Thursday, June 20, 2013

Elephant Rides, The Taj Mahal, and Too Much Shopping

Sorry its been a week since I have posted. Mary and I just got back from an absolutely wonderful excursion to Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. Fr. Herald was able to hire us a travel agent for our trip which was awesome because we would have been completely lost if we were by ourselves. The cities were all so big and filled with so many people it would have been impossible to navigate by ourselves. Also it is obvious that we are foreigners so without our tour guides helping us along the way we would have been scammed multiple times. 

On Monday we woke up at 5:45am because our car was picking us up at 6:00am. We drove to Jaipur from Delhi (where we flew into because we were unable to book a train). The trip was about 5 hours and when we got there we met up with our tour guide Raj. He was really awesome and showed us the best sites in the "Pink City." All the buildings on the main street of Jaipur are pink which is why it is named the "Pink City." It is also the hottest city in India. I love elephants and it has been my dream ever since I found out I was coming to India to ride an elephant. I told Raj that at the beginning of the day and he said that elephant rides are only from 8 to 11 each morning because of the heat but he said he would try to figure out something for us. After we visited Amber Fort I thought our day was over but he said we had one more stop. I was so excited and I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day. It was everything I imagined and more. Our ride was through a smaller town. All the kids in the town saw us riding by and would come out of their homes and start waving and yelling hello. I felt like I was in a movie it was truly amazing. 

On Tuesday we left at the same time for Agra. Our first stop in Agra was the Taj Mahal which was the most beautiful site I have ever seen. It looked like a painting. We even went inside which seemed like a dream. Our tour guide even informed us that he was in the scene from Slumdog Millionaire at the Taj Mahal which is so so cool. After the Taj Mahal we went to Agra Fort which was stunning as well. 

On our last day, we returned to Delhi which is basically the Washington D.C. of India. We got to learn a lot about Indian politics and government which I loved because I am a political science major. We got to tour the house of Indira Ghandi, the former prime minister of India. Her and her family were basically the Indian version of the Kennedys so I was super excited to learn all about them. We also drove by the parliament building and the Indian Gate. In addition we visited three temples. The first one we went to was the Lotus Temple which was so interesting and beautiful. We were able to go inside and pray for a little which was great. We then went to two Hindu temples which was fascinating. Indian culture and tradition is centered around religion and I really enjoyed seeing how passionate people were about their faith. 

Everyday our tour guide brought us shopping, which was great the first day but by the third day we were a bit sick of it. The tour guides have the same shops they take all the tourists too and right when you walk in the door you are bombarded by salesmen trying to make you buy saris, jewelry, tapestry, wooden elephants, and so much more and they do not take no for an answer. The shopping was pretty overwhelming but we were both able to get some great souvenirs to bring home for our family and friends. 

The weirdest part of our trip was definitely being asked by at least 50 people to take pictures with us. Most of the tourists at the sites were Indian so we were definitely a site to see. People would constantly come up to us and be like one picture and we could never turn them down because we could tell they we were so excited. One family took a picture of each of them shaking our hands. It was so funny. We felt like celebrities. Even when we were sitting down for a quick break during the day people would run over to us and ask for pictures. 

Mary and I are sad that our excursion is over but excited to be back at the center! Here are some pictures of the trip even though they don't do the sites justice!

ELEPHANT RIDE!!!


Jaipur


Jaipur.

More Jaipur.


Amber Fort.


The beautiful view from Amber Fort.

Amber Fort mirrors.


More Jaipur.

Mary and I at the Taj Majal!

Dorky tourist pic.


View of the temple next to the Taj Mahal from inside the Taj Mahal.



Agra Fort.


Lotus Temple.


Ghandi's memorial.


A view of Delhi.


Agra Fort. 

8 comments:

  1. These pics are amazing emmy! looks like you're having a great time so jelly of the elephant ride. have a great rest of your trip!

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  2. an elephant ride..rock on Emmy. Great pictures

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