Hi! Still here!
Things are a bit busy around here with all sorts of fun and work-related things going on. No, not pregnant, although I can forgive readers for thinking so. I too feel like anytime one of my favorite bloggers falls off the face of the Internet for weeks at a time that they always pop back up with a cute little sonogram to show for it.
Not this time though. In lieu of that kind of exciting news though, I give you instead the Taj Mahal.
The lighting and the photos weren’t great on this trip, though the company and the scenery was spectacular.
My experience with “must see” cultural sites is that they are often disappointingly underwhelming. Too sterilized, too busy, too touristy to inspire much of the sort of awe I always hope for. I’ll take crowded markets, bustling alleys and desolate empty tombs over World Heritage sites any day of the week.
Except, well, the Taj actually was awe-inspiring. Busy, touristy and filled with too many whistling guards of course; but it seems you can’t build something that big, that blindingly white, that intricately carved and beautiful without inspiring at least little bit of awe– no matter how many bootie-wearing tourists there are present to trod across the slick marble pavers.
Chris drove through death-defying fog to get us to the Taj and even drove us across the river and through a small village to show us an un-touristed view from the opposite bank.
The Taj was simply stunning; though, when we go back, its the village opposite the river from Agra that I would really like to visit. There the houses are painted not just in the typical blues and purples I’ve seen all over Delhi, but also bring pink, yellow, emerald green and turquoise. As we drove around, my mother, usually unfailingly stoic and even-keeled, giddly remembered a line from that old Helen Hunt flick Twister
“Cow!” says Helen Hunt’s character, “Another cow!” (you kind of have to watch it to understand, I suppose).
Freshly printed fabrics lie drying in the grass on the outskirts of town and monkeys swarm the rusted steel supports of the old bridge to Agra.
We had so much to see and so little time. We’ll be back again for a more thorough exploration of Agra and the surrounding villages. This outing proved the concept though, that it is possible to do the trip in one day, to see the Taj Mahal in the morning and make it back for dinnertime in Delhi. It was my first trip to the Taj Mahal, but I’m sure it won’t be our last.