Friday, January 13, 2012

Jan 10th-13th First stop India!

Hi Family and Friends!

Sarah and I safely arrived in India on Tuesday, January 10th after two flights and over 18 hours in the air. Whew were we wiped out and very jet lagged! We found a great taxi driver that battled traffic for 45 minutes until we arrived at the Holy Cow Hostel. Needless to say it was a little off the beaten path and he had to drive the street a few times and ask for directions.

Wednesday, January 11th we woke up bright and early and with our new Aussie friend Rachel, trekked the 20 minutes to the metro, paid 19 Rubees, and went into the City Center to wander around and see what was there. We came upon the Red Fort and were amazed at the size and structure that was built in 1628 AD. Paid 250 Rubees to get in and wandered around (locals only had an entrance fee of 10 Rubees). We met two very nice Tennessee women who gave us some great insight to the fort. Needless to say we took a great nap when we got home and then slept through the night. Still trying to work off that jet lag!

Thursday, January 12th was the day of the great train and road trip debacle. Things will never work according to schedule, never. Sarah, Rachel, and I wanted to get a start to Agra and had the hardest time booking a train ticket. We decided to take a cab to the train station to see if we could get a ticket same day. No dice! Apparently they only allow so many tourist tickets per train and they had already exceeded the limit.. We were instructed by "Dav" who was employeed with the station to go to the I.C.C.D. Travel and they would hook us up with tickets. After taking a very interesting rickshaw ride over, we sat for an hour negotiating our transportation. The only way to make it to Agra same day was to hire a car and driver and since there were three of us, it would be a great deal. Being the apprehensive person I was, I was not trusting Raj our "travel agent" very much. Out of options, we went with it. Our driver's name was Rocky (yep, it's true. He even showed me his Indian drivers license!) was great and has a book that every passenger signs to reassure us that he reliable and his passengers always have a great experience. He was awesome and was a wealth of knowledge about India and what we were seeing along the 200km to Agra. Traffic is so incredibly bad here, what should have only taken us ABOUT 4 hours, took more like 5 and a half.. We completely missed the Taj Mahal before it closed and Rocky got us a as close as he could so we could take some pictures. He also took us to an authentic marble dealer that showed us the continued art of how they make the marble for tables and how the art in the Taj Mahal was created as well. We hope to go to the Taj Mahal tomorrow (Saturday) at sunrise, yes family, it's hard to believe but we are usually up at 4am wide awake where we make our next plan of attack!

Friday, January 13th (finally caught up to today!). We woke up early and had coffee at a great place called Costa Coffee and found a great business center downstairs that offers internet for 100 Rubees for an hour. Off to secure our train tickets for tomorrow and then to see the great Agra Fort!

We do apologize that pictures were not included in this post but they will follow shortly. Thank you for your patience! :)


Megan and Sarah

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