Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The last bits

This last part is like doing the best bits of India in a concentrated burst, and it's fun! We zipped through Agra to see the Taj Mahal: nice palace, shame about the town. Seriously, the palace/mausoleum is genuinely beautiful, especially at 6 in the morning when it's not thronged with noisy Indians. I'd throng it too, if I were them: while it costs foreigners Rs750 (EUR 12) each for entrance, they get to waltz in for Rs20 (EUR 0.30). So we wandered around, feeling quite peaceful and a bit dazed cos it was super early, played with some chipmunks, made some hooting noises inside the dome which had a major delay/echo/drone effect going on, giggled at some other tourists who had been unable to shake off the persistent guides and then headed off to see Agra Fort.

...which is another stunning building. Big, bold and full of good bits. Another them/us price gouge on entry but we really don't mind when the place is so good. The only thing we wonder is what's happening to all the money? It certainly isn't going anywhere near improving Agra town itself, which is stunningly ramshackle when you consider the cultural gems it houses. I've never seen so many flies! And the electricity was constantly off and on again, supposedly because of the monsoon, but it didn't seem to make any difference whether it was raining or not.

Pictures of both of the above to follow, BTW. Can't be bothered to upload them right now on this antediluvian computer.

After the Taj and the Fort, our favourite thing was Dasaprakash, a South Indian restaurant just down the way from our hotel. They had mind-blowingly good dosas and channa bathura. We tipped extravagantly and left fat and happy every time. Yum!

We're in Mumbai now, staying in a very plush hotel and enjoying the delights of civilisation once more, like, hot showers that are actually hot, TV with decent reception etc etc. Looking forward to doing some shopping, eating a Bombay Burger or two, and updating our flight ticket so we can get the hell outta here on Saturday.


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