Fiona and Ash's Gap Year Extravaganza travel blog

Gandhi's cremation site

This little boy ran to be in the photo and then followed...

Jammu Masjid (really big mosque) I fell over in the tower and...

Ash's arty impressive shot of lotus temple

our first rickshaw ride to a son-et-lumiere show after I hurt my...

Sikh temple

Frank Bruno. I missed FRANK BRUNO. That's really annoyed me. Oh well, I saw Matt from Blue Peter a few months back...

And Aaron's left? And Lee?? God, I go and they all follow... Who the hell is Martin?

We're now in India. We had 2 very very busy and cultural days in Delhi covering the Red Fort (old palace), Jama Masjid (mosque), a Jain temple, Gandhi's cremation site, the Bahai Lotus temple (very impressive) and Connought Place numerous times. Our driver man was very nice and even drove us the 4 and a half hours to Agra, where we are now. We were silly and didn't read our Lonely Planet bit about the Taj Mahal, and so we only found out when we got to Agra that it's actually closed tomorrow which is when we were planning to go. I think we're going tonight now which means we'll have to see it at sunset instead of sunrise, but it'll still be great. What's not great is the price. For Indians it's 20 Rupees. That's 24p. For foriegners, its a whopping 750 Rupees. That's 9 pounds. Shocking.

Our hotel is less than burgalar proof, to give it an un-deservedly glowing report. They do kindly provide you with a padlock for the door, but given that the window in our room is a more-than-man-sized hole in the wall which is easily accessible from the balcony outside the window, the padlock makes very little difference. I thought Agra would be nicer actually. If I were tall enough to see over the top of the building across the street, I'd see the Taj Mahal about 100 metres away from me. Given that this is probably the most prominent and famous tourist attraction in India, if not in most of Asia, this town really isn't very nice. I'm here in a cramped internet cafe in a crumbling building and there's a strange man in a vest asleep/ dead on the floor next to me. Not exactly geared up for tourists. I love it actually. Not necessarily the lax security or the dirt or the rabid animals, but that it's not choc-a-block with tourists. It's definately still India.

Finally, I'll just say this: No man should have to go through 80 minutes of stomach-churningly nervous, nailbiting football, his 10-man team stretched to the limit and fighting like lions against giants and beating all the odds despite some absolutely and utterly insane refereeing, only to have it all rendered 'in vain' by two goals in the last ten minutes, all the achievement and everything they've accomplished suddenly brutally stripped away... I hope I've made my point.

More from us soon :)

Ash xxxxxxx

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