Birthday at the Taj Mahal

It’s a birthday to remember. 32 ain’t that bad when at 6am in the morning you’re looking at the Taj Mahal.

A very wet Taj Mahal.

Slightly wet but still our spirits haven’t been dampened (till later). The Taj Mahal does look just like the pictures you see all over the TV/ magazines. It looked more like a painting than a building. Truly awesome.

So far Agra has shown us a fair comparison of what a major tourism city has to offer.

  • No reliable or punctual bus service.
  • A welcoming tuc-tuc driver who doesn’t want to fleece you.
  • Food that isn’t prepared in grandad’s old underpants.

Apart from that we’re having a great experience.

Travelling on public buses. The easy way or the hard way.

We took the advice of another travelling couple and decided to head out for the day to a fabulous old ruins in a town called Fatepur Sikri. Couldn’t be easier (so they say). Hotel next to the bus station, camera and water in day pack. After a long wait of around 1 and half hours for the bus that was every half an hour we finally boarded what could only be described as a the carcass of a rotting bus. The funny thing was that it was raining pretty hard but it had no wind screen wipers. A guy at the front had to wipe with a rag. Driving through the Agra streets to the sound of horns and rickshaws we finally hit a barrage of water. The bus redeemed itself by grudging through whilst mere mopeds sank. We were finally on our way.

Looking through the round window

Once arriving at Fatepur Sikri we felt a sigh of relief. But only temporary, as a soon as we walked to the entrance a familiar sight of young boys wanting coins or cash engulfed us. For almost 1 hour of constant hassle we made it round to a more peaceful spot where we could absorb the sights. The return bus was due at 5 so we decided to go there for about 4 and have a drink so we didn’t miss it. The hour passed. No bus. 30 mins…….still no bus. No bus coming now said the indian boy at the counter. We walked to the end of the road to find a bus, our luck was falling, so was the sun.

Lets hit the road

Hurray, a new air con bus from no where pulls up. We can’t believe our luck. Only 25 rupees. Even cheaper than before. We decided to play cards and chat as our drive back to Agra should be straight forward. No, an overturned lorry and a buffalo had had an accident. The road is blocked. 2 hours later the carnage has been cleared and we finally got moving again. Luckily we still had our cards. Got back to Agra just in time for tea and had a lovely curry. Happy ending.

That’s what makes this trip so interesting.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jude
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 13:17:08

    we’re sooooo jealous of all those amazing curries u 2 must be digging into, lets have some photos of some of them. bet that was an experience and a half travelling on a carcass of a bus hahaha… it can only get better…. stay safe…. love S&J xx


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