Well since it is 3 in the morning and I am wide awake I thought that I
would crop the next batch of pictures for you.
We spent Friday and Saturday seeing Dehli and the Taj Mahal. We were able
to push our first day’s festivities back until 10 am. Our host, VisualSoft
VP Mr. Venkat Rao is an early riser to be sure!
We had some coffee in one of the hotel’s cafes and took off for the
largest mosque around. It holds 30,000 people for prayer and we were able
to get in and out just before this even happened at one. Steve and I were
wearing shorts and they don’t allow that in the mosque so we got these
cloth skirts wrapped around us. I did not get a pic of that, but there may
be one on Steve’s camera.It is here where I found out that for some
reason, the street vendors and beggers all come to me. Not to Steve, not
to Venkat. Me.
Anyway we saw a few other things that I am not going to go over at this
point and then proceeded to the tomb of M. Gandi, who is referred to as
“The Fater of the Nation.” This part of the day felt a lot like visiting
Washington DC. After the tomb we went to the presidential palace which is
at one end of a big mall, like DC where our congress would be and then
drove down to the other end where the India Gate is. This gate is a
commemoration of WWII and has the names of the soldiers enscribed on the
marble. Here we saw a bunch of Indian touristy things like the cobra’s in
baskets, dressed up monkeys (or was that Steve?), etc.
Since they picked us up at the airport, we have had the same driver who
takes us everywhere in a blissfully air-conditioned car. Did I mention
that it is hot? Well it is. Africa hot.
Friday night, we dined like kings (again) in a restaurant on the roof of
our hotel and got a good view of the area and had fabulous food.
Then it was off to the lounge for a nightcap and cigar and then bed. Well,
Saturday was Taj day and it was a 3.5 hour drive to get there. Since it
was supposed to be especially hot, Vencat wanted to get an early start. So
we were on the road at dawn PRE-CAF.
Lets talk about driving. It is a very lucky thing that we spent the first
day in Dehli so that Steve and I could get used to things a bit. If we had
not, the trip to Agra would have killed us from fear.
India Driving Rules Summary
1. Two lanes is really six
2. You don’t get anywhere without being bold
3. Honk. A lot. Honk when passing. Honk to get people out of the way. Honk
because you feel like it.
4. Dive for any opening you see at full speed.
5. You pay attention to what is in front, if it is behind, they are on
6. Traffic lights are an opportunity to sneak into massive layers of cars
like the start of a race.
7. No speed limit so you belt along at 120 kph on a road where there is
pedestrian, bike, animal, truck, motorbike and every other kind of
8. Minimum distance between cars/trucks/people/cows is anything that does
not actually take paint off.
When it gets dark — it gets worse.
The Taj Mahal is an amazing building. Pictures just cannot do it justice.
We had a private guide who took us through and explained everything. All
of the color that you see on the buildling is inlay, not paint.
Semi-precious stones and the like.
Saturday took 13 hours, 8 of which were driving the mad dance.
That is all for now. It is almost time for me to get out of bed and pack
up for our flight to Hydrobad to meet our host Mr. D V S Raju.