Holy city on the Ganges

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Agra was great, albeit a little expensive on our stingebag budget....we stayed 4 days and only actually visited the Taj Mahal....which yes is pretty poor going, but it was so very expensive for entrance to the different attractions that sometimes you just have to weigh things up, we saw the Taj which was our main reason for visiting...so we are happy!

The view from our window did eventually sink in that it was real, and on our second day we pulled ourselves out of bed when it was still dark, to get out to the Taj Mahal before all of the tourist hoardes were there....that was the plan anyway!

So, 6.20am we were at the Taj Mahal.....so was the rest of Europe!!! We couldnt believe the amount of people there that early in the morning, we could have just slept in and gone later there were that many people there, but hey, we missed the scorching Indian heat by visiting that early and so retired to our air con room for the rest of the day!!!

Agra itself was nothing more than other congested smelly city, but the Taj Mahal and grounds just felt like you were in another world....it was great, we had all the usual touristy piccies taken at the Taj, expored the mausoleum and looked at the other buildings which make up the Taj Complex.

Yesterday we took the train to Varanasi, we were posh this time...in AC3 - which basically means 3 tiers of bunks with air con! Thankfully our train left on time, but when we awoke in the morning at 8am and realised that were only in Lucknow...where we were supposed to be at 0245am....we knew we were in for a long haul!!
It was a long day...instead of arriving here in Varanasi at 0820am this morning as was planned our train eventually pulled into the station at almost 3pm!! Well, what can you do? This is India right?!

Our tuktuk ploughed through the bustling streets of Varanasi like we have never seen before, swerving in and out...then he dropped us and we walked for about 10minutes through the narrow smelly streets of the old town, as always dodging cows, spit, people and poo!

Our guesthouse is so clean and really nice, we are right on the Ganges, its going to be fun exploring the Ghats in the next couple of days, theres a stunning courtyard which our room opens out onto, the hotels veggie restaurant - the menu looks great.

So, we are here in Varanasi for just 2 nights, then we leave and take the train to Kolkata/Calcutta on Saturday night.

Thats all for now......


Ali and Matt
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