India India India… where do we start. The diamond in the rough.
India had always been on the bucket list, but never seemed to quite win the race when booking a trip — potentially because even though the idea of it excited us so much we were obsessed, it also terrified the living daylights out of us. We were skating around potentially the biggest culture shock of our lives but it was time to man up and take the plunge, so we did. We landed in Delhi with no other plan than to leave a month later from Goa.
We moved from Delhi all the way down to Goa through Rajasthan and Mumbai. India is an assault on the senses; your body is jostled around in Tuk Tuks and on camels, your vision is filled with the neon lights of Delhi to the fire pits of Goa and the smells are either saliva stirring or… not so… But it is one of the most intoxicating place we have ever traveled.
We had heard on the grape vine Agra, the area surrounding the Taj Mahal was sub par so we decided to do a day trip to the Taj Mahal instead. The day trips normally leave around 3:00 in the morning as it is a three hour drive and ours supplied a tour guide all for 50 Euros each. We used a travel agent connected to a hotel across the street, as there was less chance of it being a scam even if it was a little more expensive than other stalls. Obstacle number two. The Taj Mahal is shut on Fridays and we were travelling to Jaipur on Saturday. Bleh! We ended up booking Agra for the Saturday and a Tuk Tuk tour of Delhi for the Friday and off we went back to the train station to try and change our train tickets to Jaipur.
Guess who was back! Obstacle number three. After another song and dance with the imposing man about where to buy the tickets we snuck into the train station. The staff in the tourist office were very understanding and helpful, alongside have a good giggle at our awful pre-planning. We managed to change our tickets without any problems and again left feeling like we had conquered India.
All in all after around six hours of running around Delhi, we had a train ticket, an Agra day trip to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and a tour of Delhi. Winning.
Fingers crossed our obstacles will stop you from running into similar situations, although we still had an amazing first day in India just wandering the street consumed by the energy, meeting local Delhiites and having our first taste of all the incredible cuisines to come.
India was one of our best trip to date, so stay tuned for Seven Must Dos in Delhi.