Incredible !ndia (just like the advert says)Arrived back into London this morning at half 8. Don't have photos to share just yet, but here is a run down of what I did for my week in India (primarily a tour of the Golden Triangle)
Got to Agra around 11am, got taxi to our hotel, took showers & went to see the Red Fort which is really amazing! Then had quick lunch & got ready for the main attraction in Agra of course, the Taj Mahal. We were there for sunset & I have no words to describe it - a mate of mine said, "nice tombstone huh?" which just made me laugh so hard I nearly cried! Course every time someone said The Taj, I was thinking of dad's Taj Garage.
Next day we drove to Karouli (half way between Agra & Jaipur, but 1 hour south off the toll road). It's not a tourist attraction, but we went to stay at the palace of the princess of Karouli (yes the real princess, though in India this title doesn't mean nearly as much as it use to now that they have a democracy) It was amazing, I mean it's not Buckingham Palace, but it's the original King's palace built in 1933, how cool is that?????? Hung out there for the afternoon with them, dinner with them & then tour of the property the next day, including the polo ponies she breeds, the school she's started & of course the swimming pool & garages with all the old sedans to carry the king around the city.
Then we drove to Jaipur, which is a rather long 5 hour drive on roads you don't want to drive more than 20mph yet they drive it at 50mph!! Visited the markets and apparently the second most photographed building after that Taj called the Palace of Winds. Also went to the city of Amber & saw their fort & palace & Great Wall of India as I named it (really just a walled city). Second day we wandered the streets getting lost, buying stuff, seeing a Bollywood movie, more wandering & basically being followed by small children clinging to you asking for money, food, or whatever English/French or Spanish word they'd learned recently. I have to say that aspect of it really made me sad & at times drove me nuts. I've seen beggars before in other countries, but never ones who literally hang onto you arm as you're crossing the street. I also got my ass grabbed at the Delhi train station night before last on our way back from Jaipur, as did 2 other of my mates since there are just so many people it's very easy for those types of things to happen.
On a more personal note & Dad you might not wanna read this as I know you don't like hearing about bodily function, I'm very lucky in that I was the only one of us who had diarrhea for a few hours but recovered painlessly - others had stomach cramping and diarrhea with or without throw up & felt like shit for 48 hours, but not iron stomach Sara (my new nickname)