 800 Rupees per person)
Great restaurant focusing on Asian food. Don't know what to get? Any of the two person bowls are recommended.

 

Afternoon

Humayun's Tomb
(Entry Fee: 500 Rupees)


Humayun's Tomb, the inspiration behind the iconic Taj Mahal, was built by Hamida Banu Begum, the wife of the second Mughal emperor Humayan. It's a large sprawling complex with over 100 graves (many unmarked) and lush gardens to relax in away from the din of the city.

Dinner:

Soda Bottle Opener Wala
(650 Rupees per person)

 

Day Two

Morning

Walk around Old Delhi (try to do motorized tuk tuk to get there)
I found the view at the top of Gadodia Market to be quite stunning. This middle floors of this spice market building is mostly comprised of dried pepper vendors, so bring a scarf to cover your mouth since the smell might be irritating to your throat.

 

After that wander around the small meandering streets of Old Delhi. It might be a bit overwhelming if you're not prepared for the chaos, noise, and smells of it all. 

 

If you can, try to make your way slowly to the Haveli Dharampura Hotel. The original haveli was built in the late 1800's but was abandoned and discovered in much deteriorated shape. The owner took 6 long years to beautifully restore it, keeping in mind the original character and Mughal architecture. 

If you're not a hotel guest, they charge a small fee for you to enter and walk around, but I think if you eat lunch or have some tea you can also enter for free that way.

 

Lunch
 

If you didn't eat lunch at the Haveli Dharampura, there is actually a McDonalds on the way to the Red Fort. I recommend eating there because I was unable to find anything safe to eat inside Old Delhi. Also, McDonald's inside India is pretty delicious! I especially liked the Puri Puri Fries and the McAloo Tiki. Remember, cows are regarded as holy in India, so you won’t find any beef served anywhere!

Afternoon
 

Red Fort
(Entry Fee: 150 Rupees)
The Red Fort, where the Prime Minister gives the annual Independence Day Speech, is a symbol of national pride. It was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan when he decided to move the capital from Agra to Delhi. It took 10 years to complete the fort due to the complexity and scope of the project.

 

An interesting fact about the Red Fort, is that wasn't always red. It was originally white due to its limestone facade. But when parts of the limestone started falling off, the British painted everything red. 

 

Dinner

Walk around Hauz Khas Village and then eat at

Rang De Basanti Urban Dhaba
One of the best restaurants we had for Indian Food. 
Recommended: Chai, Naan, Aloo Moti Karare, Dal Makhani, and anything the server recommends! :)

Or
Coast Cafe

Dessert:

Make sure you check out Natural Ice Cream - they had some of the most flavorful and fresh tasting ice cream I've ever had. They use so much fruit in their ice cream along with very high quality milk. For me it rivaled the best ice cream shops in San Francisco, Portland, and Italy. 

My favorite flavors were custard apple (sitaphal), pistachio, ginger honey, chikoo, grape, and carrot halwa. The flavors sound simple, but each scoop was simply bursting with natural flavor. You could really see they put a large amount of fruit in each batch of ice cream. 

Day Three

Morning
 

Akshardham
(Entry Fee: Free!)

Akshardham is one of the largest comprehensive Hindu temples in the world. It was completely back in 2005 and was a group effort  from over 11,000 artists and many more volunteers. 

The main temple has the most intricate, detailed handicraft and artwork. I'm not sure if I'd try any of the paid activities such as the light show or the cultural boat tour. I found them overly kitchy and cheesy. 

Some tips: 
Since this attraction is free, it tends to draw massive crowds. Try to go early to miss the afternoon crowds.

Also, they don’t allow backpacks, purses, phones, and cameras inside. So don't bring any of that with you or you'll have to wait in a long cloak room line to check it all in. We had to wait over an hour to check our stuff.

Lunch:
Farzi Cafe

Afternoon
Jantar Mantar
(100 rupees)
Jantar ('instrument') Mantar ('calculation') directly translates to 'calculation instrument'. It was built in 1724 by Jai Singh who had a keen interest in science and astronomy. 

 

Jantar Mantar contains many astronomical instruments that do cool things such as determine the position of the sun, read horizontal and vertical angles, and obtain the meridian altitudes.

 

If you have extra time you can check out the Lodi Gardens
It's free and a nice swath of greenery in the middle of Delhi.


Dinner

(Splurge):
Masala Library
Modern 5 star Haute Indian Cuisine. Worth checking out if you want a memorable gastronomic experience.

Or go back to Haus Khas Village or Khan Market for dinner.

Iceland in Five Days - Day Three - Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

After a great night’s rest at Hótel Dyrhólaey - we had a gigantic breakfast in the hotel dining room. It was a buffet of everything ranging from smoked salmon and cream cheese to fresh oatmeal with figs. It was just what we needed for our big day of exploration of Vik and Reynisfjara Beach (otherwise known as the Black Sand Beach).

We then hopped in our car and drove to Reynisfjara Beach. It was easy to get to and parking was a cinch.

Reynisfjara Beach is one of the world’s most interesting beaches due to its unique sand and basalt column formations. The sand here is jet black and very fine from countless years of ocean waves breaking down lava that had flowed into the water. The mystical coastline stretches for five kilometers and had a mystical feel to it. In fact, legend has it that the basalt columns formations on the beach are actually the frozen remains of night trolls who unsuccessfully tried to lure a three masted ship to the land here. When daylight broke, they got caught in the light and froze into the spectacular basalt columns you see there today.

But really, they are formed from lava as it cools down when flowing downwards. When it cools, the lava contracts and creates fractures at a 90 degree angle to the lava flow - thus creating the hexagonal columns you see today. The slower the lava flow, the more regular the columns are. Pretty cool huh? Science!

Regardless of how they were actually made - I'm glad they're here since they made for some amazing photography backdrops! 😎

 
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We just couldn’t get enough of this place so did a special series of photos with a tripod and a heart!

Here is a sneak peek of the series:

Stay tuned for the whole photo set with the heart in the next post! And then after that Day Four of our trip hiking all over a glacier!

 

Follow my travels on Instagram! 😎

 


If you missed the previous days here they are:


Day One - Reykjavik

Day Two - Blue Lagoon

Day Three - Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Day Four - Vatnajökull Glacier and Fjallsárlón Lagoon

Day Five - Icelandic Horses

Iceland in Five Days - Day Two (The Blue Lagoon)


We woke up at 6:30 am today so we could be first in line at the Blue Lagoon for our 8 am entry. The tour buses and guests start lining up by 7:45 am, so if you really want to be first into the Blue Lagoon, get there at 7:30 am. 
 

 
 

 


There are three price levels that they offer for entry to the Blue Lagoon. The cheapest option is 40-50 Euro ($43 - $54) for the base entry, which includes unlimited silica mud mask application. While the premium entry ranges from 70-80 Euro ($76-$87), which includes a bathrobe, towel, drink, slippers, and a reserved table at the Lava restaurant. I wasn’t really interested in having a bathrobe or a drink, plus I brought my own towel, so the base entry was perfect for us. (There was also a 195 Euro ticket which included some spa products and exclusive lounge, but that really didn’t seem worth it.)


After you enter, they give you an electronic wristband that is used to lock/unlock your storage unit and purchase food, drinks, and items while inside the Blue Lagoon. The electronic lockers had a small learning curve to correctly lock, but you’ll figure it out in no time. Also, the staff tells everyone that they MUST shower completely naked before going into the water. I noticed about half the guys were showering ‘au naturele’ while the other half were showering with their bathing suits on. So yeah, if you’re at all skittish about being naked in front of other people, don’t worry the ‘naked shower’ rule is not enforced.


Anyways, back to the Blue Lagoon! Zory and I wanted to be the first into the pool so we could take a few photographs before anyone else got into the background. It was pretty magical to be able to be there alone, surrounded by the white steam of the warm, blue water and the warm rising Icelandic sun. It didn’t prevent my feet and toes from being completely frozen though!! I was taking all the follow photos barefoot on the freezing floor. I had to dip my feet in every 30 seconds or so because they were going numb lol. 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Whew, done with the photos and now time to enjoy the waters of the Blue Lagoon!!


Some tips for fully enjoying the Blue Lagoon: 
 

  • To find the warmer spots, hang out near the wooden blocks where they are pumping out warm water.
  • Go to the silica mud mask hut and apply the mud mask all over your face, neck, and shoulders for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Your skin will thank you afterwards.
  • Unless you want straw hair, don’t spend too much with your head and hair underwater. Use the conditioner provided 2 or 3 times afterwards to get moisture back in your hair.
  • Wade towards the waterfall and stand underneath it for the best shoulder and neck massage of your life.
  • Hang out in the cave steam room for 10 minutes, then stand outside in the cold, get a waterfall massage. Repeat several times until your body is jello.
 
 
What it looks like around noon - still not that crowded

What it looks like around noon - still not that crowded

 
 
To the very right of this is the cave steam room and the massage waterfall

To the very right of this is the cave steam room and the massage waterfall

 

And above all else - just enjoy yourself and marvel in the baby soft skin you have afterwards from the silica in the water.

 

After 5 amazing hours at the Blue Lagoon - we showered, hopped in the car, and drove along the south Ring Road to Vik.

Along the way, we pulled over to hang out with some super friendly Icelandic Horses. We saw way more horses on another day which I’ll cover in a different post, but here is a photo of one we saw on Day Two!

 

Icelandic horses are super friendly and will walk right up to you.

Icelandic horses are super friendly and will walk right up to you.

Also, here is a gratuitous shot of the typical scene we saw while driving towards Vik.

 

 

VSCO Contemporary Collection review

VSCO is a great app - in fact, it's the first photo editing tool I reach for when I'm on my phone and need to some quick editing. 

I'll usually start off with applying one of my favorite filters to give it that look and feel that I try to maintain across my portfolio. Then, I'll fine tune with some of the other VSCO settings along with some further HSL color correction in Polarr

But first off, if you're new to using VSCO - sometimes it's hard to pick which filter packs to buy since they tend to use different photos in their examples. The photos they pick usually are especially suited to that filter number alone. Wouldn't it be nice to see each filter applied separately to the same photo?

Well I'm glad you asked! I'll be doing a series of before/after pictures of each VSCO filter set. I'll start with the  VSCO Contemporary Collection (A1, A2, A3, N1, N2, N3, H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6).

 

Analog / Archetype (A1, A2, A3)

With hints of pastels, lifted mid-tones and slight overexposure, A1, A2, and A3 embody analog film. Analog / Archetype is the perfect choice for portraits, interiors and food.

A1

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A2

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A3

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New Modern / Lights (N1, N2, N3)

Tailor-made for bright lights and colors, this N Series works well with photographs shot with the flash or direct sunlight. N1, N2, and N3 have a modern and bold aesthetic.

N1

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N2

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N3

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Polychrome Summer (H1, H2, H3)

An ideal all-purpose pack, Presets H1, H2 and H3 excel in fashion, lifestyle and still object photography. Subtle pink, yellow and purple hues evoke the best memories of summertime.

H1

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H2

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H3

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Polychrome Winter (H4, H5, H6)

An ideal all-purpose pack, Polychrome Winter excels in fashion, lifestyle, and still object photography. H4, H5, and H6 are understated and cool, delivering dreamlike hues inspired by the winter season.

H4

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H5

 
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H6

 
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Hope you guys found this post useful! I'll be applying filters to the rest of the VSCO collection. Stay tuned! :)

Some links to the apps I used or mentioned in this post:

VSCO

VSCO Contemporary Collection

Polarr