Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday in India - Taj Mahal

I apologize for the delay in our updates. We are having some internet troubles. Tomorrow we will be at the hotel so we should have better and more reliable internet connection. 

Today was a really long and hard day. We woke up around 5:30am and got ourselves ready to go to the Taj Mahal in Agra. We left around 7:30am. It took about 3 hours to get there by highway. There was a lot of farmland along the way. Agra was fun to experience. It’s  a lively city with plenty to see. 

On the way, we took a short break to meet up with the rest of Tanwar’s family. We got to meet his son and daughter. We were all so excited to finally meet each other. We also met Savita’s nephews and some a few other children from their family. I loved the children. They were so precious and excited to be with us. I think it made both me and Lance really long to be with our girls. 

We pulled into the parking area at the Taj Mahal and there were dozens of buses lining the road so I knew it would be really crowded. Lots of school children walked toward the gates. It was a colorful parade of people all the way. The parking was packed like sardines in typical Indian fashion. There were camels pulling little wagons that you could  ride and of course auto-rickshaws. There was no lack of people vying for your attention or more importantly your money. 

The organization of the Taj crowd was quite interesting. There were two types of tickets. One for Indians and one for foreigners. I was glad to be a white girl at the Taj because the Indian line was so long for everything. Once you bought tickets, you had to go through security. There was a men’s line and a women’s line. We were all pat down and then had to send our bags through examination. At the actual tomb, there was also an Indian line and a foreigner line. 

It was really hot in Agra. Very humid and sticky. I cannot imagine what summer is like if this is winter! I think the heat really effected me today. The heat along with the crowd.

Our friend estimated that there were around 50,000 people at the Taj Mahal today. I felt like all of them were directly IN my personal bubble. I can deal with heights and I can deal with tight spaces but I have a very hard time with lots of people. 

The Taj Mahal itself was breathtaking. The white marble sets it apart from the landscape. It truly is a wonder to behold in real life. I have no idea how humans built this. I am so glad we were able to go and despite how hard the day was, I will always treasure this memory.

After taking a million pictures, we finally made it to the entrance of the tomb. As I said, there was a line for Indians and a line for foreigners but the lines merged into one crowd once you entered the tomb. Immediately, I wanted to be out. The crowd was so thick and the air was hot. There were guards inside moving the crowd along and they would blow whistles that were painful to our ears. There really wasn’t much to see inside the tomb. It was not worth the wait in my opinion. The outside is beautiful but the inside was torture for me. 

After meeting up with the rest of our group, we walked back to the car. I walked with the children, and they asked “Auntie” many questions. They wanted me to teach them some Spanish! Haha! I know barely any Spanish but I taught them what I knew. 

Once we got to the car, I began feeling very badly. I had a migraine coming on and could not find my medicine to ward it off. I drank a decent amount of water but it didn’t seem to help. Things were going down hill quite quickly for me. My hands and feet were very swollen and I could not cool off.

We stopped off at a hotel to eat lunch. It was a buffet. The food was very good and once again our friends stuffed us to the max. I was hopeful that food would help me feel better but it didn’t.

Once on the road again, my headache got really bad. I was miserable and felt bad that I wasn’t being very good company to the rest of the group. We stopped at another restaurant and got some coffee. I think that may have helped a bit. I fell asleep and my headache died down. Unfortunately, it gained it’s strength again as we got closer to the apartment. I started feeling really sick to my stomach. We could not get through traffic fast enough.

Finally, we made it back to the apartment. I couldn’t eat dinner. I just felt too sick. We still don’t have internet so this will likely be posted tomorrow night.

Tomorrow we will do some more sight seeing and then will check into our hotel. Please pray that we stay well from here on out. 

(This was from Saturday)

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