Okay, we know it’s beyond ridiculous that it has taken us this long to update this blog. But it’s been a crazy, crazy year with work and life. We’re playing catch up now and hope you keep reading! This post is a follow up to Our First Trip to India – Part 1.
So we left that off before we got a chance to describe our trip to the Taj Majal. This would be our second “wonder of the world” visit (the first being in Mexico earlier this year). Getting into the Taj is maddening even with someone helping you. There are just so many people everywhere; and camels, and monkeys, and rickshaws. It’s overwhelming. And it’s HOT. But, it’s also beautiful once you finally get onto the grounds. If you get a chance to go, spring for an official guide before you get inside. It didn’t cost that much and the one we had help us get through the lines quicker and saved us from having to throw away a mini tripod that Cheril had (they’re not allowed, don’t bring one no matter if how small it is – hers was able to fit in her pocket but it was still refused). We only wish that we’d kept his card to we could post his contact info. Our guide was great!
The Taj is just as beautiful as it is in pictures. It really is magnificent. Because we were stuck in traffic and had gotten there so late that we had to rush through. And they herd you through. Just as soon as you take off your shoes you are shoved in with the massive crowd. There isn’t much time to take in what you see when you’re inside because you’re pushed through like a revolving door. Most of the beauty we got to admire was from being outside and on the grounds. Our day at the Taj was pretty rough. Cheril didn’t feel well and the heat was making it even worse.
All in all, we’re glad we went but don’t think it was as amazing as we were expecting. Chichen Itza in Mexico was more enthralling than the Taj. It was better paced and you were able to take in all of the architectural magnificence. Still, if you’re in this part of India you may as well go and see it at least once!
After the Taj we did a marathon to see other landmarks in different parts of the country. We went to Agra Fort, Jaipur to Amber Fort, the Water Palace, Mirror Palace, different temples and Mahals. Forgive us for not being more descriptive. We should have written this blog sooner. But here are some more pics from our visits.
There is so much more that it’s really impossible to capture it all even in a two-part blog. We hope you enjoyed this entry and promise not to wait so long after a trip to jot down our experience. In a separate post, for those who are curious, we’ll outline some of the logistics for this trip: where we stayed and what our experience was at each location.
All in all, India was an adventure, not a vacation. We didn’t get to do the desert safari that was supposed to be at the end of our trip because we both fell ill. There we were, thinking we’d escaped Dehli belly as it’s called but nope. And we know exactly what restaurant did it to us – one in Jaipur that we had a feeling we shouldn’t partake but didn’t want to be rude. Never Again. lol We shall never again ignore our gut because we paid for it for the next couple of days. 🙁 We made the best of it and decided that if we were going to be stuck in a hotel to recover we would stay in one of the FINEST hotels back in New Delhi: The Oberoi. Listen. We are in LOVE with this hotel and will definitely stay at another one the next time we’re in that part of the world. The Jai Mahal Palace was cool and all, but hands down the service and the experience that the Oberoi was unmatched.
Check out the set up by the pool – personal attendance with a remote control and all. Just press the button and they show up at your service.
Who knew frozen grapes were a balm for the soul? lol. Seriously, they must have brought us 75 kettles of tea whenever we wanted a refill in our room. The massages were excellent and the in-hotel restaurants were fantastic. We LOVED this place! It was the only place where we saw endless flocks of hawks and occasional parrots freely fly by.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next entry.
-Cheril and Monica (and friends)