My tour of India is going well, seeing lots of sights, learning a lot of culture, and only being slightly penned in by the constraints of tour guide routine that has me running into the same Eurolanders in different transports or restaurants. Hotel wireless is un-cheap, and to make sure this post gets out before the clock runs down to zero, I'm hitting "publish" before I am actually done. If the text stops before the "woman in yellow" paragraph, refresh again later.
Spent the evening in Agra, after another hotel dinner, and then a breakfast. But on the road early, Agra fort is close to the lodgings, and spotted lots of monkeys around the outside of the fort. This is not something we see often in the U.S.
The third shot of the fort below silhouettes a visitor near the mosque, I believe, though I was turned around a few times due to the enormity of the structure. Rais, my guide, said most of the grounds are off limits as they are occupied by the military. Apparently, the buildings are in good enough condition to serve hundreds of years after being constructed.
The next shot is just one of the many street vendors who were selling flowers for Dewali. It's a big holiday here, meaning traffic Wednesday could be even busier, if that is believable.
After the flowers is a shot of me on the bus. The gentleman next to me wanted to get up, but I said he need not bother to move. I know I take up a lot of room, and this angle confirms it.
Inside Fatehpur Sikri, a World Heritage site, I explored the palaces, harem rooms (read: youth hostels of the 16th century), courtyards, balconies, and other palatial digs, or what is left of them after multiple successive ownership. It's amazing what remains today.
Rias kept wanting to take my picture with big buildings in the background, and I'm glad he obliged my desire to get the drinking water and local visitors with me in the same shot. It means more to me than a palace or castle!
Lunch was more Euro-Indian food (Indian dishes, served mainly to European tourists). I did get to see cows afterward in the place next door.
On the road to Jaipur, we started seeing hills after an hour or two, and I spotted castles or forts on a few of them. The shot below juxtaposes an ancient fortress with a more modern communication tower.
As we entered Jaipur, the road became steeper, and then more crowded. The last shot, of the woman in yellow, is one of my favorites from the trip. The car was moving, she was moving, and I took it with a cell phone camera. The new term for this hobby, I learned on this trip, is "phonography" (you could look it up in your Funk & Wagnall's).