It’s been a crazy bunch of days and nights of travel. We took a 2 hour taxi ride to the Vasco de Gama Airport in Goa from where we flew to Jaipur via Ahmedabad. We stayed for night in Jaipur and took a look at the ‘pink city’, as it’s called, throughout the next day. The following are pics of our visit to Jaipur’s maharaja’s palace, the ‘floating palace’, and to a few shops. Other pics are of street scenes including the ever-present wandering cows.
We left Jaipur for Agra on a night bus which we were told would arrive in Agra at 5:30 a.m. Instead, we arrived at 2:30 a.m. so had to get off the bus at a random street corner, make some calls to hotels listed in the Lonely Planet guidebook and then find our way via rickshaw to a hotel we found near the Taj Mahal. I slept for about 3 hours before getting up at sunrise to see the Taj Mahal materialize from the fog at daybreak. Our hotel had a rooftop from which we could view this world-famous building. After breakfast, we spent the morning visiting the Taj, an unforgettable experience.
We had arranged to take a taxi from Agra to New Delhi from where we’d take a night train to Varanasi. The taxi ride to New Delhi was the usual bobbing, weaving, honking, braking, swerving bumper-to-bumper madness which characterizes much of the driving that happens in India. We made the approximately 240 kilometres in about 5 hours which included one flat tire repair and one stop for fuel and chai (milk tea) along the way. At these stops, we were quite the spectacle for the local people.
In New Delhi, we boarded the crowded train and settled into our fold-down ‘beds’ for the overnight journey to the holy city of Varanasi.