|The masterpiece of India
Trainstations in India are a typical chaos. People sleep, eat, live, beg or sell useless items as noisy fake plastic mobile telephones on the platforms......Trainstations are little subcultures and you can easily spent a day on a platform watching everything that happens in front of you. And so do we while waiting for the train. When we see a cow wandering around the platform highly interested in nibbling peoples luggage we know it for sure....We love India...it just crazy!
Our train arrives in time (miracles do happen) and with minutes we are settled in our sleeper compartment. All the impression of Varanasi and the SOS-village have made us tired. Soon we are asleep.
When we arrive in Agra we rush to Hippie, our campervan. Not only have we missed him, but we also hope nothing bad has happend. Days earlier, we had parked Hippie in front of the 5 star hotel ‘ the Ashok’ and had asked the bellboy to look after it. With a big smile the bellboy arrives and tells us everything is ok and that he was happy to look after the car!
In the afternoon we finally do what we wanted to do a few days earlier but could not because the weather was horrendous; we visit Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal!! We start with Agra Fort, a red brick fort that looks out on the Taj Mahal. Sjah Jahan, the builder of the Taj was imprisoned here by his son just after the Taj Mahal was finished and he had buried his wife there. So the sad story goes that he was never able to visit the grave of his wife and could only look at it from a distance.
Within the fort we are approached by many groups of men who want take pictures of us. So there we are posing like celebraties, camera’s flashing and lots of excited Indians. We really wonder what they do with the pictures?? Maybe they say they have a friend in holland as all taxi drivers and rickshaw drivers do in India!
After the fortress it is time for the masterpiece of India, the Taj Mahal. When we arrive there we are jumped upon by postcard sellers, tourguides and weird enough men selling wipes? What on earth should we do with a wipe? When michel’s starts to make Indiana Jones moves and then changes to more dirty moves all sellers look bewilderd. The act works and they all dissapear before loosing face.When we go for a drink we meet a dutch couple who had just visited the Taj. We sit down, have a laugh and exchange travelstories. When a friend of him works for SBS6 hart van Nederland, the television show we film for, we wonder how small this world is... or how small Holland is!
The Taj is a masterpiece. It attracts thousands of visitors everyday and that is probably why they raised the price for foreigners from 50 to 750 roepies while indians have to pay 20. But it’s well worth it, especially around sunset.The colour of the white marble changes from white to pink to red as the sun goes down. The reflecting pool makes the picture complete! A beautiful way of ending another great day in Agra!