08.02.2010 19 °C
Cold shower and early start to go see the Taj Mahal, fulfilling one of my dreams. Probably a lot of people say this, but this is true, I don’t think my photos capture atall what it really feels like to be there. In the fresh early morning mist, this stupidly perfect white palace built for love, kind of floated. It just didn’t look real. Took 22 years in total to build apparently, from carved marble. Elegance, beauty, detail, respect. Obsessively symmetrical, to the extent that an additional mosque was built to the right of the Taj to mirror the one on the left, even though it was facing the wrong way for a mosque hence could not be actually used! The four minarets built at a slight slant outwards so that if there was an earthquake the main structure more likely to remain. Taj Mahal Wow!
Back at hotel, relieved to see fruit finally on the breakfast menu alongside the masala omelette and dhaal. Body is in spice shock from the curry every meal lifestyle. Another 6,7,8 ish hour bus journey, lost count of hours, back to Delhi to catch the overnight train to Himalayan foothills. On the road again, big style. So it was an interesting drive, time passed pretty quickly as I was totally absorbed watching the traffic, so interesting. They drive on the left like in England and roads also extremely congested, but the similarities end there. Most of the road to Delhi was dual carriageway style. In England this is supposed to mean a driving lane and an outside ‘fast’ or ‘overtaking’ lane. In India it was a free for all, everyone just swerving in and out at speed overtaking, undertaking, toot toot, swerving to avoid camels, bullocks, holy cows, often travelling the wrong direction, crammed public carriers, people clinging on for dear life, tuktuks filled with 12+ passengers. Didn’t seem to phase our driver, he was a legend in my eyes.