Agra Travel Blog› entry 29 of 32 › view all entries
I got up early and walked over to the Taj Mahal for the sunrise. It was breathtaking and I don't think the photos do it justice. I was surprised how many people were there already at that time in the morning, but as I was leaving more people were already showing up so I think I got there at the right time. You can't take photos inside, but it was nothing spectacular, just a tomb area with the pietra dura designs. I really liked the intricacies of the scroll work and design all over the building.
I then walked over to Agra Fort, a very large old complex with views of the Taj. By the time I got there, it was already a hazy day so you could barely see the Taj in the distance.
I then went to check out of my hotel, but was locked out of my room! Something happened with the key not working anymore. There were six guys working on the door and they had to call a carpenter. When they finally called me back in, the door was laying on the ground and they had clearly hacked the door down to get in. At least I wasn't staying that night.
I dropped my bags off at the train station to pick up later. I then hopped a taxi to Fatehpur Sikri, a town 40 km from Agra.
My driver was funny coming out there and explained to me that "there are 3 compulsories to driving in India. 1. Good horn, 2. Good brake, and 3. Good luck." He was sick from flu or food poisoning, so at a rest stop we had to leave him there after he began vomiting when it was time to go.
I took the Shatabdi train to Delhi that evening which is the nicest train since you sit in chairs and they provide a meal. While waiting, I saw a large rat run out and back under a food stand in the station. I pointed it out to the food stand employee who just shrugged unconcerned and said actually there were two rats. A few minutes later, I saw them both come out and fight over some food. Disgusting.
A child with one leg who was begging at the station came up to me while I was waiting for my late train. In impeccable English (which makes me suspect he must be in school or being taught by an outreach group) he said "my father is deceased, my health (cough, cough) is failing--" at which point I called him out on his little act.
My train got in very late so I took a rickshaw to Kuni's but could not find it. After searching for over an hour, I finally just decided to check into a hotel for the night. It was 3am at that point so I pretty much just stayed at the first place I found that was open, but it was in a very safe area guarded by police so it worked out fine.