Chaotic Calcutta

A last minute swap from Lagos in Nigeria to Calcutta in India. Calcutta was a new destination for me and was a much shorter flight than the one over to Lagos, so I was happy to accept the swap. A nice and easy four hours over to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in India landing early morning just before 8am.

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Once I checked in, despite it being a short flight we had worked through the night and I didn’t manage a great sleep prior so I decided to sleep for a few hours before meeting the crew later on.

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Feeling a bit more refreshed after a few hours nap, I met a couple of the crew upstairs by the pool before we went to dinner. The purser had been here a couple weeks before and went to a restaurant he said was really good and did an amazing biryani. Being such a foodie myself and always wanting to try out new places I tagged along and three of us jumped into a rickshaw to get to the restaurant despite it being a ten minute walk away.

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It is actually that chaotic along the road, to even attempt crossing is risky business. I’d never been in a rickshaw in India too so I was happy to immerse myself in the chaos, although these little rickshaws are tiny! At 5”10 (178cm) myself, I practically had to become a contortionist to fit inside along with the two other guys that were joining! Thankfully it was a short journey and wasn’t long before we reached the restaurant (Arsalan) after weaving in and out of cars, people and animals along the dirt road.

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We piled around a table and ordered an abundance of dishes. For an absolutely bargain £6 I got a chilli butter paneer masala, garlic naan, chicken tikka kebab, a drink and also included a tip?! How crazy!

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Food was really really good, probably the best garlic naan I have ever eaten. Think I’ll be dreaming of this garlic naan until I return to Calcutta.

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Feeling insanely full after all the food, we walked back towards the hotel when one of the boys suggested stopping for some chai. I’m ALWAYS up for a cuppa and we set off with that in mind. As we walked along, we walked past a hotel that had an abundance of people outside of it with some kind of celebration.

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There was a band playing such loud music and a man was on a horse with everyone photographing him. I thought maybe it was a wedding, but there was no bride to be seen. People were dancing around and in such beautifully coloured outfits. It was really quite the spectacle.

We continued on and found a tea stop and I went for a little clay pot mug of adrak wali chai which was ginger, cardamom, tea leaves, sugar and milk for 35p. I’m obsessed with ginger at the moment so this had my name all over it, and it tasted fantastic! When I put this on my instagram story, my friend Gina replied saying she had a recipe from her travels in India and would send it over to me, so I can’t wait to make some of this back in Dubai.

We were all feeling pretty tired after a mass of food and fresh air and we wandered back to the hotel to bed before our early wake up call back to Dubai.

A very relaxing layover filled with good food, good company and good rest. A short and sweet flight between Dubai with just the one service and a nice layover in India. Happy to have ticked off Calcutta from my list, a very enjoyable last minute swap from Lagos where I was originally meant to be going. Only nine Emirates layover destinations left for me to tick off!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. adventurervicky97 says:

    This looks like such an amazing place!

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  2. Terry says:

    Thanks for keeping up with your blog. I really enjoy reading it. I was surprised to read that Calcutta is a layover. I thought it was a turn around. I assume that Mexico City is one of the layovers that you haven’t done, since it’s a new destination. It seems like after four years you would have been everywhere, but obviously rosters don’t work like that. My niece got back to back Nairobis this month on her second roster, LOL. She pretty much followed the itinerary from your first trip to Bangkok last month when she was there and had a great time. When the rosters come out, her father and I check your blog to see what she should do on her layovers. We tried to convince her to go to the model train museum in Hamburg, but she spent all her time at the Christmas market. It was her first one in Europe.
    Good luck with getting the remaining layovers. Mexico City is great.

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    1. Hi Terry,

      Glad you enjoy reading it! We have a few Indian layovers due to the timings of the flights, if they leave in the early hours of the AM then we can have a layover there. There are only a few Indian destinations that we get to layover in though.

      It’s hard to get all the destinations as you vary in priority each month for your bidding, and also in certain months you want to go to certain places and have plans or leave etc! Some places, you’re not bothered to waste your bids on! But I really want to tick off all the destinations.

      Yes Mexico City is still one of the places I am yet to visit, I’ve transited through as a passenger once and have been to Mexico before so it’s not high on my agenda right now, but I’m sure I’ll see myself there in no time.

      Glad she followed my agenda and enjoyed it, Bangkok is a great place to visit, so much good food, I hope she had some mango sticky rice!

      I don’t blame her for wanting to explore the European Christmas markets, they are the best! She’ll be back in Hamburg for sure though and she can do the Miniatur Wunderland museum!

      Hope you’re keeping well!
      Jess

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