We Call it The Taj

This morning our driver was at the hotel to pick us up at 9am.  We had a quick breakfast before that and filled out a really really long survey about Indian tourism advertising… only problem, we have been in a non tourist place and did not watch any tv or see any advertising.

After breakfast Annalise, Kazu, Lucas and I departed for Agra.  We arrived around 1pm and went for lunch to a slightly overpriced restaurant.  After that we checked into the hotel and headed to see the Agra Fort which was beautiful.  We had a guide arranged by our driver.

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After the fort we went to pick up Lucas who had to stay back and skip Agra Fort as he had some work to do, and we headed to the Taj Mahal for sunset.  After getting in the view was amazing.  It was just breathtaking!!!

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We stayed until the sunset and then headed back to the hotel with a few detours, one at a marble factory, the other at a rug factory – both “conveniently” arranged by our guide.  Upon returning to the hotel we met up with Dimitri and his friend Wu, and we had dinner at the hotel restaurant.  We were exhausted by the whole day and went to sleep as next morning… Taj Mahal at sunrise!

 

Taj Mahal/ Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur

Up at 5:15am, out at 5:45am, in line at the Taj Mahal at 6:30am.   And all well worth it.  The sunrise was beautiful and the Taj looked surreal, so very peaceful, grand, and majestic.  There were fewer people than the day before since it was early.  We took around 2 hours to see it all again, and then headed for breakfast.

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After breakfast we packed up, headed towards Jaipur with a stop at Fatehpur Sikri.

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After we continued toward Jaipur with a stop at an overpriced restaurant again for lunch.  No more restaurants recommended by our driver J.  We got to Jaipur and checked in to Sunder Palace Guesthouse – which is a treat.  It is very clean, spacious, and well situated.  We had a great dinner on the rooftop terrace, caught up a bit on blogs, and now are ready to go to bed and rest up for a long day tomorrow.

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Here is a link to a web album with more pictures:

https://plus.google.com/photos/114129266515541156147/albums/5988983653794099681?authkey=CIXhtqm22a-1Bw

Back to Delhi

It turns our that Holi is on the 16th in Kathmandu, and on the 17th in Delhi.  My last full day in Kathmandu (Monday) I spent mostly walking around the town, dropping off laundry, sending postcards, etc.  I met up with Cathy and Rick and their friends who are originally from Quebec City for dinner and we enjoyed a few beers back at their hotel restaurant.

Tuesday morning I picked up the laundry (and later discovered that I got some extra pairs of socks and a tshirt which is not mine), packed up and left for the airport.

Back in Delhi I met up with Anneliese and Wu for dinner, also picked up my train tickets for Jaisalmer, and booked a hotel.  Anneliese left for the airport in the evening, and Wu is flying out the next morning.  Starting today I am a solo traveler.

Tomorrow I depart for Jaisalmer on an overnight train and I come back on Sunday also on an overnight train.  Desert and camels, here I come!

Jaisalmer

Arrived in Jaisalmer on Thursday and went out to walk around town.  It’s a smaller city, but quite different since it’s in the desert.  It also has an amazing fort.  I arranged a desert safari for Friday to Saturday which was a blast.  I had my own camel, it has a name but I can’t remember it.  I got to meet some desert folk and desert children.  Also met twin ladies from Chicago on the sand dunes where we got to see a great sunset.

Here are some pictures:

https://plus.google.com/photos/114129266515541156147/albums/5993146738674417505?authkey=CMTmidr_9pTFaQ