29 July 2008
26 July 2008
We attended an Aarti (light)ceremony on the riverbank, which is what the pic is. I stuck my foot in the Ganges but held back from the full body plunge that most Hindus go for. :)
We spent the day touring old and new Delhi. It's hugely crowded and feels somewhat like most large international cities.
We visited Humayaun's Tomb, (which was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal), Qutub Minar (tallest minaret in the world), the Baha'i temple, Ghandi's house, Chandi Chowk (main bazaar), our guide's Hindu temple, Nizzamuddin's shrine (Muslim), and Delhi's largest mosque.
That night we found a restaurant called Piccadelhi which was London Underground themed. A bit of an eye roll as it had half of an old Routemaster bus inside along with red phone boxes and other Londonesque decor, but it was heaving with families and the food was quite nice.
It was hot, crowded and amazingly beautiful!!
It was my turn to be ill, although not nearly as bad as Robin and silly me forgot to take my sunglasses. The white marble was blinding even though it was overcast.
I'm not sure if it was the way I was feeling, and even though it's really cool, the Taj Mahal simply was not the highlight of the trip for me. Still, I can cross it off my list of things to see. :)
We were originally scheduled to drive from Jaipur straight through to Agra (usually a 4.5 hour drive), but that road was closed due to Gudjurat terrorist activity. Instead , we were routed back through Delhi, but the flooding caused roads to be closed and we were diverted twice.
To make it even more interesting, the air conditioning stopped working, we had to change cars/drivers and Robin developed Delhi Belly. At one point, we were stuck in a traffic jam and a random guy jumped into our car to move it out of the way of a truck since our driver had wandered off to see what the holdup was.
12 hours after we left Jaipur, we arrived in Agra. Robin was running a low grade fever, popping Immodium, and moaning a lot. It was all very dramatic but done in the spirit of making light of his illness. Luckily he was better by morning.
25 July 2008
The monsoon arrived 2 weeks early in this part of India for the first time in 108 years and we awoke to flooded streets. We carried on though and toured the Amber Fort, the Water Palace, City Fort, and the Observatory. I also had a fantastic 70 minute aryuvedic massage for about £12!!
I'm going to cheat a bit and add a link to a more clever person's YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTpCVVevTeI
This sign was near the immigration queue and I found it amusing. Little did I know how it set the tone for much of the trip. ;)