Thursday, August 19, 2010

on the road to agra

Originally uploaded by heathre
we left the craziness of Delhi early in the morning, headed for the Taj Mahal (in Agra). we decided to use our driver from the day before - mun - since he seemed pretty good and trust-worthy.

One of the moments i will always remember from this trip was when i had to take one of those 'leaps' of faith/trust. we hired mun through the hotel to take us to one of the markets in delhi, realizing that we were a bit too overwhelmed to deal with public transit first thing. on the way there, he talked us in to letting him drive us for the day for a ridiculously cheap amount. so we agreed. kendal read about the Mughal Gardens and we decided we should go. turns out they were at the president's palace and only open a couple weeks a year to the public - and we were there at the right time! So we went to the gardens and had to go through this huge security search before entering the grounds. of course, i had my camera. which was not allowed. which meant either not go to the gardens or leave my camera with some random guy we just met. so i took a deep breath and handed over the camera to mun. the gardens were amazing and such an interesting experience since we were the only foreigners there - at least that we could tell. lots of school groups too. at this point on the trip - day 2 - we weren't used to the constant staring and it was a little unnerving. but entertaining too. as we came out of the gardens, i started looking for mun, half-wondering if he would still be there. and he was.

by the end of the day, mun had convinced us that we should let him drive us to the taj mahal the next day instead of taking the train or bus. i don't regret that decision, but i will say five straight hours of mun on the road to the Taj Mahal tested all of our nerves. he chatted the whole time, 95% of the time trying to convince us that we should hire him as a driver for our entire time traveling. when we said we wanted to go by train, he regaled us with stories of how we would be attacked and people were crazy, etc. he also had the most manaical laugh - i don't think i will ever forget that! the other 5% was spent asking all of us about our boyfriends and particularly was interested in kendal (katie's girlfried) so that was amusing.

but back to this image - i distracted myself from mun's craziness by taking pics out the window. most of the drive was very rural and the fog (or smog?) that morning was so beautiful over the fields.

and we did eventually arrive at the taj mahal in one piece, sanity somewhat intact....and our adventures continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

morning at laxmi villas

morning at laxmi villas
Originally uploaded by heathre
this is one of my favorite photos from my trip.

laxmi villas in bharatpur ~ we ended up staying two nights here due to the holi festival (which wreaked havoc on travel plans). gorgeous pool, wonderful food, chats with the maharajah's son about bribes and 'black money' in india, celebrating holi, recovering from our 'holi attack' on the way to the bird sanctuary....not to mention nanz, our travel guy at laxmi villas. he went above and beyond to help us out, including taking kendall on a crazed late night motorbike ride to the train station to get our train tickets. truly a gem of a guy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

i love books

Originally uploaded by heathre
i'm not sure when this wall was plastered with these awesome gigantic library books, but i love it. it's about 2 blocks from work on campus. i think i need to return and take more pics.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

four months

Originally uploaded by heathre
and I still miss india.
this book is pretty amazing - not sure if you have to be india obsessed to love it, but it helps.

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

trying to get back in the blogging habit...more to come...