Agra (a great) Day

It’s early morning but the signs of a sweltering day are already visible and as we walk out the door of the air conditioned hotel and hit the true heat of Delhi those signs are confirmed. However, with Agra and the Taj Mahal scheduled in the day ahead heat is at the back of our minds. After three hours of the bumpiest bus ride I have ever experienced and a loop around Agra to make it through the chaos of vendors, people, and vehicles we arrive at Agra Fort in all its red sandstone splendor. As we are guided through the fort we learn about the functions of each room and the vengeful nature of rulers past. However, beyond the vengeance there is calculated thought; windows that can be seen out of but not into, false perspective to make the Taj Mahal appear closer than it really is, an echo chamber that allows voice to travel from one corner to the other, and even a magnifying glass to view the Taj Mahal when eyesight started to fail. When our tour ends the two hours we have been there feels more like twenty minutes but the heat is starting to get to us so we head out of the fort for a break before strolling through the Taj fort1Now somewhat re-energized we head to the Taj Mahal, which upon seeing words really cannot describe, it is a designers dream polished white marble in perfect symmetry but also so much more. It typical tourist fashion we can’t help snapping a few pictures and striking a pose or two but most of all we just want to sit and absorb it because no picture will ever do it taj 2Group taj 1 Finally the day is over and we able back onto the bus … or is it. First we are met by a fierce storm before we even leave Agra dust, wind, and lightening, luckily all viewed from inside the bus where we are safe and driving out of it but our opinion of that safety changes over the next two hours as we are awoken from our attempts to sleep on the bus by first one then a second scream. We are not the only ones on the bus there is also a mouse! We complete our journey knees tucked to our chests to avoid the floor stopping the bus only for a post midnight pizza delivery by motorbike on the freeway. Now the day is truly over and there really isn’t one more ounce of excitement that can fit in.