It was our last day in India
but our flight wasnâ€™t until 6pm, so we decided to visit
another sight here in Agra
. The official name is Itmad-ud-Daulahâ€™s Tomb
, but because it
has some similarities to the Taj Mahal (some say it was the inspiration), the
locals just call it â€śBaby Taj
Being short of rupees, we took the hotelâ€™s car $ervice so
that we could put the expense on the hotel bill. On the way, there was the
usual hodgepodge of commerce and chaos on the street. It was a 40-minute drive,
and I saw at least three men peeing in the street. The sight doesnâ€™t even phase
me now, I am so used to it after two weeks in India
. At least they werenâ€™t
defecating out in the open, which Steve and I both saw, independently, in Sikkim
Intricate stonework at the baby Taj.
miss this when I leave India
(Well, actually, there is nothing here that I will miss.)
The Baby Taj is referred to a â€śjewel boxâ€ť and it is easy to
see why. Much smaller in scale than the Taj, it has even more beautiful detail
and intricate marble inlay. Jahangirâ€™s favorite wife Nur Jahan built this tomb
for her father, who was also the Chief Minister. It was fairly small and it was
hot out, so we stayed less than an hour, but it was a really nice visit.
On the way home I asked the driver to stop at McDonaldâ€™s (I
hope this is not becoming a habit?) where I spent our last 130 rupees on a
veggie burger, filet-o-fish, small fries, and baby cone. McDonaldâ€™s here in India is not
only cheap, but they donâ€™t serve beef, and have numerous veggie options.
Back at the hotel, we had to pack up, but still had time to
Killing time at the hotel.
We caught up on the news in Darjeeling
where the strike has escalated into violence, and some tourists were
actually injured. There are still people
trapped up there, and we feel very lucky we were able to get out so fast!Against the advice of the concierge, we went early to the
airport. We shouldnâ€™t have. The airport was at a military base, the terminal
was not air conditioned, and the seating was not exactly comfortable. It seemed
we were the only passengers, until three other guys showed up right at boarding
time. The carrier was Kingfisher, which bills itself as Indiaâ€™s only
five-star airline. My experience with Indiaâ€™s star system has taught me
to take such claims with a grain of salt, but this was indeed a really nice
airline. The airplane was new and super clean, and they even served food on the
Today's new. We are so glad we got out!
The shuttle bus that
brought us from the plane to the terminal (in Delhi
) was outfitted with comfy sofas and
chairs! It was pretty nice.
We had three hours layover in Delhi, an hour of which was spent getting
from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. While Steve checked
out the Duty Free store, I went to the Air India lounge, which was dirty and
smelled of cigarettes and mothballs. The Delhi
airport is the crappiest major airport I have ever been in, and we were happy
to finally leave it.
Out of India.
Off to Dubai.