Agra, India

After our train ticket purchasing fiasco previously mentioned in an earlier post, we set sail for Agra from Delhi to visit the wonderful Taj Mahal.  To be fair, I think that’s the only reason anyone ever goes there.

We ended up in Sleeper class which we first thought would be a waste of time, but it proved to be pretty good actually. There was no A/C, but we were spread out, so it wasn’t too claustrophobic.

Apart from the man sticking his head into my groin, again as previously mentioned, the journey was fine. Indian trains have been somewhat of a revelation to be honest.

We arrived in Agra on a Thursday afternoon with a plan to chill for the afternoon after our journey, and take in the sights the next day.

So, we arrived at our hostel that we had pre-booked and settled into our room. It was a bit off the beaten track to say the least.  In fact there was a cow shed in front of the hostel – occupied too I might add.

First thing in the morning we went to Agra Fort, and spent about 2 hours there wandering around this massive structure exploring all its little nooks and crannies. You get a distant view of the Taj from there, but of course we wanted to get closer.

The fort had some lovely gardens, but it was so unbelievably hot it was difficult to enjoy them properly.  Everyone was seeking shade.

Another option that we had heard about was some gardens situated on the opposite side of the river bank to the Taj Mahal.  We headed there as we had heard you could get great views of the Taj from there at a fraction of the price.

We were not disappointed at all.  It was a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours gazing at the splendour of this beautiful building.  It really is a sight to behold.  

We found a lovely spot on a bench under a shady tree, and sat for hours just looking! We found ourselves repeatedly saying to each other things like “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”, and “Amazing”, and it really is.  

As an added bonus, there was a fair bit of bird life in the gardens too which we enjoyed seeing.  A rather beautiful green bee eater, and a white and golden heron type bird.

The only downside to this day was something took a liking to British blood!

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