We left Des Villas Lodge at 5 AM for the three-hour train ride to Agra.
Families lived in this station, also. We saw a man washing his son in the water fawcet on the platform.
We boarded a more typical commuter train—large, individual seats, two facing forward, two back. Very pleasant with more great sights out our window. After 130 ° F heat for 4 days, we were fried, and happy to “chill” in the AC and watch India fly by. We get off in Bharatpur, the closest stop to Agra.
KK, our local guide, met us with porters for our luggage. (How did our suitcases get so heavy? Answer—somefun finds. And why did we pack all that stuff we never used? Answer—we try to get better but just never learn!)
We make a way stop at the Laxmi Vilas Heritage Hotel, a magnificent place in the Taj Mahal motif. It was also completely empty. (This is not tourist season).
KK stops to give us a brief tour at another UNESCO World Heritage Site– Fatehpur Sikri, City of Victory. This was the capital of the Mughal empire in the 16th century.
I loved the intricate hand-carved red sandstone architecture.
And the Hall of Private Audience of the Emperor Akbar.
Groups of children, dressed up in their finest for vacation, crowd us begging to take our pictures. We took theirs, too.
Back in the van, we head to our next stop at the Gateway Hotel. Namaste.
A great place and we have the afternoon off! It’s still very hot here so no one is interested in the hand-manicured (men clipping grass with scissors) pool area. We sleep until dinner.
Tomorrow will be another 0500 morning, to beat the heat and crowds plus get the sunrise glow at the Taj Mahal.