Well after a night of rain it was up early to catch the train to Agra. You can always rely on me to get timings wrong, I thought the train was 9:30am but alas it was 10:25am so instead of being there an hor early we were there 2 hours early but this is India and at 11:50am the train finally arrived. As we waited for the train we listened carefully to the announcements, the security announcement made me chuckle it said “if you see any arms, bags, or objects alone or that look suspicious please report.” All I could think off was the odd machine gun or rifle just laying there, thinking I can’t believe we would have to be reminded to report such a thing or that people would forgetfully leave their beloved arms on the train or on the platform – but again this is India! The journey is less than 200km but it took us almost 5 hours and unlike the long haul from Mumbai to Goa where we went 1st class we decided we would travel regular sleeper class – can you tell the difference, well you certainly can. We knew that we still had buttocks when we arrived but we sure couldn’t feel them!
We finally arrived at Agra to be swamped with taxi and auto drivers all very willing to help and so we did eventually get in an auto but was told that because there is a festival on we would need to walk the last 500m – no problem – except this is India and it was a fair bit more than 500m with our backpacks, needing the loo and not actually knowing where our hotel was – all part of the fun hey!!!
It was all worth it as we neared our hotel and looked down the street that we are staying in to see the Taj Mahal looming in the distance, it looks phenomenal and we are really looking forward to heading down there today for a good look.
We spent the evening wandering down our street lookng at the stalls and entertainment of the festival – Agra is again another world – then we retired to the roof top restaurant for dinner.
Our accommodation according to the lonel planet is nothing to write home about but I thought I would. It is basic but very close to the Taj, we yet again have no hot water, we have TV but only Hindi speaking and a young woman was sharing how the air conditioner had been removed from her room and only ply, newspaper and masking tape seemed to block the hole and alas a ratty friend had appeared to chew through the paper!
India quirk for today was the poor cycle rickshaw driver getting a ticket from the police in Delhi!