We arrived in Agra after a day of travel from Jaipur. We decided to call it an early night and get up for sunrise at the Taj Mahal. It was a brisk morning with a thick layer of fog, and unfortunately, smog. On the positive side, the crowds were light and fog-smog made for some cool pictures!
After the Taj, we went back to the guest house for a home cooked Indian breakfast before the trip back to Delhi. When we arrived back in Delhi we finally had some time to get out and walk the city. This in itself is no easy task weaving through cars, trucks, tuk tuks, cows, goats, etc while everyone is constantly honking! At one point, we were crossing a main street in the dark and got a bit hung up in the middle. Troy decided to jump up on the median to get out of the way and ran into some barbed wire. Luckily he only got a small scratch and a big memory!
We stopped at a little street corner restaurant near the train station and had one of our best meals yet. The food was quick, hot, and delicious, but the ambiance was even more amazing. We watched the veggie chopper chop veggies with a rusty knife that resembled a hack saw blade as the cow in the background got scolded for eating the potted plants in front of the empty police booth. Looking the other way we had our meal being cooked over a fire heated grill and our naan was fried out on the main road as the “to go” food was served from another counter. The waiter was great too. He was one of the nicest guys we have talked to and was the first to listen to what we wanted instead of telling us we were wrong and should instead order what he wanted us to have (a crazy thing here in India!).
After fueling up, we decided to tackle the local market to search for a stylish Indian sweater for Troy. He tried some stylish stripes to fit in with the locals, but landed on a beautiful brown. Along the way we saw so many eye opening things related to the daily life in this culture. Many people live in the crumbling spaces above the shops where a lot of the inventory is also stored. These things are passed down on rickety ladders as the chaos below continues.
While in the market we also saw our first “market inspection”. There was a group of 8 or 10 military guys trying to get people to move their stuff back in out of the street. Along the way, one of them was taking pictures of the others doing their thing. It was strange and funny to watch!
And that’s a wrap for Delhi and Agra! Next stop Varanasi.