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Delhi; Agra; Jaipur

I meant “a” museum in my last post. After an exciting adventure finding the International Tourist Bureau at New Delhi train station, I got very lucky and snagged a 3AC ticket to Agra on the 5:30 a.m. Punjab Mail train. After the requisite rip-off taxi at 4:30 a.m., I hope to be rid of travel-planning-scammers for the rest of the trip.

Later that day, I did pretty well on the transport front–prepaid tuktuk (trishaw, autorickshaw, whatever…) to Humayun’s tomb, tourist-police-assisted metered auto from there to the Gandhi memorial (which I can’t spell from memory, but the one where he was shot and not the one where he was cremated), and not-too-bad auto from there to Connaught Place where I caught the Metro back.

I ran into a London-based Danish financial analyst in my section of the train: we talked for a while about economic doom and decided to split a car and driver when we got to Agra. I also got to get rid of my Oyster card, which had about L 5 left on it after I fled the terrifying queues at the Heathrow Tube ticket windows.

After dropping bags at my guesthouse, we set off for Fatehpur Sikri. The “city” itself was not quite as impressive to me as I’d been led to believe, but the mosque next to it was delightful. The touts there were not: they were easily on par with the best (?) of Delhi’s, except without any shoe-soiling.

The Agra fort was very nice, especially in contrast to the Red Fort in Delhi (which just doesn’t have that much of it left).

The Taj Mahal, despite our heat and exhaustion by the time we reached it, was… the Taj Mahal. There’s a picture to prove that I was there, but this computer doesn’t have any exposed USB ports, so it may have to wait.

I had a fan room at the guest house — terrible mistake. Sweltering. A clever way to increase sales of car travel? Probably. It worked on me — I have an (AIRCON) car and driver for the next 13 days or so.

Set off for Jaipur this morning, arriving around 1:30. Ended up paying for a huge room to get aircon tonight (smaller aircon room tomorrow will average out the price to more what I was looking for, in the Rs. 750 neighborhood). After late lunch, I went out to Nahargarh Fort (which is much more impressive as a lookout than as a fort–it’s been let go). Because almost all of the attractions close by 5 or so, I came back to the hotel afterward. I hope to hit the city hard tomorrow morning.

After Jaipur, it’s looking like Bundi, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer,
Jaipur (again, maybe, to break the trip), Pushkar, and back to Delhi
with a few forts on the way.

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