India Day 10: Taj Mahal

Over pretzels and beer at the Frankfurt International Airport …

This one’s a day late. Poor connectivity at the Delhi International Airport kept this post from happening as planned on Saturday.

Yesterday was a big day as we wrapped up the trip to India. We left the hotel at 7:30a for an early morning visit to the Taj Mahal. The bus drops us off at an entrance about a kilometer away from the Taj. We run the usual gauntlet through the peddlers and hawkers and enter the grounds of the monument. We go through a security checkpoint, then through an entrance gate, and there before us is the Taj Mahal and it is magnificent. There is a prime photo location immediately after entering the gate and we have to push our way forward to get a spot for our main photos, selfies, and profile photos. Then we work our way towards the main mausoleum for a better view of the intricate marble inlays. We move through the building to exit the back overlooking the river and then work back towards our meeting point. We’re only at the Taj Mahal for about an hour, but it is an incredible place.

After the Taj Mahal we return to the hotel. We’ve got a few free hours to pack and get ready for the return.

At about 2p we leave Agra and return to Delhi via our bus. This trip takes about 5 hours on the Yumana Expressway, a modern interstate compared to the roads we have been traveling on. As we drive down the highway the road is initially lined with farms that give way to miles of brick factory kilns, and eventually to hundred of modern high rises.

We have dinner at the Ibis hotel near the airport and get to the airport to check in at 9p and say our goodbyes to Unni, Ajeet, and Lalta. This trip would not have been possible without their expertise and support. More about them in tomorrow’s trip wrap up blog entry. Our flight isn’t until 2:45a, so it’s a long, long wait. I’m asleep before the plane exits the gate.

Tomorrow we arrive in Frankfort for our flight to Boston and then I head to DC tomorrow night.

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