Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Great Big Monument

Hello again, this the story of my visit to Agra.  The staff tagged along of course as did lovely Lily.  She and I have had a great time.

The journey from Delhi to Agra wasn't that far, but it was quite slow.  I soon got used to Alan wincing at the traffic.  Something to do with people driving on the wrong side of dual carriageways and even parking their camel carts there to have a quick chat with their friends.  I don't see whats wrong with that, it all adds to the variety of life (And takes years off one's life as well -A)

First we visited the India Gate in New Delhi, it's a very imposing war memorial near the presidential palace, with lots of names on it of Indian and British soldiers who were killed in the two World Wars.  I wanted to sit on a post to get my photo taken but Ann held me up instead (Sorry we wanted that too, but it wasn't allowed.)
Next up was the Q'tub Minar, a HUGE minaret covered in red sandstone.  Apparently it's the largest free standing minaret anywhere.  Here I am getting my bot heated again  (Sorry no option if I wanted to get you and tower in the same picture.)  We spent some time here and I only got my photo taken once, humph. (Humph yourself!)

Then, there was lunch where I wasn't invited (Just as well as I think that's where I picked up the dreaded Delhi belly - a mild attack but unpleasant).  I'll forgive you just this once.  We hit the road again to Agra, where there's some great big palace thingy.  En route we stopped  for a snackeroo, and not before time for the two bears.  When we stopped we found this friendly elephant so Lily and I climbed aboard and had our portrait made (I say bear, that's very formal.) Occasionally I can be you know.

We went for a stroll in the gardens and I really liked them, though once again (sigh) hot bot time, like it or not, but it was a pleasant break from all that travel.

Next morning the damned phone rang at 5.30 and he and she immediately jumped out of bed. Just when I was getting my body clock slightly better adjusted.  This became a pattern in the days to come.  Anyway out they trouped and LEFT US BEHIND. (As I explained, we were warned that we could only take our purses and our cameras into the site, so we had to leave you behind.) That's your story and you're sticking to it (All true.) Well anyway they came back raving about this Taj Mahal place, and I didn't even get to go.  Alan says that in the morning light it is exquisite, but you'll have to wait until he posts the pictures to find out.  I've seen them and the place really does look fantastic.

Finally, I got to make an appearance.  We went to the Red Fort of Agra and it was GINORMOUS. We only got to go round 40% of it because the army are in the rest of it.  As you can see the gardens are lovely and for once I didn't get something hot to sit on.

In this shot the Taj is dimly in the background through the haze.  Ann was holding on tight because there was a very big drop behind me.  Then she gave me the FRIGHT OF MY LIFE.  A stupid fly landed on her arm and she used me, ME, I mean ME to chase it away.  I thought she was going to throw me away, and I was all of a tremble. (I did tell Ann off, and she was very sorry.)  I should think so!
 Well, equanimity restored, we carried on the tour ending up in the big square where Lily got her hot bot moment, and then I joined her.  I'm becoming quite used to it now, but, you know, it is a bit of a shock

Alan finally relented and took me to see the Taj Mahal.  I was all psyched up to getting up close and personal only to find that we were on the other side of the River Jumna.  Still the light was stunning and the view fantastic.  Here  am sitting on a merely warm wall, while some silly person wanders around behind me. (Sorry, there wasn't much I could do about that.)

Anyway that's about all, except that the bus ride there and back was, shall we say, interesting.  Alan described in an e-mail to some friends and family like this: 
"In the evening we had transport organised so that some of use could travel to the far side of the Jumna river to see the Taj at sunset.  This was another amazing experience, not least the journey there and back.  Roundabouts are for cars, buses and lorries, while tuc-tucs, bicycles, hand carts, delivery bikes and motor bikes can take the shortest route to their preferred exits, and you must avoid the cows at all costs. Traffic lights are only for use when there are police in attendance.  They often have a count-down display and, as the time reduces, the bicycles,scooters and motor bikes line up like a racing start to see who can get going first.  Precedence at T-junctions is based on size and who gets there first.  Even a short journey in weekend traffic is slow and entertaining.  We have seen the chaos but  no accidents."

Oh yes, the piece de resistance that night was being overtaken on the left by a tuc-tuc just as the bus was turning left onto a bridge, and, while that was happening a motor bike came the other way, turned right and went between the bus and the tuc-tuc.

I think that sums it up for now.  My amanuensis says he'll endeavour to post some more blog while up in the hills where we're off to in the morning - the call is at 5.00!




  1. Man, and I thought LT was mean, at least I don't get my bum fried!


    1. He really is an old meanie, but I am now accustomed to his ways. to-day I nearly fell out of a train - the door was open and all I could see was trees and mountains. I'll need a drink I think to get over it.



Thanks for stopping by.