New Delhi, India
Work finished in Mumbai, it was time to to travel to New Delhi, India. For years, I have wanted to visit the Taj Mahal! I am a great believer in grabbing every opportunity, so even though it was extending my trip away from home, it was worth it!
I flew with SpiceJet, perfectly apt name for an Indian airline, flight time was only 2-hours! It was a bumpy journey due to the weather, I did manage to keep my hands to myself i.e. not grabbing onto the poor passenger next to me!
I stayed at The Imperial!! The first 5 star hotel in Delhi opened in 1931 with a luxury colonial architecture located in the heart of the capital, about 30 mins drive from the airport!
Stunning hotel which unfortunately demanded ridiculous prices in the bars and restaurants! After checking in I went down to the bar for a glass of wine. After, mulling over the wine list, I found the cheapest bottle of wine at £100!! I ordered a water and ate the bar snacks , I felt like Kit out of Pretty Woman!
An old chap came into the bar, a New Yorker named Moses Aron a multi-millionaire property tycoon. Crazy old man that demanded a lot of attention! I caught his eye, when he was ordering his drinks and asked if I liked whiskey? Of course I like whiskey I replied. He confidently stated, I will get you a whiskey and you will never enjoy another glass!! Get her a double!! True to his word, it was pretty impressive, he certainly knew his single malts!
I fancied another, but quickly put the drinks list down after spotting the price, £150 for a SINGLE ! Moses had bought me a double!! Trying to make it last, he demanded I finished it so he could order us more!! Very strange but nice guy. He also had a sausage dog called, ready for this? Master PHD Samuel Apfeltoshki!! He certainly did laugh when I told him mine was called Harvey chops. Sorry H, I feel like I’ve let you down!!
Anway… the big day had arrived, up early to travel to the Taj Mahal! As I was a lone, female traveller, and to ensure my safety, I hired a personal chauffer! Agra, home to the The Taj Mahal, was about a 4 hour drive north of New Delhi. Amir, my driver was fantastic, fun and very knowledgeable.
Travelling through the remote villiages allowed me to experience authentic India, India in it’s rawest form. The soul and spirit of India really does live in it’s villages. Layers and layers of history, all playing a part to make India what it is today. Village life is much calmer and simplier than the hustle and bustle of the city. Offering a beautiful lifestyle, peaceful, calm and healthy! I’d live in one the mud huts over an apartment any day!
People often ask me to describe India, but it isn’t ‘a thing’ you can easily describe. More a feeling, an experience, a sensory overload! I have seen, felt, heard, touched, smelled more than I thought was possible. A land of contrast, rich/poor, educated/illiterate, clean/filthy however, the spirit of India unites them all.
The poverty v’s the wealth is probably the hardest to overcome. The slums, the ugly face of India, are not fit for human habitation. The slums were by far, the hardest to see in India. Words fail to describe the conditions these poor people have to live in each day. The Indian goverment needs to do more, anyway I will leave that subject alone for now.
We arrived in Agra and I was met by my own personal tour guide, who stayed with me for the day taking me into the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort! I learned so much (the bits I could understand). His thick Indian accent was difficult to translate!
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal was everything and more! How would I describe the Taj Mahal?
3 P’s; Planning, Proportion and Perfection, like a tear of an angel dropped on a cheek of time! by Sally Hayes
You have to visit to understand and experience how wonderful it really is. My only wish, to have had family with me to experience it together.
I fell in love with India, the innocence of the place was raw, the culture I found inspirational! Some of the Indian people live such difficult lives but always had a smile for you! A truly memorable experience which will stay with me forever.