Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Taj Majal Is Very White

You know what's fun? A lot of things, obviously. But specifically, I'm a fan of fitting four girls, a driver, and eight bags into a very small taxi. Of course there's a photo. Do try to see if you can spot the fourth girl.

And we're off to Agra, home of the Taj Majal, Agra Fort, and....not much else really. We took a taxi there, because why not? Trains are slow and the Taj is closed on Friday, so when you leave mid day on Thursday, you might be in a rush. 

The one sister had already been to the Taj and didn't feel the need to go again, so we pushed her out of the taxi at our hotel, left our bags with her and headed right over. Made it before closing time, what a relief.

The place was packed. The Taj Majal gets 8 million visitors a year, and half of them decided to come on the same day as us. And oh my, were we a spectacle. Every few minutes, someone would approach to take a photo with us. And those that didn't want to take a photo with us, just took photos of us. Gotta say, that part of the tour wasn't in the guidebook.

The Taj Majal is set in a very nice park like area, with a few other similarly styled buildings around it. It butts up to a river, so there's great views from every angle. Unfortunately, this year they are doing some restoration work, so there was scaffolding around the front, but it was still nice. I'd recommend waiting to visit until the work is done, I hear the white marble looks amazing when it's freshly restored.

The place is actually a tomb that a ruler built for his wife, so inside the Taj itself is a room with marble caskets? Sarcophagi? I don't know the proper term. It's dark inside, and everyone goes around the coffin thing in a circle. It's the only way to see the inside. The problem is, everyone is cramped and pushing along together, and officials are blowing whistles every few seconds at people who had the nerve to stop so they could actually look around. So that part wasn't great. But the outside is cool.

In Agra, we stayed at the best hostel ever. For $1.50, we got a place to sleep and decent breakfast. Can't beat that. One of us even got the added bonus of part of her pillow having been chewed off by who knows what at some point prior to our stay. I mean, that actually happened, but otherwise it really was fun. And maybe we had KFC for dinner that night, maybe we didn't. You'll never know. Hint: we totally did.

Picture time!

I swear Donna's in here somewhere

Everywhere we went, we saw these pillars. Anyone know what they are?

And because it's India, here's a cow. They really are everywhere, and really do just hang out in the middle of the road.

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