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What a difference a day makes.

Agra Travel Blog

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So what if it's 1 a.m., we need to get on the Internet!
We arrived at our hotel, Oberoi Amarvilas, well after midnight. Though we were tired and disgruntled after 14 hours on buses and airplanes, and in cars and airports, we both perked up upon arrival. This place is absolutely OVER THE TOP. It's a real splurge and I had hoped it would be a nice contrast to our sad and dirty hotels in Sikkim. We were not disappointed in the least. WOW. The place is incredible.

After Steve (practically giddy with happiness) stopped chatting with the three hotel staff members who were showing us our room (they are big on service here), I collapsed into bed while he set up our network. It will be so nice so have in-room Internet again!  

I slept great and woke up bright and early to admire the view of the Taj Mahal out our window.
Beautiful wall, beautiful dress. Akbar's Tomb.
Beautiful! Wonderful! Glorious! Happy, happy, happy!

We ate breakfast at the hotel (good but way too expensive), and then met our driver from Delhi (he stayed over night and we had him for sightseeing ‘til 2pm according to our agreement.). We headed to Akbar’s Tomb, about 30 minutes from the hotel. Along the way, we observed the scenery (camels pulling carts! Bright saris! Action everywhere!) and found it to be charming, whereas yesterday in our bad moods everything seemed dirty and foul. A night in an awesome hotel does wonders for the disposition.

The tomb, built in 1602, was large and impressive with its marble and red stone construction and fancy insets.
Agra Fort arches.
There were monkeys and gazelles (well they kind of looked like gazelles, but with curled horns) on the grounds around the tomb, so it felt like we were on a safari for a little bit there. One of the men working in the garden indicated that we should walk down on the grass to get a better photo of the animals, although there was a sign that prohibited just that. (We did not follow his direction, as you can see by my bad gazelle shots!) This was a beautiful sight and a really nice visit.

Next stop was Agra Fort. The word “fort” makes me think of big, plain, stone walls, but this wasn't like that at all. Agra Fort is more of a palace “complex,” with multiple buildings, arches, passageways, intricate marble work… and beauty all around. There was even a nice breeze, and boy did we need it… it was smoking hot out.
And they call it MINI Thali!
(The driver said it was 44 degrees…that’s about 110 Fahrenheit. Could it be true!?? Sure felt like it.)  

For lunch we went to a place in Fodor’s called Desaprakash. It was a kind of cheesy looking place in a weird location, but the food was excellent (Indian food tastes great to us again, with our good moods!). We started with fresh squeezed juice (sweet lime for me, fruit punch for Steve), then we each had a “mini Thali,” which is a platter boasting small bowls of different vegetarian foods, served with puffy bread and rice. Very good! And cheap -- it was less than $10 for a huge amount of food.

Then it was time to luxuriate in the hotel room some more. After some chill time, Steve went to the spa for a mani/pedi, while I had a private yoga session in the fitness center.
View from our room. That's the Taj Mahal out there!
It has been over five years since I’ve done yoga, so this was a real challenge for me. The yogi (predictably thin and highly flexible… both of which I am most definitely NOT) took me through some simple stuff, and then it got progressively more difficult as he saw I could handle it (good acting). I am happy to say I can still do a headstand, as well as a backbend, although the latter almost killed me. I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow! It was a nice workout, but I decided to pass for tomorrow… I think I could seriously hurt myself!   

For dinner, we ate at the hotel restaurant, which featured Indian and “continental” fare, all with breathtaking prices. I kind of wanted to just eat the free bread basket and leave! But we stayed, and Steve had a steak. A steak. In India! This is unheard of. McDonald’s doesn’t even serve beef in India. I had a creamy polenta served with mushroom ragu and asparagus that was to die for. They had all sorts of things on the menu that one doesn’t normally find in India (the waiter explained that the hotel group does its own importation), and our meal was completely delicious, if seriously overpriced.  

Back to the room and to bed fairly early…tomorrow we hope to visit the “Taj” at sunrise.

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So what if its 1 a.m., we need to…
So what if it's 1 a.m., we need t…
Beautiful wall, beautiful dress. A…
Beautiful wall, beautiful dress. …
Agra Fort arches.
Agra Fort arches.
And they call it MINI Thali!
And they call it MINI Thali!
View from our room. Thats the Taj…
View from our room. That's the Ta…
Our bathroom at Oberoi Amarvilas.
Our bathroom at Oberoi Amarvilas.
View of the Taj Mahal from our roo…
View of the Taj Mahal from our ro…
Oberoi Amarvilas entrance gate.
Oberoi Amarvilas entrance gate.
Oberoi Amarvilas entrance courtyar…
Oberoi Amarvilas entrance courtya…
Steve finds a new friend in Agra.
Steve finds a new friend in Agra.
Watch for slow moving traffic, i.e…
Watch for slow moving traffic, i.…
Agra street scene.
Agra street scene.
Renovation at Akbars Tomb.
Renovation at Akbar's Tomb.
Akbars Tomb.
Akbar's Tomb.
On the grounds at Akbars Tomb.
On the grounds at Akbar's Tomb.
Just passing through!
Just passing through!
Curly horned antelope things. Akba…
Curly horned antelope things. Akb…
What ARE they?
What ARE they?
Entrance to Akbars Tomb
Entrance to Akbar's Tomb
Visitors at Akbars Tomb.
Visitors at Akbar's Tomb.
Rose colored stone at Akbars Tomb.
Rose colored stone at Akbar's Tomb.
Interior detail at Akbars Tomb.
Interior detail at Akbar's Tomb.
Gold interior at Akbars Tomb.
Gold interior at Akbar's Tomb.
Akbars actual tomb, devoid of dec…
Akbar's actual tomb, devoid of de…
Akbars Tomb entrance.
Akbar's Tomb entrance.
Arches outside Akbars Tomb.
Arches outside Akbar's Tomb.
Akbars Tomb.
Akbar's Tomb.
Monkeys dashing across the yard at…
Monkeys dashing across the yard a…
Traffic in Agra comes in all shape…
Traffic in Agra comes in all shap…
Time for new shoes.
Time for new shoes.
Entrance to Agra Fort.
Entrance to Agra Fort.
Tourists at Agra Fort.
Tourists at Agra Fort.
Save this for reference...in case …
Save this for reference...in case…
Bodies in motion.
Bodies in motion.
I love her dress. It looks so nice…
I love her dress. It looks so nic…
The guard who disappears when he s…
The guard who disappears when he …
Agra Fort.
Agra Fort.
View of the Taj Mahal from Agra Fo…
View of the Taj Mahal from Agra F…
Me, miserably hot in long pants. A…
Me, miserably hot in long pants. …
Doorways and graffiti at Agra Fort.
Doorways and graffiti at Agra Fort.
Detailed stonework at Agra Fort.
Detailed stonework at Agra Fort.
Steve at Agra Fort.
Steve at Agra Fort.
Agra Fort.
Agra Fort.
Beautiful stonework at Agra Fort.
Beautiful stonework at Agra Fort.
Stone detail at Agra Fort.
Stone detail at Agra Fort.
Stone detail at Agra Fort.
Stone detail at Agra Fort.
Agra Fort.
Agra Fort.
More serious architecture at Agra …
More serious architecture at Agra…
Scalloped archways at Agra Fort.
Scalloped archways at Agra Fort.
Detail work. Agra Fort.
Detail work. Agra Fort.
Oh! You mean I wasnt suppsoed to c…
Oh! You mean I wasnt suppsoed to …
Fresh juice. Mmmm....
Fresh juice. Mmmm....
The one on the right is the hotel …
The one on the right is the hotel…
Agra
photo by: rotorhead85