India 2001 Travel Diary, Part 18

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© 2001 Giles Orr

Friday 1 June 2001, 0600

   - on the train, no appetite for dinner
   - took more drugs
   - traded Desan for lower bunk
   - fever broke around 2300!
   - deraillment ahead of us, delays
   - sat with Ruth and Catherine
   - arrived Delhi ~1400
   - ludicrous, time-consuming bus-luggage dance following arrival
   - recent thunderstorm - temp. and humidity just like Mumbai!
   - New Delhi beautiful
   - drove to "Defense Colony," very upscale neighbourhood
   - in three separate houses
   - out for evening drive, lovely Hindu temple (no photos allowed)
   - Catherine, Harvey and I taxi, skip dinner

Fatepur Sikri and the Taj Mahal. More pictures of Fatepur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.

   - bus from Delhi to Agra
   - bypassed Agra on bus, went to Fatepur Sikri
   - amazing! huge, beautiful palace
   - arrive at hotel, find Taj now closed Fridays (why weren't we told?)
   - stumble back on bus, no break
   - off to Taj
   - no diesel buses allowed near, rode camel carts closer
   - $21 to get in

It's as beautiful as you could hope. Because the light was waning, we didn't get a good look at the inside, but saw a gorgeous sunset while sitting on the marble of the Taj.


On the bus back to Delhi.

The walls of the Red Fort at Agra. More pictures here.

We got on the bus at 0645 this morning. Ick. We drove to the Red Fort in Agra. It was raining when we arrived, although that didn't last long. The place is stunning. The fort is made of red sandstone, but some of the interior decoration and buildings are white marble, and the stonework is fabulous. Again, I took pictures, but I'm becoming increasingly unclear on whether my pictures can do these places justice. Especially the Taj: we didn't have the best light for that.


We had lunch back at the women's house in the "Defense Colony" (the subdivision or neighbourhood we're housed in) and then the bus took us down near the Delhi "Cottage Industries" equivalent. The name involves both those words, but I'm not sure what it is. But unfortunately Marc didn't understand the walking directions or just got lost, and several helpful touts only increased the problem, until after we walked about 15 blocks in the brutal heat he put us all in autorickshaws. I ended up in one with Jim Bogert and Catherine, and it was a little too narrow to hold the three of us hip to hip. Catherine sat in my lap.

Cottage Industries was huge, and again an incredible array of handcrafted stuff. The brass sculptures were better in Mumbai, and I saw none of the metal stampings I liked so much in Mumbai, so I'm glad I bought them. Catherine helped me shop for everyone (I just realized I have nothing for my parents, but I have several things with no one specific in mind). She bought a painted Ganesha.

We had an ice cream at Baskin Robbins - me, Catherine, Bettye, and Marc. Then the three of us, minus Marc, caught a cab back to Defense Colony. I stayed in Bettye and Catherine's room for a bit, then walked to my building to have a shower and do some laundry before returning to this building for dinner.

I'll probably write on the flight back. Maybe. I guess it depends who I'm sandwiched between.

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by giles