We left Agra this morning in the fog & travelled on to Delhi. About 10 km out of Agra we took the new Express Highway & for the first time since arriving in India we just about had the road to ourselves. It is a brand new tolled, 3 lane each side almost European motorway. So we had no cows, camels or vehicles coming towards us. In fact the only animal I saw was a dog but there were plenty of people waiting for the local hourly bus service!! The speed limit is 100kph but Vikram sat in the middle lane at about 90. Several vehicles did pass us but it was very quiet. One Mercedes went hurtling past but we caught up with them in the services . It was obviously one VIP ‘cos he had a driver & 2 heavies, one of whom was toting a sub-machine gun! Probably an important businessman according to Vikram.
We are now installed in our last hotel—The Imperial. It is a beautiful building, both colonial & Art Deco at the same time. We have been upgraded to an Heritage Suite–pictures to follow.
Tomorrow we have a tour with a guide of New Delhi & Delhi, so more to follow tomorrow.



Agra cont.

After a slow start this morning we are both feeling much better. I don’t know what the doctor gave us but it certainly proved effective. We took a walk around the hotel around lunchtime & sat by the pool to have some water & a light snack. I think that we have to say that this is one of the best hotels from a design point of view that we have ever stayed in. The use of space & water is incredible. The pool is heated so maybe tomorrow I will get to use it. I should also say that last night the staff were superb, service is definitely part of their ethos. John and Linda told us about the hotel and they didn’t exaggerate.
We met JP, our guide, at 2pm & were whisked off to the Taj in an electric buggy—all of 600m! Again the use of space & materials is to be seen to be believed. You go through an enormous gateway & there it is. I really don’t think that our photos will do it justice but I will post some anyway. The history of the whole thing is amazing—all for the love of a woman who died in childbirth. 22 yrs in the making using marble that had to come 400 km—no mean feat in the early 1600’s. The architect came from Persia & his design was quite revolutionary for the day. There is a minaret at each corner, all built with a 2 degree tilt so that they would fall away from the Taj in the event of an earthquake. JP was very good & didn’t rush us, he just let us absorb the whole thing. We haven’t seen the baby Taj or the fort that was on our original itinerary but nothing can trump THE Taj Mahal.
Photos of the hotel next & then I will post some from my phone of the Taj.




It’s All My Fault!

OK, I own up. I shouldn’t have said over last night’s lovely dinner in Jaipur ” It looks as though we’re going to get through this holiday without being ill”
En route to Agra and the Taj Mahal, via an amazing fort built in a few years ( in the 17th century ) and abandoned in only a few more, Louise started to feel unwell, followed by me. The visit to the Taj was abandoned, and after a difficult journey to the hotel, they organised a doctor. Lou’s not good at all, but is now sleeping, whilst I’m not too bad. We’re medicated up, and we’ve organised to stay here another night and have one night less in Delhi. This must be the most expensive private hospital room in the world!! We hope to be feeling better in the morning and then we can decide what to do next. I can’t believe that we could come all the way to India and not see the Taj Mahal!
This looks to be an amazing hotel, if we can get to leave our room. Tomorrow is another day.

It’s now tomorrow and we look to be improving. There’s not too much point in having a room with a view of the Taj Mahal only 600 metres away, if it’s so foggy that you can’t see it! Hope to be out and about this afternoon, but much depends on Louise.