Played War Games In The Woods

January 1, 2013

The Agra Fort.

The train to Agra from New Delhi left very early in the morning, was quite cheap, and came with a delicious meal and tea service. We took two cabs from the station to the grounds of the Taj Mahal. We paid our entry fee and entered. The fog hid the mausoleum from view until we were quite near.

Up close it is quite something to behold, the stylized caligraphy and intricate carved panels, the geometrical mosaics and inlays, and the grandness of it all lend it a feeling of impossibility.

Unfortunately the fog hindered any good photographs, and photography inside is prohibited. The fog also made the marble slick and a bit muddy, making the sanctity-preserving booties a bit useless from a practical point of view.

We left the grounds and ate lunch at a small restaurant. For just a few hundred rupees six of us ate like kings, with pineapple lassis and a dessert of banana pakora.

Once we had left the restaurant, the day became absolutely beautiful and clear, but our tickets could not get us readmitted to the grounds of the Taj Mahal.

We walked around Agra a bit and took tuk-tuks to Agra Fort, which we kept jokingly referring to as the Red Keep. It is gargantuan, and when it was first built not only served as a palace but also as the military headquarters and as a busy commercial center.

For dinner we ate at an otherwise-empty restaurant and had outstanding biryani. We spent some time at the bar, and talked with some local construction workers who bought us some Kingfishers.

We made it to the train station with plenty of time to spare, which was a terrible mistake, because the train was delayed by many hours.

Some of us successfully slept on the train, others had a tough time. We got back to New Delhi by the hour of the wolf. A short walk to our hotel, and we passed out quite quickly.

January 1, 2013

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