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NEW DELHI. The flight is delayed and so we do not land in India until 11:30 at night. Stepping outside is like entering a furnace, still over 40C. In the taxi are two Spanish gentlemen who work in Vietnam for the Canadian shoe mogul John Fluevog. At the hotel, a guard stops the vehicle and checks under the hood of the car. The gates open and the luggage plus us must pass through a security scanner. I am lead into a cubicle and patted down. We go to bed and rise five hours later for a two hour drive to Agra.
India is a tapestry of rich colours, textures, and ancient times. Am surprised that in a city of 24 million, there is little traffic on the highway south to Agra. Thatched huts are strewn over the fields and utilized for storing wheat and dried cow dung. The Taj Mahal is an architectural white marble masterpiece full of symbolic meanings and surrounded by large tracts of sculptured gardens. It was built in 1632 by the emperor for his wife Mumtaz Mahal after she passed away following child birth. Every detail is planned using perfect symmetry and highlighted using inlaid precious
It is the summer season, and walking the two hour tour the heat rises to 47 degrees C, my body temperature begins to rise as well, and am about ready to drop. Dozens of people come and request a selfie with us. When questioned as to why, the guide Zahid explained that many of the individuals live in small villages and have never seen foreigners before other than on TV. We are humbled by each of them. A henna decorated bride allows a snapshot of her body art work.
Returning to an air conditioned vehicle to cool down, the journey continues to a Pinch of Spice for a very late lunch, and then on to a marble shop selling inlaid plates. Entering the city, the traffic has now become a beehive of chaos and constantly honking horns. On the road, may be tuk tuks, bicycles, motorbikes, water buffaloes, pigs, cows, people walking and vehicles going the wrong way.
We need to get some down time, quite tired and ready to sack out!
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