Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Golden Triangle

On Monday the 27th we left Delhi to travel to Agra. We left early (7 am) to avoid some of the major traffic and an hour and a half into the trip our driver stopped for a quick rest. We figured we would be back on the road within 10 minutes, but our driver informed us he couldn't feel the right side of his body. With slurred speech, his symptoms were those of a stroke. He looked freaked out and we had to wait almost 2 hours for a new driver and someone to take our driver to the hospital.

To make up for lost time our new driver really worked hard to get us o Agra in decent time. We had to stop several times to pay tolls and such and on one occasion there was a man sitting in the divide between the four lanes of traffic with a sewing machine mending some pants. Seemed like an odd place to do mending.

Also along the road we started to see the first camels of the trip. Looking at all the animals helped make the long car trip go faster.

Once in Agra we stopped at the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (grandfather to Shah Jahan the builder of the Taj Mahal).

The highlight of the afternoon was the stop to the Taj Mahal. Pictures can't show how beautiful the building is. All the headache with the passport and getting sick were all worth it to see the Taj.

The Taj is inlaid with precious stones and other carvings which were spectacular upclose. I will post my good shots when I return.

After visiting the Taj we went to a show room to see how the artisans do all the inlay work. We all purchased small items which show the craftsmanship.

On Tuesday we visited the Baby Taj. We arrived so early that we were the first people there. After the visit we went to the Agra fort. It was massive and it had some beautiful buildings. Plus, it has great views of the Taj.

After the fort we headed to Jaipur. A few hours into the trip the windshield wipers stopped working. After we got lunch the a/c also stopped. It was a warm, wet afternoon getting to Jaipur.

Wednesday was spent touring the major sites in Jaipur. We visited the Wind Palace, Water Palace, City Palace and the highlight was the Pink Fort. To reach the fort we rode elephants. It was a little rocky, but he kids and I definitely thought it was a fantastic ride.

Thursday we drive the six hours back to Delhi and we catch our late evening flights. My return flight is a total of 29 travel hours. I will be glad to he back in the States and all the comforts of home.

I will say that India has definitely been incredible.

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