. Lunch back at the hotel and Polly feeling well enough to join us for The Big One. The rickshaw dropped us at the South Gate of the Taj entrance. We were confronted by monstrous queue. Not having been warned of this, we thought that they were queuing to buy tickets, and so walked straight to the front having already bought ours. We were accompanied by some very dodgy guys who said that they could get us 'priority tickets'. It turned out what they did was barge us into the queue and bribe the security guard. The ladies queue was pretty calm, but the men's got pretty heated with elbowing, pushing, police whacking people, it was so far from the romanticism I expected from a visit to the ultimate symbol of love and once again something that we would rather not have participated in. Only having one day in Agra and not wanting to spend 4 hours queuing on Christmas day with a poorly Polly, meant we paid the 1000 rupees, quashed our consciences about the rest of the queuers and and got stuck in. Once inside, we dusted ourselves down and enjoyed the most amazing walk around this unbelievable structure. There were thousands of people but the aura of the place overpowered the rush and noise. We took the customary shots and wandered around soaking up the splendor of the white marble giant. A text from home about enjoying a pint in front of an open log fire made the experience even more surreal. We left happy and returned to the hotel for a Christmas evening. We opened our presents (thanks Mum for the socks!) and enjoyed dinner on the roof
. A few celebratory drinks later, Dan, Aslan and I decided there was more fun to be had and headed off into the really not bright lights of Agra. The evening was strange to say the least and you should tune into Travelpod Xtra for the details but it involved Dan driving a Rickshaw and Alan Gick stunning the locals with his famous Bosham dance moves. Oh dear! Merry Christmas to all of our wonderful readers.
Although I did eat a lot at the Christmas Eve Gala buffet, I have still not had it confirmed by a doctor that it is actually possible to pass out from too much food and so I think maybe I had a bug. It was certainly a surreal experience to wake up lying on the floor surrounded by four worried family faces and about 20 Indian ones all having a good look. I'm very glad we didn't go to the Taj first as while there were 100s of onlookers at the fort, there were thousands at the Taj.
The Christmas Eve Gala had been fun but Polly had got carried away. I tried telling her that 5 courses would justify the 1000 rupee price tag but she insisted on forcing down a 6th course. Consequently she woke on Christmas morning very pale and not feeling good. She joined us for breakfast but could not eat. Our first outing of the day was to Agra Fort, a magnificent red sandstone structure which looked out over the city and of course the Taj Mahal. The battle through the aggressive tat sellers on the way in was not needed but it was good to be out and about on Christmas Day seeing the sights. Unfortunately Polly was really unwell and when she rushed back to me after not having made the toilet I was really worried.(He though I'd had had accident!) She then threw up violently in a bin and fainted in my arms. When she came around she thought that she had been there for hours, it was in fact only a minute or so. We all went straight back to the hotel to get her into bed and let her rest. We gave the fort another crack and it was well worth a visit